Proofereading, Robot Rights, North Korea, Going Blind, Tony Blair

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

Between You & Me

Mary Norris | Literary Hub | 13th April 2015

Reminiscences of a New Yorker copy editor: "The big challenge was what were called Gould proofs. Eleanor Gould read everything — everything except fiction, which she had been taken off years earlier because she treated everyone the same, be it Marcel Proust or Annie Proulx. By the time she was done with a proof the pencil lines looked like dreadlocks. Some of the pieces were ninety columns long, and Mr. Shawn took every query" (1,900 words)

Human Rights For Robots

Scott Adams | Dilbert | 13th April 2015

"Some day you will see laws that say you can’t discriminate against robots in hiring. And that makes sense because the robots will be owned by humans, and the humans will be trying to extract the greatest value from their worker robots by sending them out to jobs. Employment laws will change thanks to robot industry lobbying efforts, and that includes equal employment access for robots, whether it is good for most humans or not" (900 words)

How North Koreans Get By

Daniel Tudor & James Pearson | Reuters | 13th April 2015

The state monopoly of the North Korean economy collapsed with the famines of the mid-1990s and has never recovered. Private enterprise remains illegal, but it is tolerated and almost universal — indeed, it is almost obligatory. "Middle and high-income families not actively engaged in business are at risk of being investigated by the authorities. Such a family would be assumed to have a less tolerable source of income" (2,380 words)

What It’s Like To Go Blind

Cristina Hartmann | Vox/Quora | 10th April 2015

A blind person explains. "To many sighted people, the prospect of going blind is terrifying. They think about what they would lose: independence, visual beauty, reading labels at Costco. Pretty awful, huh? ... It's not that bad. It's life, and you learn how to deal with it. You don't lose as much independence as you'd think. Visual beauty is only one form of beauty. And reading labels at Costco isn't all that interesting" (2,220 words)

The Mind Of Tony Blair

Alex Perry | Newsweek | 10th April 2015

Sympathetic portrait of Tony Blair in post-political life. He does honourable humanitarian and diplomatic work in Africa and the Middle East, though his public profile is tarnished by his willingness to sell his consulting services to dictators, banks and mining companies. His time as British prime minister gave him his entry into a global elite where his place is now secure. He can do whatever he wants (10,200 words)

Video of the day: Time Of Flight

What to expect: Abstract animation by Mike Pelletier, with music by Arjen Jongeneel (3'30")

Thought for the day

Every man who loves his country hopes for the suppression of half his compatriots
Emil Cioran (

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