David Brooks, Poetry, Mao Suits, Seymour Hersh, Patents


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

A Conversation With David Brooks

Tyler Cowen | Mercatus Center | 6th June 2018

Topics include individualism, demography, happiness, Whigs, religion, Jonathan Rauch, Bruce Springsteen (lots), Milton Friedman, Ezra Klein, technology, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, dining out. “Obama, it was interesting. Obama never saw a problem he didn’t want to transcend, except on foreign policy. He always thought you messed up by doing too much, not by doing too little. That was his bias. Never do too much. And as a result, I think he did too little” (15,300 words)

The Second-Worst Poet In English

Anthony Daniels | New Criterion | 4th June 2018

William McGonagall is generally considered the worst published poet in the English language. But who comes second? The title should go, by this account, to Cumberland Clark, the “bard of Bournemouth”, a generally admirable figure save for his verse. “Good poets have bad days. But the gulf between Cumberland Clark’s literary appreciation and his practice of poetry is of an amazing and heroic proportion. He opens a new field of speculation for the psychologist” (1,890 words)

The Mao Suit: One Outfit With Many Names

Mark Schreiber | Japan Times | 28th May 2018

What English-speakers call the “Mao suit” is known to Chinese-speakers as the “Sun Yat-sen suit”, after its original wearer, from whom Mao Tse-tung borrowed the style. The keenest wearer of the Mao suit nowadays is Kim Jong Un; the North Koreans call it “tatkin’gis yangbok”, or “closed collar, Western-style garment”. They have a point. Sun Yat Sen approved the design, but his tailors in Ningpo drew their inspiration from the Norfolk jacket, popular among British toffs in the late-19C (890 words)

Seymour Hersh And The Stories He Doesn’t Tell

Elon Green | CJR | 4th June 2018

Hersh talks about his recent memoir and more besides, including how he got James Angleton fired, and what he admires in the new CIA boss. “I think this Gina [Haspel] is very smart. I watched her testify. She’s very bright. I know some things about her. Yeah, she did torture, but everybody knew about that, the torture, including Congress. What I do know, from my friends, is the stuff she files is really good. Since she’s been Acting Director for about three months, she’s done great reporting” (4,900 words)

Patents: How And Why To Get Them

Yossi Kreinin | Proper Fixation | 2nd June 2018

Quantity matters as much as quality. “Patents are never read – they’re counted. A company’s goal is to acquire enough patents so that they can only be counted – not read and understood in a reasonable amount of time. If you have too many patents to read and understand (hundreds, thousands or more), investors assume you ‘own your domain’. If you have few patents, someone might read and understand most of them – and create a narrative about legal weakness” (2,012 words)

Video of the day Who Built Maslow’s Pyramid?

What to expect:

Not Maslow, apparently. He argued that humans had various tiers of needs, but the pyramid was the work of another hand (3’11”)

Thought for the day

Where all think alike there is little danger of innovation
Edward Abbey

Podcast Paper Trail | Caliphate

Rukmini Callimachi and Andy Mills continue their investigation into Islamic State and its recruits
(43m 11s)

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