Newsletter 854

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

Best of the Moment

Human Sacrifice

Peter Leeson | Peter Leeson | 26 November 2012

"Human sacrifice is a technology for protecting property rights. It improves property protection by destroying part of sacrificing communities' wealth, which depresses the expected payoff of plundering them". Academic paper (PDF) Comments (

Congo Slips Into Chaos Again As Rebels Gain

Jeffrey Gettleman | NYT | 25 November 2012

"The rebels have been eviscerating a dysfunctional Congolese Army, whose drunken soldiers stumble around with rocket-propelled grenades and whose chief of staff was suspended for selling crates of ammunition to elephant poachers" Comments (

Land Of The Seven Moles

Calvin Trillin | New Yorker | 26 November 2012

Get past the first three convoluted paragraphs, and discover a virtuoso romp through the joys of Mexican and other Latin American food. Includes tasting notes on grasshoppers, guinea pigs, iguana spleens and dried worms Comments (

Is This The End?

James Atlas | NYT | 24 November 2012

Reflections on Hurricane Sandy. "Whether in 50 or 100 or 200 years, there’s a good chance that New York City will sink beneath the sea. Or the city could move to another island, the way Torcello was moved to Venice, stone by stone" Comments (

America, Israel, Gaza, The World

Walter Russell Mead | American Interest | 18 November 2012

The American approach to war. "With no feudal past in this country, Americans see wars as wars of peoples rather than wars of elites. In a war of peoples the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate targets tends to collapse" Comments (

Hayek, Friedman, And The Illusions of Conservative Economics

Robert Solow | New Republic | 16 November 2012

Long review-essay pegged to Angus Burgin's book "The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets since the Depression". Solow sees Hayek as the deeper and more pragmatic thinker; Friedman as a step back, more brittle and dogmatic Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Stephen Glain on US Militarism

American presidents may not want to send troops into battle or militarise foreign policy but, in the end, most of them do. The author and journalist explains how this happens, and why it’s not even the military that's to blame Read on (


The Petraeus Affair

An affair with his biographer has cost the CIA director, David Petraeus, his job. Should it have done? Read on (

Reader Recommendations

@polit2k ( : "@FTAlphaville ( : Old Canucklehead to Old Lady – a Mark Carney intro ( " #browsings ( More like this (

Book of the Day

Book of the Day (

House of War  by James Carroll

Stephen Glain says ( : "The book is an uninhibited account of what it was like for him being part of the Pentagon bureaucracy. It’s very subversive" FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

End Software Patents


We need to stand on the shoulders of giants, without getting sued More videos (

Quote of the Day

James Wood, on Paul Auster (

"There are things to admire in Auster's fiction, but the prose is never one of them"

More quotes (

Join 150,000+ curious readers who grow with us every day

No spam. No nonsense. Unsubscribe anytime.

Great! Check your inbox and click the link to confirm your subscription
Please enter a valid email address!
You've successfully subscribed to The Browser
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in
Could not sign in! Login link expired. Click here to retry
Cookies must be enabled in your browser to sign in