Sex Education, Simon Kuper, Sport, Alvin Roth, Sharks

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

Sex Education Around The World

Jill Lepore | Foreign Affairs | 1st July 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

"Whether sex education is a failure depends on what counts as success, and on that there is no consensus. Is the aim a reduction in the rate of teenage pregnancy, or disease, or family size, or the rate of divorce, or violence against homosexuals? Or is it an increase in the rate of high-school graduation for girls, or the age of first marriage, or the frequency of female orgasm, or the use of contraception, or the birthrate?" (2,620 words)

How I Got Greece Into The Euro

Simon Kuper | Financial Times | 3rd July 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Simon Kuper recounts how a Financial Times article he wrote in 1998 fuelled a run on the drachma, which bounced Greece into the European exchange-rate mechanism, which became the euro. It was a small story at the time. "Most traders scarcely noticed. They weren't paid to think about little Greece. They saw it as merely an amusing subplot: the Greeks had lucked into the euro and would now be fine" (850 words)

Bill Shankly, Noam Chomsky And The Value of Sport

David Papineau | More Important Than That | 2nd July 2015

On the distinction between sports and games. Sport is "any activity whose primary purpose is the exercise of physical skills". Sport lends itself naturally to competition, but does not require it. Playing well is an end in itself — "after all, if people got nothing out of matches they lost, it is hard to see why most contests would take place". Competition may be vital for spectator sport, "but that is a different issue" (2,000 words)

Alvin Roth On Matching Markets

Douglas Clement | Minneapolis Fed | 15th June 2015

Stanford economist talks about how markets work, how they fail, and how to fix them. "There are markets where price does all the work: the New York Stock Exchange, for instance. The labor market is very personal, but price also matters a lot. For school choice and kidney exchange, we don’t let prices work at all. Lots of markets fall somewhere between kidney exchange and the market for wheat" (8,900 words)


Peter Benchley | Holiday | 1st November 1967

The article which inspired Jaws. "Eventually someone will be attacked off Cape Cod or Jones Beach or Westhampton Beach on Long Island and there will be a great hue and cry to rid the world of sharks. For despite the fact that a bather is more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by sharks, there will always be something primevally horrid about the sight of the black triangular fin slipping through the waves" (2,900 words)

Video of the day: The Who: My Generation (Glastonbury 2015)

What to expect: Live performance, with Roger Daltrey in good voice, and updated lyrics (4'26")

Thought for the day

I’m working on my life story. I don’t mean I’m putting it together. I’m taking it apart
Margaret Atwood

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