Marx, Robbery, Actors, Versace, Providence

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

Marx The Philosopher

Richard Marshall | 3AM | 26th April 2018

Peter Singer explains his view that Karl Marx was a better philosopher than he was an economist. “Marx saw that collectively we do not control our own destiny. Individually, we make choices that advance our own interests, but the collective effect is to bring about outcomes no one wants and which make us all worse off. The fact that Marx’s solution to this problem is mistaken does not mean that the problem isn’t real, or that we should not seek a better future in which we overcome it” (2,800 words)

The Doting Father Who Robbed Armoured Cars

Skip Hollandsworth | Texas Monthly | 26th April 2018

True crime from Texas. “Redrick Batiste seemed to be an ordinary young man leading an ordinary life. Shadowing him around Houston in their unmarked cars, however, FBI agents weren’t convinced that Batiste was all he appeared to be. They had begun to suspect that he was leading a secret life. Red Batiste, they believed, was the leader of an armored car robbery ring, one of the most daring and diabolical the FBI had ever encountered”. Spoiler: They were right (7,600 words)

From Game Of Thrones To The Crown

Sophie Elmhirst | Guardian | 26th April 2018

Profile of Nina Gold, casting director. “Done right, casting is an invisible act. The choice of an actor should seem obvious in retrospect. No one but Eddie Redmayne could have played Stephen Hawking. No one but Claire Foy could have played the young Queen. Casting directors never have the final say on who gets what part – that goes to the showrunner in television, the director and producers in film. Their art involves delicate persuasion, applying pressure without appearing to do so” (6,200 words)

The Excessive Vision Of Donatella Versace

Molly Young | GQ | 20th March 2018

A visit with Donatella Versace and the fashion house she has run since her brother’s murder. “The brand never breaks character. The clothes always radiate the same fantasy of f***-you money. There are hundreds of places to shop if you want to project intelligence or sophistication. But if you want to look rich, you go to Versace. The danger of looking like an idiot is significant. If you don’t inhabit your tiger-striped velvet with sufficient confidence, you will be severely defeated by your own clothes” (4,050 words)

The Island That Disappeared

Tom Feiling | Longreads | 20th March 2018

Letter from the Caribbean island group of Providence, settled by English Puritans who arrived on the Seaflower in 1631, inspired by the voyage of the Mayflower to New England ten years earlier. The Seaflower Puritans left less of a trace in history: Their settlement was destroyed by the Spanish in 1641. The islands are now part of Colombia. But hints of England survive. “Archbold” and “Taylor” are common surnames on the islands, and you may still hear a West Country burr in local speech (2,711 words)

Video of the day Frog Fish

What to expect:

Ze Frank narrates a deep-sea documentary — or, rather, he would do so if he could stop laughing (3’12”)

Thought for the day

Freud is the father of psychoanalysis. It has no mother
Germaine Greer

Podcast The Death Of God | Philosophy For Our Times

Terry Eagleton discusses why atheism is easy for individuals but difficult for whole societies
(33m 09s)

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