Memory, Jackson Frank, Growth Theory , Harper Lee, Alasdair Gray

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

A Plunge And Squish View Of The Mind

Shane Parrish | Farnham Street | 18th February 2015

How memory works: a conjecture. "Plunge-and-squish adapts to whatever you have on hand. If there is a single relevant memory, plunge finds it. If there are several, squish constructs a modest generalisation that captures the quirks of its particular elements. If there are many, squish constructs a sound, broad-based generalisation." If a particular squish happens often enough, you generate a "perma-squish abstraction" (680 words)

Snowfall Blues

Alison Stine | VQR | 6th January 2015

The amazing life of a 1960s singer-songwriter called Jackson Frank who did everything except get famous. He was born poor in Buffalo; almost died in a school fire; blew the insurance money on fast living; opened for Joni Mitchell; sank into schizophrenia and obesity; lost a decade in a mental hospital; came out; got shot; started playing again; and died aged 56, "the best musician you’ve never heard of" (7,600 words)

Growing, Fast And Slow

Andrew Haldane | Bank Of England | 17th February 2015

If we imagine the history of humanity as a 24-hour clock, almost everything we call economic growth has happened in the past 20 seconds. Suddenly the world is full of new things. What happened? There are many theories of growth, but the essential ingredient would seem to be patience. When a society advances beyond subsistence it can think beyond immediate needs and invest for the future (PDF) (10,000 words)

To Shill A Mockingbird

Neely Tucker | Washington Post | 16th February 2015

Sceptical account of the circumstances surrounding the forthcoming publication of Harper Lee's "new" novel, Go Set A Watchman. It is hard to imagine that the ailing Lee could have given her informed consent to this marketing stunt. The book is, in fact, an "uneven first draft" of Lee's masterpiece, To Kill A Mockingbird, rejected by the publisher and consigned to oblivion by the author herself almost 60 years ago (4,400 words)

Alasdair Gray

Rodge Glass | Music And Literature | 18th February 2015

Review of Me And Others, a new anthology from Scotland's greatest living writer, perhaps its greatest living artist too. "Gray controls every aspect of each of his projects, the textual and the visual, right down the margins and even the typeface, one of which he has invented himself. It’s overwhelming, sometimes confusing, and it can be disappointing. Where on earth does someone new to the oeuvre even start?" (3,020 words)

Video of the day: The Katering Show — Thermomix

What to expect: Comedy. Parody of TV cooking show. How to use a Thermomix. Some adult language (8'40")

Thought for the day

Children are the future, because mankind is moving more and more towards infancy
Milan Kundera

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