From Inside Higher Ed, heading to the publishing world’s biggest gathering, Scott McLemee reviews a hard-hitting analysis of American literary culture, academic and otherwise. This year's BookExpo America will be a story of networking, the old way and the new (and more). In print forever? Sometimes, authors would rather go out of print. We're courting disaster if we begin judging books by boasts on their covers. I've always loved books: that's why I collect them: Children's Laureate Jaqueline Wilson explains a life-long hobby and obsession. What better way to relax after a kid-filled day than with a nice book—and what less likely scenario can many parents imagine? For page-turners everywhere, here's has a novel idea. The death of biography is exaggerated: A review of Biography: A Brief History by Nigel Hamilton. Carlin Romano reviews The Case for Literature by Gao Xingjian.

From Ralph, a review of Wanting Enlightenment Is a Big Mistake: Teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn, and a review of When the Impossible Happens: Adventures in Non-Ordinary Realities by Stanislav Grof.  A review of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. A review of A Tranquil Star. Writing Africa, Writing Ourselves: An interview with Ed Pavlic, author of Labors Lost Left Unfinished. A review of Kinfolks: Falling Off the Family Tree — The Search for My Melungeon Ancestors by Lisa Alther.  A review of Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe by Nancy Goldstone. A review of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.

From PopMatters, The Evolution of Vintage: One of the glaring paradoxes of technological evolution is its ability to reconnect us to history. And if we know anything about human nature, it's that as we step into the future, we always look back. From The New Atlantis, a spate of new websites aim to shame, bust, or at the very least publicize illegal, incompetent, and just plain indecent behavior—no, not of celebrities, of neighbors. The website Crappers Quarterly gives the 411 on where to do your business the world over.

From Reason, an article on Wikipedia and Beyond: Jimmy Wales' sprawling vision (and an interview with Wired). Can we save the Internet? Andrew Keen and Kevin Kelly debate the scary introduction to primeval man. How much does the Internet weigh? Discover puts the online world on the scale. And e-charmed, e-nergized, e-lated: Now that e-mail has pretty much replaced letter-writing, Carmine Starnino says, it's worth a look as an art form


From Monthly Review, a review of A People's History of the World by Chris Harman. Robert J. Shiller on the myth of "superstar cities". A review of Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers, and Warriors Shaped Globalization by Nayan Chanda. Will Robert Zoellick be able to get the World Bank back on its feet after the failed presidency of Paul Wolfowitz? Kenneth Rogoff investigates (more from Financial Times and more from The Economist and more).

From Newsweek, why another face-off between Washington and Moscow isn’t as impossible as you might think. From Foreign Affairs, Barack Obama on Renewing American Leadership and Mitt Romney on Rising to a New Generation of Global Challenges. Henry A. Kissinger on the lessons of Vietnam: Iraq desperately needs a political solution in the short term to make the war more manageable for the next president. Fred Kaplan on Bush's failed campaign to rebrand America: The administration believes public relations is a synonym for diplomacy. A look at what Bush and America have in common with another overreaching hegemonic power: The New York Yankees.

From The Guardian, America was in uproar last week when Jimmy Carter described George Bush's foreign policy as the worst in history. He broke an unwritten rule: Past presidents don't attack incumbents. Gaby Wood finds him unrepentant. Democrats beware: Attacking the incompetence of the Bush administration is too easy. Republicans have no answer to such criticisms, but they do not need one. Presidential Scouting Reports: A libertarian fan's guide to the World Series of politics. As America's presidential campaigns seek fresh sources of finance, hedge fund and private equity executives are finding their political voice. The thespian's new clothes: Actor Fred Thompson's bid for the Republican presidential candidacy has supporters deluded into believing he is the next Ronald Reagan. If you promise not to squeal to his bosses, Andrew Glass will tell you how to run for vice president.

From Rolling Stone, an interview with Grover Norquist. Jonathan Chait on white-collar crooks, dictatorships, and other conservative causes. Can conservatism be realistic about its own popularity too? George Will investigates. John Berlau on why Rush Limbaugh should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. And now that Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter has presented him with a grandson, maybe it's time for Grandpa to join PFLAG


A review of The Messenger: The Meanings of the Life of Muhammad by Tariq Ramadan. Middle class, mainstream, murderous? Cathy Young on what the polls tell us about American Muslims. The evolution of daft ideas: Islamic creationism is growing and the movement is now repackaging ideas from reactionary American Christian groups. Senator Sam Brownback on what he thinks about evolution. An interview with Peter Irons, author of God on Trial: Dispatches from America's Religious Battlefields. Signs From God: Doree Shafrir on the curious history of church marquees.

From Skeptic, an elemental impulse: Religion is so powerful that even Soviet antireligious policy failed. A review of The Atheist Manifesto by Michel Onfray. More and more and more on God is Not Great. Christopher Hitchens debates Chris Hedges in a battle of wits and faith over the meaning of religion in our lives and politics today. A review of Forbidden Fruit: Sex & Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers.

A review of Jon Savage's Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture. Who Cares? Why young progressives should embrace charity. Why is the stock market still bullish? You can thank leveraged buyouts and corporate buy-backs of stock — and understand that this can't last. Is Wal-Mart too cheap for its own good? A confidential report concludes that the chain’s reputation for discounts has worked against its efforts to move upscale. More on Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole by Benjamin R. Barber.

A review of Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage by Daniel C. Esty and Andrew S. Winston. A review of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future By Bill McKibben. Two billion cups are sold daily in a £40bn global industry, but now a controversial documentary showing the plight of growers asks whether there is such a thing as ethical coffee.

Combining libertarianism with green values might be a pragmatic way to convince some of the worst polluters to cut back by essentially bribing them with cash. Clive Hamilton in Scorcher: the dirty politics of climate change says that Australia rather than the US is the major stumbling block to a more effective Kyoto Protocol. Energy Incrementalism: An article on a good (but not great) alternative fuel policy. A Full Tank of Hypocrisy: Higher gas prices may be the best way to slow global warming. And George Monbiot on Alexander Cockburn and the corruption of science


From The New Atlantis, Adam Keiper on The Trouble With Nanoethics; Leon Kass on The Right to Life and Human Dignity; and an essay on Brave New World at 75. A new issue of Edge is out. A review of From Epicurus to Epictetus: Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy by A. A. Long. A review of A Theory of Virtue: Excellence in Being for the Good by Robert Merrihew Adams. A review of Appearances of the Good: An Essay on the Nature of Practical Reason by Sergio Tenenbaum. A review of The Ethical Imagination: journeys of the human spirit by Margaret Somerville. A review of The Flight from Reality in the Human Sciences by Ian Shapiro.

From Seed, if we're serious about building a society that makes scientifically informed decisions, then science needs to figure out a way to get its message across effectively. From Salon, Inside the Creation Museum: Adam and Eve frolic amid the dinosaurs in the new $27 million museum that demonstrates Darwin has nothing on the Book of Genesis. Travelling via the US is a bit of a trial for Richard Dawkins, thanks to security gone mad. But later, he goes on to encounter another, lovely, kind of booby - and a terrific eco-friendly sports car. A review of The Richness of Life: The Essential Stephen Jay Gould.

A review of Wild: An Elemental Journey by Jay Griffiths. A review of A Guinea Pig's History of Biology: the Plants and Animals who Taught us the Facts of Life by Jim Endersby (and more). Life decisions separate "hawk" from "dove": The way animals decide how to live their lives, and when to reproduce, may control their "personalities", according to a new model. Animals differ strikingly in character and temperament. Yet only recently has it become evident that personalities are a widespread phenomenon in the animal kingdom.

Research finds children can perform approximate math without arithmetic instruction. A review of The Poincare Conjecture by Donal O'Shea. A review of Flat Earth: the History of an Infamous Idea by Christine Garwood (and more). Thomas Fleming reviews Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade. Evidence from ancient European graves raises questions about ritual human sacrifice. A review of The Great Pyramid by John Romer. And a review of Scenting Salvation: Ancient Christianity and the Olfactory Imagination


From Japan Focus, Reins of Liberation: An article on geopolitics and ethnopolitics of China, Central Asia and the Asia Pacific. They loom, desolately incandescent, over the city that was. Glowing spikes claw at the sky, reaching ever upward, wilfully ignorant of what lies beneath. This is modern Shanghai. From Defense News, an essay on US and Chinese nuclear and missile development, and the risk of accidental nuclear war.

Why Japan won't save the whales: The Japanese government is expanding its whale catches and winning international support with pseudoscience. It's all about me: Have today's Japanese lost their empathy? Thomas Palley on how Japan fuels global financial instability.

Buy American! China does. The Saudis too. Loaded with dollars, they are buying U.S. assets. Is that good? A review of The Emerging Markets Century by Antoine van Agtmael. Design that solves problems for the world’s poor: The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is honoring inventors dedicated to helping the billions of people living on less than $2 a day. "Food Force", the world’s first humanitarian video game for children, is celebrating the launch of three new language versions.

From The Economist, a question of life and death: The struggle between “pro-choice” and “pro-life” forces around the world. Johann Hari on the tricky question of Gordon Brown's God. The New Alliance, a new political party challenging the role of religion in public life, has been an instant hit in Denmark. The pope's half-hearted apology to indigenous groups in the Americas shows he has a long way to go in understanding history. For a man with such strong convictions, Pope Benedict has shown a surprising penchant for verbal missteps. Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to expand permission to use the pre-1960s Latin Mass will be hyped beyond all recognition, because doing so serves the purposes of both conservatives and liberals within the church, as well as the press.

A review of Full Circle: Death and Resurrection in Canadian Conservative Politics by Bob Plamondon (and an excerpt) pdf. An article on the perfect slogan for Toronto, coined by a citizen genius. They Came, They Toured, They Offended: It may be time to retire the term "ugly American". When it comes to tourists, bad manners may be a global phenomenon. To many critics, US embassies are like the US itself: remote, foreboding and impenetrable. Andrew J. Bacevich lost his son to a war he opposes. They were both doing our duty.

From Public Opinion Pros, a special issue on terrorism and the media. A review of If They Only Listened to Us: What Women Voters Want Politicians to Hear by Melinda Henneberger. Hillary Clinton’s competence-based campaign has been stealthily making progress. But two bios put her persona back in the spotlight.

From New York, five teams compete to make Governors Island an urban paradise. Only one will survive; and The Vandalism Vandal: Who’s been splashing the city’s most prized graffiti? The hunt for the radical, young and possibly lovelorn conceptual-Marxist street-art supervillain. Howard Kurtz on Celeb Rag Shocker: Us's Exposé Exposé! And look out Paris, Britney: Perez is watching you


From The Wilson Quarterly, a review of The Case for Literature by Gao Xingjian. The Modernist who hated modernity: A review of Henry James Goes to Paris by Peter Brooks. A master analyst of his times, and of the human heart, it's an ongoing mystery why Philip Roth, America's best novelist, has yet to receive his rightful laurels. Frank Rich reviews Falling Man by Don DeLillo. Is DeLillo equating survivors of 9/11 with terrorists? A debate on Falling Man (and a review).

Newt Gingrich's new novel is an alternative history of the war — World War II, that is. But are there contemporary lessons to be learned from rewriting the past? What’s so funny about that? Even when it wasn’t explicitly about the Holocaust, Primo Levi’s fiction was haunted by his time at Auschwitz. More on A Tranquil Star: Unpublished Stories of Primo Levi.

The responsibility of the novelist: Samir El-Youssed, Mohsin Hamid and Gabriel Vasquez discuss complexity in fiction at Hay. A successful journalist resigns to pursue a new life - and an ambitious reading list: A review of Inglorious by Joanna Kavenna.

From First Things, if the Ministry of Truth had devoted their full attention to obliterating the memory of Harry Sylvester, his elimination from the public consciousness could not have been more total; Ross Douthat on Stephen King’s American Apocalypse; and lots of novel readers—from the highest brow to the lowest—nod politely when the science-fiction writer Gene Wolfe is mentioned. Both the Soldier cycle and the Book of the New Sun series reveal the problem and the promise of Gene Wolfe. A law professor's first legal thriller hits its mark: A review of Scott Gerber's The Law Clerk.

If you find much of life and politics so absurd as to be hilarious, you need to read Christopher Buckley. Words that once shocked and surprised have become standard expressions, but do we really need to use the F-word in every sentence? Seeking Signs of Literary Life in Iran: Forget reading Lolita in Iran. In the officially vetted edition of Madame Bovary, even adultery is off limits. A review of Karaoke: the global phenomenon by Zhou Xun and Francesca Tarocco. Land of the rising daughters: A review of Kickboxing Geishas by Veronica Chambers. A review of Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America by Linda Furiya.

A review of The Empty Nest: 31 Parents Tell the Truth About Relationships, Love, and Freedom After the Kids Fly the Coop. Judd Apatow, the director of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and now “Knocked Up”, makes comedies about saving yourself for marriage and staying together for the sake of the kids. An interview with Rebecca Mead, author of One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding. A work of genius has more in common with its brilliant opposite than it does with a dozen dull siblings. Witness the following unlikely pair, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: A Novel in Cartoons by Jeff Kinney and How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O'Connor. And misery loves comedy: Grief takes on many forms, though it’s rare to hear about a sudden addiction to comedy clubs and Seth Meyers’s political impersonations


From Mother Jones, a message to you, Rudy Giuliani: How the zero-tolerance policies of "America's Mayor" set us up for the Patriot Act and Guantanamo. A review of Ghost Plane: the inside story of the CIA’s secret rendition programme. Pearl's wisdom: A new film about the murder of the American journalist raises the question: why doesn't more mainstream culture delineate radical Islam?

From TNR, who's afraid of Tariq Ramadan? Paul Berman reviews To Be a European Muslim; Islam, the West, and the Challenges of Modernity; Western Muslims and the Future of Islam; and In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad; the cult of the Washington whistle-blower: Whistle-blowing has become a full-fledged personal identity—a scene with its own specialized lawyers, therapists, 40-odd advocacy groups, a publishing imprint, swag, and even a timeless philosophy; and how energy independence threatens the environment: Bradford Plumer on how Big Coal cozied up to Democrats, and a look at how the Bushies killed the EPA's clean-up program.

Robert J. Samuelson on The Case for Gouging: Higher gas prices may be the best way to slow global warming. Even supporters of alternative energy agree that the easiest way to cut carbon emissions and air pollution is to focus more on efficiency. When it comes to energy sources, nuclear fusion used to be the wallflower. But now, scientists are working to see if it could be a safe and environmentally-friendly way of producing electricity. How to turn global warming into a tourist attraction: Celebrities are flocking to a small town in Greenland – helping to accelerate the very climate-change process they've come to witness.

From FT, Gideon Rachman on Obama and the comforting myth of political consensus. In defence of the rich, sort of: Criticising candidates who fight for the poor while enjoying a life of personal excess misses the reality of American politics. Ezra Klein on giving bigger government a chance: For too long, we've bought the idea that government has failed us. For the record, it isn’t until the fourth page of the introduction to his new memoir, No Excuses, that Robert Shrum begins making excuses. Party Unfaithful: Jeffrey Goldberg on the Republican implosion. The Conservative Mind: Peter Berkowitz on how the American right is a cauldron of debate; the left isn't. From 3:AM, The Last Revolution in Town: An interview with Christopher Hitchens on the death of that other religion: liberalism.

A review of Our First Revolution: The Remarkable British Upheaval That Inspired America's Founding Fathers by Michael Barone. A review of Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr. A review of Blood and Thunder: An epic of the American West; Crazy Horse: A Lakota life; and Violence Over the Land: Indians and empires in the early American west. A review of Mencken: The American Iconoclast (and part 2). A review of Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. An interview with Thomas Mallon, author of Mrs. Paine’s Garage and the Murder of John F. Kennedy.

From New York, Cramer vs. Cramer: “Why does everybody hate me?” The Wall Street maniac explains his critics, the market, and himself. A review of The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co. And from The Brookings Institution, an article on economic mobility: Is the American Dream alive and well?


Mark Greenberg (UCLA): Naturalism and Normativity in the Philosophy of Law. John Hasnas (Georgetown): The Depoliticization of Law. Russell Pearce (Fordham): The Legal Profession as a Blue State: Reflections on Public Philosophy, Jurisprudence, and Legal Ethics. Curtis J. Milhaupt and Katharina Pistor (Columbia): Law and Capitalism: What Corporate Crises Reveal About Legal Systems and Economic Development Around the World.

From Dissent, teaching Plato in Palestine: Can philosophy save the Middle East?; and an interview with Sari Nusseibeh, author of Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life. A review of Talking India: Ashis Nandy in conversation with Ramin Jahanbegloo.

A review of Robert of Arbrissel: Sex, Sin and Salvation in the Middle Ages. A review of Demonstration and Scientific Knowledge in William of Ockham.  An excerpt from Empires of the Atlantic: World Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830. A review of Wilfred Thesiger: The life of a great explorer. A review of The Silent Deep: The Discovery, Ecology, and Conservation of the Deep Sea by Tony Koslow and  The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss by Claire Nouvian.

From PopMatters, a review of New Cultural Studies: Adventures in Theory, ed. Gary Hall and Clare Birchall. A review of Impossible Conservatism [Le Conservatisme impossible: Libéraux et réactionnaires en France depuis 1789]. From n+1, Nikil Saval on V., in honor of Memorial Day. From The New Yorker, How I Spent the War: Günter Grass as a recruit in the Waffen S.S.

From New York, Literary Idol: Discussion of, and the engagement in, the unearthing of pleasantly surprising books, including a gimmicky showdown among the city's most promising up-and-comers, and a critic-compiled list of 60 criminally underrated novels, and more. Publishing gets a little less indie: There’s soul searching among the industry’s little guys as Perseus closes two recently acquired imprints. A review of The Little Book of Plagiarism by Richard A. Posner. Atheist authors grapple with believers: Many books decrying religion's negative influence on the world are bestsellers.

Reading the Book of Jim: The co-discoverer of the double helix is making his DNA public, pioneering the personal genome. A review of The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph From the Frontiers of Brain Science. From Wired, "Hacking My Kid's Brain": An article on how a child's neurons were rewired; and researchers claim to have developed the first mathematical model for creating invisibility simulations on a computer. What is it about nitrogen that makes it so eminently employable, so readily and indispensably incorporated into the cell’s premier laboring masses? From Scientific American, A.D. 100 Billion, Big Bang goes bye-bye: Cosmic expansion may leave astronomers of the far future with no hint of the big bang that started it all.

From Governing, data storage is the backbone of today’s Internet economy. But are power-hungry server farms worth wooing for economic development? Jonathan Freedland on how the internet will revolutionise the very meaning of politics. And order is in the Eye of the Tiger: An excerpt from Everything Is Miscellaneous


From Ovi, an article on Levinas' challenge to the modern European identity (and part 2 and part 3). From Eurozine, an essay on the city as stage for social upheaval; and on fish 'n' freedom fries: On regeneration and other London Olympic myths. The French Correction Christopher Hitchens on how Bernard Kouchner, the principled new foreign minister, shows how much France has changed of late.

From Logos, a series of articles on the Sudan crisis, including essays by Stephen Eric Bronner, Alex de Waal, and Douglas H. Johnson. Forget the handwringing over "genocide" in Darfur. What's happening in southern Sudan is enmeshed in a fight to control Sub-Saharan Africa's oil riches. Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka argues passionately for an end to fence-sitting over Darfur.

A dearth of politics in booming Dubai: Rapid change, emphasis on business overshadow concerns on rights. A review of The Khyber Pass: A History of Empire and Invasion by Paddy Docherty. An interview with Sonali Kolhatkar, author of Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence. A review of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and The Kabul Beauty School: the art of friendship and freedom by Deborah Rodriguez.

From the Journal of International Affairs, the untold story of the Iranian revolution is the slow economic decline of the country. A country that once boasted per capita income levels akin to Spain, now ranks ninety-seventh on the United Nations 2006 Human Development Index. Shirin Ebadi and Muhammad Sahimi on the follies of Bush's policy toward Iran. An interview with Benjamin Netanyahu on dealing with Iran.

An interview with Ed Husain, author of The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left. A review of City of Oranges: An Intimate History of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa. A review of Law, Violence and Sovereignty Among West Bank Palestinians. Struggling with Zionism: Can a nationalist people be a light among the nations? A review of The Struggle of Democracy Against Terrorism: Lessons From the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel. A review of The Power of Israel in the United States by James Petras.

A review of The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace. Gathering the Tribes: U.S. field commanders are finally beginning to tap the traditional networks that helped Saddam to stay in power. Laura Rozen on Kurdistan's man in Washington: Q ubad Talabani is one of those cultural anomalies who somehow seem like natural creatures of Washington. From GQ, War, A Love Story: Falling in love across enemy lines. It sounds like something out of a fairy tale. But nothing in war is simple. As this American soldier and his Iraqi wife found out, love in a war zone is difficult, it’s dangerous, and it really pisses off the brass.

From Slate, Suffer the Children: Now that Bush has talked about our kids, can we ask about his? Bush the Neoliberal: George W. Bush is more liberal than you might think. From National Journal, a public's right to know? Recent political campaigns have had their share of mudslinging, but it is only going to get worse as the Internet and dirty politics collide. Noam Scheiber on populist poseur Fred Thompson. The conservative Free Republic purges Giuliani supporters from its website. And on The Paul Paradox: Can a libertarian only win by losing?


From Virginia Quarterly Review, "I'm Nobody": David Baker on Lyric Poetry and the Problem of People; an essay on Life Among Others; and Laugh, Cry, Believe: An essay on Spielbergization and Its Discontents. From NYRB, Fascinating Narcissism: Ian Buruma reviews Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl by Steven Bach and Leni Riefenstahl: A Life by Jürgen Trimborn. From Logos, a review of Murambi, the Book of Bones; and a review of The Second Horseman by Kyle Mills.

"This really is the end (of my manuscript)": Sam Jordison has spent months working to reach this point, but finishing his book is a strangely ambivalent experience. Better great than never: Haven’t completed your novel, symphony or mathematical theorem? Don’t worry. There are plenty of examples of innovation and genius flourishing in later life. In Search of Graham Greene’s Capri: This sparkling island in the Bay of Naples may be known as a summer playground for the rich and famous, but it was also a place where the author of The End of the Affair found the solitude to write.

How raw fish spawned a dining revolution: A review of The Zen of Fish and The Sushi Economy. Arabesque: How are the exotic recipies of the Middle East evocative of the region's culture and history. A review of Obsolete Objects in the Literary Imagination: Ruins, Relics, Rarities, Rubbish, Uninhabited Places, and Hidden Treasures by Francesco Orlando. What is neoclassicism, and why was it so popular among English aristocrats? These are the questions tackled by Viccy Coltman's Fabricating the Antique: Neoclassicism in Britain, 1760-1800.

None is less: Modernist Masterpieces are leveled to make way for Mammoth McMansions. History reduced to rubble: Lindsey Hilsum charts the Chinese government's ambiguous relationship with ancient buildings. La Scuola Napoletana sings again: Conductor Riccardo Muti describes rummaging about in Naples' music archive, where he discovered hundreds of slumbering operatic masterworks.

From The Toronto Star, the forgotten "original Internet": A century ago, two men launched a project to give the public ready access to the sum of the world's knowledge from their homes. Sound familiar?; a review of The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture; and attention, tech laggards. You're not alone. No one ever stops feeding that machine, they just find better food troughs: A review of Watch This, Listen Up, Click Here by David Verklin. A Future for Newspapers: The "pipes" have more to fear from the coming media shakeout than the content providers do. The Biggest Niche: There has been an explosion of political niche media, but the biggest outlets are best equipped to make sense of the news. William Powers on what a dancing horse tell us about the way digital technology is changing political news.

Newly nasty: Defences against cyberwarfare are still rudimentary. That's scary. Sex.com and a web of intrigue: Two men’s battle over a domain name shows how far the net has come. A review of Sex.com by Kieren McCarthy. And Second Life – the online virtual world that is officially classed as a game but has evolved into big business, spawning real-life millionaires who have made a killing in virtual real estate – is at tipping point

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