Religion, Photography, Bookbinding, Brexit Books, Steve Dunleavy


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

Holy Wars

James Chappel | Boston Review | 25th April 2016

What is the proper place of religion in a secular society? For most of the last century in developed countries that question was outsourced to social scientists who replied that religion would soon either vanish altogether, or at least vanish from the public space. Those views have proved wrong, or premature, and the question has had to be reformulated. We now ask: How can people live together if they have fundamental, irreconcilable beliefs about the nature of the universe? (3,500 words)

The Ankara Asassination As Art

Jerry Saltz | Vulture | 20th December 2016

“I’ve never seen anything like the photographs by Burhan Ozbilici of the assassination of the Russian ambassador at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey. A pathological act of bloodletting, terrorism, nationalism, a state of political siege. But in the stark white, pristine setting of an upscale art gallery showing contemporary art, with patrons, assassin, and victim all dressed in elegant black, the photographs themselves look surreal and, in some very painful ways, beautiful” (1,100 words)

The Last Bookbinder On The Lower East Side

Dwyer Murphy | Literary Hub | 21st December 2016

The shop at 135 Henry Street has been a bindery for as long as anyone can remember. At some point it became known as Henry Bookbinding — which made its owner, ex officio, Henry. “He measures by sight and with homemade tools that have no names except in Yiddish. His predecessor, his brother’s father-in-law, kept working in the shop until well into his nineties. That seems more or less to be Henry’s goal. Very little about the work has changed over the years, which suits him fine” (1,150 words)

Superintelligence

Maciej Cegłowski | Idle Words | 23rd December 2016

Alarmist claims about artificial intelligence are self-serving, navel-gazing, tech-industry propaganda. “California has the highest poverty rate in the America, even though it’s home to Silicon Valley. I see my industry doing nothing to improve the lives of indigent people around us. But if you’re committed to the idea of superintelligence, AI research is the most important thing you could do right now — more important than politics, malaria, starving children, war or global warming” (7,900 words)

Thirty Things About Brexit

Andrew Sparrow | Guardian | 22nd December 2016

Digest of the main points and best quotes from five big books about Britain’s EU referendum. “We weren’t meant to win. That line, ‘You were only meant to blow the bloody doors off’ — it’s true. The plan was to run the remain side close enough to scare the EU into bigger concessions. None of us thought we were ever going to win. With the possible exception of Dominic Cummings, who just wanted to drive a car into the Camerons’ living room. It’s all such a mess. I want a second referendum now” (4,200 words)

The Writer They Call Mr Blood And Guts

Chet Flippo | Rolling Stone | 19th April 1979

Profile of Steve Dunleavy, the weatherbeaten Australian newspaperman and “one-man subcuture” who became something of a legend as crime reporter and night editor for Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post. “The Times may have five correspondents in Tehran, but they’ve got nobody in the Bronx. From reading the Times, you would never know that the area right around the Times building is full of worse human flotsam and jetsam than even William Burroughs could imagine” (8,400 words)

Video of the day: Astray To The Space Edge

What to expect:

“Guided by the stars, a gang of bikers explore the cosmos on the roads of an imaginary world” (1’40”)

Thought for the day

Please do not understand me too quickly
André Gide

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