Trade, Race, Pigs, Model Railways

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

R.B. Myerson | Perspectives | 6th January 2017

America can try to protect its industry; but it cannot protect its markets. “Many understand that something has changed in the relationship with the poorer nations of the world, but there is broad misunderstanding of how this change could be problematic for people in America. Even if America erected trade barriers to block imports from foreign manufacturers, people in the rest of the world could not be compelled to buy American goods that they can now make more cheaply themselves” (1,300 words)

Race, Economics And Pseudo-Science

Brendan O'Flaherty | INET | 6th January 2017

We know by now that race is a convention, not a biological fact. But it still retains the patina of science; and refuting the scientific basis of race does nothing to diminish the terrible reality of the historical and social facts to which it has given rise. The challenge now for economists and other social scientists is to find ways of recognising and redressing the divisions and inequities in society attributable to race, without seeming to return any substance to the concept of race as such (2,100 words)

History Has Gone Off Course

David Skinner | Humanities | 3rd January 2017

Interview with political philosopher Mark Lilla about revolutionary and reactionary views of history. “Throughout the nineteenth century, European nations were largely governed by forces hostile to the revolutionary surge. They had their own thinkers and their own dystopian historical narratives. Now that we no longer have confidence in progressive history we are finally free to notice and study those who did as much to shape the modern world as revolutionaries have” (1,500 words)

My Hogs

James Buchan | London Review Of Books | 18th October 2001

On the history and character of pigs. “The glory days of the British pig were the centuries from long before the Roman occupation to the Middle Ages, when the half-wild, coarse-bristled, dark brown, prick-eared animal of medieval illuminated calendars foraged in the woods that surrounded the outlying pastures of many villages. In autumn and winter they were driven out by swineherds to fatten on beech mast and acorns: a practice, beset with folklore and feudal regulation, known as pannage” (2,800 words)

A Model Railway Journey

Ava Kofman | Cabinet | 1st September 2015

A visit to the world’s largest model railway, the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany. “Housed in a repurposed warehouse, it is a sprawling reproduction of elements of the world’s geography, connected by nearly ten miles of intricate built-to-scale railway tracks, which lengthen each year. The constituent parts are tiny, but the Wunderland’s scale staggers: over 200,000 individually designed human figurines, 930 trains, 8,850 cars and ships, 215,000 trees and 300 people-sized employees” (3,200 words)

Video of the day: The Little Ones — Radio

What to expect:

Jewel-box of a music video, a journey through Americana that starts in a recording studio (3’41”)

Thought for the day

There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know
John Kenneth Galbraith

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