Titanic, Thelonious Monk, History, Life, Palau

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

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The Making Of Titanic

Sarah Marshall | Buzzfeed | 17th December 2017

Sprawling but always interesting reappraisal of James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ twenty years after its release. The studios were bracing for a vast flop; Cameron delivered a financial and critical triumph. And, with hindsight, perhaps he gave the zeitgeist a nudge. “Girls of 9 and 10 and 11 and 12 and 13 fell in love, not just with Leo DiCaprio, but with the whole story they had first found him in. We lived in a world where society might have to fall apart before we could be liberated” (9,400 words)

Thelonious Monk’s Tips For Musicians

Josh Jones | Open Culture | 18th December 2017

Monk’s advice to his musicians, scribbled down by a saxophonist in 1960, is as brilliant and original as his music. “What you don’t play can be more important than what you do play”. “Pat your foot and sing the melody in your head when you play”. “When you are swinging, swing some more!” “A note can be small as a pin or as big as the world, it depends on your imagination”. “Don’t sound anybody for a gig, just be on the scene”. “The inside of the tune is the part that makes the outside sound good” (770 words)

An Intimate History Of America

Clint Smith | Paris Review | 18th December 2017

Reflections on a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. “Many of the men and women screaming at and spitting on Ruby Bridges are still alive. Many of the people who threw rocks at Dr King are still voting in our elections. We tell ourselves that the most nefarious displays of racial violence happened long ago, when they were, in fact, not so long ago at all. These images and videos are filled with people who are still among us” (1,190 words)

A World That Can’t Learn From Itself

Umair Haque | Eudaimonia | 18th December 2017

America is a bad role model, because it does not believe in learning from other countries. “There is a myth of exceptionalism in America that prevents Americans from looking outward. It is made up of littler myths about greed being good, the weak deserving nothing, society being an arena for the survival of the fittest — and America is busy recounting those myths, not learning from the world. The swiftest way to learn is to look at what others are doing and copy what works” (1,500 words)

The Archipelago That Baseball Built

David Walter | Deadspin | 2nd November 2017

“What would a country run by baseball players look like? Would it be a sabermetrics-driven technocracy? A clutch-obsessed theocracy? A cup-adjusting macho dystopia? This isn’t a thought experiment. It’s happening right now in Palau, a tiny archipelago of some 20,000 souls located in the Western Pacific. Baseball has dominated the cultural and sporting life of Palau for almost 100 years, which is about four times longer than Palau’s been an independent nation” (2,700 words)

Video of the day How Machines Learn

What to expect:

Charming and lucid explainer about neural networks and machine learning from CGP Grey (8’54”)

Thought for the day

Our most important thoughts are those that contradict our emotions
Paul Valéry

Podcast of the day Majd’s Diary | Radio Diaries

Young woman tells of growing up in Saudi Arabia. She wants to be a scientist, her parents want her to marry

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