Newsletter 902

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

It Does Not Matter If Britain Leaves The EU

Wolfgang Munchau | FT | 13 January 2013

Excellent throughout. "In macroeconomic terms, EU membership is virtually irrelevant for a member state that is simultaneously large and not in the eurozone". Interesting twist: an independent Scotland would probably have its membership application vetoed by other states worried about secessions

The Delights Of Disgust

Justin E.H. Smith | Chronicle Of Higher Education | 14 January 2013

On disgust as a factor in law, morals, and art. "I am disgusted by others' dandruff, facial moles, food stuck in beards, yet I do not accept that in feeling this way I am judging those people to be subhuman. I take it rather that humanity, while endearing, is also capable of appearing disgusting"

The Searchers

Nicholas Carr | Rough Type | 13 January 2013

Short reflection on Google's "personalised" search. "In its new design, Google's search engine gives us information that fits the behaviour, needs and biases we have displayed in the past. It reinforces the existing state of the self rather than challenging it. It subverts the act of searching"

Barak's Last Battle

Jonathan Tepperman | Foreign Affairs | 13 January 2013

Full-length portrait of Ehud Barak, resigning as Israel's defence minister. "Special forces legend" in his youth, later prime minister. Launched failed peace talks with Syria and Palestinians. But never popular with public or in politics. Aloof, arrogant, too clever for his own good

Us And Them

Marek Kohn | Aeon | 10 January 2013

The instinct to divide the world into "them" and "us" goes deep into our psychology, perhaps even our biology. "New-born babies gaze with equal attention at faces regardless of ethnic appearance, but by three months they prefer looking at faces from their own ethnic group"

Darwin Was Wrong About Dating

Dan Slater | New York Times | 13 January 2013

Differences in sexual behaviour are contextual, not evolutionary. "When men and women considered offers of casual sex from famous people, or offers from close friends whom they were told were good in bed, the gender differences in acceptance of casual-sex proposals evaporated nearly to zero"

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