Weekly newsletter 88

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

Heirs Of Mao’s Comrades Rise As New Capitalist Nobility

Shai Oster et al | Bloomberg | 26 December 2012

How children of China's Communist old guard got so rich. They were put in charge of state corporations created in 1980s. Used assets and cashflow to build private real estate empires in 1990s. Now their kids crash Ferraris Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/heirs-mao’s-comrades-rise-new-capitalist-nobility-0)

Philanthropy: You're Doing It Wrong

Felix Salmon | Reuters | 26 December 2012

"Philanthropy is one of those areas where the richer you are, the more likely you are to be doing it spectacularly wrong." So let's run down the list of the ways super-rich donors aren't as helpful as they think they are Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/philanthropy-youre-doing-it-wrong)

The Story Behind Mitt Romney’s Loss To President Obama

Michael Kranish | Boston | 22 December 2012

Republican strategists miscalculated badly. Romney's problems were deeper than was understood. Now those strategists are reverse-engineering the election campaign to work out exactly where and how it went wrong (h/t Daniel Lippman) Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/story-behind-mitt-romney’s-loss-president-obama)

Jerry Seinfeld Intends To Die Standing Up

Jonah Weiner | NYT | 20 December 2012

It helps that Seinfeld is such a likeable character, and that good humour is his stock-in-trade. But wow, this profile is a pleasure to read. "In his jokes he arranges life’s messy confusions into a bouquet of trivial irritants" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/jerry-seinfeld-intends-die-standing)

Well-Chosen Words

Michael Skapinker | FT | 21 December 2012

On the history and plentiful peculiarities of English orthography. "Why is English spelling such a tangle? It started when Latin-speaking missionaries arrived in Britain in the 6th century without enough letters in their alphabet" Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/well-chosen-words)

How He Got It Right

Andrew Hacker | NYRB | 21 December 2012

On big data, probability, Wall Street, Nate Silver, and Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Life gets less predictable, even as our analytical methods improve, because the complexity of our society grows faster than our analytics do Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/how-he-got-it-right)

Yours, Mine, But Not Ours

Corey Robin | Jacobin | 27 December 2012

We live in a world, not of Hobbesian states, but of failed Hobbesian states. We accept a tradeoff between freedom and security. But our governments are selective about whose freedom they repress, and whose security they assure. Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/yours-mine-not-ours)

What Turned Jaron Lanier Against The Web?

Ron Rosenbaum | Smithsonian | 24 December 2012

Silicon Valley visionary, pioneer of virtual reality, recants his faith in Web 2.0: "You can draw an analogy to what happened with communism, where at some point you just have to say there’s too much wrong with these experiments” Comments (http://thebrowser.com/articles/what-turned-jaron-lanier-against-web)

FiveBooks Interview


Catherine S Manegold on Narrative Non-Fiction

The author and former New York Times reporter says that some of the very best writing today is non-fiction — and that seductive narratives can yank readers into the most diverse range of subjects Read on (http://thebrowser.com/interviews/catherine-s-manegold-on-narrative-non-fiction)


Conflict in Syria

The Syrian conflict is causing terrible destruction and loss of life. This report charts how protests against the Assad regime descended into a bitter war  Read on (http://thebrowser.com/reports/syria-revolts)

Reader Recommendations

@nuzav Why it's good to walk | Lynsey Hanley t.co/CXys4WiF via @guardian #browsings (https://twitter.com/search?q=#browsings) More like this (http://thebrowser.com/browsings)

Video of the Week

Havard Rugland – Awesome Football Kicker


From Norway to the NFL?
More videos (http://thebrowser.com/videos)

Quote of the Week

Terry Eagleton, on answers (http://www.amazon.com/Meaning-Life-Very-Short-Introduction/dp/0199532176)

"Liberals tend to prefer questions to answers, since they regard answers as unduly restrictive"

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

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