Retailing, Myanmar, Princess Diana, Camels, Bail

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Disruption And E-Commerce

13D Research | 31st August 2017

Time to re-calibrate expectations about shopping. Shops are back. The experience of Alibaba in China suggests that online-only and offline-only retail are both endangered species; and, of the two, online is the more vulnerable. Only Amazon has made a success of online-only — and even Amazon is now experimenting with physical stores. “The true threat to retail in China is that the country’s e-commerce giants will turn their attention to doing bricks-and-mortar — better” (1,400 words)

The Hateful Monk

Gavin Jacobson | New York Review Of Books | 31st August 2017

Ashin Wirathu, Burmese nationalist and Buddhist monk, subject of Barbet Schroeder’s documentary, The Venerable W, preaches inner peace and outward violence. “Wirathu is composed and polite, with a sweet, impish grin. His voice is smooth and its cadence measured. Yet beneath this civil disguise seethes an interminable hatred toward the 4% of Myanmar’s population that is Muslim. Wirathu is responsible for inciting some of the worst acts of ethnic violence in the country’s recent history” (1,700 words)

The Princess Myth

Hillary Mantel | Guardian | 30th August 2017

On the childhood, marriage, divorce, death and after-life of Diana, Princess of Wales. “The end of royal status stripped away Diana’s protection. There was a buzz in the air, a doomy feeling, as if her options were running out. She still played games with the press, but they knew a dirtier game. She teased them, and they chased her down, not killing her yet. She is supposed to have feared sinister forces, anticipated that her end. As every fortune-teller knows, such hints assume precision in retrospect” (3,950 words)

Don’t Let The Camels Bite You

Robert Skinner | The Monthly | 31st August 2017

A ten-day trek across the Australian outback, with camels. “In the afternoons we’d pull up an hour or two before sunset and let the camels out to feed. They’d trundle off and start pulling apart the native vegetation, and we would start a fire and get cooking. The camels didn’t need to drink once for the entire trip, though I can’t say the same for their handlers. They started drinking port from a goon sack at lunch, and were pretty much trolleyed by the time dinner was served” (3,100 words)

I Set A Rapist Free

Ronald Kessler | Marshall Project | 31st August 2017

Judge explains why he gave bail to a sex offender who was re-arrested for rape a week later, and how he coped with the reaction. “Here was my dilemma: The Constitution presumes people charged with a crime to be innocent, but it also allows for bail to be set. This inconsistency is considered by judges across the country every single day. Lewis had not been convicted of a violent offense in more than 20 years. I decided to follow the constitutional presumption of release” (1,600 words)

Video of the day: Art For Lawyers

What to expect:

A law firm commissions an artwork. What do the lawyers want, and why? The artist investigates (8’58”)

Thought for the day

Every fear hides a wish
David Mamet

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