Newsletter 1020

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

Best of the Moment

Agent Gideon Goes Rogue

Pawel Morski | It's Not That Simple | 31st May 2013

Consternation at Lubyanka. Deep-cover agent George Osborne is going too far, too fast, in his mission to destroy the British economy. Even the British may catch on to his plan. "Rather than gradually introduce Socialism, as per his original instructions, he’s trying to incite the working class to revolution. He’s inflicted growth-destroying fiscal tightening, and to ensure maximum damage, he’s taken the bulk of the money from public sector investment"

Stephen King On God, Growing Up, And Being Scared

Terry Gross | NPR | 28th May 2013

I don't want to oversell this. It's a casual conversation, mostly about King's latest novel, Joyland. But with some lyrical moments. On Stanley Kubrick: "Whatever else you could say about him, he was a thinking cat." On God: "There's a lot of things in life where you say to yourself, well, if this is God's plan, it's very peculiar. And you have to wonder about that guy's personality, the big guy's personality"

Unintended Consequences Of Mobile Money

Brendan Greeley | Business Week | 23rd May 2013

On the use of mobile phones to make payments and transfer money in African countries. New technology collides with older customs and rituals surrounding payments and gifts, where the economic unit is the community, not the individual. Ease of transfer is a mixed blessing when sharing is expected: "Some mobile money account holders report avoiding their phone altogether. No call comes without a request for money"

The Mysteries Of The Cereal Box

Paul Lukas | The New Republic | 28th May 2013

Irresistible. A feature-length piece in a major publication on a taxonomy of cereal-box closure mechanisms, and their respective strengths and weaknesses. You never thought about it before. And now, every time you see a cereal box, you will say to yourself: "Aha! Slotted!" Or, "No! Slotless". Conclusion: The slotless closure is by so much the better that it's a mystery why any manufacturers still persist with the slotted

Lonely Thinking: Hannah Arendt On Film

Roger Berkowitz | Paris Review | 30th May 2013

Illuminating short essay, about the subject as stated — the film, Hannah Arendt, is by Margarethe von Trotta — but also about Arendt's work, particularly Eichmann In Jerusalem. "She was astonished that perhaps the most egregious crime in history was administered not by panting sociopaths but by unthinking buffoons. This is what Arendt means by her misunderstood dictum, 'the banality of evil'"

Video of the day: The Guy That Gets You Out

Thought for the day:

"Complexity is a device for evading simple truths"— J.K. Galbraith

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