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14] From Bolivia, strikes
paralyze cities, threaten Mesa's presidency. From Syria, a reformer
monopoly of salvation. From Iran, an op-ed on the controversy about
staging a national
referendum. From Japan, the island nation faces a population crisis but
does not appear to like the possible solution: mass immigration.
From Germany, the Green
Party celebrates its 25th anniversary. Croatia enters a
problematic phase of development.
An article on why eurosceptics
should vote for the Constitution. Immanuel Wallerstein on Life
After Arafat. From TNR, Peter Beinart on how Arnold
Schwarzenegger unveiled a
proposal that could do more to improve U.S. politics than any
government reform in a long, long time. Bloggers' rights are up
for debate in an Apple lawsuit. And you can read the new statement
from Not In Our Name
[Jan 13] From Canada, John Alexander Macdonald was a man of ideas. With ice retreating, wrangling has already started on the uncovering of wastes and riches of the far north. From PINR, charting a new geopolitical reality: Ukraine in 2005. The Baltics face an awkward decision over commemorating a victory during World War II. For all the hostility between Taiwan and China, their interdependent economies should help to keep the peace. From The Washington Monthly, Cosby in 2008? It's time for Democrats to think beyond the usual suspects. President Bush says he doesn't "see how you can be president without a relationship with the Lord". Although Americans are far more religious than Europeans, they know far less about religion. Chronicles' Srdja Trifkovic on Mr. Bush and the lure of pseudo-reality. The Heritage Foundation is no longer happy with Bush. From TAP, Paul Starr on why we need Social Security. From TAS, on the Mystery of the Vanishing Nickel. And from BBC Magazine, a look at the new face of slave labour, and how many are in two minds about talking over their feelings
[Jan 12] From Japan, an interview with Samuel Huntington. From Canada, an interview with Malcolm Gladwell. From The Globalist, a return of the resource curse in Chad? Is peace breaking out across Africa? It is too early to be sure but the year has begun on a hopeful note. William Powers on how Liberia's development failures have paradoxically led to a success. A look at Sudan's changing map. The EU has leap-frogged the US and Japan to become China’s biggest trade partner, as China wants to build world-class companies. An article on the relationship between the UN and New York City. Conservatives insist America is generous. But their arguments are weak. From The Washington Monthly, why do Democrats promote campaign advisors who lose races? Why Democrats need to take a page from Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom. And from CJR, is it possible to do great journalism if the public does not care?
[Jan 11] From Brazil, stun the right, outrage the left: Two years of PT rule. From Germany, the recent discovery of a case of the "Wolf Man" disease has sparked new interest in hypertrichosis. From PINR, a look at China's Geostrategy: Playing a Waiting Game. The EU presidency passes to Luxembourg. Romania's attempt at clean start dogged by tainted past. Christopher Caldwell on Robert Kilroy-Silk, the Anti-Europeanist. For French journalist Georges Malbrunot, the captivity is over, but not the fear. Jorge Castaneda on Latin America's two lefts. This is a big year for world trade. But first, the WTO must find a new boss, and America must pick a new trade chief. Here's The Globalist’s “Person of the Year 2004”. From The Nation, a look at the Right's assault of Kofi Annan. Thomas Sowell on how President Bush needs to carve out his place in history. From BBC Magazine, a look at the new face of slave labour, and how many are in two minds about talking over their feelings. From TAS, on the Mystery of the Vanishing Nickel. And kitsch and confidential: Dolly Parton is hip again
[Jan 10] From Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas wins presidential election (and more). From South Korea, Song Du-yul, a Habermasian Korean-German professor, wins his case in court. From Colombia, a crackdown on crime has brought big gains, but more females are turning to violence. An article on some of the economic lessons learned in Central Europe for the rest of the region. Larry Diamond on how a vote could derail democracy in Iraq. An op-ed on how we are all torturers now. The realities on today’s kibbutzim are a reminder that nothing is perfect in life. US economist Stanley Fisher is named the new governor of the Bank of Israel. From Newsweek, a final grade for Wolfensohn, and a talk with John Kerry about why he lost and his plans for another run. Newt Gingrich considers a presidential run. WFB on saving the Democrats. An interview with Congressman Barney Frank. From Slate, The New Blue Federalists: The case for liberal federalism. From Salon, will diversity continue to flourish in the wake of LiveJournal purchase by blogging start-up Six Apart? And what's the internet's future? It depends on whom you ask
[Weekend] From Great Britain, David Goodhart on why the election debate will return the country to the Victorian age. From South Africa, Nelson Mandela announces his son died of Aids. From FT, how Ukraine is one of Europe’s great submerged nations, while India is another country. A column on rescuing the Amazon forests. Our descendants may feel they have a considerable amount in common with the tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. From 'Acts of God' to 'Acts of Nature' and 'Acts of Man' - humanity's reading of catastrophes has changed through the ages. Deepak Lal on why the entire world would benefit if the United States were to accept its identity as an empire and act accordingly. From The Economist, why the new Congress could be one of the most interesting on record. From Slate, Dahlia Lithwick on Alberto Gonzales' refusal to defend even the defensible. From The Village Voice, Hiphop turns 30: Whatcha celebratin' for? And here are some stories you may have missed
[Jan 7] From Peru, the Andahuaylas incident forms part of a broader pattern of lawlessness in parts of the country. From Ukraine, an interview with Viktor Yushchenko. Russian meddling in Ukraine’s election is not an anomaly, but part of Moscow’s broader strategy to reassert control over its former domain. Saudi Arabia today is much more effective at combating terrorism than the newly-liberated Iraq. From the US Department of State, a report on Global Anti-Semitism. Postelection, citizenship applications from Jewish refugees and their descendants are up at the Manhattan consulate of Germany. From In These Times, an interview with Free Press founder Robert McChesney about current media reform, and here are the Progressive Priorities Survey Results. And more and more on Susan Sontag
[Jan 6] From Algeria, the Armed Islamic Group has been virtually wiped out. From Ukraine, now the hard part for Viktor Yushchenko. From France, a look at the Socialists’ new European identity. From Pakistan, does research find that wealth equals happiness? Why the chances of peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan are, if anything, becoming more remote. From The Globalist, Thabo Mbeki on a 350-year perspective on South Africa's democracy. Is the world falling out of love with US brands? George Lakoff urges Democrats to pay closer attention to language. An interview with Seth Mnookin on The New York Times. As he hangs up his column, Al Hunt takes with him 11 years of memories. From Slate, some news from the techno-frontier. And here are 100 things we didn't know this time of year
[Jan 5] From Latvia, a reflection on the philosophical realities of a life in the labyrinth. From Bangladesh, when politics could ease off from economics. From Pakistan, some reflections on Security Council expansion. From the United States, Dominicans take their place as an American success story. There are still 240,000 registered refugees in Armenia. Why are they not accepting Armenian passports? Mexico and Australia have ditched paper money for plastic bills. Reason's Cathy Young on The Problem with Putin: An unreliable ally, an unlikely democrat (and more on Putin), and an article on the war prospects for 2005. Nick Cohen on the politics of disaster. Ralf Dahrendorf on the powers of the future. Reform, when long discussed but never implemented, can do far more harm than good. Paul Krugman on Stopping the Bum's Rush. And the US has dropped out of the top 10 freest economies in the world, according to the Index of Economic Freedom
[Jan 4] News from around the world: From PINR, Uzbekistan and the Great Powers: Courting instability (and more from Transitions Online). From Botswana, on the Bushmen's legal battle over their ouster from a Kalahari Desert reserve. From Nicaragua, the president faces an assault on his powers. From Pakistan, on the role of the intelligentsia. From Nigeria, on the essentials of nation-building. From Trinidad and Tobago, kidnappings send a chill through the sunny country. From China, a village grows rich off its main export: Its daughters. And from Jamaica, on the Male and the Browning: Can she still take your man?
[Jan 3] From Russia, a story of fear and self-censorship in the land of Putin. From Brazil, once-banned religions are gaining followers. From India, the world as we knew it is becoming history: Geography is being redefined. From South Korea, what possible good could come out of this terrible tsunami? More on the fate of the Sentinelese of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean, but why is it acceptable to refer to faraway places as 'corners' of the world? A look at how nature changes history. Jacob Heilbrunn takes a look at America's endless culture wars. Here's a quiz to help you navigate this year's most memorable cultural moments and discover which side of the cultural divide you stand on. A review of Radical Middle: The Politics We Need Now. What might be the obsessive topics of conversation in the next 12 months? And Karl Marx might also say to himself, "Shit, I have been here before!"
[Weekend 2e] From Great Britain, why the morality of the chequebook doesn't go far enough. From The Globalist, on the State of the Globe 2004/05: Europe, United States, Asia and the Middle East--is everybody on edge yet? From TNR, whatever the category of information, it is always more appealing when presented in cheesy list form. The particulars of what people today think will be essential in 2020 matter less than the exercise of pondering the question. And is Hollywood next for the conservative turn?
[Weekend] From Canada, what do we want our federation to do? A confluence pressures may finally be pushing India and Pakistan towards a compromise (and part 2). The race to lead OAS highlights the group's growing clout. Many religions, from ancient totemism onward, have their deepest roots in tribal societies. An op-ed on the conflict between religion and free speech. From Capitalism, why the US government should not help tsunami victims. Why "starve the beast" is really a conjecture about the psychology of voters and legislators. Apparently, it is now an act of treason to offer an editorial opinion on the Iraq war that goes against the conventional wisdom. And here's some expected legislation from the president
14] From Grist, an introduction
to the controversy on a recent essay on The
Death of Environmentalism: Global warming politics in a
post-environmental world, with an interview
and responses from the Sierra Club' Carl
Werbach, some "little
responses", and an editorial.
Roger Scruton on The
Unobservable Mind. From Slate, Malcolm
Gladwell and James Surowiecki debate how to improve the
Michael Shermer reviews Blink.
of Consumer's Guide to a Brave New World. From Haaretz, a
look at the
ultimate city for civilized people. A new issue
of The Next American City is out. On a tour of the
technological wonders of the Microsoft Home, where the future looks
The BLS publishes a report on how
Americans spend their day.
And from ak13, an article on how we
live in a replay culture, and here are ten
reasons to go to McDonald's
[Jan 13] A new issue of The New Atlantis is out, including a series on "The Embryo Question" with Robert George on acorns and embryos, an article on neuroscience as legal evidence, an editorial on the bioethics agenda and Bush second term, and an essay on science and Congress. From Slate, some news from the techno-frontier, and what is electrical brain stimulation used for? And is it safe? From Better Humans, Wesley J. Smith reviews James Hughes' Citizen Cyborg. From Salon, how Christian zealots have provoked a showdown on the status of science itself, and more on The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln (and more from Andrew Sullivan). From HNN, a series of articles on Lincoln and homosexuality. From Reason, a look at the FDA's War on Promiscuity, and a review of Libertarianism Without Inequality. From In These Times, an interview with Thomas Frank. From TCS, an article on why the Right has the wrong legal theory. Stephen Carter on how a Supreme Court justice showed us how to "do business" with opponents. Duke's Michael Munger on why democracy is a means, not an end. And from New Statesman, a review of books
[Jan 12] Could the much-maligned Machiavelli tell us the truth about politics in our time? From TAP, how has Britain’s privatization scheme worked out? A review of Hernando DeSoto's The Mystery of Capital. From Mother Jones, an interview with Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai on sowing the seeds of democracy, and an interview with Sam Tsemberis, founder of Pathways to Housing. An excerpt from The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear. From APR, on how no empire can exist without collaborators, and an interview with Mickey Z. on exposing the lies of our times. From CT, Bush's second term is a unique political moment for Christian conservatives--or is it? A review of Susan Jacoby's Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. What's wrong with religion in public? What's wrong is that you must ask the question. And it's time for believers to take a more proactive role in world events: It's time to boycott God
[Jan 11] From Adbusters, a special issue on the Big Ideas 2005. From EurekAlert!, summaries of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 articles from the latest issue of Journal of Consumer Research. A look at the role of shame in sales. From Slate, on the CEO-English Phrase Book: What your boss means when he talks like that. From The Occidental Quarterly, an essay on Bioculture as a new paradigm for the evolution of Western populations; a review of Darwinian Politics: The Evolutionary Origin of Freedom; a review of War against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race; a Requiem for the Right; and the world speaks many languages, but it dreams in English. From The Guardian, Kenan Malik on how racial abuse is being exaggerated to stifle critics of Islam, Nick Cohen on the cowards of the left, and David Aaronovitch doesn't mean to be rude, but why is everyone so scared of offending each other? A review of Who Runs This Place? The Anatomy of Britain in the 21st Century. Why are women drinking so much? It's really down to sex. And a look at how politicians' offspring have become an index of their parents' values
[Jan 10] Book reviews: From New Statesman, a review of books. A review of Alan Dershowitz's Rights From Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights. A review of In the Interest of Justice: Great Opening and Closing Arguments of the Last 100 Years. More on Democracy Matters. More and more on The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln. A review of books on slavery. A review of books on urban policy. A review of books on hip-hop. A review of books on the English language. A review of Feeding the Future: From Fat to Famine: How to Solve the World's Food Crises. More and more on Jared Diamond's Collapse. More on Richard Posner's Catastrophe. A review of Malcolm Gladwell's Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (and more). A review of The United States of Europe. A review of Toward Nuclear Abolition. A review of The Fly in the Cathedral (and an excerpt). A review of books on Alexander the Great. A review of Machiavelli: A Man Misunderstood. A review of Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment. And a review of Everything I Know I Learned From TV: Philosophy For The Unrepentant Couch Potato
[Weekend] From The New Yorker, James Surowiecki on the tsunami tragedy and the business of prediction, and from Technology Review, on technology and happiness. Some autistics now see their condition as a cognitive gift and even the next stage in human evolution. From Salon, an interview with Jared Diamond. From Christianity Today, an article on the Three Faces of Greed, an interview on what American teenagers believe, and on the Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience: Why don't Christians live what they preach? From Commentary, an article on Americanism and its enemies. An article on globalization and 'Contract Culture'. From Capitalism, why the philosophy of conservativism is ultimately hostile to liberty. Jonah Goldberg on Liberalism and Pragmatism. From Writ, a review of books on persecution and intolerance. From The Nation, how social entrepreneurship offers a powerful strategy for progressives to expand their power. Jonathan Powers on a profound change in attitudes towards the Washington Consensus. And From Clamor, a special issue on borders
[Jan 7] Columbia's Fritz Stern warns of the danger posed in the US by the rise of the Christian right. From Commentary, why the famous political dispute between Sartre and Camus was won not by the "more intelligent" man but by the better one. From Reason, why the Supreme Court’s widely praised rulings are bad for America. Walter Williams on why the US is a republic, not a democracy. From The Economist, whatever happened to the belief that any American could get to the top? From The Nation, Michael Bérubé reviews books on affirmative action. From TNR, proponents of strict "covenant marriages" want to end divorce, not save marriage. Slate's Daniel Gross on a simple idea for insuring some of the poor. From Znet, an article on sex in the country. And a review of Fat: The Anthropology of an Obsession
[Jan 6] From Foreign Policy, Zbigniew Brzezinski and John Mearsheimer go head-to-head on whether the US and China are destined to fight it out, Colin Powell on no country left behind, an article on imagining a world without Israel, and a prescription for Marxism: The next great battle between socialism and capitalism will be waged over human health. From PINR, on the Bush-Blair alliance and the 2005 British election. An assessment of the state of European - US relations. Joseph Nye on securing a more secure world. Timothy Garton Ash on why this wave of global solidarity must not end in a detritus of broken promises. And from New Statesman, John Pilger on why a new politics of community and morality is emerging, and the issue is our humanity, not God's divinity
[Jan 5] From Writ, when nations' decisions cause or intensify environmental damage in ways that hurt humans, is there an international legal remedy? If the ailing Rehnquist steps down, Senate Democrats might be inclined to prevent Scalia's ascension; here's why they shouldn't. Robert Shiller on the momentum toward better risk management. If the laws of economics are on the same plane as the laws of nature, what's so bad about answering the call from victims of economic storms? From Slate, a review of Jim Wallis' God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It. Justin Raimondo on why today's conservatives are fascists, and from Counterpunch, on moral values as code words for emerging authoritarian tendencies in Americans. Barbara Ehrenreich on why there's no reason to be stuck with a nationality that doesn't reflect the real you. A review of The Dominion of War. And a review of Anne Applebaum's Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps
[Jan 4] International perspectives: From American Diplomacy, on the Constitution for Europe: What next? National Review's John Miller on why the root of the French foreign policy problem is Gaullism itself. French-bashing, it would seem, has become politically correct in the US. A review of An Alliance At Risk: The United States and Europe since September 11. From Mother Jones, an interview with Peter Maass, author of A Touch of Crude. On the story of a secret meeting with a clear mission: 'Rescue' the United Nations. And explorer Bruce Parry has dined with cannibals in West Papua, become a shaman in Venezuela and undergone painful rituals in Ethiopia. What on earth makes him do it?
[Jan 3] From The New York Times Magazine, a look at The War Inside the Arab Newsroom. Immanuel Wallerstein on Bush and the World: The Second Term. James Fenton on witnesses to war. Where is God in all this? On the problem for religions. A review of Prisoner of the Vatican: The Popes' Secret Plot to Capture Rome From the New Italian State. A review of Bury the Chains: Prophets, Slaves, and Rebels in the First Human Rights Campaign. Virginia is using a risk-assessment formula to help decide which criminals go to jail. Is it fair? A review of Big Cotton: How a Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations and Put America on the Map. More on An Empire of Wealth. What do pumped-up athletes, power-hungry politicians and lovers of fast cars have in common? Too much testosterone, or is that just a masculine myth? And the news about men in the year just past was dismal, but real men manage to escape the stereotypes much of the time
[Weekend 2e] Jared Diamond on The Ends of the World as We Know Them. A review of The Bullet's Song: Romantic Violence and Utopia. An op-ed on the hatred for the moderate. A review of Born Losers: A History of Failure in America. A review of We'll Always Have Paris: American Tourists in France Since 1930. From The American Conservative, more on Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America’s Disastrous Relationship With France. From National Review, a symposium on what the year 2005 will bring. And from Chronicles, Susan Sontag and the evil of banality
[Weekend] Peter Singer reviews Richard Posner's Catastrophe: Risk and Response. From Open Democracy, an interview with Todd Gitlin, and can the world’s leading conflict zone clear a path towards peace, prosperity and freedom? From The Nation, a review of books on Israel's culture of martyrdom, and Eric Alterman responds to Peter Beinart. From Left Hook, a review of The Postmodern Prince: Critical Theory, Left Strategy, and the Making of a New Political Subject. From Bellaciao, The System: Capitalism and its Role in American Society’s Plunge into the Abyss. From The Idyllic, an article in defense of the Islamic nations, and who's afraid of the religious right? And you thought the Spartacists were batty. Coming soon to a protest near you: The Electro-Anarchy Collective
Jeremy Blumenthal (Seton Hall): Law
and the Emotions: The Problems of Affective Forecasting; and Does
Mood Influence Moral Judgment?: An Empirical Test With Legal and Policy
Implications. From Astrobiology, an interview with Martin
Rees on our cosmic self-esteem (and part
2 and part 3).
The discovery of a new species of human astounded
the world. But is it what it seems? Research finds fossils reveal the
human drift towards 'beauty'. Blessed with the power to make its own decisions, the
stomach has become a serious subject of research.
Here are 10
scientific discoveries we should have made by the end of 2005. From The
Economist, an article on neuroeconomics,
of Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, and why do women
live longer than men? And love doctors: Scientists
study the value of selflessness
[Jan 13] A new issue of The Journal of World Systems Research is out, including an article on The Flickering Global City, a review essay on Empire and Multitude, and a special section on "Premodern Historical Systems: The Rise and Fall of States and Empires" pdf. From LRB, Richard Rorty reviews Philosophical Analysis in the 20th Century: Vol. I and Vol. 2, and a review of The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. From TLS, an essay on tsunami myths in Asia, and a memorandum from Rudyard Kipling on propaganda is published for the first time. Is cultural studies inherently left wing? In modern psychology, the roots of thought-regimentation can be traced back to the influence of Freud and Marx. Germaine Greer has never seemed entirely comfortable with academia. Mario Vargas Llosa has been selected to receive the American Enterprise Institute's Irving Kristol Award for 2005. More on Robert Heilbroner. More on Susan Sontag from Carlin Romano. And if you desire to project a really impressive image, here's what you do: Take up deep thinking
[Jan 12] From the University of Chicago Press, an excerpt from Giorgio Agamben's State of Exception. A review of Emotion, Evolution, And Rationality, a review of The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics, and a review of Thomas Szasz's Fatal Freedom: The Ethics and Politics of Suicide. More on Robert Heilbroner. From The Chronicle, colleges' cautious reaction to the Supreme Court's affirmative-action decisions may have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. From The Village Voice, addiction studies thrives in academia, and a look at the Center for Inquiry's campus crusade for common sense. From National Review, an interview with Naomi Schaefer Riley, author of God on the Quad. Satanism is growing so quickly that a papal university in Rome will offer courses on this frightening phenomenon. From The New Yorker, a review of Leonardo. A look at the Great Books' greatest lessons. And do you speak American?
[Jan 11] From Australia's Arena, a review of Terry Eagleton's After Theory, and after progress? The four questions of global politics. A review of Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire, a review of The Democratic Constitution, and a review of The Supreme Court Review 2003. A review of The Silk Road: Trade, travel, war and faith. From The New York Times Magazine, a cover story on college fraternities. From Great Britain, a look at humanity's search for the meaning of life... and of death. John Paul II on religion's role in international politics. Humanist and atheist groups around the world are looking to boost their profile in 2005. Deadly tsunami resurrects the old question of why. When religion fails, how deep can spirituality go? There's more religion around, but not the old-time kind. Martin Rees on what we still don't know: Are we real? (Or is it all random?) From Telepolis, an article on computing beyond Turing. The sophistication of the human brain is not simply the result of steady evolution: Society made us smart. And an article remembers Florentino Ameghino, the first Hispanic Darwinist
[Jan 10] News and views: From Reason, an interview with Bruce Caldwell, author of Hayek’s Challenge: An Intellectual Biography of FA Hayek. From National Review, an interview with historian Arthur Herman. Discrimination against conservatives in academia? Hardly. A look at the work of Dani Rodrik and the politics of growth in Bahrain. Obituaries: Economists Robert Heilbroner and Gerard Debreu. BHL, France's fashionable philosopher, is under fire, but what would the French do without their intellectuals? From Ideas, some notes on the publication of A Natural History of Latin: The Story of the World's Most Successful Language; a controversial theory blames countries' lagging economies on Napoleon; these days, popular and academic historians can't get enough of things; and what's in a name? Inquiring onomasticians want to know. More on the 400th anniversary of Don Quixote. An excerpt from The Writer’s Voice. Sontag vs. Derrida: Which celebrity thinker fared best in 2004's excessively polysyllabic Obituary Bowl? More on Susan Sontag. And from TNR, an essay On Not Seeing What Appears in Photographs
[Weekend] More perspectives on academia: From The Chronicle of Higher Education, Stanley Fish on God and the university. From The New Humanist, Meera Nanda uncovers an extraordinary coalition that is undermining science. Ohio State's Walter Davis on the psychology of Christian fundamentalism (and a monkey's uncle speaks out). From Counterpunch, an article on Chomsky and academic history. From The American Prospect, an excerpt from University, Inc.: How industry is undermining academia. An article on the art of education success. A look at why students should kick the habit of plagiarising in their degree work. Former radical Susan Rosenberg withdraws from a Hamilton College post. From Great Britain, public lectures are undergoing a renaissance: Meet the new intellectuals. A look at why apologies are important for economists to think about. Who needs a philosopher's editing? And if you like to claim that science is a religion, you might be an "altie"
[Jan 7] Perspectives on academia: Brian C.J. Singer (York): Intellectuals and Democracy: The Three Figures of Knowledge and Power. Francis Fukuyama on How Academia Failed the Nation: The Decline of Regional Studies. An excerpt from Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind. From Opinion Journal, how Duke plays host to anti-Semites and terror advocates, and a review of God on the Quad. From The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a report by Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Diane Ravitch on The Mad, Mad World of Textbook Adoption. Perhaps there is something psychologically reassuring about listening to someone read a story. And why college football's obsession with producing a national champion devalues what makes the game so enjoyable
[Jan 6] On science: From American Scientist, a review of Cogwheels of the Mind: The Story of Venn Diagrams, a review of The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science, a review of Investigative Pathways: Patterns and Stages in the Careers of Experimental Scientists, and a review of Understanding the Universe: From Quarks to the Cosmos. From The Guardian, this year it's time to celebrate Einstein's genius, on relativity for dummies, and here's some facts and figures. In the next decade, powerful satellites will help us to understand life, the fate of our universe and the 'theory of everything'. No matter how vivid your recollection of an important event may be, it's very likely what actually happened was quite different. And a look at the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists
[Jan 5] Matthew Paterson (Keele): Shut up and shop! Thinking politically about consumption. From The Chronicle, a review of From Brit Shalom to Ichud: Judah Leib Magnes and the Struggle for a Binational State in Palestine; Don Quixote at 400: Still conquering hearts; and when humanities scholars gaze in the mirror, what is reflected? A review of True to Life: Why Truth Matters, a review of Life, Death & Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions, and a review of Sex, Time and Power: How Women's Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution. A review of Survival by Hunting: Prehistoric Human Predators and Animal Prey. Richard Dawkins has declared that he, too, holds a belief that cannot yet be proved. Massimo Pigliucci on nonsense on stilts, an example. Why we need more philosophers like Robert Weissmiller. From TCS, an article on the Academic Left and the Christian Right. And can academics bridge the red state-blue state divide?
[Jan 4] More from Dissent: A series of articles on "Rethinking the Politics of the Family", by Arlene Skolnick, Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Kathleen Gerson, and Myra H. Strober. A review of Ray Monk's Bertrand Russell: The Ghost of Madness 1921-1970. God (or not), physics and, of course, love: Scientists take a leap. An urban ecology study is witnessing the birth of a 'designer ecosystem'. From Mexico, a Oaxacan woman completes a Ph.D. on her indigenous language with an eye towards bettering overall conditions for her community. And what do public intellectuals do, exactly? How do they benefit the rest of us?
[Jan 3] From Dissent, Jack Greenberg (Columbia): Brown vs. Board of Education: An Axe in the Frozen Sea of Racism; Neil Englehart (Lafayette): Picking Winners: The Millennium Challenge Accounts; Gerald Bracey (George Mason): The Perfect Law: No Child Left Behind and the Assault on Public Schools; and an article on Sisyphus and the State: On the Front Lines of Union Organizing. A review of Umberto Eco's On Literature. More on Borges: A Life. Why the literature of low living and high bar tabs, of fast sex and languorous narcosis, can be ferociously inspiring. For 20 years, Professor Ruut Veenhoven has been obsessed with our wellbeing, creating a World Database of Happiness. A new cartooning college wants to promote the spirit of independent comics. And a study finds an "expectation gap" between high school course requirements and real world demands of college and the workplace pdf
[Weekend 2e] From Monthly Review, more on The Pentagon’s New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century, a review of books on the failure of empire, and what is social medicine? A review of books on Big Pharma, a review of Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy, and who speaks for the lab rat? An article on breaking the first rule of anthropology. Simon Singh on how even Einstein had his off days. And if you're having trouble with NIMBYs, remember this is an age-old problem known to exist in Aristotle's time
[Weekend] From The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell reviews Jared Diamond's Collapse. From Better Humans, bioethicists Arthur Caplan and Carl Elliott debate the ethics of human enhancement. A look at the work of Ray Kurzweil, author of The Age of Spiritual Machines. From spiked!, new research could throw some light on the unique evolution of the human brain. From Skeptical Inquirer, what if, instead the dead could speak to us directly, without the middle person? Royal Society to open up 350 years of scientific history. From TAE, an interview with Michael Medved. And does travel really broaden our minds and make us happier? The philosopher Alain de Botton tests the theory on four very different holidays