David Foster Wallace, Trailer Parks, Chief Watson, Elon Musk, Boxing

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


David Foster Wallace | Atlantic | 1st April 2005

From the archives. Profile of John Ziegler, Los Angeles talk-show radio host. "Ziegler is not a journalist — he is an entertainer. He is part of a peculiar, modern, and very popular type of news industry, one that manages to enjoy the authority and influence of journalism without the stodgy constraints of fairness, objectivity, and responsibility that make trying to tell the truth such a drag for everyone involved" (14,300 words)

Living In A Trailer

James Jones | Holiday/Longform | 1st July 1952

Travel diary. "I moved on down to Albuquerque. I was coming more and more under the influence of the resort type of trailering, with its seasonal rhythms, north in the summer and south in the winter. Consequently, I was thrown more and more with the resort type of trailerite. These are older people, usually retired. They have to be retired, or else engaged in a work they can carry with, them, to be able to move around like that" (4,530 words)

IBM’s Robot Chef Tells Me What To Cook

Matt O'Leary | How We Get To Next | 22nd May 2015

Food writer cooks dishes devised by IBM's artificial intelligence engine, Watson. You tell Watson what you have around the kitchen and Watson mashes a recipe. In brief: It's never bad, and sometimes it's amazing. "I fully expected to throw this meal away. That’s all before I ate two of the pizzas. They taste like nothing on earth. The addition of Comté cheese and chives is the sort of genius/absurdity that makes people into millionaires" (2,670 words)

Elon Musk, Stubborn Jerk

Richard Waters | Financial Times | 23rd May 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Ashlee Vance's "riveting" biography portrays Elon Musk as an "egomaniacal, stubborn jerk"; a "confrontational know-it-all"; a man "unethical in business and vicious in his personal attacks". In sum, "Musk sounds almost unbearably difficult to work or live with". Comparisons with Steve Jobs are inevitable, and, for once, justified. The moral seems to be that if you can change the world, you don't have to change yourself (1,080 words)

How Things Break

Dave Mondy | Slate | 22nd May 2015

The story behind "the greatest sports photo of all time" — Neil Leifer's shot of Muhammad Ali towering over a supine Sonny Liston on May 25th 1965. Leifer had one shot that night, and he got it. But the image is not all it seems. We think we see Ali triumphant. But Ali is frustrated, urging Liston to get up. He thinks Liston has taken a dive and is throwing the fight. Which may well be so. If there was a knockout punch, nobody saw it (4,600 words)

Video of the day: Salvador Dali On 'What's My Line?'

What to expect: Among the questions: "Is there something unusual about our guest?" (9'20")

Thought for the day

Regarded as a means, the businessman is tolerable; as an end he is not so satisfactory
J.M. Keynes

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