Cars, Iraq, Adultery, France, Public Companies


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

Future Behaviour With Cars

Jan Chipchase | 7th July 2016

Things we can expect to see when driverless cars become common. Gated communities will use captcha street furniture to filter out unknown vehicles. We will all need defences against autonomous car bombs. Rich people will hire ringer-drivers — dringers — to sit up front where local laws demand a human at the wheel. Cities will legislate “autonomous ad-free zones” to stop convoys of cars being used in marketing campaigns. Car baiting will become a source of fun and profit, aided by drones (1,040 words)

No Country For Its People

Mardean Isaac | Awl | 7th July 2016

A short history of modern Iraq’s ethnic minorities. All bad. From the moment of independence in 1932 the new Sunni-led government “crushed uprisings led by Kurds, Yezidis, and Shi’a tribes”. The following year “3,000 Assyrians were massacred in a series of rampages as the nascent Iraqi army slaughtered their way through villages in the north”. National ideology dictated that Iraq was an Arab state, and that its citizens “should either become Arab or be punished for not being so” (4,200 words)

The Scarlet Letter

Mark Gamin | New Rambler | 6th July 2016

Adultery is still a crime in much of America. Penalties range from a $10 fine in Maryland to life imprisonment in Michigan. Six states allow civil proceedings for “alienation of affection” and six for “criminal conversation” — an offence which “involves neither a crime nor a conversation, but is an action brought by one spouse against the other’s paramour”. The criminal laws go “unenforced because we want to continue our conduct, and unrepealed because we want to preserve our morals” (2,600 words)

Islam And The French Republic

Ben Judah | Standpoint | 8th July 2016

Reflections on the demographic revolution in France. The Basilica of Saint Denis, burial-place of kings, is now a Christian outpost in a Muslim part of Paris. Few go to mass there, while thousands queue for the Mosque across the street. “The children of this great wave of immigration are living in failure: The failure of integration, the failure of schooling, the failure of employment”. The France of the streets is is no longer a secular state. “The sense of a common French destiny is vanishing” (7,000 words)

Modern Business, Modern Markets

John Kay | 8th July 2016

“The easy presumption of the last two decades of the 20th century that the listed company should not only be the dominant form of economic organisation of medium and large enterprises but the only form of economic organisation appropriate for such enterprises was a mistake. Too often conversion to a listed public company was the result of a greedy generation’s anxiety to realise the goodwill created over a long history for the benefit of those who had the good fortune to be around at the time” (1,300 words)

Video of the day: Phased LA

What to expect:

Time-lapsed aerial footage of Los Angeles. Perhaps it ought to be a cliché, but on full-screen it is still a delight (5’35”)

Thought for the day

Almost every desire a poor person has is a punishable offence
Louis-Ferdinand Céline

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