Browser Daily Newsletter 1250

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

Russian Revisionism

Ivan Krastev | Foreign Affairs | 3rd March 2014

Short, brutal, brilliant analysis. "Putin's strategic goal is not to cut off Crimea, but to bring about a constitutional crisis that will remake Ukraine into a confederate state with a very weak center, the eastern part of which will be more integrated with Russia and the western part closer to Poland and the EU. Realizing that he has lost Kiev, Putin seems to want to move Ukraine’s center of power elsewhere" (Metered paywall) (1,330 words)

The Misplaced Question Of Obama’s Toughness

Benjamin Wallace-Wells | New York | 3rd March 2014

It makes little sense to denounce Putin's belligerence, while also pining for a more Putin-like figure in the White House. We don't want a wrestling match. "The challenge Obama faces in the Ukraine is centrally diplomatic — it is a problem of organizing a coalition, and picking the right allies within the Ukraine, the right economic and symbolic measures against Putin, the careful shaping of moral and political rhetoric" (1,130 words)

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Roz Chast | New Yorker | 3rd March 2014

Graphic memoir about life with — and, eventually, the death of — elderly parents. "Graphic" in the sense that this is an artist's sketchbook, not that it is particularly shocking; although it is deeply moving, and may, indeed, be a masterpiece of some kind. "I wasn't great as a caretaker, and they weren't great at being taken care of"

Liam Neesons, Though!

Wesley Morris | Grantland | 28th February 2014

Terse, fizzy, fun film review. "Anyone planning to see Non-Stop should probably just go see it. This is one of those near-perfect, peeled-onion, airplane-hijacking thrillers in which each removed layer brings you closer to a single, happy tear ... The filmmakers love the junk they’re making. Non-Stop is like a hamburger that would’ve been fine as just meat on a bun. But the accumulation of fixings starts to blow your mind" (1,450 words)

What Good Are Children?

Angus Deaton & Arthur Stone | Vox | 4th March 2014

You'd have to be an economist to ask that question; and here is an economist's answer. "Study after study has shown that those who live with children are less satisfied with their lives than those who do not." Should governments issue warnings to prospective parents? That depends on your perspective. "Perhaps the attractions of children are a deception necessary to keep in motion the continuation of mankind" (1,448 words)

Imaginary Jews

Michael Walzer | New York Review Of Books | 3rd March 2014

David Nirenberg's "brilliant, fascinating, and deeply depressing" new book, Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition, is "an intellectual history of Western civilization, seen from a peculiar but frighteningly revealing perspective". It shows how centuries of "Christian heresies, political tyrannies, medieval plagues, capitalist crises, and revolutionary movements" have been blamed upon the imaginary behaviour of "imagined Jews" (3,900 words)

Video of the day:  Visual Themes Of Wes Anderson

Thought for the day:

"To understand how something works, figure out how to break it" — Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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