Newsletter 1018

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

Best of the Moment

We’re The Uber Of Organ Transplants

Mike Lacher | McSweeney's | 28th May 2013

Laugh. But ironically. Because you know some day this will happen. "Just open up our app and tell us your age, blood type, and what kind of organ you want. Then we’ll show you nearby transplanters who have the organs you need. Worried our transplanters aren’t totally qualified? Just check their star ratings. When transplanters give great service, our users will give them great ratings"

Promiscuous Media

Felix Salmon | Reuters | 29th May 2013

The rise of new open publishing platforms — Tumblr, Medium, Facebook among them — increases writers' mobility, flexibility. Mainstream publishers would do well to embrace this. "Certain journalists will be wonderfully active on Pinterest; others will develop huge followings on LinkedIn. Their employers will be gifted with a new way to extend their brand to people they never reached before, in what feels a very personal manner"

What Divides Sunni And Shia Muslims?

S.B. | Economist | 28th May 2013

An argument among believers over who should inherit Prophet Muhammad's authority when he died in 632 forked into a doctrinal schism. "While Sunnis rely heavily on the practice of the Prophet and his teachings (the “sunna”), the Shia see their ayatollahs as reflections of God on earth. This has led Sunnis to accuse Shia of heresy, while Shia point out that Sunni dogmatism has led to extremist sects such as the puritanical Wahhabis"

Elusive Entropy

Tom Murphy | Do The Math | 28th May 2013

We may think we understand entropy. But the chances are we don't, not least if we confuse thermodynamic entropy with informational entropy. "A deck of cards has the same thermodynamic properties (including thermodynamic entropy) no matter how the cards are sequenced. A shuffled deck has increased informational entropy, but is thermodynamically identical to the ordered deck". Good comments

Jeffrey Katzenberg, The Democrats’ Kingmaker

Andy Kroll | Mother Jones | 28th May 2013

Thorough, persuasive profile arguing that DreamWorks CEO Katzenberg is the Democrats' most influential donor and fundraiser, catalyst for two Obama campaigns. Portrayed here as a political operator at heart who got diverted into the film business, rather than a Hollywood type who dabbles in politics. A "mercenary soldier". "The problem with working with Jeffrey is there's no job too low he won't do himself"

Video of the day: The Spokesman

Thought for the day:

"Knowledge grows, but human beings remain much the same"— John Gray

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