Yanomami, Ebola, Turkey & ISIS, Wristwatches, Post-Communism

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

The Voice Of The Shaman

Glenn Shepard Jr | New York Review Of Books | 30th October 2014

The Falling Sky, by Yanomami shaman Davi Kopenawa and French anthropologist Bruce Albert, offers a "vivid and authentic account of shamanistic philosophy ... The footnotes alone harbor monographs on Yanomami botany and zoology, mythology, ritual, and history." Kopenawa’s elaboration of shamanic concepts "goes beyond ethnography and becomes a new genre of native philosophical inquiry" (3,460 words)

Ebola: Failures Of Imagination

Jody Lanard & Peter Sandman | Risk = Hazard + Outrage | 24th October 2014

Americans may be over-reacting to the dangers posed by a few cases of Ebola at home — but they are certainly under-reacting to the prospect of an Ebola pandemic across the developing world. If Ebola arrives in Chicago or London it can probably be contained. But what if it lands in Mumbai or Karachi? Why aren't we talking more about this? There is a risk of panic; but the greater risk is a lack of preparedness (2,460 words)

Whose Side Is Turkey On?

Patrick Cockburn | London Review Of Books | 29th October 2014

Lucid explainer of Turkish dilemma. ISIS jihadis besiege the Syrian town of Kobani, a centre for Kurds, on the border with Turkey. Fighters from the PKK, the Kurdish separatist movement in Turkey, flock to defend Kobani. Turkey fears the PKK and ISIS equally. It doesn't want either to win. But in frustrating a Kurdish victory, Turkey may alienate the West and reignite its domestic conflict with the PKK (3,230 words)

Zero Hour

Joanna Scutts | Lapham's Quarter | 3rd October 2014

The wrist-watch crossed the gender gap during the First World War. Until then the "wristlet" had been a woman's accessory, a jewelled bracelet; men carried pocket watches, which were less convenient and rarely consulted. But the war made accurate timekeeping and a constant awareness of time a matter of general urgency, as new communications technology allowed actions to be coordinated by the minute rather than the day (1,840 words)

Normal Countries: Eastern Europe After Communism

Andrei Shleifer & Daniel Treisman | Harvard | 12th September 2014

The countries of post-communist Europe are often portrayed as failures, "their economies peopled by struggling pensioners and strutting oligarchs." But the facts say otherwise. "Almost all statistics suggest a dramatic improvement in the quality of life since 1989 for citizens of the average post communist country — an improvement that rivals and often exceeds those in other parts of the world" (PDF) (7,450 words)

Video of the day: Music With Sushi

What to expect: How to turn a plate of sushi (or a pair of cats) into a musical instrument

Thought for the day

Every creed promises a paradise which will be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste
Evelyn Waugh (https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/11315.Evelyn_Waugh?page=3)

The Death of Old Europe 3rd November, St Mary Moorfields Church, 7pm
The brilliant and charming David Hargreaves, editor of The Browser Looks Back, will be our guide to the extraordinary parallel world of 1914. Admission is free. Click here to register. (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/august-december-1914-the-death-of-old-europe-tickets-13574558871)

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