Larry Gagosian, Rich Lowry, Cat Psychology, Philosophy, Ramanujan

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

The Art Of Larry Gagosian

Elisa Lipsky-Karasz | Wall Street Journal | 26th April 2016

Entertaining profile of art-dealer Larry Gagosian, from his beginnings selling posters in a Los Angeles parking-lot. Jeff Koons explains Gagosian’s magic touch: “The art world was kind of in this inertia. He brought a sense of liquidity and the possibility of acquisition. There was no longer this sense among collectors that if someone else had a piece, ‘I missed the boat.’ Larry brought the realization that, hey, these things can move” (7,600 words)

The End Of Pieties

Rich Lowry | Politico | 27th April 2016

The editor of National Review reflects ruefully on the new face of the Republican Party. “Trump is operating on the rather insulting assumption that he can’t act presidential — i.e., with too much dignity — while also attempting to appeal to his Republican voters, and so far he has been proved right. It’s just one of the ways in which he has seemed to understand the party he is seeking to take over better than its longtime loyalists” (800 words)

Can A Cat Have An Existential Crisis?

Britt Petersen | Nautilus | 28th April 2016

Animals know fear. Whether they know anxiety “is more debatable because it has a component that fear doesn’t have and the component is time”. But they show the symptoms, and they get the pills. Zoo animal have been medicated for decades. Mine-sniffing army dogs get Xanax for PTSD. “Giving human drugs to animals isn’t just species narcissism. We know these drugs work for animals because they were originally tested on animals” (2,600 words)

Are History’s “Greatest Philosophers” All That Great?

Gregory Lewis | Daily Nous | 26th April 2016

Given that the population of ancient Attica was no more than 300,000, it seems scarcely credible that such a tiny place could have given us three of the greatest philosophers in history — Plato, Aristotle and Socrates. Surely what the ancients had was not transcendent genius, but the “historical luck” of being born when philosophy was still in its formative stages. We rank them so highly because all philosophy refers back to them (1,800 words)

Who Was Ramanujan?

Stephen Wolfram | 28th April 2016

Appreciation of Indian maths genius Srinivas Ramanujan, whose life has been newly filmed as The Man Who Knew Infinity. “Ramanujan was an experimental mathematician, going out into the universe of mathematical possibilities to find interesting facts, and only then building theories based on them”. He possessed “an aesthetic sense of which seemingly random facts would turn out to have deeper significance” (11,900 words)

Video of the day: Microsculpture

What to expect:

Photographer Levon Biss turns a 10mm insect into a 3 meter ultra-high-definition print (5’23”)

Thought for the day

Hope is good company, but a bad guide
Lord Halifax

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