Newsletter 953

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

Big Data

Kenneth Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schonberger | NPR | 7 March 2013

Book extract. "Big data challenges the way we live and interact with the world. Society will need to shed some of its obsession for causality in exchange for simple correlations: not knowing why but only what. This overturns centuries of established practices and challenges our basic understanding of how to make decisions and comprehend reality"

A Tale Of Two Londons

Nicholas Shaxson | Vanity Fair | 13 March 2013

One Hyde Park, in London, “a vulgar symbol of the hegemony of excessive wealth", is said to be the world’s most expensive residential building. Dictators' daughters, Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs, international bankers have paid $12,000 per square foot to own apartments there that they rarely visit. The Sheikh of Qatar has the best view

Towards A Complex, Realistic And Moral Tech Criticism

Alexis Madrigal | Atlantic | 13 March 2013

Review of Evgeny Morozv's book, To Save Everything, Click Here, which seems to be emerging as a major text on technology, ideology and society. "Morozov's ultimate goal is to destroy the ideology of technology, so that particular technologies can be used in specific situations without the baggage of other people's nonsense"

A Fork Of One's Own

Jane Kramer | New Yorker | 11 March 2013

Social history of cooking and eating, as told through kitchen and table utensils. Includes the argument that the European adoption of knives and forks led within a few generations to a change in the jaw. Starting with the 18C gentry, humans developed an overbite, well suited to chewing small portions, instead of an ape-like "guillotine" bite

Lee Buchheit, Fairy Godmother To Finance Ministers

Josephine Moulds | Guardian | 12 March 2013

Interview with world's top negotiator of sovereign debt restructurings, who says it's more fun to act for borrowers. "If you represent the lender, your client is tiresomely saying things to you like: Why don't they just pay us the money back? When you're on the debtor side, you can say: If you want to get it back, why did you give it to us?"

Video of the day: Defcad

Thought for the day:

"Evolution is chaos with feedback" — Joe Ford

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