Browser Daily Newsletter 1249

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

Obama Shouldn’t Fall For Putin’s Ukrainian Folly

Anatol Lieven | Zocalo | 2nd March 2014

Every election since 1991 has confirmed Ukraine's deep division between pro-Russian and pro-Western populations. The country could hold together only as long as neither Russia nor the European Union demanded a clear choice. Now that both Russia and the West have "overplayed their hands", war threatens. The best outcome would be a new federal constitution with much greater powers for the rival regions

Marijuana: It’s All In The Implementation

Jonathan Rauch | Washington Monthly | 3rd March 2014

Marijuana legalization seems to be "on track toward decisive and irrevocable public acceptance". Like gay marriage, you might think: "Both have crossed the magic 50 percent line defining majority support". But what if the better analogy is with Obamacare? Not so good. "Marijuana legalization, unlike gay marriage but very much like Obamacare, requires the government to execute a complicated new program well"

Philip Roth: My Life As A Writer

Daniel Sandstrom | New York Times | 2nd March 2014

Interview, in which Roth looks back over his work, and declares its recurrent theme to be "masculine power impaired ... My intention is to present my fictional men not as they should be but vexed as men are." His work as a writer is done, he says: "Now I am a bird sprung from a cage. It is truly a great relief, something close to a sublime experience, to have nothing more to worry about than death" (Metered paywall)

Wallets Wide Shut

Mohamed El-Erian | Project Syndicate | 1st March 2014

Industrial companies are in good shape, especially in America. But they are not investing. Why? Perhaps because the nature of investment is changing. "While companies recognise that innovation is a key comparative advantage in today’s global economy, they are also humbled by its increasingly winner-take-all nature. Successful innovation today is a lot less about financing and much more about finding the 'killer app'"

How Much Does Credibility Matter In Foreign Affairs?

Tyler Cowen | Marginal Revolution | 3rd March 2014

It depends on context. "We can promise Ruritania the moon, and fail to deliver it, and still the world thinks we would defend Canada if we had to, simply because such a course of action makes sense for us. In this setting, our violation of a single promise changes estimates of our true scope of concern, but it does not much change anyone’s estimate of the true type of the American government"

Dear Presenter, Please Don’t Drive Me To Suicide

Robin Hardwick | Medium | 27th February 2014

"There are plenty of gurus and articles and TED talks that may show you how to create amazing presentations, but these people don’t actually sit through your said presentation. So, as someone who has had hours shaved off my life by presentations, let me tell you what the hell you should be doing ... If you use Powerpoint, so help me god, you’d better only have three goddamn words on each slide"

Video of the day:  Yosemite Time-Lapse

Thought for the day:

"Nobody reads a great novel to find out how it finishes" — Jay Rayner

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