God, Pasolini, Clive James, Bad Science, Ulysses

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

Is God A Homophobe?

Richard Rodriguez | LA Times | 15th June 2016

Can we forgive the God of Abraham his lack of understanding? He demanded straight, child-bearing relationships. The hate crimes we have today are too often are the product of his religions affronted by other loves. “The desert religions — Judaism, Christianity, Islam — were shaped by an encounter with a God who revealed himself within an ecology of almost lunar desolation. The call to belief was tribal, not individualistic. Sexuality was an expression of faith to increase the tribe” (960 words)

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Long Road Of Sand

Ara H. Merjian | Bookforum | 13th June 2016

All Pasolini’s life is there in the travel diary that he wrote while driving around Italy in 1959. He fears the levelling effects of modernisation and television; he worries about the jukeboxes and Lambrettas on the Ligurian Riviera; he takes comfort from finding the island of Ischia “as it was two thousand years ago”. He visits Alberto Moravia in Fregene, Federico Fellini on the set of La Dolce Vita. “My journey drives me South, ever farther South. As in some delicious obsession, I have to keep going down” (2,100 words)

Waking Up In Europa

Clive James | Times Literary Supplement | 15th June 2016

To feel the spiritual unity of Europe, it helps to arrive there from the other side of the world, and to find that all the pleasures of Europe are intertwined – the languages, the landscapes, the learning, the literature. They grew up together. “What I was experiencing, during the first stage of my waking up in Europa, was a mental reconfiguration by which, from then on, I would always think of art and history as aspects of each other. It was an expansion of one’s mentality to fit a larger frame” (4,000 words)

The Growing Pains Of Science

Jerome Ravetz | Guardian | 8th June 2016

A surge in bogus and shoddy research is the outward sign of a general crisis in science. Scientists have lost their idealism, because the war between science and religion is over, even though science has won. There are no longer localised scientific communities in which everybody knows everybody else, ensuring informal quality control. The precariousness of academic jobs rewards impact over excellence. Some bad scientists don’t even know their work is bad, because standards have fallen so far (1,250 words)

Still A Scandal!

Adam Thirlwell | New York Review of Books | 23rd April 2015

If you ever find a better essay on Ulysses, let me know. “There are obscene moments, absolutely, but there are also soft domestic occurrences, like a cup of tea at breakfast, and shimmering intellectual conversations. There is piety, and gossip, and drunk political argument. There is the largest range of the mind’s activities so far seen in a novel: reveries, meditations, miniature passing regrets and cadenzas of wishful thinking. All described with the infinite synthesizer of Joyce’s talent” (4,300 words)

Video of the day: Futures Cities: Shenzhen

What to expect:

Andrew “Bunnie” Huang tours the market district of Shezhen, hardware capital of the tech world (10’55”)

Thought for the day

Nothing has an uglier look than reason, when it is not on our side
Lord Halifax

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