Giraffe Edition 27

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

A Battle For Russia

Dmitri Trenin | Carnegie Moscow Centre | 28th July 2014

Russian (but not Kremlin) view of the crisis. The needle is at red. "Expecting Putin to back off, or for the oligarchs to pressure the Kremlin into beating a retreat, betrays a lack of understanding of the gravity of the situation. It is no longer the struggle for Ukraine, but a battle for Russia. If Vladimir Putin manages to keep the Russian people on his side, he will win it. If not, another geopolitical catastrophe might follow" (400 words)

The Hague Penalizes Russia For Yukos Confiscation

Anders Aslund | Peterson Institute For International Economics | 28th July 2014

Notes on The Hague tribunal's ruling that Russia must pay $51.6 billion to Yukos shareholders for expropriations a decade ago. "First, the size of the award is enormous, 2.5 percent of Russia’s GDP. Second, Russia is not likely to pay. Operations of Russian state companies will suffer major disruptions around the world. Third, Putin is likely to cancel Russia’s ratification of various international treaties and conventions" (1,470 words)

Anthony Bourdain On Travel, Food And War

John Little | Blogs Of War | 21st July 2014

Interview. Many interesting points. "You have to learn to exercise a certain moral relativity, to be a good guest first. Otherwise you'd spend the rest of the world lecturing people, pissing people off, confusing them and learning nothing. Do I pipe up every time my Chinese host serves me some cute animal I may not approve of? Should I inquire of my Masai buddies if they still practice female genital mutilation?" (2,894 words)

Post-Its, Push-Pins, Pencils

Jenny Diski | London Review Of Books | 21st July 2014

Discussion of Niki Saval's Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace. Sets out as a review, but turns into a rival history, as the reviewer, dissatisfied with Saval's account, constructs her own; which starts on a lyrical note, with a two-paragraph hymn to the stationery cupboard, the "beating heart" of the pre-1990s office; but grows darker with the computer-assisted fall of the middle class and the rise of the temp (4,600 words)

The End Of The Experiment

John Horgan | Scientific American | 22nd July 2014

Wide-ranging conversation with physicist and mathematician George Ellis about the future of science. Big experimental science is approaching its limits: We're never going to build a bigger collider on Earth; astronomical observations are at their visual horizons; we've mapped the earth and we've almost mapped the oceans. The new challenges are all about complexity. "The brain will give us work to do for many centuries more" (2,780 words)

The Children Of Silicon Valley

Robert Pogue Harrison | New York Review Of Books | 17th July 2014

Tech companies always aspire to "change the world". It's a cliché. It's also, in general, a bad way to proceed. The world has been through enough turmoil in the past century or so. "Our silicon age, which sees no glory in maintenance, but only in transformation and disruption, makes it extremely difficult for us to imagine how, in past eras, those who would change the world were viewed with suspicion and dread" (1,480 words)

Video of the day: Uloba

What to expect: Uplifting cartoon commercial for Norwegian charity to help disabled people

Thought for the day

"Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language"
— Ludwig Wittgenstein

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