Browser Daily Newsletter 1315T

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

Editing While Female

Susan Glasser | Politico | 16th May 2014

"You can’t get to greatness by enabling mediocrity. In male leaders, this is called having high standards and it is praised. Places like the New York Times, Le Monde and the Washington Post are not given to elevating editors — of any gender — who would accept anything other than the highest of standards. But there’s no doubt that many find this off-putting and threatening from a certain kind of woman. Like me" (3,180 words)

Lebanon On The Brink

David Gardner | FT Magazine | 16th May 2014

Hizbollah is dragging Lebanon back into war. The Shia Islamist paramilitary movement has "openly committed the full might of its militia to the civil war in Syria on the side of Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship. This fateful decision, taken in Tehran, has attached Lebanon to the Syrian battlefield, which now stretches from Beirut to Baghdad, creating another arena for the vicious struggle within Islam between Sunni and Shia" (3,580 words)

Can China Best The West At Statecraft?

Adrian Wooldridge & John Micklethwait | Wall Street Journal | 16th May 2014

Much as China set out to master capitalism in the 1990, so it seeks now to master government. Officials "hurtle around the world studying successful models from Chile to Sweden". One place they are not studying: Washington, DC. They see the American model as broken — and rightly so. The lesson from America is that the more a state tries to do, the worse it performs, and the angrier its citizens become (1,070 words)

Sixty Years Later, We Need A New Brown

Lee Bollinger | New Yorker | 16th May 2014

America is ending affirmative action programmes long before they have finished their intended job of restoring social equality to historically disadvantaged minorities. New concern about inequality of wealth is replacing old concern about racial disadvantage. Segregation is returning de facto to schools. The political philosophy behind Brown vs Board of Education needs to be revived, not retired (2,450 words)

India’s Election, In One Stunning Map

Max Fisher | Vox | 16th May 2014

Useful at-a-glance summary of India's general election outcome. Literally so. One glance at the map shows the scale of the BJP's landslide and the collapse of the incumbent Congress Party; Congress is down to just 10% of parliamentary seats, while the BJP has an absolute majority. The old establishment is broken; the pro-growth Hindu nationalists are in charge. "Firebrand" Narendra Modi is the new prime minister (550 words)

Billionaires’ Fantasia

Gene Seymour | Baffler | 15th May 2014

The visions of libertarian tycoons such as Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page come straight out of science fiction: Space travel, eternal life, floating cities. "These ambitious, mogul-driven projects all mimic one of science fiction’s raisons d’être: World-building — imagining self-contained planets, space colonies, social relations that operate on radically different principles from the ones we know" (6,000 words)

Video of the day:  Nigel Farage's Car-Crash Interview

What to expect: Riveting political theatre. Dogged interviewer versus blustering politician

Thought for the day:

"The incapacity to name is a good symptom of disturbance" — Roland Barthes

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