Giraffe Edition 28

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

Painkiller Deathstreak

Nicholson Baker | New Yorker | 9th August 2010

Another treasure from the ungated New Yorker archives. A novelist learns to play video games. "My son could have shot me many times, but he didn’t. 'Go ahead!' I said. 'No, Dad,' he said, 'I’m not going to shoot you.' We carried on this peculiar chivalry for fifteen minutes. Finally I wounded him, and he stabbed me, and we relaxed and began shooting and sniping and running and laughing, just as he did with his friends" (7,000 words)

The Great Forgetting

Kristin Ohlson | Aeon | 30th July 2014

Adults generally remember little or nothing from their first three or four years of life. Freud thought such memories were repressed; perhaps they were never formed. Recent research shows that small children can indeed form memories; but the memories disappear within a couple of years. Why? Perhaps because they are not formed systematically enough to co-exist with the influx of new information; they are swept away (3,600 words)

Face Off: Photography And Painting

Morgan Meis | Smart Set | 28th July 2014

The story of painting from the late 19C onward is the story of painters adapting to the challenge of photography. "Painting had to express something about the visual world that went beyond recording how it looks." The revolution went full circle from impressionism to abstraction to photo-realism. And somehow, painting has won. It still speaks to us in ways that photography has never learned to do (1,940 words)

The Internet Of Things Will Ruin Birthdays

Joanne McNeill | Medium | 28th July 2014

The birthday messages from your apps are forms of advertising and market research disguised as friendship. It's a day when "the data tracking and governing algorithms that are part of your everyday internet experience become more visible". But imagine when every "smart" device in your house is flashing and hooting as well. "Perhaps it will become an annual tradition to shut off all devices on your birthday" (860 words)

We Experiment On Human Beings

Christian Rudder | OKCupid | 28th July 2014

Facebook caused a ruckus when it admitted manipulating users' moods. But the whole internet is one big continuous psychology experiment, as a co-founder of OKCupid, a dating site, explains, with some striking examples. "OkCupid doesn’t really know what it’s doing. Neither does any other website. It’s not like people have been building these things for very long. Most ideas are bad. Experiments are how you sort all this out" (1,170 words)

Video of the day: A Most-Wanted Man

What to expect: Director Anton Corbijn analyses a scene from his film, with Philip Seymour Hoffman

Thought for the day

"Always strive to excel, but only on weekends"
— Richard Rorty

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