Dorothy Parker, Margit Wennmachers, David Shaw, Davos, Hammers


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

Dorothy Parker: The Art Of Fiction

Marion Capron | Paris Review | 1st September 1956

Almost too good to be true. The Paris Review ungates a classic interview with Dorothy Parker. Set aside a quiet half-hour to read, and another quiet half-hour to re-read. Topics include dwarves, embalming, the Algonquin, nuns, E.M. Forster, money, Hollywood. “As for me, I’d like to have money. And I’d like to be a good writer. These two can come together, and I hope they will, but if that’s too adorable, I’d rather have money. I hate almost all rich people, but I think I’d be darling at it” (4,200 words)

How To Win Founders And Influence Everybody

Jessi Hempel | Wired | 21st January 2018

Profile of Margit Wennmachers, spin master of Silicon Valley, partner in venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. “Her presence has left an indelible imprint on the hundreds of businesses that have come into contact with the firm. We’re all familiar with Silicon Valley’s mythological image of the tech founder: brilliant, nerdy, eccentric, well-meaning. What you don’t know is that, more than just about anyone else in tech, Wennmachers is the person responsible for building the legend” (4,050 words)

The Geeks Of Wall Street

Michelle Celarier | New York | 18th January 2018

David Shaw taught computer science at Columbia University, thought that algorithms could do well trading stocks, and started a hedge fund staffed with eccentric geniuses to give the idea a try. He now manages $47 billion. Shaw also guessed that online retailing might be a growth industry, and asked a young hire to run a pilot project. The hire “became so enthused about the possibilities that he asked Shaw if he could take the idea and run with it on his own”. His name was Jeff Bezos (2,300 words)

Oxfam’s Excellent Inequality Report

Felix Salmon | Cause And Effect | 23rd January 2018

“The world’s billionaires – the richest 2,000 people on the planet – saw their wealth increase by $762 billion in just one year. That’s an average of $381 million apiece. If those billionaires had simply been content with staying at their 2016 wealth, and had given their one-year gains to the world’s poorest people instead, then extreme poverty would have been eradicated. Hell, they could have eradicated extreme poverty, at least in theory, by giving up just one-seventh of their annual gains” (850 words)

Hammers And Nails

Alkjash | Less Wrong | 23rd January 2018

We are all hammers, or nails. “A Hammer is someone who picks one strategy and uses it to solve as many problems as possible. A Nail is someone who picks one problem and tries all the strategies until it gets solved. Human beings are generally Nails, fixating on one specific problem at a time and throwing their entire toolkit at it. Sometimes it’s better to be a Hammer. Great advice is always a hammer: an organizing principle that work across many domains” (1,070 words)

Video of the day Passing By

What to expect:

Animation. One hundred years of life on the Damrak, a central shopping street in Amsterdam (4’00”)

Thought for the day

I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope
Cornel West

Podcast of the day If These Bones Could Talk | Side Door

Anthropologist Kari Bruwelheide talks about Robert Kennicott, whose bones are on display at the Smithsonian
(26'28")

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