Browser Daily Newsletter 1259

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

Hell On Earth

Ross Andersen | Aeon | 13th March 2014

Life-extension technologies could keep bad people alive as well as good ones, allowing prolonged punishment for unusually wicked criminals — an idea with many moral complications: "If you put someone in prison for a crime they committed at 40, they might, strictly speaking, be an entirely different person at 940. And that means you are effectively punishing one person for a crime committed by someone else" (2,800 words)

The Tri-X Factor

Bryan Appleyard | Intelligent Life | 11th March 2014

In praise of Kodak Tri-X, the black-and-white film beloved by old-school photographers for its "grainy" and "dirty" tones. It was "flexible and forgiving": you could muff the exposure and still get a decent shot. Devotees included Henri Cartier-Bresson, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Don McCullin. When Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2012, Anton Corbijn bought thousands of rolls of Tri-X and stuffed them in the fridge (3,830 words)

The Gavel Drops At Sotheby’s

Andrew Rice | New York | 11th March 2014

Portrait of the venerable auction house, lagging behind Christie's and under siege from investor Daniel Loeb, who sees art as "an expanding economy" and Sotheby’s stock as "the only public route to investing in it". Entertaining cast of tycoons and collectors including David Martinez Guzman, Mexican-born financier who keeps a billion dollars' worth of art in a Swiss warehouse and never looks at it (6,500 words)

Human Nature Versus Libertarian Ideals

Arnold Kling | Cato Unbound | 12th March 2014

Hobbes saw mankind as everywhere competitive and violent. That now seems overly pessimistic: We have the ability "to cooperate to a greater degree than if we were solely acting out of individual self-interest". But we fall short of "universal brotherhood". Our trust is limited to those with whom we feel kinship. We need enemies, as "part of the motivational structure" for our tribe or clan (1,530 words)

The Future Of Film

Liam Boluk | Ivey Business Review | 2nd March 2014

Tight, lucid primer on Hollywood's evolving business model. In 2013 major studios released 32% fewer films than in 2003, but spent 75% more per film. Even when a blockbuster as such makes little or no money, it can "establish a platform through which entertainment becomes a recurring service", with future income from comic books, merchandise, television spin-offs and, increasingly, video games (2,100 words)

Obituary: Walter George Bruhl Jr.

Cape Gazette | 11th March 2014

It begins: "Walter George Bruhl Jr. of Newark and Dewey Beach is a dead person; he is no more; he is bereft of life; he is deceased; he has rung down the curtain and gone to join the choir invisible; he has expired and gone to meet his maker. He drifted off this mortal coil Sunday, March 9, 2014, in Punta Gorda, Fla. His spirit was released from his worn-out shell of a body and is now exploring the universe" (640 words)

Video of the day:  Vox — Understand The News

Thought for the day:

"Our love of being right is best understood as our fear of being wrong" — Kathryn Schulz

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