Colonialism, Cameras, Electric Cars, Arnold Palmer, Steven Runciman, Ferrante


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

The History Thieves

Ian Jack | Guardian | 6th October 2016

Britain’s retreat from Empire is remembered as a relatively decent business — but that is because the British falsified the historical record by systematically burning or removing any documents that showed them in a bad light. The aim of “Operation Legacy” was to ensure that “the British way of doing things” would be remembered with “fondness and respect”. Documents abstracted from Kenya alone, including records of torture, filled 60 metres of shelving in a secret Foreign Office depository (1,600 words)

As We Become Cameras

Matt Hackett | Medium | 21st March 2016

The future will include cameras everywhere, transmitting everything, always, and we will gradually cease to care. “As they become ubiquitous, I doubt we will think of these things as cameras much longer. We hardly think of the tiny quartz wafers inside every integrated circuit as ‘clocks’, if we think of them at all. We don’t fear or reject time, it is simply part of our reality. We have already become clocks. We will soon become cameras. What we do with that power is up to us” (1,200 words)

So I Bought An Electric Car

Peter Adeney | Mr Money Mustache | 4th October 2016

In brief: If you really do need a car, it’s already time to buy electric. They’re cheap (after tax rebates), fast, and easy to maintain. “Over 99% of new cars sold in the US are still gas-powered, and when I run the numbers as an engineer and car enthusiast, I find this to be preposterous. The only thing keeping more people from ditching gasoline is that people don’t realize how amazing electric cars are, and I feel I should do my part to share this information” (3,500 words)

The Aspirational Golf Of Arnold Palmer

Steven Goodwin | American Scholar | 5th October 2016

Arnold Palmer was a role model and a moral force. “For the non-golfer, it might be hard to believe that the game has moral underpinnings, but Palmer never doubted it. Without gushing or preaching, Palmer became the living embodiment of what might be called aspirational golf, the ideal game that confers a kind of grace and worthiness upon those who play it in the right spirit. Golfers looked to Jack Nicklaus for swing tips, but they turned to Arnie for something like a blessing” (1,260 words)

The Temperament Of A Harlot

Noel Malcolm | New Statesman | 5th October 2016

Highly enjoyable review of Outlandish Knight, a new biography of the medieval historian Sir Steven Runciman, by Minoo Dinshaw. In youth Runciman was a bright young thing, a friend of George Orwell and Cecil Beaton. In old age he was an honorary whirling dervish and a Grand Orator of the Greek Orthodox Church. He was rich enough to live as he pleased. At the age of 97 he complained that “the only friend I now have who is older than me is the Queen Mother” (1,500 words)

This Week In Ferrante

Avidly | LA Review Of Books | 3rd October 2016

“This week in Ferrante, all men should stop talking forever. Or, at least for this week. Stop talking for a week, all men. This week, do not talk. Whatever you have to say, wait until next week. If it still seems important after being quiet about it for a week, next week we will listen to you. This week, men have said all they get to say about Ferrante. Men are done now. We cannot listen to any more men say anything else about Ferrante, forever. Or definitely not for this week” (442 words)

Video of the day: Will Machines Take Our Jobs?

What to expect:

Alex Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution debate whether robotics and AI will destroy or create jobs (9’50”)

Thought for the day

Comparison is a lazy and conceited way of avoiding judgement
J.W. von Goethe

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