Browser Daily Newsletter 1245T

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

China And Japan Inch Towards War

Eric Posner | Slate | 25th February 2014

International law favours Japan in its dispute with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. The five islands were terra nullius ('land belonging to no one') when Japan took them in 1895. The seizure was lawful. But China disagrees, and shows no interest in submitting the dispute to an international court. "Even though no one uses the islands currently for anything, if World War III takes place anytime soon, this is where it will start"

What You Can Learn From My Real Estate Investments

Warren Buffett | Fortune | 24th February 2014

Excerpt from Buffett's annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. "Focus on the future productivity of the asset you are considering. If you don't feel comfortable making a rough estimate of the asset's future earnings, just forget it and move on. No one has the ability to evaluate every investment possibility. But omniscience isn't necessary; you only need to understand the actions you undertake"

Great Movie: Groundhog Day

Roger Ebert | 30th January 2005

From the archives: A five-star reappraisal of the 1993 classic, Groundhog Day, directed and co-written by Harold Ramis, who died this week. "Groundhog Day is a film that finds its note and purpose so precisely that its genius may not be immediately noticeable. It unfolds so inevitably, is so entertaining, so apparently effortless, that you have to stand back and slap yourself before you see how good it really is"

Kingpin At Rest

Alma Guillermoprieto | New York Review Of Books | 25th February 2014

The arrest of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, head of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, was so easy that it feels as though he must have arranged it himself — "tired of the hard life of transporting thousands of tons of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, in addition to the daily agony of deciding whom to kill, whom to trust". But his capture will not diminish the drug trade; it will merely create a vacancy for somebody else to fill

Peter Singer Talks About Right and Wrong

Hamilton Nolan | Gawker | 25th February 2014

Clear, wide-ranging interview touching on charitable giving, animal rights, euthanasia. On zoos: "We need to turn the zoos around so the major purpose of them is not to provide people with an opportunity to look at animals, but to provide those animals with an opportunity to lead reasonably good lives". On killing babies: "I do sometimes think that, in hindsight, it might have been better if I never addressed that topic"

A Guest Of Our Time

Fareed Zakaria | New York Times | 21st February 2014

George Kennan's newly published Diaries reveal "a cranky old man, trapped in nostalgia and ideology". He was against immigration, the “mingling of the races”, capitalism and technology. But what made him a difficult man also made him a great strategist. "He could muster no empathy at all" for the America in which he lived; as a result, he could see its interests with the objectivity of a stranger (Metered paywall)

Video of the day:  Cloudwash

Thought for the day:

"Language is a finite instrument crudely applied to an infinity of ideas" — Tom Stoppard

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