Browser Newsletter 1111

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

Best of the Moment

The Best Pen

Tim Barribeau | Wirecutter | 12th September 2013

Experts agree: the world's best pen for everyday use is the uni-ball Jetstream, and the basic version costs just $8 for a pack of three. "Every expert we talked to gave it a perfect score for feathering, bleeding and drying time, and it also either came first or equal to the top in smoothness of writing, flow, comfort, reliability and design. That put it at the top of the pack for eight of the twelve factors we asked about"

Go Ask Alice

Epicurean Dealmaker | 14th September 2013

Ahead of Twitter's initial public offering of shares, a short insider's guide to how IPO pricing works, and what the underwriters bring to the party: "Caviling about the unseemliness of Wall Street dispensing favors to the buy side on IPOs is both shortsighted and dense. It is because we dispense favors, and try to make our buy side customers happy too, that we have the power to twist their arms when we need to"

Always Emerging, Never Arriving: The Middle Class

Mallory Ortberg | The Toast | 10th September 2013

"I am going to share a tip with you, a tip that thus far I have managed to keep to myself but that will benefit you enormously, whether student or amateur sociologist or writer for The Economist. No matter what time period you are referring to, no matter what country or region of the world you are referencing, there is a single claim that you can make that will never be challenged: the middle class is always in the process of emerging"

How I Failed

Tim O'Reilly | O'Reilly Radar | 16th September 2013

Tech publisher and conference organiser reflects on 25 years in business. "You can be uncompromising without being a jerk. I sometimes wish I’d channeled my inner Steve Jobs a little more often. Those moments of giving in to convenience — the schedule is already in place, it’s too late to make a change, we’ve already announced the product, the ad is already running — gradually wear away at a company’s greatness"

Learning Judaism As A Native Language

Mark Oppenheimer | Tablet | 11th September 2013

"For most of the Jewish world, Judaism the religion is now a learned practice. Most of us can never practice Judaism in the easy, unearned way that, say, I can celebrate the rituals of being American: the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving. So, if Judaism is no longer a native language for many Jews, what is it? I believe that Judaism is best thought of now as an art, or maybe a sport. Put in even simpler terms, it’s like playing guitar, or playing tennis"

Economics Is Good For Lots Of Things

Yichuan Wang | Noahpinion | 11th September 2013

"Just as some engineers study computers and others study nuclear reactors, some economists study taxes, other study financial markets, and still others study how psychological biases should change the design of policy. So to use the chaos in financial markets as a reason to discredit all of economics is analogous to discrediting all of engineering on the count of a Fukushima disaster"

Video of the day: Pulse

Thought for the day:

"When a hardcore satirist manages to achieve some popularity, it can only mean that his audience doesn't understand him" — Jonathan Franzen

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