Alasdair S. Roberts (Suffolk): The Myth of Institutional Rigidity. Lena Gunnarsson (Orebro): Loving Him for Who He Is: The Microsociology of Power. Aviva Shen on why you can’t talk about the Amtrak derailment without talking about our infrastructure crisis. House Republicans aim to cut Amtrak funding the day after Philadelphia derailment: Rebecca Leber on how the GOP has been doing this for years. Twenty-four members of the Ohio House of Representatives — all Republicans — cosponsored a bill introduced last week that would require many Ohio residents to pay an actual poll tax in order to vote. Anomaly detection: Matteo Pasquinelli on the mathematization of the abnormal in the metadata society. Andrew Gelman on the benefits of competition between government agencies: A New York State corruption prosecution reminds us that it's a good thing that government is not a monopoly. Saida Grundy this week may have become the most discussed new assistant professor of the year, without even starting her position. Ana Marie Cox on the reasons why cats still rule the Internet. Northrop Frye, the pre-eminent literary theorist of the 1960s and '70s, went out fashion, yet never really went away; Scott McLemee looks into the afterlife of an original. Inside Big Ag: James McWilliams on the dilemma of the meat industry. Kevin Hartnett on how pigeons need to know just two things to avoid collisions. Toxically pure: Joe Bageant drops out.

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