Browser Newsletter 1151

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

Best of the Moment

Q&A: Brian Eno

Jesse Ashlock | New York Times | 1st November 2013

Interview. Interesting throughout. "By the mid-’60s, recorded music was much more like painting than it was like traditional music. When you went into the studio, you could put a sound down, then you could squeeze it around, spread it all around the canvas. Once you're working in a multitrack studio you stop thinking of the music as performance and you start thinking of it as sound painting" (Metered paywall)

The Great Forgetting

Nicholas Carr | The Atlantic | 23rd October 2013

On the dangers of automation. We learn by doing. When we stop doing, we start forgetting. "Whether it’s Serena Williams on a tennis court or Magnus Carlsen at a chessboard, an expert can spot patterns, evaluate signals, and react to changing circumstances with speed and precision that can seem uncanny. What looks like instinct is hard-won skill, skill that requires exactly the kind of struggle that modern software seeks to alleviate"

How Do You Tamper With A Cricket Ball?

A.A.K. | The Economist | 30th October 2013

Discreetly. It's a serious offence. You roughen one side of the ball, on your fingernail or trouser zip, so that it takes more spin. "In the early stages of a game, when the ball is hard, it will swing away from its shiny side. Later on, as the ball gets increasingly scuffed-up on one side, it starts to 'reverse swing' — it moves in the opposite direction. It becomes a deadly weapon in the hands of fast bowlers" (Metered paywall)

Dan Loeb: Little Big Man

William Cohan | Vanity Fair | 1st November 2013

Entertaining profile of hedge-fund manager whose favoured strategy is to humiliate CEOs publicly until they resign. Sample rhetoric: “The final decision to exit the position was not based on your incompetence, arrogance and innumerable shortcomings alone. It was my conclusion that the company’s board is governed by a toothless crew of cronies or pathetically weak individuals who I can only conclude are in way over their heads"

Girl With A Pearl Earring

Judith Thurman | New Yorker | 31st October 2013

Short appreciation of 15 masterpieces of seventeenth-century Northern Dutch and Flemish art, by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael and their contemporaries, loaned by Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis to the Frick Collection for the winter. Among them, two which have inspired and given titles to novels: Vermeer's Girl With A Pearl Earring, and Carel Fabritius’s trompe-l’oeil painting The Goldfinch

Video of the day: The Wolf Of Wall Street

Thought for the day:

"Every detail added to a claim makes it less probable"— Chris Hallquist

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