Browser Newsletter 1088


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

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Best of the Moment

How To Start And Run A Business

James Altucher | Altucher Confidential | 19th August 2013

Cheat sheet. Cynical but serious. Much that you need to know, and some things you don't, in 100 questions and answers. "How long does it take to raise money? In a great business, six months. In a mediocre business: infinity." "Should I pay taxes? No. You should always reinvest your money and operate at a loss." "Why didn't the VC or customer call back after we met yesterday and it was great? They hate you."

David Miranda And The Threat To The Press

Alan Rusbridger | Guardian | 19th August 2013

Guardian editor tells of pressure from British government to return or destroy NSA documents leaked by Snowden. "And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian's long history occurred – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian's basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents"

A Nearly Perfect Book

Nathan Heller | Harvard Magazine | 19th August 2013

Portrait of Arion Press, the only full-service letterpress left in the United States, and its owner, Andrew Hoyem. Arion's hand-printed volumes sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars each. "Following tradition, Hoyem either melts down the type or returns it to its cases after the run is complete, preserving the volumes’ uniqueness". His chief editorial collaborator is the poet and critic Helen Vendler

Love, War And Politics On Trucks

Borhan Osman | Afghan Analysts' Network | 17th August 2013

Afghan trucks, buses and vans bear on their bodies all sorts of short messages: greetings, prayers, proverbs and quotes from famous movie characters. Most often, however, they bear poems. The usual form is the landay, a non-rhyming couplet, suggestive of the haiku. Here, a lost lover is mourned in the language of war: "I am chasing you like a drone / You have become al Qaida; there’s no trace of you"

On The Phenomenon Of Bullshit Jobs

David Graeber | Strike | 17th August 2013

In place of vanished productive jobs in industry and agriculture, we have administrative jobs, paper-pushing jobs, few of which are necessary, most of which are pointless or deadweight. But why? "It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working. And here, precisely, lies the mystery. In capitalism, this is precisely what is not supposed to happen"

Video of the day: Run!

Thought for the day:

"Below every tangled hierarchy lies an inviolate level" — Douglas Hofstadter

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