China And Japan, Donald Trump, Telephones, iPad, Messages In Bottles


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

Memories Of War In East Asia

Essay | The Economist | 14th August 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

The war which ended 70 years with Japan's defeat still shapes the geopolitics of East Asia. It is hard to imagine normal relations between Japan and China so long as Japanese leaders publicly venerate their predecessors executed for wartime atrocities. "On all sides ghosts are kept locked away. Instead they should be allowed to speak and also to listen—to hear and voice the complex truths of war, responsibility and victimhood" (6,000 words)

Clown Genius

Scott Adams | 14th August 2015

Whatever his qualities as a prospective president, Donald Trump is an astonishingly effective candidate. "If you’re keeping score, in the past month Trump has bitch-slapped the entire Republican Party, redefined our expectations of politics, focused the national discussion on immigration, and taken functional control of Fox News. And I don’t think he put much effort into it. Imagine what he could do if he gave up golf" (1,500 words)

Don’t Hate The Phone Call, Hate The Phone

Ian Bogost | Atlantic | 13th August 2015

The telephone used to be "truly great" when it was a fixed line in a quiet place. The mobile telephone changes everything for the worse. "When you combine the haphazard reliability of a voice call with the sense of urgency that would recommend a phone call instead of an email, the risk of failure amplifies the anxiety of unfamiliarity. Telephone calls now exude untrustworthiness from their very infrastructure" (2,890 words)

Find My iPad

Neil Cybart | Above Avalon | 10th August 2015

The iPad turns out to be not such a good idea after all. Most people are using tablets mainly to watch video, for which older iPads and cheap generic tablets are perfectly good. Year-on-year sales of new iPads are falling and Apple's share of the tablet market has halved. "A product category with a use case summed up by Netflix watching is quite problematic since it is that much harder to sell a differentiated product" (2,460 words)

Getting The Drift

Rebecca Lawton | Hakai | 14th August 2015

Casting a bottle from Point A and waiting for a note from Point B has been a low-tech but highly effective part of science for centuries. Benjamin Franklin did it. American surveyors made the first reliable chart of the Gulf Stream by throwing bottles into the Atlantic in 1846. The first bottle known to have made its way across the Pacific beached on Vancouver Island as recently as June 2015 (900 words)

Video of the day: Jared Diamond On Risk

What to expect: Animation. Anthropologist Jared Diamond talks about the way that different cultures evaluate risk (2'30")

Thought for the day

Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect
Benny Hill

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