Militia, History, Kevin Brownlow, Water, Gulags

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

Militia In The Scottish Enlightenment

Brandon Emrys | Siris | 14th June 2018

Invaluable primer for understanding the Second Amendment. “Andrew Fletcher argues that it is essential to a free people for their state not to have a monopoly on force; those who are dependent on standing armies are at the mercy of those who control the armies. Fletcher argues that one can distinguish between an ‘ordinary and ill-regulated’ militia and a ‘well-regulated’ militia, the latter being one that is actively supported and given the means to have some organization and training” (1,500 words)

Repeating Themes

Morgan Housel | Collaborative Fund | 14th June 2018

On survivor bias in history. We have to remember that history is written, or at least recorded and edited, by the victors. By definition, history does not tell us how those who disappeared from history disappeared, which may be history’s most important lesson. “History knows three things: What’s been photographed; what someone wrote down or recorded; and words spoken by people who historians and journalists wanted to interview and who agreed to be interviewed” (1,600 words)

Interview: Kevin Brownlow

Michael Sragow | Film Comment | 14th June 2018

Film preservationist recounts a career spanning, at one or two degrees of separation, the history of cinema. On Charlie Chaplin: “Here’s the most successful filmmaker ever, and he didn’t know what he was doing. He would go on and on and on until something clicked in his mind. He’d start The Immigrant as a café comedy and end up with this wonderful picture about an immigrant who had no money going to eat in a restaurant and watching another customer getting beaten for not paying up” (4,400 words)


Donovan Hohn | Lapham's Quarterly | 11th June 2018

“Water is the universal solvent, of schemes as well as substances. In motion, it seems alive, motivated by a kind purpose as it seeks its level, sinuous as if animated by serpents or spirits, which helps explain all those monsters and mermaids and river gods that have populated the waters of the human mind. The motion of water, unlike that of atoms or stone, readily accommodates our powers of perception, the timescale of a human life. The motion of water is luminous and momentary” (5,200 words)

Forty-Five Things I Learned In The Gulag

Vladimir Shalamov | Paris Review | 12th June 2018

Notes from 15 years in Soviet labour camps. “A man becomes a beast in three weeks, given heavy labor, cold, hunger, and beatings”. “The main means for depraving the soul is the cold”. “There is only enough flesh on a hungry man for anger: everything else leaves him indifferent”. “The world should be divided not into good and bad people but into cowards and non-cowards. Ninety-five percent of cowards are capable of the vilest things, lethal things, at the mildest threat” (1,180 words)

Video of the day Endless Stories

What to expect:

How Joe Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali in 1971, and what else happened while the fight was going on (4’46”)

Thought for the day

When the truth catches up with you, run
John le Carré

Podcast Universal ER Coverage | 2 Docs Talk

Kendall Britt and Amy Rogers discuss emergency US healthcare, and why doctors often work for free
(10m 40s)

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