Browser Newsletter 1155

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 Seduction of George W. Bush By Vladimir Putin

Peter Baker | Foreign Policy | 5th November 2013

From the start of his presidency George Bush tried to forge a close working relationship with Vladimir Putin. The result was failure and bitterness. Bush overestimated Putin's democratic instincts and underestimated his stubbornness and guile. Neither leader understood how the other saw the world. The crunch came in 2008 when Russia invaded Georgia — a country that Bush wanted to bring into Nato (Metered paywall)

How The World Shrugged Off Kristallnacht

Klaus Wiegrefe | Spiegel | 5th November 2013

To mark the 75th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom, German foreign ministry assembles contemporary reports from countries with missions in Nazi Germany. "No country broke off diplomatic relations with Berlin or imposed sanctions, and only Washington recalled its ambassador. Diplomats were puzzled over why the Nazis were acting so violently, especially given the resulting damage to their international reputation"

The Problem With Moral Psychology

Thomas Nagel | New Republic | 1st November 2013

Review of Moral Tribes, by Joshua Greene, who teaches psychology at Harvard. Our moral values are largely geared the communities in which we live: They bind us together, which is good, but often against outsiders, which is less good. A special morality is needed to resolve conflicts between different communities, both internationally and within pluralistic societies that contain multiple moral communities

The Mind Of Mark Cavendish

Jonathan Liew | Telegraph | 4th November 2013

Champion sprint cyclist explains how he uses photographic memory and "genius"-level IQ to win races. "It’s like a calculation, a series of movements, a series of chess moves. Not thinking, not having to react. Just reacting. By the time we start the sprint, my heart rate is probably 20 or 30 beats slower than the other guys. So many cyclists train their bodies. They don’t train their mind" (Metered paywall)

Special Operations Or Drones?

National Interest | Joseph Young | 4th November 2013

Which is a lesser violation of sovereignty: A drone strike, or a ground raid by special forces? International consensus seems more accepting of the latter, precisely because ground raids are more risky. They require the offensive state to have skin in the game. They can only be delivered from a position of real military strength. They may be an equal injury to the target state, but they are less of an insult

China, Growth And The New Order

Eric Schmidt | Google Plus | 5th November 2013

Notes on a visit to Beijing. Short-term: all well. Long-term: crunch coming. "When China hits the wall (which is growth of three percent or less), many of the deep seated issues suppressed in this leadership's view of the world will come to the fore. All of her leaders emphases the logic of growth and the need to avoid the middle-income trap. When that growth stops, the strength and toughness so appealing now internally will come in question"

Video of the day: Lego: Let's Build

Thought for the day:

"It doesn't matter what happens as long as the right person gets the blame"— Walter Kirn

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