Garden Economics, Title IX, Architecture, Myths, 1866, Capitalism

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

Old And New Economics

Kate Raworth | Guardian | 7th April 2017

Economists should try to be less like scientists and more like gardeners. There are no universal laws of economics; there are only better and worse decisions, based on local conditions, and you learn which is which by years of diligent stewardship. “We should mimic nature’s process of natural selection, which can be summed up as diversify-select-amplify: set up small-scale policy experiments to test out a variety of interventions, put a stop to the ones that don’t work and scale-up those that do” (1,300 words)

Eyewitness To A Title IX Witch Trial

Laura Kipnis | Chronicle Of Higher Education | 2nd April 2017

PG-13, obviously. Gripping. “Attending the disgraced philosophy professor Peter Ludlow’s dismissal hearing was like watching someone being burned at the stake in slow motion … Yes, Ludlow was guilty, but not as charged. His crime was thinking that women over the age of consent have sexual agency, which has lately become a heretical view on campus, despite once being a crucial feminist position. Of course the community had to expel him. That’s what you do with heretics” (5,500 words)

My Brilliant Friend

Matteo Pericoli | Paris Review | 17th April 2017

Appraising Elena Ferrante’s novel, My Brilliant Friend, as if it were a work of architecture. “In this building, two volumes are interwoven by strong connecting rods, extended columns and daring beams, with one of the two seemingly suspended from the other. With its mass and swirled dynamism, the suspended volume (that we will call Lila) seems to be slipping away from the one that is holding it up (that we will call Elena) making it extend and stretch” (512 words)

Watchers Of The Earth

Carrie Arnold | Aeon | 13th April 2017

How indigenous myths transmit vital knowledge to future generations. In the Andaman Islands the elders of the Moken tribe told their young that when the cicadas fell silent and the ground shook, the man-eating wave called Laboon was stirring from his ocean lair. So when the ground shook and the cicadas fell silent in 2004 the Moken knew what to do: They went to high ground and survived a direct hit from the tsunami generated by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake off the coast of Sumatra (2,300 words)

1866 And The Modern Age

Angry Staff Officer | 17th April 2017

In 1866 Prussia triumphed over Austria, and the United States passed the Civil Rights Act — events half a world apart which converged to shape the twentieth century. “Just as 1866 guaranteed a militarily and culturally strong Germany which would wear down Britain, France, and Italy to a near breaking point in World War I, it also guaranteed a truly united United States which held that democracy and equality were worth fighting for, and would intervene to defeat Germany just in the nick of time” (1,580 words)

Frank And Steven’s Corporate-Raiding Adventure

Frank Partnoy & Steve Davidoff Solomon | Atlantic | 14th April 2017

Two law-school professors try their hand at shareholder activism. “We’ll pick a company and target its managers. How hard can it be?” Picking the company is easy enough. They choose California real-estate company called Tejon Ranch sitting idly on a land-bank the size of Rhode Island. Targeting the managers is a different matter. “For companies the size of Tejon Ranch, because so many investors are passive today, most CEOs can relax, even if their performance is mediocre” (5,800 words)

Video of the day: The Biggest Cartoon Clichés

What to expect:

Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor of the New Yorker, on stampeding lemmings, the Grim Reaper, and other cartoonists’ clichés (2’06”)

Thought for the day

Laughter settles all arguments
Robert McKee

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