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[Nov 30] News from around the
From Canada, the Liberal Party
loses a vote of confidence,
profiles of leaders
Jack Layton, and
Paul Martin, and an article on
the state of democracy in
Canada. From Ethiopia, an interview with former president
From Kashmir, an essay on the work of
Aijaz Ahmad in relation to
New Left theorists (and
part 3 and
part 4). From India, an article on
quenching a thirst for Hindi, a
review of Questioning Globalization,
and an obituary of
Kocheril Raman Narayanan. From Great Britain, why has happiness
become a matter for public policy? From Finland, an article on
the narcissistic game of an urbanite.
From Spiegel, Singapore has a reputation for being
a prim and proper place, but
for the first time it has allowed a sex industry
convention; and the infamous
US babes and burgers chain Hooters
is coming to Germany.
From TAC, the French riots
aren’t about social justice but
who will rule (so
don't blame Le Corbusier for the
riots), and on how
Jean Raspail foresaw the danger of Europe
surrendering its identity (and
more on LePen's revenge).
An article on
the EU’s best hope, after the double no.
From Time, an interview with Italian Finance Minister
and an interview with controversial economist
Mikhail Delyagin of Russia.
From EurasiaNet, democracy
still not perceived as a priority in the Caucasus.
An article on
revolution and anti-revolution in the
post-Soviet space. A look at the
political economy of
Venezuela's pipeline deals. And
Claudio Lomnitz on
Mexico's race problem,
and the real story behind Fox's faux
[Nov 29] From Papua New Guinea, a look at why the national constitution is alive and well. From Kazakhstan, how Borat’s antics contain a timely message for Nursultan Nazarbaev. From Bahrain, the Forum for the Future ends in discord. From France, Alain Finkielkraut apologizes for comments about immigrants. From Great Britain, a look at how multiculturalism isn't working. Johann Hari on why he hates Little Britain. From Eurozine, an article on the national language debate in Belarus. The debate about Australia's national identity is raging intensely, encompassing its history and foreign policy. For years, much of the world did aspire to the American way of life. But today countries are finding more appealing systems in their own backyards, as anti-Americanism is the one ‘ism’ that thrives. Fred Barnes on Bush's immigration offensive (and more on the looming immigration war). From The Nation, here are some of the highlights of the Dictionary of Republicanisms. John Miller on the very foundation of conservatism. Behold: We have entered the Age When Dinos and Rinos Rule the Earth. Tyler Cowen's Law says that you will not find a political party that aligns really well with your views. As corporate ad money flows their way, bloggers risk their rebel reputation. Who's afraid of Google? Everyone. On what Google should roll out next: A privacy upgrade. In an era of pick’n’mix iPodding, who needs a 45-minute player? And on the FM dial, Rock is sliding away
[Nov 28] From Chile, Augusto Pinochet is arrested and faces new charges. From Japan, a proposal to allow female monarchs ignites debate. From Australia, does family wealth determine children's future? From Great Britain, social enterprise, touted by Labour and the Conservatives, rests on some untested assumptions. From France, no race riots in an untrammelled market economy: that’s what Sarkozy really means. The lesson from the French riots should not be lost on any Western nation: "We are here because you were there." Were the French riots produced by Modern architecture? For all its attractions, Italy is caught in a long, slow decline. An article on assessing whether the poorest post-communist countries can ever catch up. Michael Ignatieff decides to run as Liberal candidate, and a review of Rescuing Canada's Right: Blueprint for a Conservative Revolution. Go South, young man: The gringos are moving where the living is easy. Across the vast inland sea of Republican red, Democratic governors are soaring high in the polls. Here's a shocker: Something ridiculous is going on in New Jersey politics. More on The Case for Hillary Clinton and Condi vs. Hillary. From NYRB, an article on the press and the enemy within. Robert Boyton reviews The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, and the New Journalism Revolution. They don't call them 'teasers' for nothing, those siren-like words calling from magazine covers. But the real story inside can be disappointing. The Source under fire: Here's your guide to the lawsuits, criminal charges, and beefs. And don't believe the hype: Rap anger isn't a meaningful message
[Weekend 2e] Theology and religion: From the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Jeremiah Cataldo (Drew): Popular Music on Christianity in the United States: Christianity's Failure to Love; Edward Croft Dutton (Aberdeen): Crop-tops, Hipsters and Liminality: Fashion and Differentiation in Two Evangelical Student Groups; a review of Televised Morality: The Case of Buffy the Vampire Slayer; a review of Reading the Gospels in the Dark: Portrayals of Jesus in Film; and an essay on role-playing games and the Christian Right. From Quodlibet, William Ferraiolo (SJDC): Eternal Selves and The Problem of Evil; an article on Philosophical Objections to the Knowability of Truth: Answering Postmodernism; and an essay on the futility of philosophic inquiry
[Weekend] Potpourri: A review of International Relations in India. The first chapter from The Gay Archipelago: Sexuality and Nation in Indonesia. Do art and culture even exist in North Korea? A review of Art Under Control in North Korea. A look at how Ariel Sharon's new party could revolutionize Israel's political culture. Whither the Southern accent? And an article on Squanto and the Pilgrims: Native intelligence
[Nov 25] From Europe, the more languages you know, the more of a person you are. From Spain, an article on the two faces of Adam Smith. From Poland, the new government may find it hard to keep its backers, the electorate, and its neighbors happy. From Sweden, poet Ida Börjel confronts the favourite and most insulting national prejudices about the country and its European neighbours. From Nigeria, an article on reviving pan-Africanism. The introduction to W. Arthur Lewis and the Birth of Development Economics. A Marshall Plan for the Third World: The US needs to reorder its spending priorities for the sake of world security. A look at why Latin America scorns Uncle Sam, and an article on the failure of the Church in Latin America. There is no easy solution for Washington to repair its troubled relations with Latin America. As the world becomes accustomed to the American way of life, Americans are tuning out the rest of the world. From TNR, John Judis on how isolationism is back, and the consequences could be grim. Vikram Amar on who's the real Alito, and God help him: Alito gets religion. An article on The Real McCain. And what good are black mayors?
[Nov 24] Media and music: From Counterpunch, an article on the future of the daily press, and now, sadly, comes news of a death on the left: In These Times. Explicit media images of death perform a vital social function. An article on Ernie Pyle and war reportage. From The New York Times' "Media" section, a look at the work of Howard Kurtz; a profile of the new media company Lime; and an article on how Google tamed ads on the wild, wild Web. Jack Shafer on the Great Google Wipeout: Chronicle of a corporate death foretold. Don't listen to Bill Gates: The open-source movement isn't communism. An essay on Making it Funky: The Signifyin(g) Politics of George Clinton's Parliafunkadelicment Thang. A review of Bob Marley: His Musical Legacy. A review of Raising Hell: The Reign, Ruin and Redemption of Run-D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay. A review of Redneck Liberation: Country Music as Theology. And the suit against KISS rock star Gene Simmons: Is suggesting that a woman is unchaste still defamatory?
[Nov 23] Spiegel takes a look at the Nuremberg trials, 60 years later; an interview with prosecutor Whitney Harris; and a tale of extraordinary renditions and double standards. From Transitions, Bosnia has seen some dramatic changes in the past ten years, but it now needs to look beyond Dayton (and on lessons to be learned, and more from Wolfgang Ischinger, lead German negotiator at the time). Alice Schwarzer, the foremost figure in the German women's liberation movement, comments on the lack of women in the recent French riots. This year it is the turn of little Malta to play host to a British Commonwealth reunion. An article on putting faith in the idea of Europe. Disenchanted with politics? Who in the world is not? A look at why $5 gas is good for America. Jacob Weisberg wants to know who Dick Cheney is kidding, and on why we'd be better off if the vice president were running in 2008. Ever wonder what it's like to be a speechwriter in a presidential campaign? Top 10 lessons from the Kerry campaign. An interview with George McGovern, and an interview with EJ Dionne. Meet rabble-rouser Melanie Sloan: She’s exactly what Washington needs. Setting the Squwakers straight, Robert McIntyre actually changes a talk show host's mind. From Business Week, a cover story on Peter Drucker, the man who invented management. And whether we admit it or not, we all outsource
[Nov 22] American politics: From National Journal, undercurrents threaten the gains achieved between Washington and representatives of the American Muslim community since Sept. 11. From TAP, Robert Kuttner on how Bush's unpopularity may not be all it takes to move the country back where it should be, but he's done: The 9-11 era is now over. A review of Mary Maples' Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power. A look at how Dick Cheney argues by deception. A look at the Bush administration’s curiously one-sided good government tool. The American Legislative Exchange Council is creating a right-wing nation, state by state. Robert Reich on a 10-point manifesto for recapturing Congress, and more on Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy. Barack Obama is the one Democrat who elicits a John McCain-type response from media people right now (and more). From Salon, how the secular humanist grinch didn't steal Christmas. And from Mother Jones, a special issue on God and Country, including an introduction; Susan Jacoby on how the founders left God out of the Constitution; a look at the work of Senator Rick Santorum; meet Arthur Blessitt, the man who helped Dubya find Jesus; opponents of capital punishment gain Catholics as unlikely allies; a look at the Christian Reconstruction movement and the National Christian Foundation; atheists finally have their own lobbying group; and so help us our guardian deities...
[Nov 21] News from around the world: From Malta, a look at when democracies are loved and hated. From Barbados, an article on the grammar of politics. From Namibia, an article on the anaesthesia of government reform. From Rwanda, an article on good governance and governmentality. From India, Amartya Sen carries out an investigation into the healthcare sector. From AEI, a report on Japan: A liberal, nationalistic defense transformation. An article on coming to grips with Japan's history and role in the world. A review of books on Saudi Arabia. Why democracy has kept development away from Sri Lanka. An article on constitutional reform in the Maldives. From PINR, an intelligence brief on US military bases in the Black Sea region. Brazil, China, India: These are the enemies of the US? Lessons from Bosnia, 10 years on: A US commitment can work. Has America, in a sense, reached its own Pacific? More and more and more on DC Confidential. From Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria on how the rise of women in public life could reshape politics as we know it. The United Nations must be properly funded if it is to provide effective worldwide relief. And with technology constantly evolving, e-waste is becoming one of the major environmental issues of our time
[Weekend 2e] From Australia, freedom, if others are restrained: Laws that override the rights of some protect the civil liberties of many. From Great Britain, Monica Ali, Philip Hensher and Salman Rushdie consider the threat to free speech. A look at what Britain can tell France about rioters. How do others in the West feel about the veiling of women: does it raise uncomfortable questions for all of us? They might be watching behind closed curtains, but Arab Muslims have a hearty appetite for American movies. David Rieff on Bolivia's Evo Morales as Che's second coming. Westerners' talk of a Latin American 'revolution' replaces political analysis with pure fantasy. Immanuel Wallerstein on the US vs. Latin America. Michael Barone on how the US is becoming Puerto Rico, and a review of American Gunfight: The Plot to Kill Harry Truman -- and the Shoot-Out That Stopped It. Jacob Hacker on why bad times for the Republicans do not mean good times for the Democrats. The Bush administration pursues its goals even when they are in conflict with data collected by agencies. How the Court's dynamics have a way of altering a Justice's approach to the law. More and more on Al Franken's The Truth (With Jokes) and Jon Stewart's America (The Book). Here are 10 comics that shook the world (of comics anyway). Time sucks: There's an almost Beckett-like purity to the tedium of Beavis and Butt-Head's serenely empty lives. From FT, Simon London is trying to understand what makes a "great" business book, and a review of books on trees. Oh, behave: A review of books on etiquette, and more on Talk to the Hand (and more on Lynne Truss). And here's the Official "Nigger" Usage Rules
[Weekend] From Eurozine, an essay on nationhood, modernity, democracy: Manifestations of national identity in modern Europe. An article on the EU debate on chemicals: Are your cosmetics killing you? An interview with Alain Finkielkraut. James K. Galbraith on the European social model. The euro area's economies are in better shape than they look. As Gerhard Schroeder hands over the reins, one of his British friends looks back over his seven-year term. From Der Spiegel, on the new world of globalization: Cheap, cheerful and Chinese. John Ikenberry on legitimacy and global and regional governance bodies. Why the disbanding of the Iraqi Army was not a bad idea. A chilling report on life behind the wire in Guatanamo Bay. Why did the 9/11 Commission ignore "Able Danger"? Louis Freeh wants to know. Jonah Goldberg on a lie for a just cause. An open letter to Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald from John Dean. From TNR, who can save the White House? A survey of political elders. Who is the second most powerful person in America? The Harvard Political Review finds out (reg. req.). Some of the most powerful proponents of “family values” are deeply cynical about that aspect of the Republican agenda. Michael Kinsley on why there is no honesty about Roe. Can George W Bush really be turning back to booze? Perot in '08: The unlikely return of a candidate. Two singular communities in Philadelphia were, improbably, once one. From The Economist, a paper questions whether search engines make popular sites more so, and small ads are flooding away from newspapers and onto the internet. Thanks to Web ads, some find new money in domain names. We are witnessing the Web's second coming, not a new bubble. And at the WWIS, the United States maintains control of the Internet
[Nov 18] From France, Dominique de Villepin and Nicolas Sarkozy's popularity are soaring (and more). A look at France's history of violence. A study finds immigrant youth is better off if still attached to their ethnic culture, while polygamy is cited as a possible factor in French riots. An interview with Tariq Ramadan (and more from Salon). Other than the departure of Syrian troops, hopes have been dashed. What now for Lebanon? Timothy Garton Ash on how the forward march of liberty has been halted, even reversed. From Reason, the U.S. has lost momentum in opening up Middle Eastern societies. An interview with Mark LeVine, author of Why They Don't Hate Us. We still don't have a plan: What has everybody been doing for three years? From National Journal, a series of articles on polls about various aspects of Washington's political culture. Linda Chavez on the Republican Party and illegal immigration. The Democrats have a golden opportunity in 2006. Will they blow it? Why are conservatives chickening out of their big national conversation on judges? Robert Scheer on the Big Lie Technique. An interview with Mark Crispin Miller, author of Fooled Again. From CJR, why the press must help the nation see through its myths. How you'll know when the boomers have lost control of the media. The Death of Media announces the death of mass media and the emergence of the citizen journalist. A new wave of political bloggers is challenging Britain's old media pundits. But who are they? From Hollywood to Wall Street, a guide to the blogs insiders read to stay current. And Scott McLemee talks to Moby Lives' Dennis Loy Johnson about his decision to shift to online radio
[Nov 17] From Germany, what to do with a tower block that no one wants to live in? Pull it down, slice it up, turn it into pleasant family homes. Do the French riots portend a coming cultural backlash against globalization? An interview with Andre Glucksmann on the French riots. From Foreign Policy, the EU is still a model citizen, it just does a lousy job of selling itself at home and abroad; Iraq may be the jihad Superbowl, but Saudi Arabia is still al Qaeda’s top prize; and it’s easy to think that the world is witnessing a boom in the number of nuclear-armed countries: Don’t count on it. From TAC, why America needs a new strategy for dealing with China. More on Mao: The Unknown Story. An article on the Confucian renaissance. A look at China's take on political democracy. An article on the democracy problem in Latin America, and what accounts for its turn towards the Left? Here's the latest news from Zanzibar, Tanzania. On why Palestine, not Iraq, is the best shot at an Arab democracy. Did the US use chemical weapons in Iraq? George Monbiot is on the case. From TNR, will Iraq make Russell Feingold the new Howard Dean? From TAP, Democrats made a key mistake when they voted for the Iraq War: They trusted the president; and good-government liberalism got trounced in Ohio: Here’s why America’s bellwether state isn’t ready for reform. Jimmy Carter on why this isn't the real America. An op-ed on The Ginsburg Fallacy. Jeffrey Rosen on decoding Samuel Alito (and part 2). Dan Savage on the parallels between gay marriage and privacy amendments. Why do heathens make the best Christian films? And three cheers for cronyism!
[Nov 16] From Russia, the Trans-Siberian railway is to get the Orient Express treatment. Russians reminisce about their Soviet childhoods on a new web site dedicated to those born between 1976 and 1982. Putin declares that his country has an image problem, and the Kremlin has launched a PR campaign to burnish its image. An interview with William Odom on Russia and the weak state trap, and an interview with Congressman Tom Lantos on the future of U.S.-Russian relation. From Monthly Review, two articles on Nepal. An interview with Zhang Bijian of the China Reform Forum. An essay on Talking Turkey for democracy: Fundamentalism, fascism and the EU pdf. Michael Kinsley on a tale of two constitutions: Britain, land of freedom. A continent of broken windows: How do you say "asphalt jungle" in French? As they decry free trade as being pro-corporation and hurting mom-and-pop businesses, they're smashing in the windows of small and large businesses alike. A look at the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Activists. An article on game theory for negotiators. In a global economy, it's no longer about how many employees you have in this group and that group. Can Joe Mansueto turn magazine bust into a boom? Cathy Young on why Bernie Goldberg’s new niche is a little too comfortable. From NYRB, an article on the end of news. From AJR, an article on gun-toting journalists. From OJR, is the bubble back in online media? The Open Source Center keeps an eye on the global flood of nonsecret information. To Nigerian cyber-criminals who trawl for victims, wealthy westerners are soft targets. Should the U.S. or the U.N. control the Internet? Here's a third way. From Foreign Policy, an interview with Lawrence Lessig on battling for control of the Internet, and Lessig on Google's tough call. And a look at what Google Print really tells us about the future of books
[Nov 30] Iraq, GWOT and the US:
From Boston Review, MIT's
Barry Posen on an "Exit
Strategy: How to disengage from Iraq in 18
months". An interview with former ambassador
Peter Galbraith on Iraq.
More on George Packer's The Assassins’ Gate:
America in Iraq.
From Harper's, pro-war liberals are
frozen in the headlights. As terrorists
score its own goals in its backyard,
many Arabs are beginning to rethink
their position on violence.
Al Qaeda killed Kenny!: A look at
how "South Park" can win the war on terror.
An op-ed on
the dangers of terrorism through cargo containers
(and a look at
the box that makes the world go round).
Indispensable handbook for global theopolitics: A
review of The Star of
Redemption by Franz Rosenzweig. From Salon,
an interview with
Robert Dreyfuss, author of Devil's Game:
How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist
Islam. A look
presidents use the term "democracy" as a
From The Weekly Standard, Charles Krauthammer on
the truth about torture (and
more from National Review). From Writ, an essay on
torture, litmus tests, and the future of American law:
Will the battle over government accountability define this
generation of lawyers?
From Slate, goodbye,
habeas corpus. Hello, executive detention.
An essay on
bad intelligence and the loss of public trust.
Bob Barr on
the dangers of militarism.
A conversation with
Haynes Johnson on McCarthyism.
Tennessee's Wilfred M. McClay on
Myth and Memory in the American Identity. And a pop quiz:
Are you as American
as apple pie à la mode with whipped cream,
hot fudge and a cherry?
[Nov 30] Politics: Andreas Bieler (Nottingham) and Adam David Morton (Lancaster):
theory route to hegemony, world order and historical change: neo-Gramscian
perspectives in International Relations
From New Left Review,
Gopal Balakrishnan on
states of war, an interview
Patrick Cockburn on the occupation of Iraq, a
of Empire of Capital, and a
review of Irresistible Empire:
America’s Advance Through 20th-Century Europe.
From Democratiya, a
review of Al-Qaida’s Jihad in
Europe: The Afghan-Bosnian Network, a
review of Michael Walzer's Arguing
about War, a
review of Foucault and the
Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism,
of My Neighbor, My Enemy: Justice and Community in the Aftermath of Mass
review of A Matter of
Principle: Humanitarian Arguments for War in Iraq,
a review of The Democracy Makers:
Human Rights and the Politics of Global Order,
review of Slavoj Zizek's Iraq: The Borrowed
Kettle, a review of Stop the War: The
Story of Britain's Biggest Mass Movement,
review of Michael Ignatieff's The
Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror,
a review of Democracy and America’s War on Terror (and an
review of Ted Honderich's After
the Terror, and a
review of From Empire to
Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide.
excerpt from The Battle for the Soul of
Capitalism. Twilight of conservatism:
The rise of Bushism wouldn’t have surprised
Robert Nisbet. And is Harry Frankfurt’s best-selling book
useful for understanding the
current political situation?
[Nov 29] From the Electronic Journal of Sociology, Ali Modarres and Greg Andranovich (Cal State-LA): Left Behind by the Market: Investigating the Social Structure of American Poverty pdf. Richard Pildes (NYU) and Daryl Levinson (Harvard): Separation of Parties, Not Powers pdf. From The New Yorker, Louis Menand reviews Philip Tetlock’s Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? A review of The Political Philosophy of Needs. A review of The Politics of Critical Theory: Language Discourse Society. A review of Derrida and Disinterest. More on Voltaire Almighty. A review of a new edition of Sir Thomas Browne's Urne-Burial. From Business Week, an article on the global spread of higher ed. From University of Toronto, ethicists offer guide to decision-making in predicted flu pandemic (and an article on the flu as an ethical dilemma). From Skeptic, evolutionary psychology is here to stay. When it comes to memory, less is more. From Inside Higher Education, are professors better off with partners who are also professors? University of Kansas reviews a new course after learning of professor’s anti-intelligent design comments. Colleges use biometric scanners to screen for access to dining halls, labs, dorms, gyms, and computer networks. Students are trading in books for search and seizure learning on the Internet, and real literacy is getting lost along the way. And academic aims in Germany, apathy in Arizona, scientific suffering and blaming the blog: offbeat news in higher learning
[Nov 28] From TNR, Simon Blackburn reviews Donald Davidson's Truth and Predication. A review of Intelligence: A Brief History, a review of Emotions in Humans and Artifacts, and a review of On Personality. A review of William Chafe's Private Lives/Public Consequences. A review of Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin. Scott McLemee reviews Tony Judt's Postwar (and more). From LRB, a review of Ayn Rand. More on The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth. Did the Talmudists know of game theory? Why is it that so many Jews have become doctors? A review of Maimonides. A review of Harold Bloom's Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine. Umberto Eco on how God isn't big enough for some people. Some Christian high schools want colleges to credit their Bible-centered courses. Dude, where's my Descartes? Welcome to Critical Thinking Class, a sort of modern-day salon for teenagers. A study finds small children are the most malicious creatures in the world. Poor grades aside, athletes get into college on a $399 diploma. By standing up for the right to oppose the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, some fear law schools could undermine two landmark civil rights laws. From Opinion Journal, attention class! Stop abusing the language. From a terrible first line, a novel may recover; the last line is what it leaves a reader with. A review of Speaking into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication. An article on the tricky relationship between writers and alcohol. On the eve of the Literary Review’s annual Bad Sex Awards, The Times launches its own Good Sex Awards. And more on Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit?
[Weekend 2e] Theology and religion: From The Journal of Philosophy & Scripture, Slavoj Zizek on Why is Wagner Worth Saving? (and an interview and more); Lewis Gordon (Brown): Some Thoughts on Philosophy and Scripture in an Age of Secularism; Edith Wyschogrod (Rice): Autochthony and Welcome: Discourses of Exile in Levinas and Derrida; Corey McCall (SIU): Autonomy, Religion, and Revolt in Foucault; Adam Kotsko (CTS): Empire and Eschaton; an interview with John Dominic Crossan on Paul and Empire; an interview with Richard Kearney on Facing God; an interview with Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza on philosophy and theology; and an interview with Seyyed Hossein Nasr on scripture, society and traditional wisdom
[Weekend] From Lacan.com, Slavoj Zizek has Some Politically Incorrect Reflections on Violence in France & Related Matters, writes an essay on the work of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, theorizes The Obscenity of Human Rights; and explains What's Wrong with Fundamentalism (and part 2); and Alain Badiou regards The Political as a Truth Procedure; and offers Highly Speculative Reasoning on the Concept of Democracy
[Nov 25] Richard Lazarus (Georgetown): Human Nature, the Laws of Nature, and the Nature of Environmental Law. The introduction to The Way We Argue Now: A Study in the Cultures of Theory. A review of Levinas and Buber: Dialogue and Difference. From The Nation, a review of Perry Anderson's Spectrum: From Left to Right in the World of Ideas. The introduction ("The Dialectic of Technological Determinism") and a sample chapter (on Apple's "1984") of Electric Dreams: Computers in American Culture. Video games are their major, so don't call them slackers. Russell Jacoby on how offering students a buffet of bogus 'choices' only undermines intellectual integrity. An interview with John Silber, Boston University Chancellor Emeritus. Christopher Buckley writes a college essay. From HNN, it will be a cold day in Baghdad before historian Timothy Furnish ever chairs another Middle East panel at a political science conference. An extraordinarily large part of modern legal, human rights and academic discourse is devoted to finding the ‘right’ definition of genocide. From Yale, will Econ help Said Hyder Akbar protect Afghanistan from warlords? A review of Ivan's War. And a review of The Submarine: A History
[Nov 24] Science: From Evolutionary Psychology, Todd Shackelford (FAU): An Evolutionary Psychological Perspective on Cultures of Honor. From Smithsonian, an essay on the evolution of Charles Darwin. Researchers have found evidence that islands can act as engines of evolution instead of dead ends. A review of Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution. From Scientific American, recent fossil discoveries cast light on the evolution of four-limbed animals from fish; because eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, we have to talk about intelligent design again; and Michael Shermer goes to Esalen: Science and spirituality on the California coast. A profile of Pharyngula's PZ Myers, mad scientist. A review of Simon Singh's Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe. A review of Hiding in the Mirror: The Mysterious Allure of Extra Dimensions. And from the Annals of Improbable Research, when a young man masturbates, exactly how distracted does he get?
[Nov 23] From New Left Review (get them quick, they will probably be put behind a pay wall soon), Alain Badiou on The Adventure of French Philosophy; Regis Debray on A Pope for All Channels; Giovanni Arrighi (JHU): Hegemony Unravelling (and part 2); Malcolm Bull (Oxford): The Limits of Multitude. Leo Panitch (York): and Sam Gindin (Ryerson): Superintending Global Capital; Gopal Balakrishnan (Chicago): on Machiavelli for the Twenty-First Century; a review of Between Sex and Power: Family in the World, 1900–2000 (and a response from Goran Therbon); Robin Blackburn reviews Anatol Lieven's America Right or Wrong and reviews Niall Ferguson's Colossus and Empire; a review of Why Europe will Run the 21st Century; a review of The Soviet Century; A review of Introduction to The Communist Manifesto; a review of books on fascism; a review of books on Nietzsche; a review of Napoleon: a Political Life; and a review of Steven Rose's The 21st-Century Brain. From Bookforum, an article on how the '50s culture wars destroyed Richard Wright; a review of Roland Barthes's The Neutral; and more on How to Survive a Robot Uprising. From IHE, Scott McLemee revisits C. Wright Mills’s advice on living the scholarly life. Stanley Kurtz on the perils of the counter recruitment movement. And Gary Shapiro summarizes the topics explored at a New School conference on Leo Strauss
[Nov 22] From the Journal of Critical Realism, Roy Bhaskar and Alex Callinicos debate Marxism and Critical Realism; a review of After Postmodernism: An Introduction to Critical Realism; and a review of After International Relations: Critical Realism and the (Re)Construction of World Politics (articles and reviews published up to 2003 are free online) pdf. Here are extracts from Formal Philosophy: 5 Questions. A review of Nietzsche's New Darwinism. A review of Addressing Levinas. “What I am, I don’t know,” Jean Baudrillard said, “I am the simulacrum of myself.” Stephen Metcalf on the Death of Literary Theory: Is it really a good thing? Moving back from Yale to the London School of Economics, Paul Gilroy finds his home town changed but the people just as mixed up. At Harvard, a Man, a Plan and a Scanner: Sidney Verba is a busy man. From Cornell, an article on the purpose driven life of bullshit. From UNC, Laurel Wamsley is working hard on not writing her thesis. More on The Chosen. For-profit colleges have lots of champions, and lots of problems. The liberal arts in America and the globe: This Old World just keeps spinning around. From Briarpatch, an interview with Ward Churchill. And more from Slate's College Week: The confessions from a college journalist: Why aspiring writers should be allowed to fail in private; an article on college radio: What's changed, and what hasn't; when academics post online, do they risk their jobs?; a look at what happens when students rate their teachers online; and hey, you with the laptop! Ignore your professor and read this instead
[Nov 21] From the Florida Philosophical Review, Shelley Park (UCF): In Defense of Happiness; Ron Cooper (CFCC): The End is Near, or Whither Philosophy?: Thoughts on Francis Bacon, Dionne Warwick, and Scooby Doo; Michael Roess (Eckerd): The Social Dimension of Epistemology; and Daniel Callcut (UNF): Tough Love pdf. Paul Bouissac (Toronto): Does Saussure Still Matter? pdf Evolution goes awry: A review of Abstract Sex: Philosophy, Bio-technology and the Mutations of Desire pdf. From Culture Machine, a special issue on Biopolitics, including an introduction. A new issue of ephemera is out. An article on what Maimonides means. Propositiones ad acuendos juvenes offers mathematical problems to sharpen the young. Vermont was named the country's smartest state in a report. But the rankings were not the smartest studies. Several libraries are borrowing techniques from Internet companies that keep information about their customers' preferences so they can cater to their needs. From Inside Higher Ed, the Carnegie Foundation unveils a different approach to grouping colleges, but don’t look for who is No. 1. An article on getting a Harvard degree--by extension. If unhappy with the BCS ranking system, why not come up with your own system? And a look at why sports are for fascists
[Weekend 2e] Dennis Patterson (Rutgers): Notes on the Methodology Debate in Contemporary Jurisprudence: Why Sociologists Might Be Interested. Liam Murphy (NYU): Morality and the Concept of Law pdf. A review of The Limits of Law. A review of God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law. From Princeton, Cornel West and Slavoj Zizek discuss the concept of religious belief. Science & Theology News asks leading thinkers about their views on God and the future of atheism. An op-ed on science, religion and the Cape Ann earthquake of 1755. From The Guardian, more on Voltaire Almighty. A look at why it’s okay for Christians to believe in Darwin. More and more on the Darwin exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. E. O. Wilson on the consequences of Charles Darwin's "one long argument". A review of The Long Tomorrow: How Advances in Evolutionary Biology Can Help Us Postpone Aging. More on Generation Rx. Ronald Bailey on using race and ethnicity to improve medical care. Do we know how to identify the child whose brilliance might change the world? And do we really want to? An article on the problem with an almost-perfect genetic world. On the question of human rights, so-called 'Asian values' aren't what they used to be. Can the antidote to today's neoliberal triumphalism be found in the pages of far-out science fiction? Unconscious desire, self-destruction and despair: The dark impulses that we suppress during our waking hours have long been an inspiration for artists and writers. A review of Benjamin Kunkel's Indecision (and an interview). The need for speed: We want to know it all, but please, keep it brief. And the latest evidence shows that lying might be essential for our survival
[Weekend] Conservative perspectives: From Modern Age, Paul Gottfried on The Marcuse Factor; an article on the essential Guardini; an essay on Two Irascible Englishmen: Mr. Waugh and Mr. Orwell; a review of Aldous Huxley: A Biography; a review of Forrest McDonald's Recovering the Past: A Historian's Memoir; a review of Eccentric Culture: A Theory of Western Civilization; an article on philosophers for the city: Aristotle and the telos of education; an essay on idealism and realism in politics; a review of books on conservatism in America; a review of Vico: Genealogist of Modernity; an essay on Solzhenitsyn, Russell Kirk, and the moral imagination; and a review of Thomas Pangle's Political Philosophy and the God of Abraham. From First Things, John Haldane on what philosophy can do, Richard John Neuhaus on tolerance, transhumanisn and democracy, and a review of Christ and the Just Society in the Thought of Augustine. Speed-reading Scripture is not a new idea. Is it a good one? From National Review, a few tributes to a man with many fans. A review of Larry Arnhart's Darwinian Conservatism. A review of Collision Course: The Strange Convergence of Affirmative Action and Immigration Policy in America. A review of David Hackett Souter: Traditional Republican on the Rehnquist Court. Here is Robert LeFevre's classic argument for a purely free society, The Nature of Man and his Government. Is classical liberalism based on skepticism? An article on the limits of liberal tolerance at Harvard Law School. From Brown, Bill O’Reilly crashes the party and students object. David Horowitz has a new target: the confidentiality of college tenure rules. Generous people give money to colleges without restrictions. The money gets misused. And move over, Ward Churchill: there is a professor who might be even more, er, controversial than you
[Nov 18] From Slate, does college need to be reformed? Stanley Katz on America's top university (and responses, including K. Anthony Appiah, Michael Berube, Mark Lilla, Steven Pinker, and Alan Wolfe); and here are the books famous people loved in college. A review of Erotikon: Essays on Eros, Ancient and Modern. The introduction to Thucydides: An Introduction for the Common Reader. The introduction to Exile, Ostracism, and Democracy: The Politics of Expulsion in Ancient Greece. A review of Aristotle on Truth. The first chapter of Wittgenstein on the Arbitrariness of Grammar. Noam Chomsky on evolution, ecology and "Malignant Design". Chris Mooney on how as anti-evolutionists evolve, they strip down the principles of their beliefs. An article on the flawed philosophy of Intelligent Design. A review of The Story of Science: Newton at the Center. A review of Science, Technology, and Democracy. A review of Science in Society: An Introduction to Social Studies of Science pdf. A review of Race to the Finish: Identity and Governance in an Age of Genomics (In-Formation). More on Frans De Waal's Our Inner Ape. From NextBook, an interview with Jerome Karabel, author of The Chosen. A look at the history of awarding honorary degrees. The story of an academic shoot-out on the ethical frontier. Creating diversity on America’s college campuses is a noble goal. Achieving diversity is another matter. Frank McCourt talks about his years as a city public-school teacher. Reports of increasing violence and bad behaviour in British schools are routine in the media. But is it true? From South America, is the Internet a friend or foe of learning? And an article on Simon Bolivar and the art of letter-writing
[Nov 17] David Sklansky (UC-Berkley): Democratic Policing Inside and Out pdf. Richard Brooks (Yale): Race and Uncertainty pdf. Thomas Berg (St. Thomas): John Courtney Murray and Reinhold Niebuhr: Natural Law and Christian Realism. Here is Richard Posner's "Foreword" to the Harvard Law Review Supreme Court Issue pdf. Constitutional scholars voice grave concern at court-stripping amendment. A review of John Locke's Politics of Moral Consensus. The introduction to Emotional Decisions: Tradeoff Difficulty and Coping in Consumer Choice. More on The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth. How do you feel? A study finds genetics are partly to blame. Salon presents the leading edge in science: Decoding the brain, stringing together the universe and arresting human aging, though John Horgan says there will be no more breakthroughs. Cathy Young on Intelligent design's five favorite myths. Monk-y Brains: The Dalai Lama phones it in. A conversation with Carel Van Schaik on orangutans. A self-effacing scholar, David Healy, is psychiatry's gadfly. A review of Restless Souls. Paula Bourges-Waldegg on religion, uncertainty and my mother. It was a sad weekend for the Department of the History of Mathematics at Brown. As the roles of libraries and their keepers change, academics should appreciate those who care for our books. An article on what it really takes to be a professor. Half a century after he proposed school vouchers, Milton Friedman is still on the case. Dartmouth to avoid investing in companies with ties to Sudan. Research finds comic books shadow how we react to threats. And Tibor Machan thinks college research studies provide pointless information
[Nov 16] From Minerva, Annabelle Lever (UCL): Feminism, Democracy and the Right to Privacy. Timothy Wilson (Ottawa): Nietzsche's Early Political Thinking: "Homer on Competition". Tsarina Doyle (UCD): Nietzsche on the Possibility of Truth and Knowledge. From the Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, Geoffrey Galt Harpman (NHC): Derrida, Said, and Infinity; a review essay on doing theology without God; a review of True to Life: Why Truth Matters; a review of Counterpath: Travelling with Jacques Derrida; a review of Jean-Luc Nancy's La Declosion; a review of Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity; and a review of The Western Construction of Religion pdf. A review of Panpsychism in the West (and more). A review of Spinoza and Deep Ecology: Challenging Traditional Approaches to Environmentalism. Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, on our faith in science. Are we, as science describes us, 'machines made of meat'? An essay on Harold Bloom: the critic as Gnostic. More on The Life of David. Research suggests a 'perception' gene tracked humanity's evolution. A review of Three Faces of Desire. From Cornell, on a talk by Judith Butler on “Violence, Non-Violence”. Why sexual intercourse will only make you a 'gazingstock': A look at some recent titles devoted to word usage, grammar and idiom. Speaking Spanish correctly: A new study examines mixed language marketing. Prizes are both sought after and disdained. They are covered by the media with breathless awe and with savage mockery. From TLS, a review of Company of Pianos. From In These Times, a review of Neo-Bohemia: Art and Commerce in the Postindustrial City. Jacob Weisberg went book hunting in Britain. Whose identity is it anyway? Questions about the Indian diaspora are irrelevant to literature. And do not fear the blog; embrace it. You'll be glad you did