Newsletter 958

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

Creating The All-Terrain Human

Christopher Solomon | New York Times | 20 March 2013

Born high in the Pyrenees. Completed a 7.5-mile cross-country ski race at the age of three. Now 25, Kilian Jornet Burgada is "the most dominating endurance athlete of his generation". Runs all day, up and down mountains, eating only berries. Prodigious aerobic capacity. Wins every race. "Even among top athletes, Jornet is an outlier"

Walking Back From Cyprus

Mitu Gulati and Lee Buchheit | Vox | 20 March 2013

How the bank bailout was botched, and how it might have been done much more elegantly—by leaving smaller deposits untouched, and converting larger deposits into five- and ten-year certificates of deposit. The banks woulds still need to be recapitalised. But, with half their funding locked in, this would be relatively cheap and easy

We Should Be Allowed To Unlock Everything We Own

Kyle Wiens | Wired | 18 March 2013

"We really don’t own our stuff anymore (at least not fully); the manufacturers do. Because modifying modern objects requires access to information: code, service manuals, error codes, and diagnostic tools. Modern cars are part horsepower, part high-powered computer. Silicon permeates and powers almost everything"

First They Came For The Deposits…

Izabella Kaminska | FT Alphaville | 18 March 2013

The case for taxing depositors to bail out bad banks, as in Cyprus. "While the decision to force a bank levy on depositors creates an important precedent, it also represents something much more complex than pure confiscation or forfeiture. What it really represents is the inevitable shift away from a debt funded economy to an equity funded one"

Monarch In The Middle

Jeffrey Goldberg | Atlantic | 18 March 2013

Profile of, and interview with, King Abdullah of Jordan, relatively pro-American ruler, seeking to maintain power by offering modest social and political reforms. "The gulf Arabs see him as a bellwether; no monarch has yet fallen in the Arab Spring. If King Abdullah can manage a way through, there is hope for the regimes of the Persian Gulf"

A Letter To Paul Wolfowitz

Andrew Bacevich | Harper's | 1 March 2013

"Whatever you might choose to say, you’ll be vilified as Robert McNamara was vilified when he admitted he'd been 'wrong, terribly wrong', about Vietnam. But help us learn the lessons of Iraq so that we might extract from it something of value in return for all the sacrifices made there. Forgive me for saying so, but you owe it to your country"

Video of the day: What Has Aid Ever Done For Anyone?

Thought for the day:

"Australia has great natural beauty. The British should have left the convicts behind and moved everyone else" — Alex Tabarrok

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