Browser Daily Newsletter 1252


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

The Face Behind Bitcoin

Leah McGrath Goodman | Newsweek | 6th March 2014

Interesting if true. Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious inventor of Bitcoin, is "a 64-year-old Japanese-American man whose name really is Satoshi Nakamoto", and who lives in the San Bernardino foothills near Los Angeles. He is, according to his brother "an amazing physicist"; and "an asshole"; who previously "worked on classified stuff". But he won't talk about Bitcoin: "I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it" (4,690 words)

Italy’s Young Prime Minister In A Hurry

Alexander Stille | New Yorker | 6th March 2014

Matteo Renzi has "the appeal of a young Bill Clinton or Tony Blair ... the brashness of someone who does not intend to wait in line". He "exudes optimism and possibility"; some call him "a kind of Silvio Berlusconi of the left", but he is more of a "pragmatic centrist"; his "ambitious legislative agenda" would cut taxes and public spending. His power "rests on fragile alliances", but voters love him (1,520 words)

How The Ukraine Crisis Ends

Henry Kissinger | Washington Post | 5th March 2014

"Ukraine has been independent for only 23 years. Its leaders have not learned the art of compromise, even less of historical perspective. The root of the problem lies in efforts by Ukrainian politicians to impose their will on recalcitrant parts of the country, first by one faction, then by the other. A wise US policy would seek a way for the two parts of the country to cooperate. We should seek reconciliation, not the domination of a faction" (1,030 words)

Slovakia: Life After Velvet Divorce

Angus Roxburgh | New Statesman | 6th March 2014

The "quiet success" of Slovakia, which broke away from the Czech Republic in 1993, offers an encouraging model for Scottish independence. Most Slovaks opposed independence at the time; now they embrace it. “The Czechs always used to complain that they were paying for us, and we used to complain that they were bossing us around. Not any more. Now we trust each other more. We get on better than ever.” (1,850 words)

Beat Godfather Meets Glitter Mainman

Craig Copetas | Rolling Stone | 28th February 1974

From the archives of Rolling Stone: David Bowie in conversation with William S. Burroughs. You may have to be of a certain age to enjoy this fully. In which Bowie explains the plot of Ziggy Stardust; declares Lou Reed to be the greatest musician on the planet; and reveals himself as unexpectedly class conscious, in the English way. His lyrics, he says are "a bit middle class, but that's all right, 'cause I'm middle class" (5,780 words)

Video of the day:  Kurt Vonnegut — Shapes Of Stories

Thought for the day:

"The liberal state is neutral between capitalism and its critics until the critics look like they are winning" — Terry Eagleton

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