Oil, WeChat, Dance, Google, Seaweed, Prada


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

The Troubled Oil Business

Amory Lovins | Medium | 25th July 2015

Advice to oil companies: Stop. Do something else. Your oil is no longer needed. "Demand is going away — not incrementally but fundamentally". Young people shun cars, grown-ups will get self-driving cars; that change alone will account for most of the cubic mile of oil that the world burns each year. By 2050 America could run an economy more than twice the current size using no coal, oil, or nuclear power. (1,630 words)

One App Rules Them All

Connie Chan | Andreessen Horowitz | 6th August 2015

Avert your gaze momentarily from Google to stare in wonder at WeChat, a Chinese platform which bundles the entire Web into a single app. You can order food, send money, book a doctor's appointment, pay a water bill, play games, check in for a flight, read a magazine, all without leaving the WeChat interface. WeChat "shows what’s possible when an entire country leapfrogs over the PC era directly to mobile" (3,400 words)

Death Of The Dance Critic

Madison Mainwaring | Atlantic | 5th August 2015

Only two full-time dance critics remain in America: Alastair Macaulay of the New York Times and Sarah Kaufman of the Washington Post. "Unless a choreographer presents her work at a major venue like Lincoln Center, she’ll be lucky if she gets a single review. And the review will be a short one". Dance is considered "hopelessly elitist". When the Village Voice did have a dance critic, she was forbidden to use the word "choreographer" (2,630 words)

Do You Trust Larry Page?

Ben Thompson | Stratechery | 10th August 2015

By any other name Google is still the second-biggest enterprise on the planet. So why create a new holding company, Alphabet? Because Larry Page is bored with the legacy business and wants somebody else to run it. "Page is a change-the-world nerd, and it seems clear that he found the day-to-day business of managing a very profitable utility to be not only uninteresting but a distraction from what he truly wanted to do" (1,780 words)

A Little Kelp From My Friends

Rachel Khong | Lucky Peach | 8th August 2015

Seaweeds are our great green fuel, "producing 70 to 80 percent of the world’s oxygen through photosynthesis." All are edible, some are delicious. They pass for plants, but are really algae. The US Government allows foragers ten pounds “wet weight” of algae per day for “personal use”; so you can take a ton of seaweed a year from the Pacific and sell it to chefs by the ounce. “It’s a very big ocean. There’s a lot of seaweed" (5,400 words)

Inside The Fondazione Prada

Keith Miller | Times Literary Supplement | 10th August 2015

Rem Koolhaas channels the Prada aesthetic for a Milan exhibition space. "Both Prada and Koolhaas produce work that one’s arch upper-middle-class grandmother would characterize as jolie laide. They’re never content to make work that’s merely beautiful when they can produce work that is interesting – and in the process, both often attain a peculiar kind of beauty, clunky and complex and a little fetishistic — often, but not always" (1,100 words)

Video of the day: Plastic Bag

What to expect: Werner Herzog narrates the story of a plastic bag looking for its maker (18'15")

Thought for the day

It would be a good thing to buy books if one could also buy the time to read them
Arthur Schopenhauer (https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2015/08/schopenhauer-on-reading)

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