Newsletter 795

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

Best of the Moment

Cutting The British Empire Down To Size

Bernard Porter | History Today | 27 September 2012

It looked big on the map. All those countries coloured red. But it was never administered or even loosely organised centrally. Run by a small cadre of civil servants: 4,000 at its Victorian peak. More about trade than territory Comments (

The Myths Of Muslim Rage

Kenan Malik | Pandaemonium | 26 September 2012

Did we learn nothing? Three myths about the Rushdie affair "have shaped responses to every similar conflict since. Every one is being reproduced in the current debate about The Innocence of Muslims" Comments (

The Golden Age

John Quiggin | Aeon | 27 September 2012

Keynes argued 80 years ago that mankind could solve the general problem of scarcity, do away with the need to work in order to live. So why are we working harder than ever? Short answers: Globalisation, neo-liberalism, human nature Comments (

Death On The Path To Enlightenment

Scott Carney | Details | 26 September 2012

India syndrome is the new Stendhal syndrome. Westerners go East looking for wisdom, get overwhelmed, go crazy. "People come to us with acute psychotic symptoms. But you put them on the plane and they are completely all right" Comments (

Reinventing Ethics

Howard Gardner | NYT | 23 September 2012

"Human beings and citizens in complex, modern democratic societies regularly confront situations in which traditional morality provides little if any guidance." Where should we turn for advice on how to act? Gardner has an idea Comments (

Are Neanderthals Human?

Carl Zimmer | Nova | 20 September 2012

"Today, scientists can scan the genomes of Neanderthals who died 50,000 years ago. And yet the debate still rages." Did humans evolve from Neanderthals, or were we both descendants of a common ancestor? Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Jonathan Powell on Negotiation

The former chief of staff to Tony Blair tells us about his experience of negotiating in Northern Ireland, and explains why it's important never to lose your temper except on purpose Read on (


Paying for the US Election

How much is Romney vs Obama 2012 going to cost? Who's paying? And what do they expect in return? Read on (

Reader Recommendations

@evaholland ( Suicide rates for male Inuit youth are 28x higher than the Canadian average. Here is one young man's story: #browsings ( More like this (

Book of the Day

Worstward Ho () by Samuel Beckett

Andrew Cowan says ( : “He says: ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’ " FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

How The Internet Will Transform Government


Clay Shirky. Say what you like about TED, the man can talk More videos (

Quote of the Day

Michael Chabon, on men (

"Apart from homosexuals, only chess players have found a reliable way to bridge, intensely but without fatal violence, the gulf that separates any two men"

More quotes (

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