Newsletter 869

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

Best of the Moment

The 'Just Sisters' Defence

Evan Osnos | New Yorker | 11 December 2012

Surge of sex scandals in past three weeks reinforces impression that Chinese politics looks pretty interesting close-up. Chinese media, please note: Exposing abuses of power is good, but it's not the same as rooting them out Comments (

Property Rights In Space

Rand Simberg | New Atlantis | 1 December 2012

Private companies prepare to launch rockets, extract minerals from asteroids. But still no legal system for assigning property rights in space. Can it be done? Governments bridle at international law, let alone interplanetary law Comments (

How To Win At Forecasting

Philip Tetlock | Edge | 6 December 2012

Conversation with psychology professor Philip Tetlock about the accuracy of political forecasting, bias, status and Nate Silver. If we can measure the results of predictions, and we can, will it improve the standard of forecasting? Comments (

Dozenalists Of The World Unite! Rise Up Against The Tyranny Of Ten!

Alex Bellos | Guardian | 12 December 2012

Today is 12/12/12, a symbolic day for those who'd like to replace our decimal number system with one based on 12s. Their reason? It makes telling the time more intuitive and arithmetic simpler. Here's how Comments (

Invasion Of The Cyber Hustlers

Steven Poole | New Statesman | 6 December 2012

Attack on internet "booster gurus" Jeff Jarvis, Jay Rosen, Clay Shirky et al. "They agitate for constant revolution. The main beneficiaries will be the giant technology companies before whose virtual image they prostrate themselves" Comments (

Must Philosophers Be Parents?

Justin Smith | Berfrois | 7 December 2012

"I’ve been told three times in the past year that one cannot realize one’s potential as a philosopher unless one is a parent. Implicit in this presumption is the idea that adults learn things from the children in their lives" Comments (

FiveBooks Interview


Susan Gelman on Essentialism

Putting people and things into categories is something we all do. It’s a useful shortcut but reveals biases. And it plays a role in everything from ethnic violence to childhood development, as psychologist Susan Gelman explains Read on (


Women and the Workplace

Women in the West may be slowly winning the battle for workplace equality. But at what price? Read on (

Reader Recommendations

@polit2k ( RT @timharford ( : "Starbucks shows need for tax change" - John Kay #browsings ( More like this (

Book of the Day

Book of the Day (’s-journey-world-autistic-child-by-clara-claiborne-park)

The Siege  by Clara Claiborne Park

Uta Frith says ( : "This book was the first of autobiographical accounts I read about a family’s intimate experience of autism in one of their members. Almost a fairy tale in itself, with a rightly optimistic message to other parents." FiveBooks Archive (

Video of the Day

Climate Change 101


You know it all already. But just in case More videos (

Quote of the Day

Morgan Meis, on photography (

"The comment that 'the camera never lies' is not a positive statement about the inherent truth of photography. It is a complaint."

More quotes (

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