Browser Daily Newsletter 1336


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

Colleges Are Full Of It

Thomas Frank | Salon | 8th June 2014

The cost of a year at an American college has increased 12-fold over the past 30 years. "The tuition price spiral is part of the larger history of inequality. As the rewards that can potentially be won by members of the white-collar class have gone from meh (in the egalitarian 1970s) to Neronian (today), it feels natural that the entrance fee for membership in that class should have escalated in a corresponding manner" (4,220 words)

Partial Recall

Michael Specter | New Yorker | 19th May 2014

Profile of Daniela Schiller, specialist in affective neuroscience, daughter of Holocaust survivor, researcher into connections between memory and fear. "She and a growing number of her colleagues have a more ambitious goal: to find a way to rewrite our darkest memories". False memories can be created by suggestion. Can true but insupportable memories — of suffering, addiction — be physically removed? (6,627 words)

Jonah Peretti Goes Long

Felix Salmon | Matter on Medium | 11th June 2014

Big, meaty interview with Buzzfeed founder, viral content guru. "If the forest is dry and it’s been hot and the trees are close together, you can just drop a match and the whole thing will burn. There was a period between 2001 and 2003 when the dry forest was ready to burn. If you made something that was pretty funny and had qualities that caused people to want to share and talk and discuss, then things would spread pretty far" (23,000 words)

Eleven Lessons From Eric Cantor’s Loss

Ezra Klein | Vox | 10th June 2014

Here's the main one: It's good news for Hillary Clinton. "In terms of legislative achievements, Obama's second term has been done for some time. But in terms of protecting his legislative achievements — and protecting coming executive branch actions like his proposed climate rules — what matters most for Obama is that a Democrat wins the presidency in 2016. Tonight made that a little more likely" (660 words)

British Values

Chris Dillow | Stumbling And Mumbling | 10th June 2014

Britain's education minister calls on schools to teach "British values". But would this really be wise, when one considers the things which distinguish Britons in practice? Relative to other developed countries they excel at drunkenness, laziness, obesity and robbery. On the positive side, they emit less carbon dioxide and give more foreign aid. But still, it may be as well to give this one more thought (400 words)

The World Cup And Economics 2014

Goldman Sachs | 1st June 2014

Companion guide to the World Cup; assessments of teams and countries; with a statistical prediction for the 2014 tournament using stochastic modelling, regression analysis, Monte Carlo simulation, but no human judgement. "The most striking aspect of our model is how heavily it favours Brazil to win, with Argentina and Germany much lower down. Our probability for an overall Brazil win is almost 50%" (PDF)

Video of the day:  The Making Of "Jurassic Park"

What to expect: Short documentary about how the film more or less launched modern computer graphics

Thought for the day:

"Happiness is the longing for repetition" — Milan Kundera

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