Browser Newsletter 1124

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

Best of the Moment

Iran Opens Its Fist

Gary Sick | New York Review Of Books | 30th September 2013

America should do business with President Rouhani. "This is the last generation of Iranian revolutionaries with deep knowledge of the West. As the Iranians emphasised in their private meetings, this favorable constellation of interests and individuals who are willing to take risks for détente in the wake of Rouhani’s unexpected electoral victory earlier this year can never be repeated. President Obama, himself a lame duck, may feel much the same way"

Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

Paul Ford | Elle | 30th September 2013

A successful in vitro fertilisation leads to twins — and two spare fertilised embryos, frozen in the clinic fridge. What to do with them? As a parent, you could leave them there indefinitely, at $100 a month; or have them destroyed; you could try for more children; donate the embryos for scientific research; or ask the clinic to give them to another would-be parent. "The embryos are our responsibility, but not our possessions"

Government On The Brink

Joshua Keating | Slate | 30th September 2013

How American media would be reporting the government shutdown if it were happening somewhere else: "While the country’s most recent elections were generally considered to be free and fair, the current crisis has raised questions in the international community about the regime’s ability to govern this complex nation of 300 million people, not to mention its vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction"

Dodging Bullets With The Syrian Rebels

Carsten Stormer | Vice | 27th September 2013

Colourful account of a week holed up with five rebel fighters in their early twenties, three of whom are called Muhammad, in a house outside Damascus. Hot meals twice a day, football on television, shooting holes in pictures of Bashar al-Assad for target practice. "Yes, we are Islamists, because we believe in Islam. But we reject the Islam of the extremists! Those are crazy people. Of course they’re the only people who are helping us”

George Orwell: Animal Farm

George Soule | The New Republic | 2nd September 1946

Review from 1946, republished. "The failure of this book arises from the fact that the satire deals not with something the author has experienced, but rather with stereotyped ideas about a country which he probably does not know very well. The plan for the allegory, which must have seemed a good one when be first thought of it, became mechanical in execution. He should try again, on something nearer home"

Video of the day: German Words For The Human Condition

Thought for the day:

"To read is to let someone else work for you - the most delicate form of exploitation" — Emil Cioran

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