Marriage, Leica Q, Censorship, Verdun, Tyler Cowen, Etiquette

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

On Marrying The Wrong Person

Alain de Botton | Book Of Life | 17th February 2016

"Given that marrying the wrong person is about the costliest mistake that any of us can make (and one which places an enormous burden on the state and employers), it is almost criminal that the issue of marrying intelligently is not more systematically addressed at a national level, as road safety and smoking are. The reasons why people make the wrong choices are easy to lay out and unsurprising in their structure" (3,330 words)

The Leica Q

Craig Mod | 17th February 2016

Wonk alert: This is cameras all the way down. "The Leica Q will be seen as one of the greatest fixed-prime-lens travel photography kits of all time. The Q is some specialist miracle. It should not exist. If the prime metaphor for this camera is a scalpel, then the striking thing is that it keeps cutting — finer and finer — long after the image is captured. The Q feels like it’s created from delight itself" (7,500 words)

Children’s Books In Russia

Masha Gessen | Intercept | 17th February 2016

Russia's new censorship law for childrens' books is so sweeping that, if applied literally, it would rule out Little Red Riding Hood, Hans Christian Andersen, and the Brothers Grimm. Its main purpose is to make life difficult for publishers by ensuring that they can be harassed and prosecuted whenever it is politically attractive for the State to do so. "Books are dangerous to kids and publishers need to be put in their place" (1,740 words)

The Legend Of Verdun

Alistair Horne | New Statesman | 17th February 2016

Verdun was "the most atrocious battle in history". French and German armies went on shelling each other for ten months, long after the original logic of the encounter had been forgotten. "It was as if the battle, removed from human control, had assumed a murderous authority all of its own". The French eventually prevailed — with 800,000 casualties. "Most of the men who died there did so without ever seeing the enemy" (2,750 words)

Is Innovation Over?

Tyler Cowen | Foreign Affairs | 15th February 2016 | | Read with 1Pass

Review of what may well prove "the most interesting and important economics book of the year", The Rise and Fall of American Growth by Robert Gordon. "Doomsayer" Gordon argues that innovation drives growth, and that America has been riding on innovations made a century ago. The analysis is well done; but take the forecasts with a pinch of salt. In 2003 Gordon foresaw a long-lasting boom based on rising productivity (1,980 words)

How To Write A Thank-You Note

Leslie Harpold | Morning News | 1st October 2003

Six easy steps towards making grown-ups happy, from which you too will gain, young reader. "As extra motivation, I will also grudgingly tell you the hidden secret of thank-you notes: They improve the frequency and quality of the gifts you receive. People like being appreciated, and if they feel you actually notice the nice things they do for you, they’re more likely to give an encore performance" (1,450 words)

Video of the day: Washington Square Chess

What to expect: International Grandmaster Maurice Ashley sits down in Washington Square to play a four-minute chess game (4'23")

Thought for the day

What you write will generally be pretty awful when you are young. This does not change as you age
Ta-Nehisi Coates (

Join 150,000+ curious readers who grow with us every day

No spam. No nonsense. Unsubscribe anytime.

Great! Check your inbox and click the link to confirm your subscription
Please enter a valid email address!
You've successfully subscribed to The Browser
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in
Could not sign in! Login link expired. Click here to retry
Cookies must be enabled in your browser to sign in