Browser Daily Newsletter 1284T

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

How Western Is Germany?

Christiane Hoffmann | Spiegel | 10th April 2014

Germany's ties to Russia go deep; deeper than Germany could acknowledge in the post-war decades while it was anchoring itself into the European Union. But even the Second World War now counts as shared history binding Germany and Russia. A new East-West crisis may find Germany choosing, if not Russia's side, then a position somewhere in the middle. Because, whatever happens, Germany will never attack Russia again (2,390 words)

The New Gilded Age

Paul Krugman | New York Review Of Books | 9th April 2014

Review of Thomas Piketty's "truly superb book", Capital In The Twenty-First Century, which "will change the way we think about society and the way we do economics". It "melds grand historical sweep with painstaking data analysis". Piketty argues that we are heading for “patrimonial capitalism,” in which "the commanding heights of the economy are controlled not by talented individuals but by family dynasties" (4,320 words)

On Kate Bush

Ian Penman | London Review Of Books | 10th April 2014

If Wuthering Heights makes you think of Kate Bush before Emily Bronte, read on: "She’s someone you might have known at sixth-form college, or at your Saturday job (the artier kind, obviously: knick-knack stall at the local market); definitely a scream down the pub, with her packet of Silk Cut and pint of scrumpy. She has the soul of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but the robust mien of Mrs Thatcher at a cabinet meeting" (2,767 words)

Pimco’s Bill Gross Picks Up The Pieces

Sheelah Kolhatkar | Business Week | 10th April 2014

Vivid snapshot of the eccentric, embattled head of the world's biggest bond fund: Difficult boss, great trader, driven man. He gets up each morning at 4.30, kisses his still-sleeping wife goodbye, "and prepares a to-go box of Special K with blueberries, which he consumes as he drives himself to work along the Pacific Coast Highway in a black Mercedes, controlling the steering wheel with his knees" (3,950 words)

Accidents In Architecture

Mark Lawson | New Statesman | 10th April 2014

Shigeru Ban, winner of the 2014 Pritzker prize for architecture, creates "emergency structures from improbable materials in crisis zones". For disaster victims in Japan he has designed shelters made from beer crates and shipping containers. His "masterpiece to date" is a cardboard cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand, built after an earthquake. "Whereas most buildings start on paper, many of Ban’s end in it" (860 words)

Ukraine, Putin And The West

Editorial | n+1 | 9th April 2014

If you have read nothing about Ukraine and Russia in the past six months, and would like to be brought up to date, this is a piece you should read. And if, per contra, you have read everything, but have trouble fitting the bits together, then again, this is a piece you should read. It argues, in brief, that America helped bring about the crisis in Ukraine by thoughtlessly caricaturing and humiliating Vladimir Putin (3,880 words)

Video of the day:  Drones on Demand

What to expect: Advertisement for a Zipcar-type personal drone-sharing service

Thought for the day:

"Old age is like learning a new profession. And not one of your own choosing" — Jacques Barzun

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