Ravensbrück, Radiation, Masochism, Indian History, Germany & Greece, IMF & Greece

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

The Missing History Of Ravensbrück

Sarah Helm | Longreads | 14th July 2015

"Women arriving in the night sometimes thought they were near the coast because they tasted salt on the wind; they also felt sand underfoot. When daylight came they saw that the camp was built on the edge of a lake and surrounded by forest. Himmler liked his camps to be in areas of natural beauty, and preferably hidden from view. The horrific crimes enacted there and the courage of the victims are largely unknown" (13,600 words)

Is Your Fear Of Radiation Irrational?

Geoff Watts | Mosaic | 14th July 2015

Yes. Nobody died from the Fukushima meltdown after the Japanese tsunami. Premature deaths from Chernobyl could have been largely prevented by better public health measures. Pollution from coal is much more harmful to health than radiation from nuclear power; small doses of radiation may well be beneficial. Children of survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombs show no increased rate of cancer (3,670 words)

Suspenseful Encounters Of The Masochistic Kind

Darius Lerup | King's Review | 14th July 2015

Are sadism and masochism two sides of the same coin, or are they "two distinct sexual economies"? Peter Strickland’s film, The Duke of Burgundy, argues for separate worlds. "In contrast to the sadist’s forceful and provocative demonstration of obscenity, the masochist is above all romantic and decent ... The masochist aims to coerce romantic partners into inflicting contractually obligated and lawful violence" (3,890 words)

India’s Second World War

Simon WInchester | New Statesman | 9th July 2015

The history of India in the Second World War reads very differently when stripped of its British perspective. The story becomes one of Indians forced to fight in a war that was not their own. Raghu Karnad's Farthest Field is a "masterpiece"; it follows three Indians who died fighting "on the wrong side of history” — for Britain. Yasmin Khan's The Raj At War argues that the travails of war led "inexorably" to India’s independence (2,270 words)

Germany’s Conditional Surrender

Gideon Rachman | Financial Times | 14th July 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Germany has agreed to a third huge bail-out of Greece conditional on promises of reform that have been given unwillingly and are unlikely to be kept. This is not a German victory. It is at a tragedy and a farce for everyone involved, including Europe's taxpayers. To call it a coup is equally ridiculous: "The real constraint on Greece’s freedom of actions is not the undemocratic nature of the EU. It is the fact that Greece is bust" (908 words)

Greece: Past Critiques And The Path Forward

Olivier Blanchard | IMF Direct | 9th July 2015

Written before the weekend summit, but a good road-map of events leading to the eventual tentative agreement, as seen by the IMF. There was no other way. If Greece had fully defaulted on its debt in 2010, it would still have been running a budget deficit equivalent to 10% of GDP, with no access to funding. It would have been forced to slash spending by 10% of GDP overnight — a much bigger shock than any of the Troika proposals (1,470 words)

Video of the day: Before There Was Photoshop

What to expect: How graphic artists used to make up advertisements with scissors and paste (11'16")

Thought for the day

Scarier than resistance being futile is acquiescence being futile
Venkatesh Rao

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