Browser Newsletter 1118


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Best of the Moment

Afghanistan: Return Of The Lion

Christian Neef | Spiegel | 23rd September 2013

Interview with Ismail Khan. Once among the most powerful of Afghan warlords. When American troops withdraw, he expects to resume that career. Nothing will have changed. "He sees a future in which power is divided between the clans as it was in the past, and in which the mujahedeen, the tribal militias seasoned by battles against the Soviets and later the Taliban, remain the sole governing force"

Looking For Hemingway

Gay Talese | Esquire/Longform | 1st July 1963

Reprint of 1963 piece about George Plimpton and the founders of the Paris Review. "They were the witty, irreverent sons of a conquering nation and, though they came mostly from wealthy parents and had been graduated from Harvard or Yale, they seemed endlessly delighted in posing as paupers and dodging the bill collectors, possibly because it distinguished them from American tourists, whom they despised"

Easy Money

Keith Romer | New Yorker | 21st September 2013

One contestant's experience of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?. "It will only be right to give up if I don’t actually know the answer. I can’t think. I can see the giant video screen with the question on it. I can feel the studio audience wishing good things for me. I have a body. I have consciousness, but mostly it’s just a stream of static. If I say I will walk away, they will give me fifty-eight thousand five hundred dollars"

Ted Cruz: Distinguished Wacko Bird From Texas

Jason Zengerle | GQ | 23rd September 2013

Profile of Ted Cruz, Republican Senator, "ultimate conservative purist", potential presidential contender in 2016. Thrives in a Congress "that punishes politeness and cooperation and rewards antagonism and obstruction". For Tea Party Republicans: "Mitt Romney is the sellout and Sarah Palin is the embarrassment — and Cruz is the great new hope who brings the virtues of both without the liabilities of either"

Best Books On Pragmatism

Nigel Warburton | Five Books | 18th September 2013

Interview with Robert Talisse, American philosopher and political theorist. "If I say, this knife is sharp, what I am doing is predicating the sharpness of that object. I’m saying it will cut things, you should be careful rubbing it against your skin; if you want to see blood, run it across your arm. The pragmatic maxim says the meaning of a sentence ultimately has to be cashed out in terms of a series of behaviouristic proposals"

Video of the day: Fake Love

Thought for the day:

"The terrors of the paragraph become more manageable when you see it as a system of sentences" — Jonathan Franzen

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