Jobs, Translation, Food, Caresse Crosby, The Atlantic

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

The Rise Of The Pointless Job

David Graeber | Guardian | 4th May 2018

“Everyone is familiar with the sort of jobs that don’t seem to do much of anything: HR consultants, communications coordinators, PR researchers, people who staff committees that discuss the problem of unnecessary committees. What if these jobs really are useless, and those who hold them are actually aware of it? There are plenty of surveys about whether people are happy at work, but what about whether people feel their jobs have any good reason to exist?” (2,545 words)

What Makes A Translation Great?

Katy Derbyshire | Scroll | 30th April 2018

Ten translators offer their opinions. None conclusive, but all well expressed. “A good translation does not have to be impeccably starched and ironed, but dares to be ragged and frantic when appropriate. When presented with a few lines of original and translation, a bilingual reader might not be sure which is which. The voice of a good translation is as distinctive in English as the author’s voice in the original language, also when compared to other authors translated by the same translator” (2,800 words)

Eating Right: The Follow-Ups

David Katz & Mark Bittman | Grub Street | 1st May 2018

Mark Bittman and David Katz continue their conversation about diet. Breakfast is no big deal. “The importance of eating the minute your feet hit the ground in the morning is folklore. Studies on the timing of breakfast show mixed results. It all comes down to hunger. If you want breakfast but don’t have it, the effects on alertness, concentration and such tend to be bad. If you don’t eat breakfast because you aren’t hungry, there’s no consistent evidence of any kind of harm” (3,470 words)

The Extraordinary Life Of Caresse Crosby

Tish Wrigley | AnOther | 15th March 2018

Apart from inventing the modern brassiere and selling the patent for peanuts, Caresse Crosby — born Mary Phelps Jacob in 1891 — ran a printing press in Paris, befriended the lost generation, threw a Surrealist Ball for Salvador Dali in 1937, and ended her life as Principessa di Roccasinibalda, carried around her Roman castle in a sedan chair designed by her lover Buckminster Fuller. She “did not merely reject gender constraints, she acted as if they did not exist at all” (1,300 words)

A Liberal Self-Reckoning

Jeffrey Goldberg et al | Huffington Post | 3rd May 2018

Transcript of an anguished staff meeting at The Atlantic discussing the botched hiring and firing of right-wing journalist Kevin Williamson. (Skip the introduction, which adds nothing.) The consensus seems to be that The Atlantic has done well in diversifying its editorial staff; but it has also homogenised its editorial content by excluding anti-liberal viewpoints, and nobody wants to say that this is also good on balance. Strong interventions from Ta-Nehisi Coates, weak ones from Jeffrey Goldberg (13,400 words)

Video of the day Le Pas-De-Calais

What to expect:

Time-lapse video makes one of the dreariest parts of France look utterly gorgeous (3’04”)

Thought for the day

Mirrors would do well to reflect a little more, before sending back images
Jean Cocteau

Podcast The Arrival | Caliphate

Rukmini Callimach of the New York Times traces the journey of a would-be jihadi arriving in ISIS-held territory
(23m 36s)

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