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From Yemen, President Ali
Abdullah Saleh reneges on democracy.
From Uzbekistan, with their crackdown on
advocacy groups and international media organizations, the
authorities stem the teaching of English to much of the
From Iran, the government's
failure to deliver economic improvement is fuelling discontent among
Iran’s non-Persian minorities.
An article on the Shanghai
Cooperation Organization, the only major international organization
from which the US is excluded. From Open
Democracy, the determination of Britain's political elite to maintain the country as a
nuclear weapons state is
rooted in a half century of military planning to which the possibility
of tactical and first use of nuclear weapons is
central; and on the thistle and the rose:
300 years after their marriage by treaty, are England and Scotland
heading for a "velvet divorce"? Thomas Brussig on
the healthy new German patriotism.
Some lessons from postwar Germany.
From a new series by the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs,
an essay on stopping
the bleeding of American legitimacy.
reviews The Good Fight.
Peter Beinart on
how Karl Rove is losing Iraq. From NCR, a look at
the three faces of Dick Cheney. Should the president pardon Scooter
even administration critics should favor a pardon.
Draw the line on redistricting mischief:
Take the legislative map out of the politicians' hands and give it to
an independent panel.
"Culture of corruption" is real: Norman Ornstein on how
much of Congress's behavior these days is unethical and repugnant. From Government
Executive, is it all hooey?
The best management theory might simply be to take your own advice.
Diminutive, charisma-free liberal billionaire Michael
Bloomberg plots his path to the White House.
From Media Matters, a look at
the top falsehoods about The New York Times and the Bush bank-tracking
program. Wealthy and wise:
Jacob Weisberg on Warren Buffett's lesson to the
rich. From Wired, a cover story on Rupert
Murdoch and MySpace; and here are
six trends driving the global economy. And
[Jun 29] From Burma, a band of heavy metal Christians speaks of liberty between the lines: Rock the Junta. From Pakistan, an article on the fictional economic man. A review of Bangladesh: The Next Afghanistan? An interview with Ameerah Haq, UN Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan. The EU's search for economic advantage in Turkmenistan and central Asia may be undermining its commitment to human rights. Megaplayers vs. Micropowers: How rising instability is good news for the little guy, and bad for everyone else. Enrique Krauze on how a Lopez Obrador win could usher in a form of Latin American leftism as yet unseen: messianic populism. Here are ten reasons to watch and seven questions on the Mexican presidential race. From Foreign Policy, a guide to the ambitions, nuclear and otherwise, of some of the key figures in Iran; and what if the long and bloody road to creating a two-state solution was abandoned in favor of a new concept of statehood? It’s called a "dual state," and it’s more realistic than you may think. From TNR, an article on why Israel's attack on Gaza isn't enough; and Martin Peretz on the politics of famous names. Amartya Sen on why the time has come for the world as a whole to turn a page, through effective controls on the global arms trade. Richard Holbrooke on turning to the UN, again: It still serves US foreign policy interests in many important ways. John Bolton gambles that wreaking havoc pleases constituency: The mustachioed "reformer" is a bully in china shop. An interview with George Soros on America the Dangerous. An appeals court renders a severe blow to the Homeland Security Department's attempt to curb collective bargaining rights for employees. Robert Scheer on the president's jihad against the press. Macho, Macho Man: Don't get distracted by the erectness of President Bush. It's all for show. Joe Conason on how Bush’s supporters will libel any foe. Let's give credit where credit is due: Nobody knows how to take the worst political hand imaginable and turn it to their own advantage like the Republicans. And a look at the muddled symbolism of a MoveOn attack ad
[Jun 28] From Great Britain, AC Grayling on the opportunistic populism of Tony Blair David Cameron on the Human Rights Act; and slowly, Gordon Brown is growing impatient with Tony Blair. From The Progressive, Greg Palast interviews Hugo Chavez, as the US launches a diplomatic offensive to block Venezuela's bid for a two-year rotating seat on the UN Security Council, and while the National Rifle Association opposes a UN plan to halt the spread of guns. When the cure is worse than the malady: Attempts to halt globalization can cause more harm than global economic integration itself. "N.Y. very polite, Asia quite rude": Asians lack politeness in a survey of world cities. Does North Korea want to launch a missile or start a conversation? Fred Kaplan finds out. Iraqi PM Maliki scales back a proposal to forgive insurgents. Here's what he is and isn't offering. To understand why reflexively associating terrorism with Arabs is ill-advised, consider the arrests in Miami last week of seven men, none of whom were Arab. Video thrilled the radio star: Fighting terror with Jack Bauer and Rush Limbaugh. Depending on which administration official you, um, believed, the Iraq War was going to cost anywhere from $200 million to zero. But it’s going to fly over $1 trillion. Alberto Gonzales is so adept at crying wolf and mouthing the administration's line that he simply cannot be believed any more. The World According to Grover: Newt, Hillary, and the “low-maintenance coalition”: A conservative strategist handicaps 2008. DeLay may be gone, but his legacy isn’t, and more on The House: The History of the House of Representatives. Karl Rove on lessons from a larger-than-life president. Live by Wal-Mart. Die by Wal-Mart: That could be the fate of the Republican Party this November. There are thousands of bars in the U.S. but only a handful are eligible to be included in the National Trust Historic Hotels of America. From Der Spiegel, an interview with Adidas's CEO Herbert Hainer on World Cup commercialism. World Cup Game Theory: Tim Harford on what economics tells us about penalty kicks. And a look at why diving makes soccer great: In defense of soccer's biggest villains
[Jun 27] From Chile, massive student protests are forcing Michelle Bachelet to address inequalities implanted during the country's long Pinochet dictatorship. From The Economist, at the start of the Brazilian presidential race, Lula remains the firm favourite, but there is a dark horse in the running, Geraldo Alckmin. A look at the work of Hernando de Soto of the ILD in Peru. Thomas Friedman on Peru and global warming: "The world is hot". Tropical Messiah: Mexican historian Enrique Krauze on Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador; and they hate him, but they made him: Policies that favored Mexico's wealthy spawned the populist presidential candidate. An interview with Mumia Abu-Jamal on Hispanics. Overbearing government and the welfare state are hurting the United States' poorest citizens in Puerto Rico, and a response by the island's governor. A review of Friendly Fire: Losing Friends and Making Enemies in the Anti-American Century. Ernesto Zedillo on how the failure of the Doha round would threaten the WTO itself. From Australia's Policy, an article on the rise of the opinionators: Labor’s strongest support is no longer in the working class, but among education, arts and social professionals; and Jeremy Shearmur on why free speech is not a licence to disregard the sensibilities of others. What news is moving the markets? Robert J. Shiller finds out. The incredible shrinking newspaper: Newspapers are dying, but the news is thriving. National Review says The New York Times should have their access to government reduced. How to neuter the Republicans: Can netroots bloggers bring down the GOP? The War's Left Front: Daily Kos thinks the politics of Iraq will help him shape the Democratic Party. Blogofascistas: A modern-day Hannah Arendt identifies the new threat of our era. Do we have the will to fight it? An interview with Jaron Lanier on Digital Maoism. A review of Terror on the Internet: The New Arena, the New Challenges. A look at why the Web isn’t all predators all the time. And blogs are either a fantastic liberation, or a self-indulgent waste of time. Why then is the BBC launching one?
[Jun 26] From East Timor, Prime Minister Alkatiri gives his version of what exactly led to the chaos in Dili in late May: An attempted coup? From China, a look at how Communist Party officials are employing brutal methods in dealing with difficult citizens. From India, a review of Tremors of Violence: Muslim Survivors of Ethnic Strife in Western India; and the cultural impoverishment of educated Asian professionals in the West leads to some surprising, and sad, consequences. Who would have believed that Estonia and the Netherlands, two small-seized EU partners, would become entangled in a serious diplomatic dispute? What David Cameron is endorsing now is usually known as libertarian paternalism. In the year since the 7/ 7 terror attacks, Tony Blair’s government has tried a combination of hard power (expanding the role of the police) and soft power (reaching out to local Muslim leaders) to prevent a next time. But the more that officials learn, the scarier things seem. One of these days Tony Blair will step down as prime minister. But then what? An article on weighing up the options. A review of The Union Jack: The Story of the British Flag. Obituary: Charles Haughey, four times taoiseach of Ireland. An article on France's military as a campaign issue, and a look at sex and politics, a la Francaise. Spaniards used to be famed as fervent Catholics. But a new socialist government seems determined to change all that. A review of The Sack of Rome: How a Beautiful European Country With a Fabled History and a Storied Culture Was Taken Over by a Man Named Silvio Berlusconi. Instead of defending narrow commercial interests at exorbitant expense, the US and Europe should promote prosperity and stability among the world's poorest nations. Mosques with foreign flags: An article on Islam in Europe and America. An article on Al-Jazeera as American as apple pie. Iran's oppositionists are divided over what kind of government should follow the Islamic republic. Herewith a brief guide to the leading Iranian activists in Washington DC. Nat Hentoff on a devastating Council of Europe report on CIA involvement with kidnapping and torture. How goes the war on terrorism? On two key fronts – the shifting nature of jihadist networks and the war of ideas – there's plenty to worry about. And Jonathan Alter on how Democrats can beat the "cut and run" rhetoric
[Weekend 2e] Media news: From Editor & Publisher, top writers and editors debate newspapers' future. Do newspapers deserve to have a future? Mark Crispin Miller on the death of news. From AJR, as they struggle to stem the circulation decline, newspapers are taking new approaches to what they put on page one. Heather McDonald on how it's now clear that the New York Times is a national security threat, and here's the case for the prosecution. An interview with Danny Schechter, author of When News Lies: Media Complicity and the Iraq War. Journalism is about playing around, doing mischief, having adventures, taking risks, undermining the powerful, and chortling darkly the whole time. Eric Boehlert on how all political reporters read ABC's The Note, and that's why they keep missing the story. An interview with Tom Engelhardt on how the MSM works and how to read the news (and part 2 ). Newspapers can get statistics showing which stories attract the most attention. Will those numbers heighten the tabloidization of America’s newspapers? The Web's yellow DNA: Online punditry harkens back to Old Media's populist roots. News is produced by trained journalists. But the rise of the "citizen journalist" is rivalling the authority of traditional reporting. Virtual reality: John Judis defends the blogosphere. What's wrong with Slate? Michael Wolff, Eugene Volokh, David Talbot, Jonah Goldberg take turns. Screamfests are so old media: Bloggingheads' low-key political chat is sharp and surprisingly fun to watch. From The Chicago Tribune, here's the Fourth Annual 50 Best Magazines. From Open Democracy, free culture and the internet: an introduction to a new semiotic democracy. What does Jurgen Habermas think about the internet? The Internet isn't that big a deal, neither is the PC: A review of FutureHype: The Myths of Technology Change. An interview with Bill Gates. And for the first time, a major company has gone on record laying claim to customer calling and Internet records as its own property
[Weekend] From France, Andre Glucksmann looks at the spread of the abomination of abominations: the war against civilians; and Ségolène Royal emerges as early star. From Monthly Review, a look at Three Moments of the French Revolt. What's an idealistic Trotskyite to do in Paris now? Three decades after Serge July founded Liberation, his career in journalism is over. Chancellor Angela Merkel calls Germany a "basket case", angering many. Is she right? Germany's relationship with the recent past is not as happy as its present, flag-waving mood would suggest. Historian Geoffrey Hosking examines Russians' complex of strong, ambivalent and unresolved feelings about their national past. A review of Conversations of Russia: Reform from Yeltsin to Putin. Finland's presidency of the EU will find the experience of its unique cold-war history valuable in the effort to improve relations with Russia and the Muslim world. From Tikkun, an article on the use of force in Jewish tradition and in Zionist practice. A review of Standing With Israel. From FT, a review of The Parliament of Man: The United Nations and the Quest for World Government. Who will be the next Kofi Annan? An interview with Shashi Tharoor, head of public relations for the UN. The selection of a new UN Secretary General is too important to be engineered by the whims and prejudices of John Bolton. On Bolton v Gore, it's a question of priorities: hunger and disease or climate change? From Time, a look at the Miami Seven: How serious was the threat? The high-profile scandals involving Randy "Duke" Cunningham, Tom DeLay, Alan Mollohan and Jack Abramoff all have one thing in common: the use of charities as political subterfuge: An in-depth look. Are Republicans stingy but principled while Democrats are generous but racist? And is John Stewart bad for democracy? An article on Dave "Mudcat" Saunders as the Democrats' Dixie huckster. Michelle Cottle on why Ann Coulter really is the most hated woman in America, but she may have a point, kind of. And SWF seeks friendship--possibly more--with adventurous, nonsmoking lover of William F. Buckley. A TNR reporter in the world of conservative dating
[Jun 23] News from around the world: From Nepal, two astounding months have crushed a king and put Maoists into office. From Afghanistan, unable to win on the battlefield, the Taliban are fighting to prevent half the country's children from getting an education; and is the country sliding back into chaos? Amid a fresh outbreak of violence, Al-Qaida's number two leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, calls for an uprising against the forces that ousted the Taliban. From Pakistan, once you are in the domain of public policy, down from the Olympian heights, life presents itself in terms that cannot afford much philosophising anyway. From Egypt, a number of factors indicate that democratisation is back to square one, unless the opposition can force the government's hand; more on the struggle for democracy; and the latest issue of Al-Ahram quarterly "Beyond" is out. From India, brash, messy and sexy, Bombay embodies the nation's ambition; and from Economic and Political Weekly, an essay on The Bomb, Biography and the Indian Middle Class pdf. From the Overseas Young Chinese Forum's Perspectives, an essay on China and the Changing Dynamics of World Oil Market pdf. A review of China Shakes the World: the rise of a hungry nation. China grooms a strategic relationship with the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. The success of the Grameen Bank's microcredit model in Bangladesh has spawned similar programs throughout the world, and Burkina Faso is one such example. There is a silver bullet for Africa's malaria epidemic: An article on why the Bush administration won't pull the trigger. A year on from the G8 and Live 8, parts of Africa are making good progress. But it's not thanks to the money and the debt relief that often prop up the wrong kind of leader. Residents of Mbour in Senegal have found a new source of income: smuggling West Africans 800 miles to the Canary Islands of Spain. From The Economist, contrary to fears on both sides of the Atlantic, integrating Europe's Muslims can be done; and on why so many Muslims find it easier to be American than to feel European. Bush's Austria trip has underscored just how much Europeans dislike the US president. And on why dollar hegemony is unhealthy: The world’s dangerous dependence on the US dollar risks hurting all
[Jun 22] Great Britain, Europe, and Foreign Affairs: From The Telegraph, wrong, defeated, humiliated: why the Left still hates Lady Thatcher. From The Guardian, liberalism failed to set us free, indeed, it enslaved us: The doctrine was meant to get the state off our backs, but instead it has granted the government licence to interfere. A new issue of The Commoner: A Web Journal of Other Values is out, on re(in)fusing the commons. A new issue of Progress is out. From Prospect, one year after 7/7, a challenge to the traditionalist, literal reading of the Koran is gathering strength as a younger generation of Muslims seeks a less insular and more western faith, and an interview with Tariq Ramadan; what kind of foreign policy can we expect from Gordon Brown as prime minister?; and stuffed full of Locke-quoting philosophers and particle physicists, the civil service elite is the last refuge of the British intellectual, but is this to be celebrated? A review of Plundering the Public Sector: How New Labour Are Letting Consultants Run Off with £70 Billion of Our Money. From New Statesman, European institutions are now judged by our once-enthusiastic PM in terms of how little they can interfere, rather than what they can achieve. Why is a political Europe desirable? Because it would serve the interests of everyone. Tzvetan Todorov tells us why. A look at the new EU directive on telephone and Internet surveillance through the lens of Michel Foucault's theory of the Panopticon. An interview with Timothy Garton Ash on Europe, the US and his old friend Michael Ignatieff. And from Foreign Affairs, Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future on When The Shiites Rise; a review of Minxin Pei's China's Trapped Transition: The Limits of Developmental Autocracy; Gurcharan Das on The India Model, but is India America's new strategic partner? Ashton Carter finds out; Richard Holbrooke reviews The Good Fight; Jack Snyder reviews The Peace of Illusions: American Grand Strategy From 1940 to the Present and Reluctant Crusaders: Power, Culture, and Change in American Grand Strategy; a review of Lessons of Empire: Imperial Histories and American Power and Among Empires: American Ascendancy and Its Predecessors; a benign revolution: A defense of Hugo Chavez; and William Easterly responds to Amartya Sen
[Jun 21] From Slovakia, Robert Fico will probably be the next leader. There is probably little cause for fear. With talks on Kosovo going nowhere, concerns are growing that a mass Serb exodus would result should the province be granted independence. An essay on the "Soft War" for Europe's East. In response to growing media reports of illegal CIA prisons in Eastern Europe and secret flights at European airports, the EU Parliament sets up a commission to investigate. Hollywood in the World: America's once-winning story is now losing. Foreign Policy takes a look at the major insurgent groups in Iraq. The US military recovers the bodies of two missing soldiers, Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker. An interview with Michael Berg, father of Nicholas, about his congressional campaign. Frank Rich on how Karl Rove beat the Democrats again. An article on the problematic legacy of Michael Gerson, Bush's departing speechwriter. Former White House official and Abramoff associate David Safavian is found guilty. Kevin Drum reviews The Broken Branch by Mann and Ornstein. A review of The House: The History of the House of Representatives. The mantle of "possible presidential candidate" holds much more allure than "little-known congressman." Some companies see Democrats having more sway in Washington after the elections, and shift contributions to the left. What if three admitted adulterers run for president and no one cares? Jonathan Chait has questions for the anti-estate tax Democrat. As Joe Lieberman demonstrates, principles are only good if you’ve got the right ones. Is there a fight brewing among conservatives on the Supreme Court ? EJ Dionne investigates. Cathy Young on why Ann Coulter isn't a national treasure. It is often said that liberals don't have a sense of humor. What is this, a joke? Politics is the last laugh: Washington DC is unmatched as America's entertainment center. From The New Yorker, James Surowiecki on the failures of world soccer. An article on Ronaldhino and the art of being the world's best player (and part 2). Famous upsets in sports abound, but it is still soccer whose results are so entangled with a nation's history and sense of identity. And the World Cup would have fascinated Adam Ferguson, who understood group psychology and the dynamics of nationalism
[Jun 20] From Der Spiegel, Airbus has owned up to another delay in production of its prestige jumbo jet, the A380. The debacle will cost billions and open old wounds in French-German relations. A slim majority of nations on the International Whaling Commission votes in support of whaling, a symbolic victory for pro-whaling nations. An interconnected planet creates both need and opportunity to see the world and ourselves anew: An article on the "interdependence day" project. Interviews with Mexican presidential candidates Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Felipe Calderon. An excerpt from Yankee No! Anti - Americanism in U.S. - Latin American Relations by Alan McPherson. Robert Kagan on anti-Americanism's deep roots: The current wave of hostility will ebb, but this is about more than the Iraq War. A review of Überpower: The Imperial Temptation of America. An interview with King Abdullah II of Jordan. From Foreign Policy, an interview with Said T. Jawad, Afghanistan's ambassador to the US; and is the United States winning the war on terror? Not according to America’s top foreign-policy hands. People like to say that the world changed on 9/11, that it became a more confusing place. But for two men, the world became much clearer. A whole new mini-industry is providing instantaneous translation and analysis of terrorists' Web sites. Karl Rove's master plan was to make George W. Bush the William McKinley of the 21st century. Why didn't it work? The Internet is an economic and social triumph; who could possibly wreck it? The Bush administration, natch. With "Me Media", users generate the content, creating their own space online. How has it changed the face of social interaction? Slate celebrates its first decade with all-time favorite articles, lots of self congratulation, and a few sharp critiques. What makes Slate slatey? It's a Web site. It's a magazine. It's a club. Founding editor Michael Kinsley looks back at the first 10 years, and a timeline. As the Internet grows up, the news industry is forever changed; Jay Rosen on Web users opening the gate; and here's a brief history of washingtonpost.com. And the Independent Press Association was founded to champion alternative magazines, but now its members say it has become the kind of hard-hearted corporation it once opposed
[Jun 19] Potpourri: From Popular Science, here are 10 steps to end America’s fossil-fuel addiction. There is simply no credible way to attack climate change without raising the cost of carbon emissions, says Jeffrey Sachs. Carlo Petrini's protest against McDonald's has grown into an international movement that has revolutionised the way we eat and farm. Author of The Trial: A History, from Socrates to OJ Simpson Sadakat Kadri on animal rights. Linda Hirshman unleashes the wrath of stay-at-home moms. Feminism has given women more freedom and men the opportunity to be stay-at-home dads. But just how many Mr. Moms are out there? A Theory of Idleness: An excerpt from Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America. What if Superman weren’t a WASP? What if he were Jewish? Would that have mattered? The Smartest Superheroes: Just because they look super in tights doesn’t mean some heroes don’t have super brains too. Years after she first emerged from the Batcave, Batwoman is coming out of the closet. Whatever happened to the superheroes of old? And Pow! Shazaam! It’s “Minoriteam”! In These Times goes behind the scenes of a controversial new Cartoon Network show
[Weekend 2e] From South Africa, the 30th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto Uprising provides an occasion to reflect on the legacy of these remarkable events. From India, a review of Dalit Phobia: Why Do They Hate Us? From Australia, Christopher Pearson on why cultures are not all equal. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit ended with fine words among the east-central Asian partners, but the subtext reveals continuing great-power rivalry between Russia and China. From MR, some comments on the class foundations of the Occupation. A group of academics and security experts propose the creation of an international rapid reaction force that could be deployed within 48 hours of a green light from the UN. Here's the latest update on The State of Iraq. The cream of the US intelligence community's strategic analysts recently huddled behind closed doors in Washington, with academics and experts from the US and Europe, to talk about building global democracy. Shuttle diplomacy: How are stressed astronauts stopped from fighting? An interview with British Petroleum's CEO Lord Browne: "We take the problem of climate change seriously". From Time, an 87-year-old retired farmer and former SS member, Theodore Junker, has erected a shrine to honor Hitler. Mark Warner flops with the Kossaks, gets a bounce with the MSM, and learns that courting the Democratic netroots is no simple thing. Knives, rifles and a whip. Are Bush's gift-givers trying to say something? A review of Public Editor #1: The Collected Columns (With Reflections, Reconsiderations, and Even a Few Retractions) of the First Ombudsman of The New York Times by Daniel Okrent. From Rigas Laiks, sport's primitive allure provides a rare and necessary outlet for people desperate to rally behind a cause other than the national economy and making a living. Director of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations Pascal Boniface on the geopolitics of football. A review of books on football. And for 30 days much of the planet will watch the World Cup. But how do you choose who to cheer for when your own team isn’t playing?
[Weekend] Europe: From Great Britain, Tony Blair's political debt to Karl Marx is disclosed in a 22-page letter to Michael Foot written almost 25 years ago-- a tad adolescent, but it certainly served its purpose; and Hobsbawm, Straw, Benn and others on whether Marx still matters; London is often hailed as a true multicultural city. But in the shadows of this multi-coloured carnival lurks a cast-iron ethnic division of labour; and once liberal, Melanie Phillips is now known for her scathing criticism of modern Britain, immigration and the anti-semitism. What's all that about? (and more on British multiculturalism). From Spain, Catalonia votes in a referendum offering it even greater autonomy. From France, the smaller parties that tripped up the Socialist Party challenge in 2002 by drawing off left-wing support are once again on the march; and Libération discovers even Maoists need money. From Georgia, President Mikhail Saakashvili rules with a heavy hand. Long the darling of the West, concerns are growing about human rights violations and threats of war. Despite turning Slovakia from pariah to champion, Mikulas Dzurinda has become the latest reformer in central Europe to face the prospect of electoral defeat. From Germany's Merkur, the rationalist critique of religion needed the means of mockery if it was not to become toothless. But mockery was and is only rational when used as a weapon against power and oppression. Charles Kupchan, author of The End of the American Era, has long been a courageous advocate for Europe. Now that he is changing his mind. And a new issue of Europe's World is out, including a look at why religion is the wild card in transatlantic relations; an article on how things turned nasty for the nice guys of the OSCE; articles on scenarios for escaping the constitutional impasse, treating Europe's Ills, diagnosis and prescription, and six priorities for tackling the EU crisis; and a section on Views from the Capitals pdf
[Jun 16] From Japan, the rising sun leaves some in the shade. From Egypt, chairman of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies Saad Eddin Ibrahim on the domestic wars of Hosni Mubarak. From Zimbabwe, leading playwright Cont Mdladla Mhlanga is arrested. The Nongqawuse syndrome: A dozen years after apartheid ended, a dangerous mix of populism, nativism and millenarian thinking is inviting South Africans to commit political suicide. An essay on the distribution and redistribution of land in Africa. The social movements in France: An article on political lessons from the last 10 years (and part 2). An agreement on the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region seems unlikely in the near future. The Kosovo genocide has ended, but the ethnic strife continues. How has Latin America moved left? Immanuel Wallerstein wonders. China's love market is another unexpected offspring of communist tradition and modern market economics. From Newsweek, the administration is seen as weak, distracted and drained over Iraq—and foreign leaders are taking advantage of it. The Pew Global Attitudes Project has released results of its annual global public-opinion polls for 2006, shows increasingly negative views toward the US. Do you suppose the rest if the world just assumes George W. Bush is a moron when he goes overseas? From The Economist, an article on the rich, the poor and the growing gap between them: The rich are the big gainers. America's war for hearts and minds: Mind your language, a little politeness goes a long way. Bush's favorite author Michael Gerson is leaving the White House. Google is making its move on the federal government with Google US Government Search. Google dominates the lucrative market for web-search, but its rivals are setting out to change that. Pioneering blogger Robert Scoble moves on to the next big thing. Daily Kos goes to Vegas: Liberal bloggers descend on the Strip for some heavy petting, and a look at what was missing at YearlyKos. And invite the public to dream up frightening terrorist attacks for an internet competition, and you'll get some spectacular recipes for destruction
[Jun 30] From National
review of The End of Commitment:
Intellectuals, Revolutionaries, and Political
Morality in the Twentieth Century. Terry Madonna
and Michael Young on
the genius of America's political temperament.
We're all Progressives now: Jonah Goldberg on how
and liberals are finding faith in the power of
the state. A review
of George Lakoff's Whose Freedom? The Battle Over
America's Most Important Idea (and
more). From The Weekly Standard,
review of The Party of Death by
Ramesh Ponnuru. A look at why
Christian conservatives are souring on the GOP.
On the surface, Republicans
Shawn Stuart and Ralph Reed have little in common,
but both have bigotry at the core of their
campaigns. From MR, the question now
for leftists is this: do we begin
an active campaign for an election boycott in the US,
in order to delegitimize the system? Do
election-night predictions reduce voter turnout?
Jack Shafer investigates. Here's the
story behind Glenn Greenwald's How
Would a Patriot Act? From Alternet, a
look at those air conditioners that keep things cool
and comfortable inside are helping make the outside world
even nastier as they put a chill
on community spirit,
aids the cause of anti-enviros, and just
might have given us Bush. Katha Pollitt on the Mommy
Wars, Round 587: On Linda Hirshman's Get to
Work. A ruling by Bush's NLRB could weaken
labor protections for hundreds of thousands of workers,
and here are the minutes from a Intergalactic
Transformers Union, Local 760 meeting. Thirty
years ago, SCOTUS decided Gregg
v Georgia, reaffirming the death penalty. Fifty
years ago, the National System of Interstate and
Defense Highways, "the
greatest public works program in the history of the world", was
created: Time to watch "Taken
for a Ride" again then? Ben Stein
writes to Treasury
Secretary Henry Paulson: "It's time to
raise taxes"; and an article on looking
for the incentives that will prompt Americans to
save more. A look at why
high earners work longer hours. A
review of 100 Bullshit Jobs...And How to Get Them.
Childhood games like tag, dodgeball and rock paper
scissors are being reclaimed by adults.
Is there some deep societal reason why
people are returning to kiddie fun? And what was
Hegel writing about? Perhaps
work experience on a fashion magazine
A new issue of The
Economists' Voice is out, including Robert
W. Hahn and Scott Wallsten (AEI-Brookings): The
Economics of Net Neutrality; and Laurence J.
Kotlikoff (BU): Are Economists
Smarter? (and a
response ). From NBER Digest, a
summary of a report on "Comparing Government Healthcare Costs in Ten OECD Countries".
Economist John Milios of the National Technical University in Athens is
denied entrance into the US for a conference at SUNY-Stony Brook, and
an article on
learning to love economists.
Researchers find that
the link between income and happiness is greatly exaggerated and mostly
A review of
The Primacy of
the Subjective: Foundations for a Unified Theory of Mind and
Language. A review
of The Penguin Freud Reader, edited by Adam Phillips.
The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity by Rebecca Goldstein.
review of Daniel Dennett's Breaking the
Spell. From The Common Review, an
editor's note in
the penal colonies; an essay on Desperately
Seeking Susan (Sontag); an article on remembering
the 1936 Berlin Olympics; and a review
of Martha Nussbaum's Frontiers of Justice pdf.
From HNN, an article on the
fictitious suppression of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.
review of Uncommon Valor: A Story of Race, Patriotism, and Glory in the
Final Battles of the Civil War. A new
issue of Smithsonian magazine is out.
Why is it that you can't recall a single instance
when Thoreau described shitting in the woods or a time when he
discussed the romantic shortcomings of hermitage? Flabbergasted
Christians want King and King taken
off the school bookshelf.
An article on how the tiny Virginia Quarterly Review
made such a big splash in the magazine industry. From Great
Britain, with moves afoot
to shift the "lad mag" to the top shelf, what would the critics have
young men read instead?
What kind of art flourishes in a conformist state? An article on
North Korea's commons culture. Old controversies don’t
die; they eventually come back for more.
Scott McLemee links up the loose ends from previous columns. Jonathan Yardley
reviews Ice Cream: The Delicious History. And
review of A Passion for Ice Cream
[Jun 29] From n+1, an article on Alain Badiou, Badass. A review of The Blackwell Guide to Descartes' Meditations. A review of Free Speech and Democracy in Ancient Athens, a review of Governing With the Charter: Legislative and Judicial Activism and Framers’ Intent, a review of The Torture Debate In America, and a review of Law Without Justice: Why Criminal Law Doesn’t Give People What They Deserve. A review of Accounts of Innocence: Sexual Abuse, Trauma, and the Self, a review of Jonathan Lear's Freud, a review of Curious Emotions: Roots of consciousness and personality in motivated action, a review of Brute Rationality: Normativity and Human Action, and a review of Genes in Conflict: The Biology of Selfish Genetic Elements. From Edge, Harvard's George Church on Constructive Biology. Love’s labour’s never lost: Does the peahen choose the peacock because of his colours, or because the colours tell her something else about him? Scientists run tests to establish exactly where nails-on-a-blackboard ranks in the hierarchy of annoying sounds. Researchers find that merely a picture of watching eyes makes us act more honestly. What is intuition? Here's a taxonomy and a short philosophical history. From TLS, a review of The Occult Tradition: From the Renaissance to the present day. From The New Humanist, what if you not only believed that the world was going to end but had the power to make it happen? Exploring the modern occult. From Iraq, campus life cannot wait for peace, says Mosa al-Mosawe, president of Baghdad University, but dangers are ever present. Freedom to think: Academic freedom means never having to say you're sorry. Incoming chancellor of the UC- Santa Cruz, Denice D. Denton commits suicide. A study finds teaching girls in single-sex schools makes no difference to their educational attainment. A review of Friendship: An Exposé, by Joseph Epstein. On the latest production of "Hannah & Martin": Heidegger is an incorrigible pussy hound. And from New York, graffiti in its own words: Old-timers remember the golden age of the art movement that actually moved
[Jun 28] Geoffrey Corn (South Texas): Kosovo, and the Final Destruction of the War Powers Resolution. David Schkade (UT), Cass Sunstein and Reid Hastie (Chicago): What Happened on Deliberation Day? Daniel Conkle (Indiana): Secular Fundamentalism, Religious Fundamentalism, and the Search for Truth in Contemporary America. A review of Heinrich Meier's Leo Strauss and the Theologico-Political Problem. Christianity predicts a negative result: For philosopher Richard Swinburne, the results of the latest prayer study came as little surprise. 176-year-old tortoise Harriet, believed to have been owned by Charles Darwin, dies. From H-Net, a review of Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya. More on Gordon Wood's Revolutionary Characters. From Inside Higher Ed, James Pierpont decided to share a secret about himself during a campus interview, thinking his comments were confidential. They weren’t. Ralf Dahrendorf on universities: Renaissance or decay? Is the Facebook website going to create the digital equivalent of the old school tie? A good idea in education reform is "weighted student funding," in which a child receives financing that travels with him to the public school of his family's choice. More on ED Hirsch's The Knowledge Deficit. LibraryThing lets book lovers tout their personal library and snoop the shelves of fellow bibliophiles for good reads. Here's a translation of an essay by Jacques Derrida, "Literature in Secret: An Impossible Filiation". The native language you speak may determine how your brain solves mathematical puzzles, according to a new study. From The New Yorker, Louis Menand on the silence of someone else’s cell phone and other pleasures of aging. Women are fuelling the supersexualised culture. But are "female chauvinist pigs" really to blame? An interview with Ariel Levy. And worth $44 billion, Warren Buffet says he will start giving away 85% of his wealth, most of it to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (and more); Business Week takes a look at Buffett's Mega Gift, and calls it great news for the world and a brilliant choice; more on what we can learn from the gift; and a critique from the Fourth International
[Jun 27] From Virginia Quarterly Review, an article on The Little Box That Contains the World: Serbia After the Death of Miloševic; Beneath Us, the Ground Still Moves: Pakistan, April 2006; and an essay on A Polar Turn of Mind: Finding Peace and Quiet in the High Canadian Arctic. The History Channeler: For Simon Schama, scholarship is best served with a touch of drama. The plus and minus of a short memory: Is it better to forget the pain of war, or does that doom us to repeat history? From Inside Higher Ed, a federal judge gives the US government 90 days to act on the visa application of Tariq Ramadan (and more). From Duke, an article on why even annoying, rich white boys deserve justice. From Comment, making the most of college: philosophy as schooled memory, and studying ourselves to life or to death? A review of The Importance of Being Eton (and more). The author of what has been described as the definitive dictionary of slang is jacked like a cock-maggot in a sink-hole: A school district bans the dictionary under pressure from of conservatives. Mainstream publishers are releasing an unusual amount of books on current affairs. From The Toronto Star, one day, there will be no place like 7FJ5 Q92X: Universal addresses aren't romantic, but they make sense in today's world; and a warning: This story could get you high. Another reason to love "Ideas". If addiction is linked to faulty brain function, as new research is revealing, the cure may be pharmaceutical. Are stem cells the real culprits in cancer? The deepest cut: How can someone live with only half a brain? If you are male, having more older brothers makes it more likely you will be gay, suggesting a biological rather than environmental basis. A study finds the greater the number of bars in a neighborhood, the higher the rates of assault. All work and no play: A new study shows that, in the long run, virtue is regretted more than vice. The gaze is the opposite of the stare, inviting connection; and so the world divides into the gazed and not gazed upon. And a new musical instrument exemplifies the love affair between math and music
[Jun 26] Book reviews and more: A review of The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors and Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors. A review of The Origin of Culture and Civilization: The Cosmological Philosophy of the Ancient World View Regarding Myth, Astrology, Science, and Religion. A review of The English Civil War. More on What Would the Founders Do? Our Questions, Their Answers. A review of Divided Union: The Politics of War in the Early American Republic. A review of books on Benjamin Disraeli and the politics of performance. More and more and more on The Black Hole: Money, Myth and Empire, a review of The Future of the Great Game: Sir Olaf Caroe, India's Independence, and the Defense of Asia, and a review of Temptations of the West: How to be Modern in India, Pakistan and Beyond. A review of Rulers and Victims: The Russians in the Soviet Union. More on The Battle for Spain. A review of Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction. A review of Killing Hitler. A review of Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan. A review of Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz. An Essay in Historical Interpretation (and more). A review of Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. A review of Jack Kennedy: The Education of a Statesman. A review of Political Authority and Obligation in Aristotle. A review of Knowledge and Practical Interests. A review of Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant by Andrea Dworkin, Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide by Maureen Dowd, Self-Made Man: My Year Disguised as a Man by Norah Vincent, and Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues by Catharine MacKinnon. A review of Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage and Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage. A review of Timothy Leary: A Biography. Thus Ate Zarathustra: Woody Allen on why German philosophers don’t get fat. Faith has reasons of which reason knows nothing: What lingers after several viewings of "Bill Moyers on Faith and Reason" are discussions of mythology and matters that would typically preoccupy a novelist. And John Updike on The End of Authorship
[Weekend 2e] From Archeology, an interview with The Smithsonian's Dorothy Lippert on the rewards of repatriation. A review of Nichoals Wade's Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors. From Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, Jedediah Purdy on The New Biopolitics. A look at why Brave New World is one of the most bewitching and insidious works of literature ever written: A defence of paradise engineering. A review of More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement. Why not use genetics to end child suffering? From Rigas Laiks, an article on the legendary Georgian philosopher Merab Mamardashvili, whom the Cheka once called "the freest man in the country". Humble Billionaire: A review of George Soros' The Age of Fallibility. Described by Saul Bellow as one of Israel's world-class writers, AB Yehoshua has provoked fury at home and abroad with his controversial views on Jewishness and the future of Jerusalem. A review of Amartya Sen's Identity and Violence. From the Journal of Turkish Weekly, an essay on Historicism in Dilthey and Criticized by Gadamer. A review of Louis Althusser and the Traditions of French Marxism. A review of Prolegomena to a Philosophy of Religion. How do you FedEx the Pope? Case Western physicist Lawrence Krauss wants to know. A review of The Ethical Brain. What is the difference between science and pseudo-science? An article on Naturalism and its Discontents. Can humanists talk to postmodernists? Mark Goldblatt on academia's version of the Tower of Babel. A review of The Anti-Oedipus Papers by Felix Guattari. Take the Shrink Challenge: Can a psychiatrist really tell what's wrong with you? Why did two of today's top novelists tangle with Henry James in the same year? Terry Eagleton reviews The Year of Henry James: The Story of a Novel. A review of Book by Book: Notes on Reading and Life by Michael Dirda. And a review of Tintin and the Secret of Literature
[Weekend] From a conference on "Political Theory and the European Union" at the University of Frankfurt, Michelle Everson (London): The limits to legal interventionism: law and non-law in the making of Europe; Giandomenico Majone (Florence): The Common Sense of European Integration; Andrew Moravcsik (Princeton): What Can We Learn from the Failure of the European Constitutional Project?; Glyn Morgan (Harvard): Public Justification and European Integration; Claus Offe (Berlin): The problem of legitimacy in the European polity. Is democratization the answer?; and Neil Walker (Florence): Constitutionalism's Inflated Postnational Currency doc and pdf. From Perspectives in Politics, a symposium on immigration, including an introduction, Luis R. Fraga (Stanford) and Gary M. Segura (Washington): Culture Clash? Contesting Notions of American Identity and the Effects of Latin American Immigration; Richard Alba (SUNY-Albany): Mexican Americans and the American Dream; Susan Eckstein (BU): Cuban Emigres and the American Dream; and Frank D. Bean, Susan K. Brown and Ruben G. Rumbaut (UC-Irvine): Mexican Immigrant Political and Economic Incorporation pdf. A review of Filibuster: Obstruction and Lawmaking in the U.S. Senate; a review of The Constitution in Congress: Descent into the Maelstrom, 1829-1861; a review of The Constitution and Campaign Finance Reform; a review of The Law in Shambles; a review of Democracy, Minorities and International Law; and a review of Denial of Justice in International Law. A new issue of the Web Journal of Current Legal Issues is out, on legal education. From National Journal, most young black lawyers, according to a new study, do not fare well in large law firms precisely because of the racial preferences that get them hired in the first place. Law school by default: Want to keep your options open? Don't train to be a lawyer. A natural sense of justice: Three simple games determine when and why humans cooperate. And a review of Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes, And Trial of a Desk Murderer by David Cesarani
[Jun 23] The politics of sex and gender: From TNR, Martha Nussbaum reviews Harvey Mansfield's Manliness: "Suppose a philosophical scholar with high standards..." Metrosexuals are so last year. We're in the middle of a menaissance. Why men are more aggressive: What a mother should know. A look at why boys aren't the only ones who suffer from a lack of fatherly attention. The "Male Factor": Infertility is a widespread scourge among men. So why don't they speak out? From Current Research in Social Psychology, a paper on Body Image and Expected Future Interaction pdf. What's wrong with treating intersex in the womb? A review of Sex Change, Social Change: Reflections on Identity, Institutions, and Imperialism. From The New Yorker, an interview with Cynthia Gorney on the ban on abortion in South Dakota. A review of How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics, and the War on Sex and With Liberty and Justice For All: A Life Spent Protecting the Right to Choose. Are the loudest culture warriors using pro-life rhetoric as a veil for the regulation of sex? A review of When Sex Goes to School Warring Views on Sex and Sex Education Since the Sixties. A review of The Naked Truth About Sex: A Guide to Intelligent Sexual Choices for Teenagers and Twentysomethings. From American Sexuality, validating all Christian unions: What does the history of slave families in churches teach us? From Godspy, an article on Porn and the Sacred Heart. From Christianity Today, 30 and single? It's your own fault: A review of Getting Serious About Getting Married: Rethinking the Gift of Singleness. From The Village Voice, Beyond Gay Marriage: A circle of friends point toward the next battle: Polyamory; and Gay Until Penetration: Hetero men grapple with being taken for fags. From Salon, live girl-on-girl action!: Girls making out with each other to turn on guys is the latest craze at high school and college parties. Is this sexual liberation, or regression? Is America the land of sex maniacs? BDSM is much like grad school, although the BDSM crowd tends to wear more black leather and get more erotic gratification. And a review of Sex Collectors: The Secret World of Consumers, Connoisseurs, Curators, Creators, Dealers, Bibliographers, and Accumulators of "Erotica" (and more)
[Jun 22] From Ars Disputandi, Tom Rockmore (Duquesne): Before and After 9/11: Religion, Politics, and Ethics; Joseph Margolis (Temple): Intimations of Moral Philosophy, By Way of War and Terrorism; and Gianluca Di Muzio (IU-Northwest): Theism and the Meaning of Life pdf. From Free Inquiry, Paul Kurtz on why he's a skeptic about religious claims; Sam Harris replies to a Christian; and Peter Singer on the freedom to ridicule religion and deny the Holocaust. A review of Aristotle on Teleology. The first chapter from Fearless Symmetry: Exposing the Hidden Patterns of Numbers. From The New York Times, American conservatism can claim another mark of distinction: an encyclopedia all its own; and a campus for scholars, not fighters: A Palestinian college at Al Aksa University is growing from the rubble of an uprooted Israeli settlement. From The Chronicle, professors of paranoia? Academics give a scholarly stamp to 9/11 conspiracy theories. Politics trumped academic integrity when a network torpedoed the appointment of Juan Cole to a faculty position at Yale. From the latest issue of Academe, an interview with Kenneth Arrow on economic thought and academic freedom. Are Asian college applicants systematically discriminated against? Are law schools to blame for unhappy black lawyers? Let them discriminate: Kathryn Jean Lopez on why Catholic schools should be free to be Catholic. Here are the winners of the 2006 Campus Independent Journalism Awards. Curriculum Wars: A California State Senator wants to help public schools catch up with history. Academic publishers met to grapple with the digital age. Scott McLemee takes a look at the strategic plan (and more). Penn State professor Blair Hedges says he has found a new way to date centuries-old books by using a technique similar to what scientists use to study mutations. The Big Payoff: A look at how US non-proliferation funding has shaped post-Soviet science. Quantum Pulp: Some physics is just crime fiction with math. The world's biggest ever nuclear fusion reactor is about to begin construction in the hills of Provence. Is this really money well spent? One of France's greatest private collections of manuscripts and rare editions from the giants of French literature fetches high prices. From TLS, on the failures of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport: What price our literary heritage? And painting for profit: Is art a good investment?
[Jun 21] From the World Federalist Institute, Joseph E. Schwartzberg (Minn): Needed: A United Nations Administrative Academy; the first chapter from One World Democracy by Jerry Tetalman and Byron Belitson; and the introduction to The Politics of World Federalism by Joseph Baratta pdf. Here's a free online book: A Global Parliament: Principles of World Federation. A review of NAFTA Revisited: Achievements and Challenges. A review of International Organizations as Law-Makers; a review of The Law of Armed Conflict: Constraints on the Contemporary Use of Military Force; and a review of Global Anti-Terrorism Law and Policy. From Human Rights & Human Welfare, a review of Protecting Human Rights: A Comparative Study pdf. More from Policy Review: Ethan J. Leib reviews Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers by Kwame Anthony Appiah; Peter Berkowitz reviews Revolutionary Characters: What Made The Founders Different by Gordon Wood; and a review of The Ruling Caste: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj and Sahib: The British Soldier in India. A review of The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man who sent Charles I to the Scaffold. From the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce's E-Journal, a review of Stefan Collini's Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain. From Butterflies & Wheels, the introduction to Follies of the Wise by Frederick Crews. A review of Jacques lacan: An Introduction. A review of Camus and Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel that Ended It by Ronald Aronson. From Salon, a new biography is perfect for those who haven't read Remembrance of Things Past but would like to pretend they have. A review of Oblivion by Marc Augé. An interview with Lars Iyer, author of Blanchot’s Communism: Art, Philosophy, Politics and Blanchot’s Vigilance: Phenomenology, Literature, Ethics. A review of Hegel and feminist philosophy. A review of The Politics of Method in the Human Sciences: Positivism and Its Epistemological Others. A review of Brain Arousal and Information Theory: Neural and Genetic Mechanisms. Neuroscientists have proposed a simple explanation for the pleasure of grasping a new concept: The brain is getting its fix. And an interview with Steve Quartz, a man who knows what you are thinking
[Jun 20] Louis Michael Seidman (Georgetown): Critical Constitutionalism Now. The first chapter from Are Judges Political? An Empirical Analysis of the Federal Judiciary by Cass R. Sunstein, David Schkade, Lisa M. Ellman, and Andres Sawicki pdf. From Democratiya, a review of Francis Fukuyama's America at the Crossroads. Strauss versus the Straussians: Grant Havers replies to Paul Gottfried (and a response by Gottfried). A review of Sea of Faith: Islam and Christianity in the Medieval Mediterranean World. More on Rebecca Goldstein's Betraying Spinoza. A review of E.J. Lowe's Locke. A review of Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius. An interview with William R. Polk, author of The Birth of America. A review of The Battle for Spain (and more). A review of The Lost Orwell. A review of The Pursuit of Happiness by Darrin McMahon. More on Stumbling on Happiness. Paul Zweig explored the psychic contradictions of individualism just before self-obsession became an all-pervasive cultural style. A review of Zombies and Consciousness (and more pdf). A review of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. From The New Yorker, Louis Menand on the life and high times of Timothy Leary. National Review calls Richard Dawkins a public intellectual menace. Groups and genes: Steven Pinker on the lessons of the Ashkenazim. What do linguists do? Hint: They're not language cops or polyglots. Crash Course: They might make us feel stupid, but computers are no match for the human mind. The soul of the machine: Can a random collection of data be conscious? These days, the encyclopedia sales pitch is anything but simple. Why would anyone shell out for 40-odd kilograms of encyclopedias when there are alternatives available online, and for free? From Great Britain, what magic does a private education weave to help you get ahead? A review of The Knowledge Deficit: Closing the Shocking Education Gap for American Children by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. All parents want their children to be happy, healthy and competitive in a highly competitive world. But is year-round homework the way to achieve it? Richard J. Gelles diagnoses and offers treatment for a common affliction of ABD graduate students and other academics without tenure. And it would kill your parents: David Sedaris has wise words for graduates
[Jun 19] From the Journal of Social History, Prasannan Parthasarathi (BC): The State and Social History; Simon Gunn (Leeds Metropolitan): From Hegemony to Governmentality: Changing Conceptions of Power in Social History; Herbert Klein (Columbia): The Old Social History and the New Social Sciences; and Peter Stearns (George Mason): Behavioral History: A Brief Introduction to a New Frontier. From Education Review, a review of America's Atonement: Racial Pain, Recovery Rhetoric, and the Pedagogy of Healing and Justice, Justice: School Politics and the Eclipse of Liberalism; and a review of Remaking the American University: Market-Smart and Mission Centered. Teachers adjust lesson plans as Web fuels plagiarism, so school term papers may be going the way of the typewriters once used to write them. From France, philosophy student fails, therefore he sues. And from India, "merit"-obsessed discourse about affirmative action is an apology for hierarchy and privilege, it devalues competence, diversity and fairness; and the undemocratic spirit of the anti-reservation protests, the erroneous "merit" argument, and the partisan media coverage capture a broader social malaise
[Weekend 2e] Science: From Physics Today, physics in 1931 and today: A lot has changed in the past 75 years. Can those changes help us guess where physics will be 75 years from now? From Physics Web, despite decades of searching, the "dark matter" thought to hold galaxies together is still nowhere to be found. Some physicists think it makes more sense to change our theory of gravity instead. Science policy depends on the state of science itself, which evolves in response to new instrumentation, theoretical methods, and analytical tools. The growth of science and the course of science policy are undeniably progressive. Is the universe a giant computer, infinite, or made of strings? With cosmology in turmoil, three writers explore the latest mind-bending theories. A review of Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Continuing Challenge to Unify the Laws of Physics. The first chapter from Understanding Space-Time: The Philosophical Development of Physics from Newton to Einstein. The survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe, Stephen Hawking says. From American Scientist, thanks in part to his intrepid wife, David Gill made the observations that metered the 19th-century solar system; every programmer knows there is one true programming language, a new one every week; a review of Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos; a review of The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer; and a review of The Last Man Who Knew Everything: Thomas Young, the Anonymous Polymath Who Proved Newton Wrong, Explained How We See, Cured the Sick, and Deciphered the Rosetta Stone, Among Other Feats of Genius. Infinite Jest: Encountering the threshold of humankind's capacity for mathematical gamesmanship, at the annual Gathering for Gardner. Daniel C. Dennett on why religion's just a survival meme. And here are the papers from the conference "Continuity and Change: Perspectives on Science and Religion" sponsored by the Metanexus Institute
[Weekend] Marc Lynch (Williams): (1) Al-Qaeda’s Constructivist Turn; (2) Al-Qaeda's Media Strategies; and (3) 'Reality is Not Enough': The Politics of Arab Reality TV. A review of White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and Islam's One Million White Slaves and The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805. An excerpt from James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights. From TNR, Charles Larmore reviews The Idea of the Self: Thought and Experience in Western Europe since the Seventeenth Century by Jerrold Siegel (and part 2, part 3, and part 4--"cached" pages, may not be available later). If Slavoj Zizek doesn't exist, he should. Perhaps he's a figment of his own imagination, but how can we be sure? A review of a review of The Future of Hegel: Plasticity, Temporality and Dialectic. From Business Week, Bill Gates gets schooled: Why he and other execs have struggled in their school reform efforts, and why they keep trying. Bloggers at InstaPundit, Daily Kos and Gawker chime in on a new study that explores what students do on the Internet. The common funding sources for David Horowitz and those egging on the federal commission on higher education should worry all academics. Leveling the playing field: A university is forced to treat white professors equally; and the tutoring industry has exploded, thanks to parents who can't let kids "fall behind." Social networking, roommate vetting, law enforcement, and recently a bit of job browsing … Facebook.com has an impressive array of uses. Salon introduces its own Literary Guide to the World. A look at the mysterious appeal of Garrison Keillor. From Jane Austen dressed as chick-lit to pocket-sized versions of heavyweight works, publishers are finding new ways to rebrand the classics. And Freud can be seen in many lights, although the polymath who inspired artists is to be preferred to the gloomy alter ego of later years
[Jun 16] Donald Kochan (Chapman): Boyakasha, Fist to Fist: Respect and the Philosophical Link with Reciprocity in International Law and Human Rights. A review of The Cultural Turn in Late Ancient Studies: Gender, Asceticism, and Historiography. A review of The Delusions of Invulnerability: Wisdom and Morality in Ancient Greece, China and Today. A review of Denial, Negation, and the Forces of the Negative: Freud, Hegel, Lacan, Spitz, and Sophocles. From Edge, can civilisation be safeguarded, without humanity having to sacrifice its diversity and individualism? This is a stark question, but Martin Rees thinks it's a serious one. Why do the scientists ask all the good, important questions? Wick Sloane wonders. Scientists identify the brain region responsible for calculating risk versus reward, as brain scans suggests people do mellow with age; discover a secret ingredient which gives stem cells the power to grow into any tissue in the human body; and find two species evolve into a third: A butterfly formed from two separate species has been discovered in South America, the product of an evolutionary process once thought impossible. He was a millionaire who dreamed of saving humanity using the sperm of geniuses. But what became of Robert Klark Graham's master plan? From New Scientist, an article on the irresistible rise of cybersex. A review of Andrea Dworkin's Heartbreak: the political memoir of a feminist militant. From India, Pratap Bhanu Mehta on how rigid government control hobbles Indian universities’ attempt to compete globally. Yes, the sky is falling, John A. Douglass writes in "The Waning of America’s Higher Education Advantage". An article on Truth and Consequences at BYU. Martin Peretz on Larry Summers and his enemies. From New York Observer, a review of Excellence Without a Soul: How a Great University Forgot Education; Harvard prodigy Bom Kim spends Bradley’s $4 million, alumni await 02138 magazine; and more on Richard Hofstadter: An Intellectual Biography. More on Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long. And a review of Timothy Leary: A Biography