De Sade, Korea, Lancashire, Israel, ESP, Resistance


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

Will McMorran On The Marquis De Sade

Charles Styles | Five Books | 15th May 2017

Interview. Interesting throughout. PG-13, obviously. “Sade is staunchly atheist and materialist but somehow a residual religiousness about his worldview lingers. He just inverts it. At the end of Justine a bolt of lightning kills the virtuous heroine—a divine but malevolent act of violence. It feels like a dark universe in which the devil is in charge, even though it’s ostensibly an atheistic novel. And there is something interesting about an atheist taking such pleasure in blasphemy” (8,700 words)

A Murderous History Of Korea

Bruce Cumings | London Review Of Books | 18th May 2017

“The Republic of Korea was one of the bloodiest dictatorships of the early Cold War period. South Korea’s stable democracy and vibrant economy from 1988 onwards seem to have overridden any need to acknowledge the previous forty years of history, during which the North could reasonably claim that its own autocracy was necessary to counter military rule in Seoul. It’s only in the present context that the North looks at best like a walking anachronism, at worst like a vicious tyranny” (2,600 words)

The Fish-Eaters And The Fasters

Matthew Engel | New Statesman | 17th May 2017

Wistful portrait of life and local politics in a small, racially-divided Lancashire town. “The mills disappeared, but the Pakistani community kept growing and has now reached its fourth generation. The white people have retreated, either out of the town altogether or to the semis of Marsden, on the hill. In the visible life of Nelson, they are clearly a minority. Even after 60 years, hardly anything has melted in the pot. Nelson is not multiracial or multicultural. It is biracial and bicultural” (2,400 words)

The Secret Transcripts Of The Six-Day War

Yaacov Lozowick | Tablet | 17th May 2017

Israel declassifies cabinet records covering the Six-Day War. “Dayan, flamboyant and erratic, boasted that Israel could reach Cairo if anyone was interested, and would soon take Sharm el-Sheikh and hold it for 300 years. He also told the ministers they needed to talk less as he didn’t have time for a long meeting. Perhaps the single most important decision in millennia — that the Jews should rule in Jerusalem — was probably made early on June 7 by Moshe Dayan, not by Israel’s government” (4,060 words)

Daryl Bem Proved ESP Is Real

Daniel Engber | Slate | 17th May 2017

Daryl Bem had proved the existence of extra-sensory perception — that people could intuit facts from the future. Or so he contended, in a scholarly paper based on ten years of scientific research. “The paper posed a very difficult dilemma. It was both methodologically sound and logically insane. If one had to choose a single moment that set off the ‘replication crisis’ in psychology this might be it: the publication, in early 2011, of Daryl Bem’s experiments on second sight” (7,100 words)

Notes From An Emergency

Maciej Cegłowski | Idle Words | 17th May 2017

Polemic arguing for more regulation of the tech industry. “There is a limited time in which our small caste of nerds will have the power to make decisions that shape the world. By wasting the talents of our brightest people on fantasy role play we cede the future to a more practical group of successors, some truly scary people who will use our tools to advance a very different agenda. We have an extremely lucrative apparatus of social control, and it’s being run by chuckleheads” (4,800 words)

Video of the day: Great Dancer

What to expect:

Two dancers. Give it a few seconds for the digital effects to build (1’38”)

Thought for the day

Clear thinking at the wrong moment can stifle creativity
Karl Lagerfeld

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