Newsletter 147

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

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Writing Worth Reading

* [2]Effing The Ineffable
   Roger Scruton | Big Questions | 4 November 2010
   Wittgenstein prudently advised remaining silent, when words failed. Why
   do so many other philosophers conclude that truth is ineffable, then go
   on to write thousands of pages trying to describe it?
 * [3]Brain That Changed Everything
   Luke Dittrich | Esquire | 25 November 2010
   In 1953, Henry Molaison was trepanned. His memory vanished. Surgeon's
   grandson tells of of next 55 years of Henry's life, his prominent place
   in neuroscience, and why his brain is still being studied
 * [4]I Was Wrong About China
   John Humphrys | BBC | 4 November 2010
   Veteran BBC reporter is surprised on his return to China to find it more
   outward-looking, less defensive and restrictive than he remembered.
   "This country has opened up in a way I had not even begun to imagine"
 * [5]James Ellroy, Ancient Mariner Of LA Noir
   Elaine Showalter | TLS | 3 November 2010
   Ellroy's memoir mostly covers "sexual fantasies, desires, love affairs,
   marriages, long-term relationships, imaginary lovers". Also good advice
   on how to get noticed as a writer: "exude a raucous panache"
 * [6]Case Against Charles Taylor Falls Apart
   Thomas Darnstädt et al | Spiegel | 3 November 2010
   Former Liberian president may be acquitted in The Hague. Despite
   blood-curdling testimony about civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone,
   prosecution hasn't proved that Taylor was personally responsible
 * [7]Distant Judge Or Pliant Regulator
   John Kay | John Kay | 3 November 2010
   If you give an industry a dedicated regulator, that regulator almost
   always gets captured—if only intellectually, since he relies on the
   industry for information. Better an impartial judge who knows less
 * [8]Number Ten
   J.M. Mosley | Typefoundry | 31 October 2010
   Improbably captivating history of the numbers on the door of 10 Downing
   Street, incorporating a fair amount of detail about the building itself.
   The oblique stress of the zero dates from a renovation in 1963
 * [9]Lightness Of History In Caucasus
   Thomas de Waal | Open Democracy | 4 November 2010
   Roots of current Caucasus conflicts don't go back centuries into ancient
   or ethnic hatreds. They derive from 20th-Century Soviet policies to
   manipulate loyalties, suppress identities, smother grievances
 * [10]Market For 17th-Century Altarpieces
   Federico Etro | Vox | 4 November 2010
   Titian et al signed detailed contracts with patrons. Highly competitive
   market. Price determined partly by painter's reputation, but also by
   size of painting, number of figures, genre, complexity of story
 * [11]Day After, In Virginia
   George Packer | New Yorker | 3 November 2010
   Notes from Appalachian corner of Virginia, where Republicans gained
   House seats. Disillusion with Obama's leadership. Miners voted
   Republican for fear of cap-and-trade. All about jobs
 * [12]Fed's $600 Billion Statement In Plain English
   Jacob Goldstein | Planet Money | 3 November 2010
   Pithiest thing you'll read about the American economy this month. As
   we've said before, it's only a pity that the Federal Reserve—and
   everybody else in government—can't write this way to begin with
 * [13]Obama's Failure Of Leadership
   Marshall Ganz | LAT | 3 November 2010
   Persuasive account of Obama's declining popularity. He campaigned as a
   transformational president, governed as a transactional one. Demobilised
   his grassroots organisation. Out went advocacy, in came compromise

+ [14]My Impression Of The Election Results
        Tyler Cowen | Marginal Revolution | 4 November 2010
        Newspapers full of 2,000 word analyses. Here's a wrap in 200 words.
        Notable points: Obama's re-election chances have improved; pot has
        peaked; anti-gay backlash in Iowa; no tea-party tidal wave
      + Topic: Barack Obama
        The years of disillusion. How President Barack Obama lost many of
        his friends, and failed to win... [15]Continue reading...

[16]Today on FiveBooks: Man and Ape

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