Browser Daily Newsletter 1207


Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Ariel Sharon Kicked My Cousins Out Of Gaza

Gideon Lichfield | Quartz | 12th January 2014

Israeli settlements in Gaza were "little Edens" for their occupants before Sharon razed them in 2005. "Large houses with sloping red-tiled roofs nestled among lawns, palms, fruit trees and flowering bushes. Cars moved sedately along the streets, children walked without adults. It was like some film about the golden age of American suburbia". The settlers hated Sharon for evicting them; now they are perversely grateful

Looking For Lessons In Iceland’s Recovery

Guido Mingels | Spiegel | 10th January 2014

Interviews with Icelanders including an economist, a fisherman, a green investor and a knitting sexologist, about how the country got back on course after the 2008 crash. It reversed the disastrous diversification into global finance and went back to fishing and tourism. "Shortly after the crisis, the state opened all of its fishing sites, allowing every citizen to catch and sell up to 650 kilograms per day"

See Something, Say Something

Eugene Volokh | Volokh Conspiracy | 10th January 2014

The case for more surveillance. Ford builds GPS technology into its cars. Should it be required to use the data to spot speeding or dangerous drivers? "Ford is putting extremely dangerous devices on the road. It’s clearly foreseeable that those devices will be misused. Car accidents cause tens of thousands of deaths each year. And Ford has a means of making those dangerous devices that it distributes less dangerous"

Erez Aiden Contains Multitudes

Christopher Shea | Chronicle Review | 13th January 2014

Profile of Erez Lieberman Aiden, biologist and computer scientist best know for his work on the Ngram project using data from Google Books to trace the usage of words over time. He also co-invented a genome-analysing technique; has 40 patents in the works (including one for self-stabilising shoes); has published seven papers in Nature and Science; and is still just 33. The piece gushes a bit, but understandably so

How Silicon Valley Became The Man

Justin Fox | Harvard Business Review | 9th January 2014

Excellent interview with Fred Turner, author of From Counterculture to Cyberculture, about the mash-up of hippy and big-business cultures in Silicon Valley. "Bureaucratic systems are good for distributing resources. You have to negotiate. You have to express what resources exist and how they should be distributed. In a communal system built around shared consciousness, people with charisma start to lead"

Video of the day:  The Copenhagen Wheel

Thought for the day:

"All rhetorical questions are accusations" — David Mamet

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