Paraphilia, Shirley Jackson, Esperanto, Supreme Court, Gang Culture


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

Why Would Someone Choose To Be A Monster?

Simon Lewsen | Walrus | 28th September 2016

A psychologist seeks a biological basis for pedophilia. “Pedophilia could stem from a cross-wire effect, where stimuli that should not be processed as erotic — the sight of a child — are sent to the wrong parts of the brain. That contradicts ideas that pedophilia results from childhood abuse or poor parenting, or that pedophiles are just naturally sadistic people. The disorder is unspeakably monstrous in the eyes of society, but from a clinical, neuroscience perspective it’s a communication error” (2,300 words)

The Novelist Disguised As A Housewife

Ruth Franklin | The Cut | 27th September 2016

Shirley Jackson wrote 17 books while raising four children with no help from her husband. Friends marvelled that she found the time and energy to write at all. But it was her family that made her writing possible: “The children nurtured their mother’s imagination. Jackson delighted in their developing minds. Her empathic capacity to see her children as they truly were also was important to her fiction. Her career began to gain traction only after she became a mother” (2,700 words)

A New History Of Esperanto

Ross Perlin | LA Review Of Books | 2nd October 2016

Review of Bridge Of Words, a history of Esperanto, by Esther Schor. A century before Linux, Esperanto perfected the open-source model: All speakers had a year to comment and vote on proposed changes to the language before their eventual adoption. Esperanto’s ingenious grammar used prefixes and suffixes to “work virtuoso wonders”: –eg- made anything bigger, -et- made anything smaller, mal- turned anything into its opposite, –e transformed any noun into an adverb (1,600 words)

Game Theory At The Supreme Court

Avinash K. Dixit & David McAdams | Harvard Business Review | 26th September 2016

Analysis of the manoeuvring to fill the late Justice Anton Scalia’s Supreme Court seat. “Everyone involved in the Garland nomination is likely to emerge a loser: Garland himself, left dangling for a full year; Obama, failing to fill a vacant seat; Senate Republicans, likely losing some of their own seats, due to voter backlash; Clinton (if she wins), wasting her first 100 days in a bitter fight over the future of the Supreme Court; and the American people, left without a fully functioning Court” (1,500 words)

Dispatches From The Rap Wars

Forrest Stuart | Chicago | 19th September 2016

Sociologist embeds with Chicago street gang and discovers their business model: Members maximise their notoriety as a means of promoting their rap videos, hoping for a recording contract. “Their model is inspired by the local patron saint of drill rap, Chief Keef, who successfully leveraged the persona of a black superpredator. The more he portrayed himself as a reckless, gun-toting, ruthless murderer, the more attention he got. Eventually, Interscope Records signed him to a $6 million deal” (4,500 words)

Video of the day: How Boeing Builds A 737

What to expect:

Documentary. On the production line at Boeing’s Renton plant, which builds 42 jets per month (2’28”)

Thought for the day

Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get
Robert Heinlein

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