Browser Daily Newsletter 1307

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

Corporate Time Equivalents

Marco Kaye | McSweeney's | 8th May 2014

Instant classic. Will be posted on office notice boards for the next 100 years. "Just a sec = 5 minutes; Just a minute = 10 minutes; No more than five minutes = 1 hour; Quick meeting = 3 hours; Let’s revisit this later = never shall we speak of this again" (300 words)

Steven Pinker’s History Of Thought

Colleen Walsh | Harvard Gazette | 6th May 2014

Interview. Interesting and often delightful. On the blossoming of psychology: "Cognitive science, which connects psychology to linguistics, theoretical computer science, and philosophy of mind, has helped explain intelligence in terms of information, computation, and feedback. This crosstalk has made psychology more intellectually satisfying. It’s no longer just one damn phenomenon after another" (5,620 words)

Darwin’s Unexploded Bomb

Ed West | Spectator | 6th May 2014

Human evolution has been "recent, copious, and regional", with groups diverging strongly from one another in the past 50,000 years, and especially in the past 10,000. Late-20C science tended to view race as a cultural construct without biological substance; but as we learn more about genetics, we may come to see that races and civilisations are distinguished not only by culture, but also by genes (1,220 words)

Sons Of Anarchy

Alex Preston | GQ | 4th February 2014

Blood-soaked portrait of Boko Haram, Nigerian Islamist group which has kidnapped 230 schoolgirls. Founded in 2002 to demand sharia law, it has become a jihadist terrorist organisation responsible for at least 4,000 deaths and tens of thousands of casualties. Aid workers describe northern Nigeria as as "a warzone, with terrorists and army locked in intractable battle, heaping atrocity upon atrocity" (h/t Longreads ( ) (6,446 words)

Philip Welsh’s Simple Life

Dan Morse | Washington Post | 6th May 2014

Model of writing and reporting. Blameless suburban resident with no known enemies nor secrets works days for a taxi firm, writes poetry on a typewriter, lives alone, leaves his front door unlocked — and gets beaten to death one evening while cooking his dinner. No clues, no leads, no evidence of robbery. No email or Facebook pages to search, because he didn't use internet. Police are stumped (Metered Paywall) (1,945 words)

Who Can Control The New World Order?

Slavoj Žižek | The Guardian | 6th May 2014

Nicely put. The unwritten rules of post-Soviet international relations have broken down, and there is no mechanism for imposing new ones. "Back in the 1990s, a silent pact regulated the relationship between the great western powers and Russia. Western states treated Russia as a great power on the condition that Russia didn't act as one. But what if the person to whom the offer-to-be-rejected is made actually accepts it?" (1,050 words)

Video of the day:  Net Neutrality

What to expect: Fizzy, friendly animation explaining abstruse subject in a clear way

Thought for the day:

"Only superficial minds approach an idea with delicacy" — Emil Cioran

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