Newsletter 855

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

Best of the Moment

Saving Diplomacy From Itself

Christina Odone | Foreign Policy | 26 November 2012

Profile of Carne Ross, former British diplomat who has reinvented himself as an "independent diplomat" for hire at the United Nations, advising politicians and unrecognised states. Clients include Kosovo, South Sudan, Polisario Comments (

Great Oil Fallacy

John Quiggin | National Interest | 19 November 2012

Oil does matter to the US economy, but much less than it used to. At 4% of GDP, spending on oil roughly matches spending at hotels and restaurants. Oil politics shaped American global strategy in 1970s. Shouldn't do so now Comments (

From Man Who Insulted Muhammad, No Regret

Serge Kovaleski and Brooks Barnes | NYT | 26 November 2012

Maker of "Innocence of Muslims", Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, out of jail, tells his story. "The making of the film is a bizarre tale of fake personas and wholesale deception. it is almost impossible to separate fact from fabrication" Comments (

End Of The Line In The ICU

Kristen McConnell | Health Care Blog | 16 November 2012

"Intensive care is at best a temporary detour during which a patient’s instability is monitored, analyzed, and corrected, but it is at worst a high tech torture chamber, a taste of hell during a person’s last days on earth" Comments (

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 (

FiveBooks Interview


Carol Gilligan on Gender and Human Nature

The idea that girls are emotional and “boys don’t cry” is ridiculous, says the feminist and psychologist. She tells us about books that debunk the gender myths constricting our lives Read on (


Air Travel

Airlines opened to us a world of thrilling possibility. But, for many, flying is still a terrifying prospect. Crashes, though rare, do happen. And then there are the security procedures bequeathed to us by 9/11  Read on (

Reader Recommendations

@polit2k ( : RT @edwardnh ( : Auerback: The Bank of Canada Governor is Wrong on #2B2F ( & Wrong on Canada’s Banking System ( #browsings ( More like this (

Book of the Day

Book of the Day (

Mothers and Others  by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

Carol Gilligan says ( : "Hrdy’s research challenges the widely held view that the nuclear family is the traditional or original human family" FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

Ten More Bets You Will Always Win


No. I will not hold the ends of your piece of uncooked spaghetti More videos (

Quote of the Day

Adam Mars-Jones, on love (

"Love is a socially conventional emotion that is conventionally defined as being opposed to social conventions"

More quotes (

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