Newsletter 903

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

The Dunbar Number, From The Guru of Social Networks

Drake Bennett | Business Week | 10 January 2013

Profile of Robin Dunbar, deviser of the Dunbar Number, which holds that for most human activities — forming tribes, making friends, sending Christmas cards, using Facebook — the largest manageable in-group is 150 people. It's a function of brain size. The smaller the brain, the smaller the number

How To Protect Workers From The Rise of Robots

Noah Smith | Atlantic | 14 January 2013

The coming of intelligent robots will change the historic relationship between labour and capital. The value of labour will collapse. How then to distribute income and wealth fairly? By making it easy for each person to run a small business — to own her own robots

The Panasonic Toughpad Press Conference

Grant Howitt | Look Robot | 14 January 2013

Writing degree zero. What it feels like to cover a tech industry press conference when you don't actually know anything about the tech industry, and in any case you have a hangover. As for the product: "It is a tablet computer you can drop underwater from a height and have that not be a problem"

Seven Short Stories About Drones

Teju Cole | New Inquiry | 14 January 2013

Number 5: "Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was killed by a Predator drone"

Germany And Israel: A Relationship Full Of Misunderstandings

Christiane Hoffmann and René Pfister | Spiegel | 14 January 2013

Spiegel hits back at claims of anti-semitism. "World War II has been over for more than six decades. The generation that perpetrated the crimes is dying out. Germany is one of Israel's closest allies. Isn't that grounds enough for speaking openly, even expressing severe criticism if necessary?"

Paradise Lost, Or Found?

Horatio Clare | FT | 11 January 2013

British outpost of St Helena, off Africa coast, where Napoleon was exiled, looks like paradise: beaches, meadows, cliffs, birds. Population 4,000. Flora and fauna "a timetrap from pre-history". Hardly any private enterprise. But plans afoot to build airport, tourist hotels: What could go wrong?

Video of the day: The Truth About Phones On Airplanes

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