Browser Newsletter 1085

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

Best of the Moment

Killing Machines: How To Think About Drones

Mark Bowden | The Atlantic | 14th August 2013

A much-discussed topic, but make room for this piece, which is thoroughly reported, well thought through, and filled with striking detail. "No American president will ever pay a political price for choosing national security over world opinion, but the right way to proceed is to make targeting decisions and strike outcomes fully public. In the long run, adherence to the law matters more than eliminating another bad actor"

Egypt’s Avoidable Massacre

David Rohde | Reuters | 15th August 2013

America should cut off aid to Egypt immediately. Doing so may not curb the army's behaviour, but it will signal that America does care about some basic principles. "The message the White House sent to young Islamists in Egypt this week was clear: What jihadists have been telling you about American hypocrisy for years is true. Democratic norms apply to everyone but you. Participating in elections is pointless."

Bosnia And Syria: Intervention Then And Now

Michael Ignatieff | Boston Review | 15th August 2013

America intervened to stop civil war in Bosnia in 1995. Why will it not do the same in Syria now? Partly because there are no clear "good guys" in Syria, forcing America to act, wielding the moral weight that the Bosniaks did in Sarajevo. Partly because the world has changed: America can no longer afford to defy China and Russia, and America is tired. Syria does matter. It just doesn't matter enough

When You’re In A Fourth Estate Situation

Jay Rosen | Pressthink | 15th August 2013

For decades we've used the term "fourth estate" to mean the Press. But it's better defined as an attitude of mind, the will to hold power to account. Some journalists have it, but the floor is open. We're back to Carlyle's original 19C formulation: "Whoever can speak, speaking now to the whole nation, becomes a power. It matters not what rank he has: the requisite thing is that he have a tongue which others will listen to"

Three Nails In The Coffin Of Peak Oil

Euan Mearns | Oil Drum | 13th August 2013

World oil supply was widely predicted to be peaking in the past decade. It has gone on increasing. What happened? Oil prices rose sharply, encouraging more exploration, more discoveries, new technologies, exploitation of marginal reserves. Probably there's enough oil to last us for decades yet without pushing the price above $150 per barrel (The formatting of this piece is very ugly on the blog, so use a Readability view if you can)

Meet The Dread Pirate Roberts

Andy Greenberg | Forbes | 14th August 2013

Online conversation with manager of Silk Road web site, black-market hub for drug traders. "Roberts spoke with Forbes in his first-ever extended public interview for a reason: As with physical drug dealing, a turf war has emerged. Competitors, namely a newly launched site called Atlantis with a real marketing budget and a CEO with far less regard for his privacy, are stealing Roberts’ spotlight"

Video of the day: Hyper-Travel Through Georgia

Thought for the day:

"All my life, I've always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific" — Jane Wagner

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