War, Corbyn, Genetics, Roy Cohn, Roxane Gay


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

Life After Armageddon

John Gray | New Statesman | 1st July 2017

The Second World War changed the sensibility of all that it touched, and perhaps of humanity in general. It showed that humans could destroy on a scale previously inconceivable; which inspired hope that humans could also create on such a scale. “The postwar era was energised by an idea of freedom and a feeling of hope. The generation of leaders that emerged was old enough to remember the Great Depression, and determined that nothing like it would happen again” (3,500 words)

Reasons For Corbyn

William Davies | London Review Of Books | 5th July 2017

Astute commentary on the appeal of populism to the modern sensibility. “The internet is less significant as a means of publishing than a means of archiving: What does my data trail say about me? It can seem as if there are only two options: to immerse oneself entirely, or to not give a damn. The figures who succeed in today’s populist politics are the ones who don’t give a damn. In this new environment, there is something worse than to err, and that is to be two-faced” (2,900 words)

Brave New World

Matthew Cobb | New York Review Of Books | 29th June 2017

Fearful account of our seemingly inevitable drift from genetic engineering to eugenics. Tests for genetic diseases are commonplace; the cost of sequencing a human genome has plummeted; techniques for gene-editing are proven. We can “deliberately change the frequency of certain human genes in the population”. Only laws and ethics constrain experimentation. “With the best of intentions and, for the moment, the best of outcomes, we have drifted across a line in the sand” (3,800 words)

How Roy Cohn Changed America

Marie Brenner | Vanity Fair | 5th July 2017

Remembering the New York lawyer and political fixer Roy Cohn when he was mentor to the young Donald Trump. “Roy was a master of situational immorality. He worked with a three-dimensional strategy, which was: 1. Never settle, never surrender. 2. Counter-attack, counter-sue immediately. 3. No matter what happens, no matter how deeply into the muck you get, claim victory and never admit defeat”. According to Trump: “He’s a genius. He’s a lousy lawyer, but he’s a genius” (6,100 words)

My Body Is A Cage Of My Own Making

Roxane Gay | Guardian | 1st July 2017

Memoir. PG-13 for honesty. “Today, I am a fat woman. I don’t think I am ugly. I don’t hate myself in the way society would have me hate myself, but I hate how the world all too often responds to this body. It would be easy to pretend I am just fine with my body as it is. I’m a feminist and I know that it is important to resist unreasonable standards for how my body should look. What I know and what I feel are two very different things. Feeling comfortable isn’t entirely about beauty standards” (3,600 words)

Video of the day: Driving Slowly In The Left-Hand Lane

What to expect:

Vox explainer for American motorists. The left-hand lane is for overtaking (3’15”)

Thought for the day

Interpretation is the revenge of the intellectual upon art
Susan Sontag

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