Newsletter 894


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

Best of the Moment

Dave Hickey's Politics Of Beauty

Laurie Fendrich | Chronicle Of Higher Education | 2 January 2013

Profile of maverick art critic. The first half is a bore. The second half, when Hickey takes over the narrative, is a joy. Here he is on the art market: "Taste is transformed into appetite by a nonpecuniary cloud of discourse that surrounds the negotiation"

What Wingate Wrought

Max Boot | Weekly Standard | 3 January 2013

Colourful portrait of unruly British WW2 general who became a "fanatical" Zionist in the 1930s, pioneered special operations in Abyssinia and Burma, died at 41. "His character was a blend of mysticism, anger, love, passion, and dark hatred"

Big Issues In Macroeconomics: The Fiscal Multiplier

John Quiggin | Crooked Timber | 4 January 2013

For: Useful primer for intelligent general reader on big but contentious topic. Includes entertaining rant against economics profession. Against: If you are seriously interested in the subject, you (should) know most of this already

The Great Aid Mystery

Jonathan Foreman | Spectator | 3 January 2013

"One of the more bizarre mysteries of contemporary British politics is the ironclad, almost fanatical intensity of the government’s commitment to foreign aid spending. Aid is at best useless and at worst counterproductive"

The Moral Thing To Do

James Meek | London Review Of Books | 3 January 2013

Smart, funny long essay on the TV series "Breaking Bad" and its central character Walter White: "It turns out his idea of confession is Skyler telling him what she suspects him of, so that he can work out how to deny it"

How Obama Decides Your Fate If He Thinks You're A Terrorist

Daniel Byman and Benjamin Wittes | Atlantic | 3 January 2013

"The criteria and decision points that can lead to a suspect terrorist's being ignored as a minor nuisance, prosecuted in federal court, held in a Pakistani prison, or met with the business end of a Hellfire missile". With flowchart

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