Newsletter 797

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

Best of the Moment

The Decay Of American Democracy

Shadia Drury | Free Inquiry | 25 September 2012

"It seems to me that the most important lesson that America can teach the world in the twenty-first century regards the conditions that signal the imminent demise of the democratic body politic." Here's how, and why Comments (

How Social Dynamics Made You Successful

Cass Sunstein | Bloomberg | 25 September 2012

Do you know the name Sixto Rodriguez? He was an unsuccessful singer-songwriter from Detroit, who released two albums in the 1970s. He bombed. But, curiously, became huge in South Africa. Which is where social dynamics comes in Comments (

Why Big Money Can't Buy An Election After All

Bruce Bartlett | Fiscal Times | 28 September 2012

It depends who's giving the money, and what gets done with it. Here's how a lot of money channelled through Super PACs and other campaign groups gets wasted Comments (

'The Best TV Show That's Ever Been'

Glen Charles, Les Charles, Jimmy Burrows et al | GQ | 27 September 2012

An oral history of Cheers. Ted Danson: "Women's libbers loved to hate Sam, but people who were bamboozled by women totally associated with him, [as did] people who thought they were God's gift to women" Comments (

Why I Refuse To Vote For Barack Obama

Conor Friedersdorf | Atlantic | 26 September 2012

He kills civilians daily with drones in Pakistan. He approves the extrajudicial killing of American citizens. He made war in Libya without Congressional approval. He's done good things too, but that doesn't cancel out the bad ones Comments (

Laser Pointer

Randall Munroe | What If | 25 September 2012

"If every person on Earth aimed a laser pointer at the Moon at the same time, would it change color?" Fun question, well answered. It won't work with laser pointers, but what about those searchlights mounted on police helicopters? Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Simon Kuper on Best Football Books in English

The author of "Why England Lose" tells us what it means to be a football fan (and why England lose) Read on (


Moral Philosophy

Can we have morality without God? Does surveillance make us better? Do babies have morals? Get to grips with some big questions of right and wrong Read on (

Reader Recommendations

@rszbt Interesting: MT @sunitarora: what India thinks about the world (... don't get offended) "#browsings ( More like this (

Book of the Day

Book of the Day (

Logicomix  by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H Papadimitriou

Marcus du Sautoy says ( : “I enjoy the graphic novel as an art form and it brings alive one of the great stories of 20th-century mathematics, which is the crisis that happened when Gödel proved that there are statements about numbers which are true but which will never be proved." FiveBooks Archive (

Quote of the Day

Robin Hanson, on detail (

Liars add extra irrelevant detail to make their lies seem more believable. Religions do the same

More quotes (

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