Browser Newsletter 1154


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Best of the Moment

Russia For Russians

Peter Pomerantsev | London Review Of Books | 5th November 2013

High marks for an arresting lead: "Sergey was a blind football hooligan"; and for nailing the internal contradiction of extreme Russian nationalism — that the compulsion to conquer surrounding countries is matched by the passion for an mono-ethnic Slav state. The nationalist animosity towards Muslims in Russia captures the headlines; equally perturbing, and more politically respectable, is the drive to annexe Ukraine

Rimbaud The Prodigy

Amit Majmudar | Kenyon Review | 4th November 2013

Infant and teenage prodigies are known in mathematics and music, scarcely at all in literature. The exception is Rimbaud, who was writing "wildly contained" sonnets and stanzas in his teens. How did a bona fide poetic prodigy emerge, after centuries of there being no such thing? Perhaps because Rimbaud was more a musician than a writer: "He is actually composing music, using French word-sounds as his instrument"

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Steven Soderbergh | Extension 765 | 1st November 2013

Peter Hunt's Bond film is an undervalued classic. "It’s like Hunt took all the ideas of the French new wave and blended them with Eisenstein in a Cuisinart to create a grammar that still tops today’s how fast can you cut aesthetic, because each of the shots — no matter how short — are real shots, not just additional coverage. There is a unification of the aesthetic of the first unit and the second unit that doesn’t exist in any other Bond film"

Interview: Chris Martin

Ross Simonini | Believer | 4th November 2013

Lovely long interview. Painter discusses life, work, techniques, inspiration. "Painters should shut up and paint and when we stop painting we should dance or have sex or get a massage or take a shower and we shouldn’t be talking about painting. But here we are talking about painting endlessly, and of course the part about painting that we all love is the part that nobody gets to by talking about it"

Bitcoin Is Broken

Emin Gün Sirer & Ittay Eyal | Hacking Distributed | 4th November 2013

Researchers claim to have discovered a fundamental flaw in Bitcoin which could enable dishonest miners to hijack the currency. "The Bitcoin protocol is not incentive-compatible. The protocol can be gamed by people with selfish interests. And once the system veers away from the happy mode where everyone is honest, there is no force that opposes the growth of really large pools that command control of the currency"

Video of the day: Michel Gondry And Noam Chomsky

Thought for the day:

"Mirrors would do well to reflect a little more, before sending back images"— Jean Cocteau

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