Newsletter 948

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

Thank You To The Author's Many, Many Important Friends

Noreen Malone | New Republic | 7 March 2013

When did acknowledgements pages turn into Oscar speeches? Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In spends seven and a half pages thanking 140 people for contributing to a 172-page book. This isn't gratitude, it's a calculated form of boasting. "It is not just what you know, nor is it even who you know: It is how you let the world know who you know"

Growing Up In The World's Deadliest City

Jeremy Relph | Buzzfeed | 7 March 2013

"Her second day wasn't an improvement: Elsa got a call at home telling her the state police were there to arrest a student named Daniel, who had allegedly participated in the murder of a boy—they had cut off his ear and burned him alive". The life of a schoolteacher in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, where "every kid knows another kid who's killed someone"

Rebuilding Violent Places

Thomas De Monchaux | New Yorker | 7 March 2013

From Utoya to Sandy Hook, by way of Aurora, Virginia Tech and Columbine. Should scenes of tragedy be preserved or destroyed? "The architectural task in the long aftermath of such shootings is not only to repair structural damage but to calibrate a balance between remembering and forgetting sufficient for daily life to continue nearby"

Management Tips For The Catholic Church

Schumpeter | Economist | 8 March 2013

"The world’s oldest multinational is also, by many measures, its most successful, with 1.2 billion customers, 1m employees, tens of millions of volunteers, a global distribution network, a universally recognised logo, unrivalled lobbying clout and a successful emerging-markets operation. Its core competence lies in providing spiritual goods"

Mission Accomplished: America's Biggest Blunder

Peter Van Buren | Informed Comment | 7 March 2013

Former State Department official draws lessons from "the single worst foreign policy decision in American history" and perhaps the most expensive one too. "By invading Iraq, the US did more to destabilize the Middle East than we could possibly have imagined at the time. And we — and so many others — will pay the price for it for a long, long time"

Pixar Scientist Explains How Math Makes Movies

Tim Carmody | Verge | 7 March 2013

Notes on a talk given by Tony DeRose, Pixar's senior scientist. Basic challenge for computer animation is to find better algorithms which can intelligently approximate scale without sacrificing detail. Merida's red hair in Brave was composed of 100,000 individual elements that could collide in 10 billion different ways

Video of the day: Correlation Is Not Causation

Thought for the day:

"The history of science is a history of mistakes, and so the dogmatism of scientists is especially rich" — Leon Wieseltier

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