Browser Daily Newsletter 1289

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

It’s Adventure Time

Maria Bustillos | The Awl | 15th April 2014

In praise of Adventure Time, a "smash hit cartoon" for children aged six to eleven, and also "a serious work of moral philosophy, a rip-roaring comic masterpiece, and a meditation on gender politics and love in the modern world." The heroes, a boy called Finn and a dog called Jake, "possess a blind optimism that is as clueless as it is comforting". This is not merely great television, it is great art, and not only for kids (11,340 words)

Sign Warfare

Jonathan Littell | Asymptote | 15th April 2014

With the Ugandan army hunting the Lord's Resistance Army in 2011. Joseph Kony's militia has a jungle the size of Germany to hide in. The hunt continues to this day. Kony has become a byword for inexplicable savagery. "If there is a true enigma about the LRA, it lies in the fact that a political uprising originally brought on by genuine oppression so quickly mutated into a practice of radical violence" (4,900 words)

San Francisco’s Housing Crisis Explained

Kim-Mai Cutler | TechCrunch | 14th April 2014

Housing is expensive because supply is constrained. Local laws deliberately make new construction difficult, slow, rare and expensive. Which suits existing home owners; and tenants in rent-controlled apartments, who don't want to be evicted by developers. Those categories account for 80% of housing stock in San Francisco, so don't expect things to change soon, whatever the social and economic pressures (12,900 words)

Joe Stiglitz On High-Frequency Trading

Felix Salmon | Reuters | 15th April 2014

A rather brilliant set of notes by Salmon on a rather brilliant speech by Stiglitz, making the case against market volatility in general and high-frequency trading in particular. Markets should "reward people who find out information about the real economy". But HFT robots “steal the rents that otherwise would have gone to those who had invested in information”, with the result that “the market will become less informative” (1,650 words)

Life After Aids

Max Pemberton | Spectator | 16th April 2014

Advances in pharmacology have beaten back HIV/Aids, at least in rich countries. Deaths are "incredibly rare" in Britain. "For those diagnosed with HIV now, life expectancy is similar to someone who does not have the virus. The medical profession considers HIV a chronic disease in the same category as, for example, type 2 diabetes. As a doctor I can tell you that, medically speaking, I’d rather have HIV than diabetes" (Metered paywall) (1,130 words)

How To Reset The Climate Change Debate

Editorial | Bloomberg View | 14th April 2014

Scare tactics about climate change have failed to move public opinion and weakened trust in government. Climate change is not "an inevitable cataclysm", but nor is it a hoax. It is a "relatively straightforward but profound risk", against which the world needs insurance. Governments should take "practical and economic steps" to "manage the risk", and present these, like insurance, as a "sensible, even boring, necessity" (760 words)

Video of the day:  Crossroad Of Realities

What to expect: Hyper-timelapsed road movie; frantic driving; jazz soundtrack

Thought for the day:

"Life is best organised as a series of daring ventures from a secure base" — John Bowlby

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