Lynching, Sun Ra, Virtual Reality, Fraud, Wilkie Collins


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

Chronicles Of A Concerned Citizen

Aglaia Berlutti | Medium International | 17th April 2016

Notes on lynching in Venezuela. Over the past year or so it has become a “socially acceptable” response to street crime. Nobody intervenes, least of all the police. Passers-by applaud. The victim is assumed to be guilty. “There is a general sense of satisfaction that no one conceals, an obvious gratification that makes it clear that all consider violence necessary and even essential given the situation we’re facing” (3,000 words)

The Interstellar Style Of Sun Ra

Rebecca Bengal | Pitchfork | 19th April 2016

He was born on Saturn. But where on Earth did he buy his clothes? Opera companies were a useful source, especially after an Aida. “In his spangled capes and violet cloaks, his painted third eye, his mesh caps and pyramid hats and pharaoh’s headdresses and solar antennae, Sun Ra ushered in an utter sense of liberation, mystery, and free expression. He was not a man, he patiently explained to all who asked, but an angel” (2,100 words)

The Untold Story Of Magic Leap

Kevin Kelly | Wired | 19th April 2016

Interesting if true. A secretive start-up called Magic Leap has mastered virtual reality. Everything in work and play is about to change. “With these magical goggles I saw human-sized robots walk through the walls of the room. I watched miniature humans wrestle each other on a real tabletop, almost like a Star Wars holographic chess game.” The Internet will have to be made over. “This is what disruption on a vast scale looks like” (9,000 words)

Offshore In Central London

Oliver Bullough | The Guardian | 19th April 2016

Don’t go to Panama to set up your dodgy company. Do it in the middle of London. Much better optics. One townhouse at 29 Harley Street “operates as a large, ornate and prestigiously located postbox and answerphone” for 2,159 shell companies. Anonymity guaranteed. “It is simply easier to commit fraud if you can do it anonymously, unobtrusively, and behind the protective cover of a prestigious London address” (5,800 words)

Jason Hall On Wilkie Collins

Beatrice Wilford | Five Books | 13th April 2016

A lawyer and a laudanum addict, Collins filled his novels with what he called “the secret theatre of home”. His plots dwelt much on the laws of marriage; as did Collins himself, maintaining long-term relationships with two women outside marriage. Like his friend Dickens, Collins filled his books with weird characters; but unlike Dickens he gave his marginal figures real agency; they run his stories (3,400 words)

Video of the day: Pilgrimage To Paradise

What to expect:

Cartoon. And what if animals also commuted to work? (1’00”)

Thought for the day

As a general rule, nobody has money who ought to have it
Benjamin Disraeli

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