Newsletter 921

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

Why People Keep Pressing The Elevator Call Button

Dennis Mahoney | Morning News | 5 February 2013

You've pressed the button. It's lit up, to show that it's been pressed. One minute later Bob comes along and presses it again. What is it with Bob? Doesn't he trust you? Does he have superior call-button technique? Or is his whole life full of similarly futile rituals, fron honking in traffic jams to refreshing his email every two minutes?

33 Observations On The Year 2012

Baldur Bjarnason | Studio Tendra | 5 February 2013

Blogger takes stock of the writing year gone by. If you write yourself, and especially if you blog, read and enjoy: you will be nodding your head throughout. Perhaps less compelling if you don't write, but even so, what you get here is the voice of a craftsman speaking plainly about his craft, which is always something to be valued

Shadow Of 1914 Falls Over The Pacific

Gideon Rachman | Financial Times | 4 February 2013

If China attacks islands claimed by Japan, American security guarantees to Japan will be triggered. "The idea that the great powers of today could never again stumble into a war, as they did in 1914, is far too complacent. The rising tensions between China, Japan and the US have echoes of the terrible conflict that broke out almost a century ago"

Smothered By Safety

Lenore Skenazy | Cato Unbound | 4 February 2013

American child safety laws and regulations go far beyond reasonable limits. Illegal in 19 states to leave a minor alone in a car, even for a minute. Connecticut mother charged with negligence for letting her children —11 and 7 — walk half a mile to buy a pizza. Tennessee mother jailed after her children — 8 and 5 — went to the park alone

Why Social Movements Should Ignore Social Media

Evgeny Morozov | New Republic | 5 February 2013

Infatuated media intellectuals hold the virtues of the internet to be self-evident: "decentralization beats centralization, networks are superior to hierarchies, crowds outperform experts". Perhaps. But it's a gross and foolish simplification to start arguing that we should remake the rest of the world's institutions in the image of Wikipedia

Reincarnation Among The Exiles

Tim McGirk | Believer | 3 February 2013

Hanging out with unfrocked saints. More than a thousand Buddhist monks and laymen are revered as "rinpoches", or reincarnations of past great teachers. Some stay within the religious life. Many drop out, but still carry their sainthood with them. The 23rd Gomo Tulku wants to be a hip-hop star; Telo Rinpoche used to deliver pizzas

Video of the day: Paper War

Thought for the day:

"As a general rule, conversations about people are interesting, and conversations about objects are dull" — Scott Adams

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