Espionage, Kentucky, Lagos, Tesla, Parking

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

The Year Of The Spy

John Kenneth Galbraith | New York Times | 5th January 1986

From the archives. An American ex-ambassador to India reflects on the uses of espionage. “I learned that almost no information of any kind was uncovered by our intelligence operatives that wouldn’t have come to us in the ordinary course of events. What was gathered went on to Washington to be read only by individuals who, having no other responsibilities, read what no one of importance had time to read – an example of what my fellow economists call disguised unemployment” (1,100 words)

Bluegrass Breakdown

J.D. Wilkes | Oxford American | 9th January 2018

In praise of western Kentucky. A guided, mostly musical, tour. “There is a whole other swampy Southern ethos to this end of Kentucky. The greatest concentration of navigable rivers in the contiguous forty-eight states is right here, but we don’t brag about it. The Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and Mighty Mississippi all meet in this heartland, giving us more shoreline than the state of Florida. Blues flows back from the Mississippi Delta, and mountain music trickles down the Ohio Valley” (4,160 words)

Learning To Love Lagos

Barclay Bram | Roads And Kingdoms | 3rd January 2018

American visitor’s account of China in Africa, contrasting the privileged managers of Huawei with the struggling vendors in Chinatown. “The Chinese community in Lagos is around 50,000 and increasing. The newest wave of Chinese immigrants is highly educated and more deeply embedded within the local community. The petty traders, who typically only spoke limited English and who constantly felt insecure — physically and fiscally — lived largely apart from Nigerian society” (1,750 words)

Tesla Model Three

Alex Roy | Drive | 5th January 2018

“I just drove 2,860 miles cross-country in a Tesla Model 3, setting a new electric Cannonball Run record of 50 hours and 16 minutes. This wasn’t a specially prepared press loaner or pre-production employee car; this was one of the first customer-owned cars delivered at the Fremont factory on December 27th, 2017. For those gambling on the 3’s failure and Tesla’s collapse, don’t count on it. The Model 3 is delightful, odd, and brilliant — but there is one big, crackling bolt of a caveat” (4,200 words)

The Worst Part Of Driving

Aditi Shrikant | Outside | 8th January 2018

Americans spend on average seventeen hours a year trying to park — plenty of time to get frustrated and then angry. Twenty percent of men admit to having shouting matches over parking spaces; eight per cent have got into fights. (Women behave better.) “Americans think that labor is connected to property, and they apply it to things that don’t actually belong to them. In parking, it means we think that seeking out and waiting for a spot means we own it” (1,666 words)

Video of the day Buster Keaton

What to expect:

Anthology of Keaton’s most amazing real-life film stunts, with voiceover recollections from Keaton himself (5’11”)

Thought for the day

One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane
Nikola Tesla

Podcast of the day Revenue Streaming | Audm

To the over-20s this may come as something of surprise — but you can make big money letting other people watch you playing video games. Published by The New Yorker. Written by Taylor Clark. Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller

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