Browser Newsletter 1064

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

Best of the Moment

Negative Restaurant Reviews

Ryan Sutton | The Bad Deal | 23rd July 2013

Should a critic take more care with bad reviews than good ones? No, and here's why: "An inaccurate, single-visit positive review is no worse than an inaccurate, single-visit negative review. With a misplaced positive review, you’re wasting the hard-earned disposable income of those who visited the restaurant on your counsel, and you’re taking money away from a better restaurant that your readers would have gone to otherwise"

A Short History Of Publishing

Jonathan Galassi | New York | 21st July 2013

Action-packed reminiscence from head of Farrar, Straus & Giroux. "Roger Straus was a warm and exuberant ladies’ man, a flashy dresser, and a loudmouth who loved profanity as much as he loved making friends. Downtown on drug-ridden Union Square, it was another story. FSG’s grungy quarters resembled 'the branch office of a failing insurance company', in the words of author Calvin Trillin"

What Do Conductors Actually Do?

James McConnachie | Spectator | 20th July 2013

Review of Inside Conducting, by Christopher Seaman. "The conductor’s work is not often discussed in such plain detail. Conducting is ‘like riding a horse not driving a car’. A tighter grip on the baton produces a harder tone. Keeping the arms moving upward very slowly can restrain an audience’s desire to rush to clap after a quiet ending. The conductor acts as the ‘artistic conscience’ of the orchestra and its human face"

Nate Silver Went Against Grain At The Times

Margaret Sullivan | New York Times | 22nd July 2013

Admirably frank column from the public editor of the New York Times discussing the departure of a star writer. "I don’t think Nate Silver ever really fit into the Times culture and I think he was aware of that. His entire probability-based way of looking at politics ran against the kind of political journalism that the Times specializes in. A number of traditional and well-respected Times journalists disliked his work"

The Constant Traveler

Brian Philips | Grantland | 18th July 2013

"In the same way that the detective movie is a fantasy about city life, the spy movie is a fantasy about tourism. The elements of travel we ourselves find exhausting and stressful have been magically made easy for the spy. The spy never worries about not understanding a language; whatever it is, he already speaks it. Instead of sitting around in train stations, the spy procures a car, or a helicopter, or a speedboat"

Video of the day: John Searle, on consciousness

Thought for the day:

"A scholar is just a library's way of making another library" — Daniel Dennet

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