Newsletter 965

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

Roman Abramovich And The Desecration Of London

28th March 2013 | Harry Mount | Spectator

London's finest houses are being hollowed out and knocked through to suit billionaire buyers who want huge, swanky living spaces. "Those handsome corridors, stairs, doors and walls are heading for the skip. And, with them, goes the odd, private, shy genius of the British terraced house: our greatest contribution to world architecture"

Spitballing Indy

26th March 2013 | Patrick Radden Keefe | New Yorker

How to make a Hollywood blockbuster — in this case, Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Notes from conversations in which George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan hashed out ideas for plot and hero, “the doctor with the bullwhip”, whom Lucas first wanted to call Indiana Smith, and who borrowed much of his style from Bogart

What Can Atheists Learn From Believers?

25th March 2013 | Alain de Botton | New Statesman

"Atheists should learn to rescue some of what is beautiful, touching and wise. What is good within the faiths belongs to all of mankind, even the most rational, and deserves to be reabsorbed selectively by the supernatural’s greatest enemies. Religions are intermittently too useful, effective and intelligent to be abandoned to the religious alone"

In 2000, The Year Formerly Known As The Future

27th March 2013 | David Bauer | Medium

"You wake up at 7am on a wonderful morning in early 2000. Dreamy as you are, you grab your phone to check the news and your email. Well, the news is that no one has texted you while you were sleeping and that your phone doesn’t connect to the internet. Because, well, you don’t have a smartphone. Just like everyone else doesn’t"

A Delicate Operation

1st March 2013 | Simon Garfield | Intelligent Life

Urologist specialising in prostate cancer contracts prostate cancer, opts for surgery. "Professor Dasgupta places his colleague’s gland on a piece of gauze and prods and stretches it. It is dark-reddish, grainy and meaty, and if I hadn’t just seen it functioning inside a human being I would have thought it as benign as a piece of chicken tikka"

The Best Way To Save Banking Is To Kill It

27th March 2013 | Matthew Klein | Bloomberg View

Enough pussy-footing around badly-behaved banks. Time for a radical remedy. "Rip all banks, large or small, in two — separate deposit-taking from credit-creation. Back the deposits one-for-one with reserves at the central bank. Then fund loans not with deposits or other money-like liabilities but by tapping investors who understand they've put their savings at risk"

Video of the day: Motorville

Thought for the day:

"One of the gratifying aspects of a major financial crisis is that public understanding of capitalism increases significantly" — William Davies

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