Browser Daily Newsletter 1330


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

A Theory Of Jerks

Eric Schwitzgebel | Aeon | 4th June 2014

"We need a theory of jerks. We need such a theory because, first, it can help us achieve a calm, clinical understanding when confronting such a creature in the wild". And we need a theory, second, because it may help us to see when we are jerks ourselves. "As one climbs the social hierarchy it is easier to become a jerk. Thinking yourself important is a self-gratifying excuse for disregarding the interests of others" (3,600 words)

The More Your Job Helps Others, The Less You Get Paid

Thomas Frank | Salon | 1st June 2014

Interview with David Graeber about work, wages, automation. "The ambivalence in the heart of the worker’s movement remains. On the one hand, there’s this ideological imperative to validate work as virtue in itself. On the other hand, there’s the reality that most work is obviously stupid, degrading, unnecessary, and best avoided whenever possible. But it makes it very difficult to organize, as workers, against work" (5,000 words)

Tiananmen At Twenty-Five

Evan Osnos | New Yorker | 4th June 2014

Eyewitness accounts of the Tiananmen massacre of 1989 were so plentiful at the time, that “publishing houses worldwide were rejecting them, citing the saturation of the market”. But now within China the event has been airbrushed from public history. If the violence is mentioned at all, it is portrayed as something "insignificant in the grand scheme, because it came amid broader gains in human development" (1,350 words)

Charles Ives, Nostalgic Rebel

Jeremy Denk | New York Review Of Books | 3rd June 2014

Review of Stephen Budiansky's biography, "Mad Music". Ives worked most of his life in insurance: "By day he crafted sales pitches for an army of insurance men; by night he scrawled unsalable musical visions." He was 65 when his music made him famous. Critics derided his "amateurism", but "that is the injustice of art — sometimes all the craft in the world is trumped by someone with something more important to say". (3,400 words)

Consider The Squirrel

Jamie Allen | Oxford American | 3rd June 2014

Squirrels are "the cursor, the movement" that makes Mother Nature's guiding hand visible even within cities. But they lead short and precarious lives: "You have about three years in an urban environment, and then your time is up." The rest of the animal population is ranged against you, humans included. "The squirrel has long served as the American child’s introduction to killing something" (2,890 words)

Video of the day:  Etereas — Hoops

What to expect: Exercise routine enhanced with computer graphics

Thought for the day:

"I always speak the truth. Not the whole truth, because there's no way, to say it all" — Jacques Lacan

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