Electoral College, Adoption, Data, Synthesizers, Reparations

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

Illegal Immigrants Could Elect Hillary

Mark J. Rozell & Paul Goldman | Politico | 3rd October 2015

Ignore the hideous clickbait title and the spurious Electoral College maths (perhaps stop reading halfway down Page 1); there's a genuinely interesting insight here that Electoral College votes are determined by state population sizes including "illegal immigrants and other noncitizens equally with citizens." So while noncitizens can't vote, their presence in a state gives citizens' votes there greater weight (1,790 words)

China’s One Child Policy And U.S. Adoption

Ricki Mudd | South China Morning Post | 4th October 2015

First-person account from Chinese girl given up by her family due to One Child Policy and the desire for a son. "They called me Mengting, combining words meaning "dream" and "pause". My father's mother pressured my parents not to apply for a birth certificate for me... For the first few years of my life, I was illegal and invisible - carried in a grocery bag outside, asked to stay silent upstairs at home, always in the dark" (2,690 words)

Haunted By Data

Maciej Cegłowski | Idle Words | 1st October 2015

"Imagine data not as a pristine resource, but as a waste product, a bunch of radioactive, toxic sludge that we don’t know how to handle." Maciej Cegłowski with another implausibly fascinating data science conference talk. Including radioactive condoms and radioactive underpants, and the wonderful line "I'm not claiming that the sponsors of this conference are selling you a bill of goods. I'm just heavily implying it" (2,840 words)

Rise Of The Synthesizer

Ben Marks | Collectors' Weekly | 1st October 2015

A little plodding at times but with interesting history of the synthesiser, introduced in the 1960s, and first used for classical music before coming out as an "instrument that knew how to rock." While punks "viewed the artificial sounds synthesizers produced with undisguised scorn," it was loved by the "even more popular—and lucrative—genre called disco," and is now played by Radiohead, Arcade Fire... and Taylor Swift (6,100 words)

Some Thoughts On Reparations

Carissa Véliz & Commenters | Practical Ethics | 1st October 2015

Suppose you inherit a fortune from your parents, and later discover they acquired it through fraud (which put another family in poverty). What are your obligations – none, because it's not your fault? To compensate the victim if she is alive, but not her descendants? Do you owe compensation for moral damages as well? Keep reading past the article to the first few comments (at least), which add new and intelligent considerations (1,210 words)

Video of the day: Gan-Gan

What to expect: A portrait of a grandmother through her possessions, by Gemma Green-Hope (2’36”)

Thought for the day

Pure and complete sorrow is as impossible as pure and complete joy
Leo Tolstoy

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