Edward Luttwak, Gorillas, Priceonomics, Thomas Piketty, Stephen Spender


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

The Machiavelli Of Maryland

Thomas Meaney | Guardian | 9th December 2015

Profile of Edward Luttwak as military strategist, classical scholar, cattle rancher and global Mr Fixit. He claims "a significant hand" in major world events ranging from the Prague Spring to the invention of the Toyota Prius. "He has the air of the seasoned counsellor to the prince who is dispatched to deal with the Mongols and returns alone, on horseback, clutching advantageous terms on parchment" (2,600 words)

The Life And Death Of Julia The Gorilla

Anna Krien | The Monthly | 7th December 2015

Thirty-three years in the all-too-human life of a gorilla sold as a baby by a Belgian trafficker, bought by wildlife campaigners, abandoned in Africa, then shuttled between zoos in Jersey and Melbourne until beaten to death by another Melbourne gorilla. Sheds interesting light on zookeeping ethics: How wild do we want wild animals to be, if their natural habits include beating and killing one another? (5,300 words)

Why A Dog Tilts Its Head To Listen

99 Trumpets | LifeProTips | 8th December 2015

"Up/down information for a sound that is coming from directly in front can be difficult to figure out. The head tilt solves this problem by offsetting the two ears vertically so that sounds from lower down will hit the lower ear first. In humans almost all of our up/down localization is done using tiny changes in how low vs high frequency sounds are bounced around in the external ear; we do not use the head-tilt method" (640 words)

The Content Marketing Handbook

Priceonomics | 9th December 2015

"This is a long blog post. It contains everything we know about how to make content and get it to spread on the Internet. It’s the story of how we built a business turning data into content. It started out as a brief handbook we gave to new Priceonomics writers. The book is about three things: How to make content; how to spread content; how to pull this off if you don’t have tons of resources. Everything in this book works" (30,000 words)

Piketty, Rousseau And The Desire For Inequality

Chris Bertram | Crooked Timber | 9th December 2015

There must be a desire for inequality, at least among the rich, otherwise we wouldn't have so much of it. On the other hand, why do we so easily assume that inequality is intrinsically bad? Thomas Piketty worries that too much inequality will undermine democracy; but "procedural democracy limping on against a background of inequality, disdain and humiliation is already a big part of our present" (2,600 words)

From Soup To Fish

Andrew O'Hagan | London Review Of Books | 10th December 2015

Stephen Spender was "the establishment on quivering legs, queer as a chocolate orange, but safely married ... He wanted a knighthood and he wanted a boyfriend and Natasha was happy for him to have both." Or so she said. But their son, Matthew Spender, digs up "a whole universe of unhappiness" for his memoir, A House In St John's Wood — "a sparkling portrait of a marriage between two people who didn’t really exist" (2,940 words)

Video of the day: The Aluminium Beverage Can

What to expect: Documentary. The can you throw away is a masterpiece of design and engineering (11'26")

Thought for the day

Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you
Carl Jung

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