Newsletter 892

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 Piccolo And The Pocket Grouse

Eric Wagner | Orion | 2 January 2013

"The relationship between music and birds changed in the mid-twentieth century with Olivier Messiaen. Where other composers had used bird song as an aural garnish in larger works, he approached it as an ornithologist might" Comments (

Will Gutenberg Laugh Last?

Nicholas Carr | Rough Type | 1 January 2013

We say we like books. And it turns out that we do. Sales of e-readers are slowing. Early adopters have adopted. Print sales are holding up well. Printed books may have more of a future than seemed probable even a year ago Comments (

Republican Blockade Paralyzes America

Sebastian Fischer | Spiegel | 2 January 2013

"We are witnessing a superpower losing its way in a maze of details, propelled by grandstanding politicians hewing slavishly to ideology. We are seeing the country of unlimited possibilities becoming one of non-stop standstill" Comments (

World Outlook: Rosy. Europe Outlook: Awful

Matt Ridley | Rational Optimist | 2 January 2013

"A global optimist can be a regional pessimist. We Europeans seem intent on making our future as bad as we can. It is entirely possible that ten years from now the world will be 50% richer, but Europeans will be 50% poorer." Comments (

Lessons Of The Fiscal Cliff

Ezra Klein | Washington Post | 2 January 2013

Some grounds for hope: "The Republicans aren’t quite as crazy as they’d like the Democrats to believe. They were scared to take the country over the fiscal cliff. They’re going to be terrified to force the country into default" Comments (

Rough Cut

Jason Miklian | Foreign Policy | 1 January 2013

How the Indian city of Surat captured the world's diamond-cutting trade. Cheap, efficient, informal, amoral. Conflict diamonds, blood diamonds all welcome. "Paperwork is frowned upon. This $40 billion economy runs on Post-it notes." Comments (

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