Golden Giraffe Award For Article Of The Month
Each day, The Browser recommends and summarises five intriguing, original pieces of writing, and each month we celebrate our very favourite selections as The Golden Giraffes. Here are the pieces that most surprised and delighted us in November…..
Winner of the Golden Giraffe for November 2019:
J.P. Koning | Moneyness | 2nd November 2019
Considered as money, Bitcoin has been something of a letdown. But if you think of it as a financial betting game, it has been a fantastic success. Unlike the legacy games with which it competes — lotteries, sports betting, online poker — it is incorruptible and open to all. It cannot be regulated or shut down. Trading Bitcoin is a “pure mind game, a Keynesian beauty contest”, in which “we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be” (1,390 words)
Robin Sloan | Year Of The Meteor | 19th November 2019
Fiction. A short story. If it must be assigned a genre, then it is science fiction, if only because it is set in the unspecified future. The protagonist is a “sleep consultant” whose job it is to sample and criticise the provisions of a grand hotel from a sleeper’s perspective. Only by means of incidental observations does the true strangeness of this future world seep into the narrative. “The staff knows I’m awake. Hours ago, they sucked the cold gas out of the room and replaced it with regular air” (2,725 words)
Barbara Ehrenreich | Baffler | 7th November 2019
Speculative essay about the world-view of the paleolithic cave-dwellers of Lascaux, based on the wall-paintings they left behind. This cave-art depicts animals in glorious detail, but humans only as faceless, seemingly comic, stick-figures. “Our ancestors occupied a lowly spot in the food chain. They were able to understand how lowly it was. They knew they were meat; they seemed to know that they knew they were meat — meat that could think. And that, if you think about it long enough, is almost funny” (4,600 words)
Congratulations to J.P., Robin and Barbara! We hope you’ll enjoy their writing as much as we did.
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