Magic, Art, Consciousness, ICE, Class

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

The State Of The Bestiary Is Stable

Chris Randle | Hazlitt | 22nd August 2018

“Twenty-five years after its release, ‘Magic: The Gathering’ still strikes a balance between performance and commodity — a mix of chess’s chilly purity and poker’s social theatre. You start every game with twenty life points and a sixty-card library, pulling out an opening hand of seven. Each turn you draw one fresh card, and get to play a single land, tapping them for mana to cast your spells. If you run out of life, typically from creatures attacking it, you lose” (3,340 words)

The Art Market

Romas Viesulas | Five Books | 22nd August 2018

Georgina Adam discusses the economics and psychology of the art market. “When they talk about the art market, most people are referring to higher value works, from about $1000 upwards, that are traded. The value of the art market is in the region of $60 billion a year, which sounds like a lot, but actually compared to other industries is not that huge. It hasn’t shifted very much in the last 10 years, but what has changed is the composition of the figure, with the top end much stronger and the middle weaker” (6,100 words)

Is A Comatose Patient Conscious?

Anouk Bercht | Scientific American | 23rd August 2018

Interview with Belgian neurologist Steven Laureys, an expert on consciousness. Hospitals send him comatose patients to be tested for signs of awareness. “If there is no response to commands, sounds or pain stimuli, this does not necessarily mean that the patient is unconscious. It may be that the patient does not want to respond to a command or that the regions of the brain that process language are so damaged that the person simply doesn’t understand me. Then there are cases in which the brain says, ‘Move!’ but the motor neural pathways have been severed” (2,060 words)

How Trump Radicalised ICE

Franklin Foer | Atlantic | 24th August 2018

Profile of America’s Immigration And Customs Enforcement agency. “ICE represents a profound deviation in the long history of American immigration. Once immigrants have reached our shores, settled in, raised families, and started businesses, all without breaking any laws, the government has almost never chased them away in meaningful numbers. ICE, however, is assigned the task of removing undocumented immigrants from the country’s interior, and it has approached this mission with cold, bureaucratic efficiency” (9,800 words)

How Social Class Endures

Kwame Anthony Appiah | Chronicle Of Higher Education | 19th August 2018

“The connection between class and wealth, though complex, is indissoluble. The relevant forms of status are those most associated with a lineage of long-possessed wealth. And though upper-class status doesn’t always entail having money, it does entail social proximity to money. Real poverty, it has been observed, is about social isolation as much as material deprivation; the poor don’t have the sort of friendship networks that the advantaged draw upon. Class is one way that you benefit from the money in the pockets of friends and acquaintances” (3,950 words)

Video of the day Auto Nom

What to expect:

An autonomous car has fun in the city, dancing in the streets and swinging from lamp-posts (2’02”)

Thought for the day

I would never die for my beliefs, because I might be wrong
Bertrand Russell

Podcast The Chaos Of Reunification | NYT Daily

How can the US government separate immigrant families, then claim an inability to reunite them?
(30m 05s)

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