Snake Charming, Poetics Of Information, Digital Theft, Accenture, Medieval Asylum

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

It’s Not Climate Change, It’s Everything Change

Margaret Atwood | Matter | 27th July 2015

We are getting better at thinking about climate change. We mostly understand that climate change is happening, we mostly agree that something must be done — which was not the case even five or six years ago. And we are smart people; all is not yet lost. But we need a cultural shift. The culture of coal was production; the culture of oil was consumption; the culture of renewable energy must be stewardship (6,000 words)

Rule Of The Jogi

Amara Guriro | Dawn | 26th July 2015

Life among the Jogis, a gypsy community of snake charmers in the Sindh province of Pakistan. "Each house owns at least one black Indian cobra, but most actually own several snakes, including vipers ... Children play with them as if they were toys. A snake cannot bite a jogi child, and even if it does, it will not harm our child since we administer a drop of snake venom as first food to our newborns. This establishes immunity for life" (1,450 words)

Stars In My Pocket

Paul Stephens | Guernica | 15th July 2015

Lyrical essay about the interplay between modernist literature and information overload. "While avant-garde poetry may not figure prominently in the global information glut, the global information glut figures prominently in avant-garde poetry". Writers were information theorists before information theory was invented. T.S. Eliot posed the central question in 1934: “Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” (4,800 words)

Sleeping Through A Revolution

Jonathan Taplin | Aspen Ideas | 22nd April 2015

A recasting of the digital revolution as one in which the corporations and capitalists — to say nothing of the outright criminals — are capturing value, not creating it. Exhibit A: The consumption of all forms of media is rising, yet the music and publishing industries have suffered "precipitous" declines in revenue. "So where did the money go? Two places: into the pockets of Digital Monopolists and Digital Thieves" (4,540 words)


Ugo Bardi | Resilience | 24th July 2015

Until modern times most agricultural societies practised gleaning — allowing the poor to pick wheat stumps from the field after the harvest was done. Gleaning was an efficient way of managing scarce resources and of subsidising the poor; the recycling of household waste could be its modern counterpart if the well-off would only allow it. But no. "The idea of having the poor scavenging their household waste horrifies them" (3,000 words)

Accenture And The End Of Appraisal

Lucy Kellaway | Financial Times | 27th July 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Accenture and Deloitte decide that annual employee appraisals are a waste of time and money. Workers should get feedback from managers whenever necessary. Duh. But will Accenture and Deloitte apologise for having "stuffed" their consulting clients with "useless annual appraisal systems" in years gone by? Fat chance. The consultants charged to put the systems in, now they can charge to take them out (828 words)

Seeking Sanctuary In Medieval England

Eric Grundhauser | Atlas Obscura | 24th July 2015

"Two guys are drinking in a tavern. They get a little too deep into their cups. One of them pulls a knife. He kills the other guy. First thing he’s gonna do in that situation if he’s in England any time between 1300 and the abolition of sanctuary in 1624 is run to the nearest church". And yes, sanctuary an attractive short-term option. But to ever get out of the church again you have to forfeit all your goods and leave England (1,330 words)

Video of the day: Apollo Robbins, Master Pickpocket

What to expect: Pickpocket demonstrates his skills to New Yorker writer Adam Green (6'48")

Thought for the day

I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you
Friedrich Nietzsche

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