Supreme Court, Iranian Internet, Kray Twins, Hitler, Social Media


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

The Next Justices

Josh Blackmann & Randy Barnett | Weekly Standed | 5th September 2015

How a Republican president should handle the next appointments to the Supreme Court. Cconfirmation battles are worth it, since they they put a judge in place for decades. Encourage full-throated judges who say what thy think. Focus on the constitution — clauses, not cases. "Zeroing in on a single issue, whether abortion, war on terror, or same-sex marriage, has proved to be a miserable predictor of judicial behavior" (2,800 words)

How Trump Invented Trump

Max Abelson | Bloomberg Business | 3rd September 2015

Donald Trump is selling himself to America as the king of builders, a flawless dealmaker, a masterful manager. But he isn’t really any of those things. "Trump’s empire is almost moving if you spend time with the deputies who admire him, alarming if you focus on its messier deals, and astounding if you remember how close it came to ruin. If you’re Donald Trump, it’s totally underrated" (5,100 words)

The Web We Have To Save

Hossein Derakhshan | Matter | 14th July 2015

Iranian blogger emerges from six years in jail and reflects on the changes around him — in Tehran, and online. "When I log on to Facebook, my personal television starts. All I need to do is to scroll. In the past, the web was powerful and serious enough to land me in jail. Today it feels like little more than entertainment. So much that even Iran doesn’t take some — Instagram, for instance — seriously enough to block" (3,600 words)

The Selling Of The Krays

Duncan Campbell | Guardian | 3rd September 2015

For all their astonishing violence, the Kray twins were mediocre criminals during their brief reign over London's East End in the 1960s. Jailed for life at the age of 35, they showed a greater genius for publicity, selling so many interviews to newspapers and biographers that "they made more money in jail than they ever did when they was out of jail”. Their rehabilitation culminates in this year's high-gloss biopic, Legend (5,900 words)

Hitler’s World

Timothy Snyder | New York Review Of Books | 5th September 2015

Hitler's political philosophy denied the possibility of political thought. Human races were like species. Interbreeding was possible but sinful. Enemies were chosen by nature. Politics was merely nature, and nature was entirely struggle. Hitler "thus broke with the traditions of political thought that presented human beings as distinct from nature in their capacity to imagine and create new forms of association" (4,100 words)

Social Media Is Ruining Politics

Nicholas Carr | Politico | 2nd September 2015

For the third time in a hundred years a new technology is transforming elections. In the 1920s radio disembodied candidates, reducing them to voices. In the 1960s television restored the bodies and made physical appearance a deciding factor. Now social media is changing the dynamics in a very dangerous way: It prizes emotion above reason. "The best way to dominate the online discussion is not to inform but to provoke" (1,000 words)

Video of the day: Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead

What to expect: Film trailer. 18+. How National Lampoon turned into Saturday Night Live (2'30")

Thought for the day

Strategy is the art of creating power
Lawrence Freedman

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