Honeymoons, Europtimism, Soylent, Silicon Valley, Donald Trump , Scientific Method


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

Against Honeymoons

Charles Comey | The Point | 22nd July 2015

The honeymoon was considered "a bit scandalous" for "the attention it drew to the bridal bed" when it became popular a century ago. But what purpose does it serve now that couples are assumed to have had sex before marriage? It seems to be done mainly in order to create memories for the future; which can make the occasion somewhat difficult to enjoy at the time. "What was once performative becomes commemorative" (4,060 words)

Why The Greek Deal Will Work

Anatole Kaletsky | Project Syndicate | 22nd July 2015

The Greek deal is a great deal. It "corrects some of the euro’s worst design flaws". It creates conditions for recovery in Greece and in Europe as a whole. The "ritual humiliation" of Greece is over; now comes the "constructive hypocrisy" at which Europe excels. Budgetary targets can slip so long as Greece continues reforms. (See also this rival argument, that the Euro will fail, from Kevin O'Rourke) (http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/eurozone-failed-experiment-by-kevin-o-rourke-2015-07) (985 words)

Two Months Of Soylent

Dan Wang | 22nd July 2015

Consumer review of powdered meal-replacement mix which claims to be a complete adult food. "Soylent is a straightforward Pareto improvement over lots of common situations. It’s simpler and better for you than a hot dog in a cafeteria before a meeting you’re late for, or a frozen microwave dinner. This stuff should be sold in (refrigerated) vending machines. It may not be super tasty, but it’s pleasant and nutritious" (1,380 words)

Silicon Valley: Something Wonderful

Briefing | The Economist | 23rd July 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Silicon Valley booms again — and this is a boom, not a bubble. Yes, it all ended in tears last time round. "But to see history as about to repeat itself is to miss how deeply things have changed". Today's start-ups make money, or sell to bigger companies that do. The code and tech produced between San Jose and the Golden Gate drives the world economy. "There is a pervasive sense of something wonderful afoot" (3,470 words)

Donald Trump Raptures Republicans

Edward Luce | Financial Times | 23rd July 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Donald Trump's presidential bid will crash in flames sooner or later, but his finest hour is yet to come. His place in the Fox News Republican debate will allow him to "insult the other candidates by name and watch them squirm" in front of a national audience. He has shown the power of anti-politics, and American democracy will be changed for a long time to come. "Trump Towers will fall. Other skyscrapers loom" (620 words)

Deworming Science

Ben Goldacre | Buzzfeed | 23rd July 2015

No scientific trial is ever perfect. There are always gaps and mistakes. You find them by publishing the raw data for others to check. The refusal of drug companies to do so for clinical trials is "a cancer at the core of evidence-based medicine ... the polar opposite of science". Conducting a trial and hoarding the data is like "claiming you’ve flown a spaceship to Pluto but refusing to let anyone see the photos" (3,750 words)

Video of the day: Robert Johnson

What to expect: Cartoon. The life and times of blues musician Robert Johnson (2'40")

Thought for the day

Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize
Robert Hughes

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