Weekly newsletter 84

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

A selection of our best article links of the week, plus featured FiveBooks interviews, videos, quotations and more.

Weekly Newsletter

Best of the Week

Don’t Be A Wife

June Thomas | Slate | 29 November 2012

"I'm a lesbian and I'm never getting married ... Does my discomfort at being considered another woman’s wife stem from internalized self-loathing? Maybe, but mostly I’m responding to the essential conservatism of marriage mania" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/don’t-be-wife)

Purpose Of War In Gaza: More Of The Same

Ken Fraser | Drum | 26 November 2012

Why the ceasefire won't last. "There are too many advantages to be gained from perpetual warfare. Insecurity is gold in politics. Any kind of crisis increases support for incumbent leaders. War is the juiciest crisis of them all" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/purpose-war-gaza-more-same)

Moral Machines

Gary Marcus | New Yorker | 27 November 2012

Google's driverless cars are legal in three states. Proof that we need machines which can make value judgements, not only technical ones. What if there's a choice between hitting an errant schoolbus, and plunging over a ravine? Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/moral-machines)

Human Sacrifice

Peter Leeson | Peter Leeson | 26 November 2012

"Human sacrifice is a technology for protecting property rights. It improves property protection by destroying part of sacrificing communities' wealth, which depresses the expected payoff of plundering them". Academic paper (PDF) Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/human-sacrifice)

Is This The End?

James Atlas | NYT | 24 November 2012

Reflections on Hurricane Sandy. "Whether in 50 or 100 or 200 years, there’s a good chance that New York City will sink beneath the sea. Or the city could move to another island, the way Torcello was moved to Venice, stone by stone" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/end)

Good Gas, Bad Gas

Marianne Lavelle | National Geographic | 16 November 2012

Methane. "Burn natural gas and it warms your house. But let it leak, from fracked wells or the melting Arctic, and it warms the whole planet." Arctic methane could add a lot to global warming. Is there any way of capturing it? Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/good-gas-bad-gas)

Killer Swarms

John Arquilla | Foreign Policy | 26 November 2012

It wasn't the Russian winter that stopped Napoleon in 1812. It was guerilla warfare. Russians sent bands of Cossacks to harry French columns and supply lines. Classic instance of "swarming": Simultaneous attack from all sides Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/killer-swarms)

FiveBooks Interview


Roman Krznaric on The Art of Living

To learn how to live well we must look to the past, says the author of a new book on the subject. He recommends five books, from Thoreau to Orwell, that inspire us to live more adventurously Read on (http://thebrowser.com/interviews/roman-krznaric-on-art-living)



Cars, nuclear plants, computers, phones, webcams -- they all succumb to hackers in the end Read on (http://thebrowser.com/reports/hackers)

Reader Recommendations

@aeonmag UK universities have much to learn re #philanthropy – not least how to restrain its academic influence t.co/t2VecfKI #browsings (https://twitter.com/search?q=#browsings) More like this (http://thebrowser.com/browsings)

Book of the Week

Book of the Day (http://thebrowser.com/recommended/living-denial-by-kari-marie-norgaard)

Living in Denial  by Kari Marie Norgaard

Carol Gilligan says (http://thebrowser.com/recommended/living-denial-by-kari-marie-norgaard) : This asks why people with knowledge about climate change often fail to translate that knowledge into action. It describes many kinds of denial” FiveBooks Archive (http://thebrowser.com/fivebooks)

Video of the Week

Why I Love Vultures


They feed on flesh. And they need our sympathy More videos (http://thebrowser.com/videos)

Quote of the Week

Arthur Schopenhauer, on genius (http://www.danpink.com/2012/11/genius-vs-talent)

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see”

More quotes (http://thebrowser.com/quotations)

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