Newsletter 865

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

Best of the Moment

Amazon's Billion-Dollar Tax Shield

Tom Bergin | Reuters | 6 December 2012

After shining a light on the tax avoidance strategy of Starbucks (to some effect), Reuters turns the heat on Amazon. The online retail giant uses a complex strategy to ensure that its profits pile up in tax-friendly Luxembourg Comments (

Is There An Egyptian Nation?

Shadi Hamid | Foreign Policy | 4 December 2012

Can Egyptians agree on what a modern nation state should be? Should it be ideologically neutral, or should it be an enforcer of morality, intent on creating virtuous families and virtuous individuals? Comments (

The Folly Of Scientism

Austin Hughes | New Atlantis | 1 December 2012

"Is it really true that natural science provides a satisfying and reasonably complete account of everything we see, experience, and seek to understand — of every phenomenon in the universe?" Or is there still a role for philosophy? Comments (

Gertler Gets Rich, Congo Stays Poor

Franz Wild et al | Bloomberg | 5 December 2012

Israeli diamond dealer Dan Gertler bankrolls Kabila family in their struggle to keep control of Congo. His reward: Cheap mining assets. So far he's made $2.5bn. He says he's investing in the country. Critics say he's looting it Comments (

Ancient Adversaries

Gene Weingarten | Washington Post | 5 December 2012

Jeffrey MacDonald is serving a life sentence for murdering his wife and two daughters 42 years ago. But film-maker Errol Morris says MacDonald is innocent, and claims new DNA evidence. Did drug-addled hippies do it, after all? Comments (

Thomas Bayes And Bayes’s Theorem

Shane Parrish | Farnham Street | 5 December 2012

Bayes's theorem teaches us to deal with new information by adjusting our expectations. "It a statement about how we learn. We learn through approximation, getting closer and closer to the truth as we gather more evidence" Comments (’s-theorem)

FiveBooks Interview


Michael Dirda on Sherlock Holmes

Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories and four novels starring his fictional sleuth. So where to start? The writer and lifelong Sherlockian gives us his personal choice of the best, and tells us more about their creator Read on (


Sport's Violence Problem

Nobody wants to take away the thrill and drama of the NFL or NHL, but is middle age dementia an acceptable price for ex-players to pay?  Read on (

Reader Recommendations

polit2k (  RT @msgbi ( : Technology giants at war: Another game of thrones | The Economist @rszbt (  @polit2k (   @TeraEuro (   #browsings (!/search?q=#browsings)
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Book of the Day

Book of the Day (

Speak, Memory  by Vladimir Nabokov

Anne Applebaum says ( : “One of the most beautiful memoirs ever written. Although it’s not about the Russian revolution as such, it is permeated with a sense of loss and exile”
FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

Driving In Russia


Take care out there, people!
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Quote of the Day

Peter Greenaway, on acting (

An actor is someone who has been trained to pretend he is not being watched
More quotes (

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