Newsletter 815

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

Best of the Moment

Google Throws Open Doors To Its Top-Secret Data Center

Steven Levy | Wired | 17 October 2012

Visit to the "beating heart of the digital age". Server farm in North Carolina. "This is what makes Google Google: Thousands of fiber miles, thousands of servers that, in aggregate, add up to the mother of all clouds" Comments (

Alpha Centauri And The New Astronomy

Lee Billings | Centauri Dreams | 16 October 2012

After the discovery of a new planet outside our solar system. "Among the planet-hunters, the question is no longer whether life exists elsewhere in the universe, but rather how far removed the next-nearest living world might be" Comments (

The Brashness And Bravado In Big Deals

John Kay | John Kay/FT | 17 October 2012

Concise skewering of big mergers. "These commercial decisions often reflect policy-based evidence, not evidence-based policy. Doing the deal is what matters. Justification comes afterwards." But bigger does not equal stronger Comments (

God Talk

James Wood | New Yorker | 15 October 2012

The Book of Common Prayer is 350 years old. Mostly written by Thomas Cranmer, who translated and simplified the Sarum Missal. Recognised now as great work of literature. Gave us "moveable feast", "vile body", marriage service Comments (

My Son Is Schizophrenic

Paul Gionfriddo | Washington Post | 15 October 2012

Mea culpa from Connecticut legislator. Thirty years ago he backed programmes to clear patients out of mental hospitals, shifting their care to poorly resourced community and school programmes. Bad idea. As his son's life shows Comments (

Men Who Fall From Space

Masha Gessen | IHT | 15 October 2012

Before Felix Baumgartner there was Yakov Solodovnik, the first man to parachute from the stratosphere. He jumped from more than 10,000 metres in 1939. Preparations were hasty, equipment unreliable, problems various. But he made it Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Jessica Pressman on Electronic Literature

The literature and reading scholar tells us about the profound effect that the rise of electronic literature has had on authors, the publishing industry and the nature of the book. Read on (


Healthcare in America

The battle over US healthcare reform reaches the Supreme Court. Here's what's at stake Read on (

Reader Recommendations

@henrylf Jack Dorsey, Leadership Secrets Of Twitter And Square: New @forbes cover story. Irresistible #browsings ( More like this (

Book of the Day

Book of the Day (

The Mirror of the Sea  by Joseph Conrad

Philip Marsden says ( : “Conrad's thoughts from his years at sea - as clear and incisive as the best of his fiction” FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

Russ Roberts Talks To John Taylor


Exemplary use of animation. Economics made interesting More videos (

Quote of the Day

Thomas Nagel, on science (

“The world is an astonishing place, and the idea that we have in our possession the basic tools needed to understand it is no more credible now than it was in Aristotle’s day”

More quotes (

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