Newsletter 852

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

Best of the Moment

Unbelievable Lightness Of African States

James Fearon | Monkey Cage | 23 November 2012

"What is striking and surprising is how easy it can be to take over some African states, or large parts of them. Post-independence historical record provides numerous examples where dozens or a few hundred armed men have done it" Comments (

Cooking For Freedom

Aidan Hartley | Spectator | 24 November 2012

Somali-born British chef goes home to open restaurant in Mogadishu. First guests include three Al-Shabab suicide bombers, who kill themselves and 20 customers. Service resumes after four or five coats of white paint Comments (

Scientific Blind Spots

David Shaywitz | WSJ | 18 November 2012

Review of Samuel Arbesman's "Half-Life Of Facts". When an idea, even a mistaken one, becomes conventional wisdom, it is hard to dislodge. Spinach owes its reputation as an iron-rich food to a German chemist's error in 1870 Comments (

Lies, Damn Lies And GDP

Morton Jerven | Guardian | 20 November 2012

Big African countries have been growing far faster than published figures suggest. Ghana has revised GDP estimate upwards by 60%. Nigeria may soon do likewise. Official statistics have failed to capture structural changes in economy Comments (

Why Can't India Feed Its People?

Mehul Srivastava | Businessweek | 21 November 2012

Reporter returns to village of his father's family to see how people there live, eat and work today. He towers over them, a product of better childhood nutrition, and finds their diet still woefully inadequate Comments (

What Killed Michael Porter's Monitor Group?

Steve Denning | Forbes | 20 November 2012

Consulting firm founded by business-school guru goes bankrupt. Why? Because Monitor advised clients to focus primarily on protecting themselves from competition. Not on innovation or customer satisfaction. Bad strategy Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Alex Bellos on Maths

The author of "Alex's Adventures in Numberland" tells us about popular attempts to explain the history of counting and numbers Read on (



Cars, nuclear plants, computers, phones, webcams -- they all succumb to hackers in the end Read on (

Reader Recommendations

@polit2k ( : Online course of the day, investing department - Felix Salmon  #browsings (!/search?q=#browsings)  #ponzi (!/search?q=#ponzi)
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Book of the Day

Book of the Day (

The West Indies and the Spanish Main  by Anthony Trollope

Paul Theroux says ( : I don’t think there’s the temptation to fictionalise. There might be a temptation to over-describe
FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

Stories Of Philosophies


Descartes, Nietzsche, and a fountain pen More videos (

Quote of the Day

Bill Gates, on religion (

"Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning"

More quotes (

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