Newsletter 961

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

Best of the Moment

Southern Europe Lies Prostrate Before German Imperium

Charles Moore | Telegraph | 22 March 2013

Cypriot banking crisis shows Germans as dominant power in Europe. "As they have grown stronger, their love of rules has turned into an instrument of their power. We are good European citizens, the Germans argue, and we have done well. So the answer is for everyone in the eurozone to behave just like us and they will do well too"

The Chapman Brothers On Life As Artists' Assistants

Stuart Jeffries | Guardian | 13 March 2013

"The relationship between artist and artist's assistant is vexed, ripe for oedipal tensions, mutual resentments, or at least spitting in the great master's lapsang souchong". Dinos and Jack Chapman worked for Gilbert and George, colouring prints, before making names for themselves: "We coloured in Gilbert and George's penises for eight hours a day"

How To Pick A Secular Pope

James Traub | Foreign Policy | 22 March 2013

"While the pope and the UN secretary general are more or less the sacred and secular versions of one another, the processes by which they are selected are pretty much the opposite. The consequence is that Catholics get Pope Francis, while the world gets Ban Ki-moon. Francis feels like exactly what the Church needs. Ban is disappointing-by-design"

One Of Us

John Jeremiah Sullivan | Lapham's Quarterly | 22 March 2013

Short essay on the problem of animal consciousness and its place in religious, literary, philosophical and scientific debate down the centuries. "The animal kingdom is symphonic with mental activity, and of its millions of wavelengths, we’re born able to understand the minutest sliver. The least we can do is have a proper respect for our ignorance"

An "A" From Nabokov

Edward Jay Epstein | New York Review Of Books | 22 March 2013

Reminiscence. "I wandered into Lit 311 at the beginning of my sophomore year at Cornell in September 1954. I was just shopping for a class that met on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. The professor was Vladimir Nabokov, an émigré from tsarist Russia. About six feet tall and balding, he stood, with what I took to be an aristocratic bearing"

Video of the day: Building The World's Largest Ship

Thought for the day:

"Many machines are already smarter than us, at dumb things" — Colin McGinn

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