Newsletter 979

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

“A Man In Love”, By Karl Ove Knausgaard

Rachel Cusk | Guardian | 12th April 2013

Norwegian novelist's six-volume autobiography praised as "The most significant literary enterprise of our times" — the equal of Proust. Central theme: the gap between fiction and real life. In fiction there must be narrative, in life there is none. "Knausgaard writes about modern middle-class private life with a compendiousness and precision that are entirely singular and new ... He shows us, by the route of life, that there is no story, and in so doing he finds, at last, authenticity"

You Lookin’ At Me? Reflections On Google Glass

Jan Chipchase | All Things D | 12th April 2013

Intelligent, nuanced essay on the social implications of Google Glass. To many of us this innovation feels at the same time threatening but inevitable: We are going to be spied on and recorded all the time, and we must adjust our behaviour accordingly. But it doesn't have to be this way. Remember, in 19C, people felt similarly about cameras. Social rules and codes evolve around the acceptable uses of new technology

What If We All Died At Forty?

Tyler Cowen | Marginal Revolution | 12th April 2013

Much wisdom in a short blogpost. "Many people would become more religious and have children quite early. Other people would attempt to maintain a collegiate lifestyle through their death. Old age as an equalizer, and as an enforcer of responsible savings behavior, would be gone. The likelihood of warfare would rise, if only because the sage elderly won’t be around and male hormones will run rampant"

South Korea: The Enabler

Edward Luttwak | Foreign Policy | 12th April 2013

South Korea encourages North Korea's bellicosity. It tries to buy Pyongyang's peace with trade and aid, while directing its own defence build-up against a completely unthreatening Japan. The South teaches the North that extortion pays. "The price of continued US protection [of South Korea] should be the adoption of a serious defense policy, the closure of the Kaesong racket, and a complete end to cash transfers to the North"

Wagner’s Dark Shadow: Can We Separate The Man From His Works?

Dirk Kurbjuweit | Spiegel | 12th April 2013

Panoramic review of Richard Wagner's place in German music, culture and history, as the 200th aniversary of his birth approaches. "Should we allow ourselves to listen to his works with pleasure, even though we know that he was an anti-Semite?", asks Nike Wagner, his great-grand-daughter. To which Spiegel appends a bigger question: "Can Germans enjoy any part of their history in a carefree way?"

Video of the day: Bless You

Thought for the day:

"To predict where we may be ten years from now, we have to imagine the full range of scenarios that are not excluded by today's data" — John Hawks

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