Newsletter 1003

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

Best of the Moment

Israel’s Man In Damascus

Efraim Halevy | Foreign Affairs | 10th May 2013

Former head of Mossad explains why Israel doesn't want the Assad regime to fall. "Israel knows one important thing about the Assads: for the past 40 years, they have managed to preserve some form of calm along the border". The civil war is bad news on every front. Al-Qaeda backs the rebels, Iran backs the Syrian army, the whole region is destabilised. Best policy option for Israel: stay neutral, and focus on Iran

Lunch With Justin Welby, Archbishop Of Canterbury

Lucy Kellaway | Financial Times | 10th May 2013

Beguiling, revealing, unexpectedly sincere conversation: "His parents divorced when he was three and he spent much of his youth looking after his alcoholic father, a former bootlegger of uncertain origin who once dated Vanessa Redgrave ... When I ask point blank if he really and truly thinks that Mary was a virgin and that Christ actually rose from the dead, he puts down his fork and replies simply: 'Yes'" (Metered paywall)

Before You Aim For Someone’s Job, Look At The Price They Paid

Penelope Trunk | Brazen Careerist | 9th May 2013

Utterly unsafe work, and for many homes too. Nominal subject: writing while drunk. Contains a sentence which is at once among the most brilliant and most disgusting that I can remember reading: you will know it when you see it. This is almost the consummate Penelope Trunk post — only some domestic violence is missing — which means that it is impossibly frank and blisteringly well written. If you don't agree, you may well be right

Darlings Of Oblivion

D.G. Myers | A Commonplace Book | 9th May 2013

Most things in life or not dramatic or memorable; they are distracting, time-consuming, forgettable. Headaches, sleepless nights, flat tires, traffic jams. "Entire days can be lost to these events; they can be, at the time, as absorbing as tragedy; once passed, they are forgotten. How much of human life disappears into oblivion like this?" And why does literature have so little interest in this level of human experience?

Video of the day: David Foster Wallace: This Is Water

Thought for the day:

"Redundancy is expensive but indispensable"— Jane Jacobs

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