Newsletter 922

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

Examining The Popularity Of Wikipedia Articles

Andrew West and Milowent | Wikipedia | 4 February 2013

"The best way to reach the highest levels of Wikipedia popularity are to be a celebrity who (a) dies, or (b) plays the Super Bowl halftime show". Failing which, get yourself commemorated in a Google Doodle, mentioned on a television game show, or featured on the front page of Reddit. All-time traffic champion: Whitney Houston

King Egbert And The Naming Of England

George Beech | History Today | 5 February 2013

Twelfth-century manuscript contends that England was given its name by King Egbert in 828. Story was accepted as fact through 15C-17C, but disputed and then completely forgotten in the 18C-19C. Rediscovered in 21C. But how can we tell if the story was true in the first place? Interesting glimpse of how historians work, and history evolves

Out Of A Newspaper Strike Dawned A New Age

Gerald Howard | Salon | 1 February 2013

On the birth of the New York Review of Books: "The roll call of contributors corralled for what was at the time a very possibly short-lived book review represented a shock and awe demonstration of the intellectual firepower available for deployment in mid-century America. This was the party everyone who was anyone wanted to attend"

Animal Spirits

Stephen Asma | Aeon | 6 February 2013

Reflection, spurred by travel among gorillas and lions in the Serengeti desert, on the emotional life of animals. They have instincts, obviously. They think. But do they have emotions, as humans do? Do they love their children? Did dinosaurs love their children? If emotions are something special to humans, how and when did they develop?

The Evolution Of Irregular War

Max Boot | Foreign Affairs | 5 February 2013

Military historians wrongly dismiss guerrilla warfare as barbaric, primitive, cowardly. Man has fought that way since ancient times, and continues to do so. Great wars of the modern age between standing armies were the exception, not the rule. Today, as through most of history, guerrillas and terrorists fight locally, within and across states

Moon Man: What Galileo Saw

Adam Gopnik | New Yorker | 4 February 2013

Great scientists establish truths that will outlast them by centuries. If they work under oppressive regimes, as Galileo did in papal Italy, it's not the best use of their time to fight the oppression. Their highest priority must be to create the space in which they can do their scientific work—if necessary, by making compromises with power

Video of the day: Black Books — Favourite Place

Thought for the day:

"An essential part of power is the freedom not to think too deeply" — Zadie Smith

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