Computing, White Cubes, Internet Of Things, Uber , Hannah Arendt


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

Vanishing Point: The Invisible Computer

Tim Cross | Guardian | 26th January 2017

The end of Moore’s Law and the future of computing. “The assumption that computers will carry on getting better and cheaper at breakneck speed is baked into people’s ideas about the future. The end of Moore’s law does not mean that the computer revolution will stall. But it does mean that the coming decades will look very different from the preceding ones, for none of the alternatives is as reliable, or as repeatable, as the great shrinkage of the past half-century” (3,150 words)

How The White Cube Won

Abigail Cain | Artsy | 23rd January 2017

On the evolution of interior design in art galleries, leading to the triumph of white. General practice in 18C galleries was to fill the room with pictures, obscuring the walls from top to bottom. In the 19C museums began hanging works only at eye level, clearing most of the wall space and thus making the museum’s own colour scheme a matter of significance and debate: red and grey were popular choices. White walls first became standard in the 1930s, first in Germany, then at MoMA (1,700 words)

Click Here To Save Everyone

Bruce Schneier | Select All | 27th January 2017

The Internet of Things needs government regulation. “All computers are hackable. This has as much to do with the market as it does with the technologies. We prefer our software full of features and inexpensive, at the expense of security and reliability. The industry is filled with market failures that, until now, have been largely ignorable. As computers continue to permeate our homes, cars, businesses, these failures will no longer be tolerable. Our only solution will be regulation” (5,900 words)

Cipher War

Mallory Locklear | Verge | 25th January 2017

Machine learning may hold the key to deciphering the surviving fragments of Indus Valley script which have defied human intelligence since the first was discovered in northern India in 1872. There is still no expert agreement as to whether the the symbols on the various fragments, which date from 2600 BC, represent a single language, if they a represent language at all. Also awaiting machine translation: Linear A from ancient Greece, and the Rongorongo script from Easter Island (3,200 words)

The $99 Billion Idea

Brad Stone | Bloomberg Businessweek | 26th January 2017

Creation myths of the tech giants. Garret Camp and Travis Kalanick were in DC for Obama’s 2009 inauguration and couldn’t find a cab. “Camp had been trying to get Kalanick excited about a business idea that would allow anyone with a smartphone to call a black town car with a click of a button. Camp even had a name for it: Uber”. Kalanick was sold. Across town on the same day, Brian Chesky and friends were handing out flyers for a start-up which they called AirBed & Breakfast (6,800 words)

Hannah Arendt: From An Interview

Hannah Arendt | New York Review Of Books | 26th October 1978

“If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please” (1,270 words)

Video of the day: New York City Ballet

What to expect:

Trailer for a new ballet by Pontus Lindberg. Video by Jason Carpenter (2’23”)

Thought for the day

Had he never been emperor, nobody would have doubted his ability to reign
Tacitus

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