Newsletter 84

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

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      1. *|ARCHIVE|*

Writing Worth Reading

[2]I Wuz Wrong

Megan McArdle | Atlantic | 27 August 2010

Lots of sharp insights about Iraq, financial crash, US policy. Writer looks
  back at key predictions she got wrong. "I believed that the Fed and prudent
  fiscal policy had, to a large extent, tamed the business cycle"

[3]First Bank Of The Living Dead

Dan Drezner | National Interest | 24 August 2010

First-class review-essay covering big new books on finance from Mallaby,
  Roubini, Reich, Quiggin. Tour d'horizon of current thinking on meltdown.
  Conclusion: we need to update Keynes, but we don't know how

[4]How Banks Rigged Mortage Markets

Jake Bernstein & Jesse Eisinger | Pro Publica | 26 August 2010

When market demand for mortgage-backed securities ebbed, banks sold them to
  each other instead, booked profits, paid bonuses, issued more securities.
  Until bubble burst

[5]What We'll Miss About The Bill

Daniel Maier | Guardian | 26 August 2010

Savouring the clichés of an axed British detective series. Born as gritty
  drama, it devolved into soap. With such lines as: "Juliet's just died, my
  husband's left me and I'm carrying a dead man's baby!"

[6]Dr Johnson's New Dictionary

Amy Oliver | Daily Mail | 27 August 2010

Extracts from a Dictionary of Modern Life, after Samuel Johnson. Defines
  "Yummy Mummy" as "Hateful term of barb'd praise for a woman who has borne
  children yet not become a crone"

[7]Return Of Beggar-My-Neighbour

Samuel Brittan | FT | 26 August 2010

British government sliding into "mercantilism"—policies of soft
  protectionism and industrial planning, which please business lobbies, but
  frustrate competitive markets and free trade

[8]What It Costs To Run Somalia

Elizabeth Dickinson | FP | 26 August 2010

Annual state budget: $11m—about equal to the budget for "High School Musical
  3". Wages and salaries take $9.8m. Central bank governor gets $1,000 a year

[9]Confessions Of A Facebook Stalker

Corrie Pikul | Elle | 19 August 2010

Author tracks down ex-boyfriend. And his wife. "It's fascinating, if
  unsettling, to see the other forms that an ex-partner's desire can take."
  But does it help, and what if you're caught?

[10]Don't Just Sit There

Daniel Lametti | Slate | 26 August 2010

How defecation posture affects your health. For those not wanting to learn
  about anorectal angles and bowel movement experiments, the summary is:
  squatting beats sitting

[11]I'm Not Sure I Will Die

Jane Miller | Guardian | 26 August 2010

Beautifully written piece on growing old, extracted from author's new book,
  Crazy Age. Medical advances inflict complicated moral choices on us; we'll
  need to work out how to get more control over the end of our lives

[12]Secret World Of Trader Joe's

Beth Kowitt | Fortune | 23 August 2010

Get past the breathless beginning, and there's a fascinating piece here
  about how US supermarket chain wins over customers by offering friendlier
  service, less choice. People trust its judgment

[13]Risks And Rewards Of Royal Incest

David Dobbs | National Geographic | 24 August 2010

Royal families since pharaohs have disregarded incest taboo. They consider
  themselves a class apart. They want to protect assets. They can hedge bets
  by siring illegitimate offspring

[14]Turkey Is Too Much For Europe

Josef Joffe | FT | 25 August 2010

Argument against admitting Turkey to EU, based on claim that Turkey may
  annex Kurdistan from Iraq, causing conflict with US, and that EU cannot
  manage frontiers with Iran, Syria

[15]Interdependency Theory

Simon Tay | Foreign Affairs | 24 August 2010

Review-essay on new books about China and India, interesting throughout.
  China and India fundamentally rivals, not co-operators. US to remain strong
  in Asia, even if power there has peaked

[16]Westerners vs. World

Adam McDowell | National Post | 21 August 2010

Western social science relies on behavioural studies using Western
  participants. But in matters such as fairness, individualism, conformism,
  Westerners are outliers by world standards

[17]Swimming And Freedom

Matt Steinglass | Economist | 25 August 2010

Beautiful note on rise of American nanny-state, driven by fear of legal
  liability. "Trying to establish social norms via lawsuits is part of what's
  cramping liberty in everyday American life"

[18]Chicken Butchering 101

Sofya | Guns And Butter | 24 August 2010

Absolutely everything you might ever want to know about the techniques of
  chicken butchering, and the sensibility required for it. With pictures. If
  you don't want to know, look elsewhere

[19]Venezuela, More Deadly Than Iraq

Simon Romero | NYT | 22 August 2010

Amazing, though presumably not to Venezuelans. Homicide rate four times that
  of Iraq. Twice that of drug-war Mexico. Has tripled under Chavez. 90% of
  murders go unsolved

[20]Today on FiveBooks - Israel.

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