Newsletter 1041

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

Best of the Moment

Fake It Till You Make It

Christopher Sprigman & Kal Raustiala | Foreign Affairs | 24th June 2013

Taking and using other people's ideas and intellectual property is good for growth. It used to be the American way. Now it's the Chinese way. "Just as copying allowed the economy of the United States to grow in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, today it allows China to do the same. And, just as the British overstated the economic threat posed by American copying back then, so, too, is the Chinese threat overblown today"

Understanding Steinese

Adam Gopnik | New Yorker | 24th June 2013

Gertrude Stein's style became Hemingway's style, and thus a model for modern American prose: Flat words, subtle thoughts, studied simplicity. "A lot of its effect is achieved by the ridiculously straightforward device of removing normal punctuation. Any sentence, no matter how many qualifications it contains, is almost always written by Stein in commaless, undivided form. This makes her thoughts seem plain even when they are very fancy"

El Bulli For All

Tim Hayward | Financial Times | 21st June 2013

Ferran Adria on closing El Bulli restaurant, opening El Bulli Foundation — which will combine physical museum, online archive, creative network. Interesting throughout. Adria sees his main achievement, not in making cooking more scientific or experimental, but in ending the global pre-eminence of French cuisine. As for shuttering the restaurant: "We reached a point where we couldn’t improve. It was monotonous"

The Shakespeare Of The Lunatic Asylum

Peter Conradi | Spectator | 22nd June 2013

Review of The Dostoevsky Archive: Firsthand Accounts of the Novelist from Contemporaries and Rare Periodicals by Peter Sekirin. "Dostoevsky’s life was even weirder than his fiction. He was born in 1821, the son of a surgeon whom he believed to have been killed by his own serfs. He was often poor, and so he is the only great Russian writer of his generation whose first language was Russian rather than French"

Connecting The Dots, Missing The Story

Evgeny Morozov | Slate | 24th June 2013

"There is an immense — but mostly invisible — cost to the embrace of Big Data by the intelligence community (and by just about everyone else in both the public and private sectors). That cost is the devaluation of individual and institutional comprehension, epitomized by our reluctance to investigate the causes of actions, and jump straight to dealing with their consequences"

Video of the day: Fareed Zakaria On The Threat To America

Thought for the day:

"If your sexual fantasies were truly of interest to others, they would no longer be fantasies"— Fran Lebowitz

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