Newsletter 910

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

Awaiting A New Darwin

H. Allen Orr | New York Review Of Books | 21 January 2013

More on Thomas Nagel's "Mind And Cosmos", which argues for seeing the universe an entity with a purpose, though not necessarily a divine one, and adjusting the practice of science accordingly, treating evolution as merely a means towards a universal end that remains to be discovered. Scientists retort that Nagel doesn't understand science

The Rebel Who Whipped His Mother

Max Boot | Volokh Conspiracy | 22 January 2013

Fantastic short read. Extract from book about unconventional warfare. Profile of 19C Chechen warrior Shamil. "With the spring of a wild beast, he leapt clean over the heads of the very line of soldiers about to fire on him, and, landing behind them, whirling his sword in his left hand, he cut down three of them, but was bayoneted by the fourth"

The Trials of Larry Gagosian

Eric Konigsberg | Vulture | 20 January 2013

Huge feature on life and times of world's most powerful art dealer since Duveen. Comes amid signals that Gagosian's legend is peaking. Artists — Hirst, Koons, Serra — are going elsewhere. Two collectors have filed lawsuits. Documents are leaking from the lawsuits about how Gagosian manages his markets. Daylight in being let in upon magic

The Last Calendar

Olivia Judson | New York Times | 22 January 2013

Brother and sister co-ordinate medical care for dying father using Google calendar, which becomes their shared diary. "At the time, I was glad we kept the calendar because it helped us to cope with a difficult situation. Now I’m glad for a different reason: it helps me remember small details about him, the little things that slip out of memory"

Review: "Django Unchained"

David Denby | New Yorker | 22 January 2013

Of all the reviews, this is the most useful and rounded, explaining how "Django" manages to be both thrilling and repulsive: "It’s a very strange movie, luridly sadistic and morally ambitious at the same time, and the audience is definitely alive to it, revelling in its incongruities, enjoying what’s lusciously and profanely over the top"

Obituary: Soho Pam

Anonymous | Telegraph | 22 January 2013

Soho beggar Pamela Jennings dies at 48. Teetotaller, lifelong smoker, addicted to gambling, particularly fruit machines and dog racing. According to a friend: “She suffered liver failure and her body, apart from her feet, became bright yellow. She told me she enjoyed the attention it brought when she was doing her rounds”

Video of the day: People Are Awesome 2013

Thought for the day:

"The greatest pleasure in science comes from theories that derive the solution to some deep puzzle from a small set of simple principles in a surprising way" — John Brockman

Browser Essay Number One: Disequilibrium, by Thierry Malleret (pdf)

Thierry Malleret, publisher of Monthly Barometer, and founder of the World Economic Forum's Global Risk Network, anatomises four global forces and six megatrends that are shaking our world

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