Free 30 min read

Browser Interviews: Applied Divinity Studies


Uri: Tonight I'm excited to be sitting down with the pseudonymous author of Applied Divinity Studies.

On [Field] Culture Writing

Uri: ADS, you’re a prolific blogger spanning a range of topics that feel quite coherent to me even though it’s hard for me to define precisely, and a lot of which I think could be called "tech culture.”

I’ve always found [something] culture to be an interesting category of thought and writing, and I’m wondering if you’d accept that designation, and if so what you think of it. What does it mean to be a [something] culture writer, rather than a [something] writer directly? Do you think all fields eventually develop this kind of category around them, or are some fields more amenable to that than others?

Applied Divinity Studies: In software it's usually pretty clear. Some of the writing is actually technical. I can't

Free 5 min read

The Best Articles on Afghanistan


Every day, The Browser selects and summarises the five best articles from across the web on every imaginable topic. Here, we look through our ten-year archive for the most interesting reads about Afghanistan.


Tetlock And The Taliban

Richard Hanania | Substack | 25th August 2021 | U

Thoughts provoked by America's failure to stabilise Afghanistan, despite spending billions of dollars and deploying thousands of specialists in warfare and nation-building. What colossal failure of expertise allowed pundits and policymakers to spend 20 years "making a living off the idea that the US was doing something reasonable in Afghanistan"? And what else are they getting wrong? (5,300 words)


The Lion And The Porcupine

Angelica Oung | Typology | 19th August 2021 | U

America's withdrawal from Afghanistan has a message for Taiwan. Taiwan will have to rely less on America and more on its own resources to deter China. “We have to do enough to make Xi

Free 11 min read

Browser Interviews: Sylvia Bishop


Baiqu: Welcome back to The Browser Interviews. Today I’m with Sylvia Bishop, who is a children's book writer with nine titles translation into 16 languages, and is a part of a musical duo by the name of Peablossom Cabaret. Welcome Sylvia.

Sylvia: Thank you. It's lovely to be here.

How to sound smart in a conversation

Baiqu: So today I really want to just get a list of recommendations from you for our readers. If you’re ready, we can just jump right in.

Question number one, what would you recommend if I wanted to come across as being smart in a conversation?

Sylvia:Probably not saying very much, you're far safer that way. This is maybe a personal prejudice that I tend to think the longer someone talks, the less they probably know about it. But also if I was being more cynical, the odd cutting remark would

Free 13 min read

Browser Interviews: Jordan Schneider


Baiqu: Welcome to The Browser interviews, today I'm with Jordan Schneider, who is a China technology analyst at The Rhodium group, as well as the host of The ChinaTalk podcast and newsletter. Welcome to The Browser.

Jordan: Thanks so much for having me. I've been a subscriber for like seven years. You guys make me an interesting and intelligent individual. Without The Browser, I would be much more basic. So thank you so much for doing all that you guys.

Baiqu: I didn't pay him to say this. So thank you, Jordan. That's awesome.

So as a friend of The Browser and an interesting individual yourself, I thought I'd just ask you for a bunch of recommendations. If you're ready, we'll just dive right in.

Jordan: Let's do it.

How to become a China expert by starting with Mao

Baiqu: Jordan, what would you recommend if someone wanted to know

Free 18 min read

The Browser Interviews Sir Charles Saumarez Smith


Sir Charles Saumarez Smith / Thames & Hudson

Sir Charles Saumarez Smith was Director of the National Portrait Gallery in London from 1994 to 2002, and the Director of the National Gallery from 2002 to 2007. He was the Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts in London from 2007 until 2018. His latest book, The Art Museum in Modern Times, was published this year by Thames & Hudson.  

Interview by Beatrice Wilford. Listen to the audio here.


Beatrice Wilford: You were Director of the National Portrait Gallery from 1994 to 2000, where you oversaw a major extension and renovation of the gallery, mainly in the form of the Ondaatje wing, which opened in 2000. What was the logic behind the changes?

Charles Saumarez Smith: We had a very straightforward competition in 1994, very soon after I started, and basically, we wanted to do three things. One was

Free 23 min read

Browser Interviews: Laura McInerney


Baiqu: Welcome to the Browser Interviews, today I'm with Laura McInerney who is an education journalist, and the founder of Teacher Tapp, and former high school teacher. Interesting fact, she was once taken to court by the UK government for asking a question.

So Laura, first of all, welcome to The Browser.

Laura: Welcome. I'm not going to take you to court for asking me any questions I don't think...possibly.

On being taken on court for being vexatious

Baiqu: Let's see how it goes. Obviously my first question has to be, can you tell us the story about the UK government taking you to court?

Laura: Yeah, it was really weird and quite unexpected. So I've been a teacher for six years and then in 2012, I decided to do some studying and I wanted to study a concept called free schools in the UK, which is the same

Free 12 min read

Browser Interviews: Stella Zawistowski


Baiqu: Welcome to the Browser Interviews, today I am sitting down with Stella Zawistowski, who is one of the fastest crossword solvers in America. Her speed record for a Sunday New York Times puzzle is four minutes and 33 seconds. These days she's making cryptic crosswords for the New Yorker and The Browser. Stella wants you to know why cryptics are the best.

Welcome Stella to The Browser.

Stella: Thank you. I do know want people to know why cryptics are the best.

Baiqu: It's so wonderful to have you here, and before we start, can we just talk about how aside from cryptics you're also doing a million other things, including a full-time job and a very interesting hobby. Would you mind sharing with everyone what it is that you do?

Stella: Sure, I mean I have a full-time job in advertising, and I also really love the gym.

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