From YaleGlobal, an essay on globalization and cultural diversity: The film industry offers more choices, explores more cultures, than ever before. A look at how Sessue Hayakawa conquered early Hollywood and promoted the "American way of life" in Japan. It’s Derrida versus Jerry Lewis: Despite the conflicts between France and the US, the two countries have a fatal propensity to fall in love with each other on celluloid. From Killing the Buddha, a look at why Alasdair MacIntyre and Woody Allen make great companions. Greg Veltman goes in search of good film: nine signposts. Radar's Fall Movie Preview asks: Can you tell the difference between real movies and fakes? Aging gracefully with Michelle Pfeiffer: How our memories are linked with movie stars. From American Sexuality, an article on TV and the 70s Sex Revolution. There's a good reason why "as seen on TV" is a badge of credibility—and an equally good reason why "as seen on the Internet" would mean next to nothing.
From Open Democracy, the seductions of denial: Why is the systematic refusal of evidence-based, reason-fuelled conclusions about human and natural realities - - from genocide and 9/11 to global warming - - so persistent? Watching the birth—and death—of an island: In the South Pacific, the crew of a yacht saw new land form right beneath their boat. International legal experts are discovering climate change law, and the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is a case in point: The Polynesian archipelago is doomed to disappear beneath the ocean. Greenlanders are getting their place in the sun at last, but for how long? As the Arctic ice retreats, some communities find that a new way of life beckons. As the Arctic icecap melts, a strange international jousting match is unfolding over what was once a barren stretch of windswept snow.
Justin Clarke-Doane (NYU): Platonic Semantics. A review of De Lingua Belief by Robert Fiengo and Robert May. From TED, Steven Pinker talks about language and thought; and a review of The Stuff of Thought (and an excerpt). The first chapter from Memory: The Key to Consciousness by Richard F. Thompson and Stephen A. Madigan. From Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, a review of Self-Consciousness by Sebastian Rodl; a review of Self-Knowledge and Resentment by Akeel Bilgrami; a review of The Austrian Contribution to Analytic Philosophy; and a review of Reductionism in the Philosophy of Science by Christian Sachse. The introduction to Enhancing Evolution: The Ethical Case for Making Better People by John Harris. An interview with Olivia Judson, author of "The Selfless Gene" on the evolutionary roots of altruism and fellow feeling. A review of Moral Literacy by Barbara Herman.
From Osteuropa, Russia's systemic crisis: Russia is degenerating into a police state, society has descended into poverty, and the country is becoming increasingly isolated. Worse still: the Russian public is united only in the view that talk of common goals is the empty rhetoric of demagogues. From Sign and Sight, an interview with Russian journalist Grigori Pasko on the freedom of speech vacuum in which he works. Tatyana Zaslavskaya, the sociologist whose pioneering ideas inspired the Mikhail Gorbachev-era reforms in the Soviet Union, remains hopeful in a political climate far less receptive to her ideas. Stalin, his father and the Rabbit: The bizarre story of Stalin, his possible biological father, and his food taster can finally be revealed. From Exile, Russian propaganda posters are back with a vengeance, and they have the same design as before. Hail to the Return of Motherland-Protecting Propaganda! The Russians and their unintentionally hilarious Washington Post ad supplement.
From NYRB, Ronald Dworkin on The Supreme Court Phalanx. Cass Sunstein on the myth of the balanced court: In 1980, John Paul Stevens stood at the center of the Supreme Court. Today, he is its most left-wing member — and he hasn't changed. A review of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin. Know Your Judges! Who gets to judge you and the law? If you don't know—read this. Rush to Judgment: The fight to fill judicial vacancies grows ever weirder. From Democracy, the Supreme Court's landmark Brown decision is coming under fire—why it's worth defending: A review of The Lost Promise of Civil Rights by Risa Goluboff. A review of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution by Kevin A. C. Gutzman and 33 Questions about American History You’re Not Supposed to Ask by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
From Media Matters, black and white and re(a)d all over: The conservative advantage in syndicated op-ed columns, as conservatives rule op-ed pages — with George Will as King. From National Journal, a "liberal moment" may be approaching in American politics, but the mainstream media are too wary of being seen as biased to report on the re-awakening of liberalism. From The Weekly Standard, an article on the lopsided netroots: Why there's no conservative Kos. From The Wall Street Journal, an article on DC's New Young Blogging Elite. From Salon, Glenn Greenwald on the endless, meaningless blather from the Washington establishment. Grading the forecasts of experts: A new study adds to the body of numerical evidence that forecasting “experts” don’t do much better than novices — or, for that matter, guessing — when it comes to predicting the future (and more).
From FT, let’s rock! Live music is more spectacular, popular and expensive than ever, with artists and audiences alike attracted to a new generation of super-venues. A review of White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s by Joe Boyd. A review of New York Noise: Art and Music from the New York Underground 1978-1988 by Stuart Baker and Paula Court. A review of Japrocksampler: How the Postwar Japanese Blew Their Minds on Rock'n'Roll by Julian Cope. From The Hindu, bridging the divide: Hip hop is becoming increasingly popular in India both as an art form and as a commercial tool. A review of The Hip-Hop Church: Connecting with the Movement Shaping Our Culture by Efrem Smith and Phil Jackson.
From First Things, Joseph Bottum on Death & Politics; Michael Novak on Remembering the Secular Age; Wolfhart Pannenberg on the God of the Philosophers; a review of Jesus in the Talmud by Peter Schaumlfer; and a review of Hippies of the Religious Right by Preston Shires. Hippie Shakeup: Christians were part of the '60s, too. A match made on Earth: When Christians date outside the fold. A review of Tod Lindberg's The Political Teachings of Jesus. A review of Mark Lilla's The Stillborn God. From the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, an article on the return of the radical atheists. Stop shoving religion down my throat: It is a peculiar reversal of social logic that the decline in the practice of religion should be met with such a rise in reference to it. Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens have elegantly articulated a sound, unanswerable argument against Christianity, the Argument from Mundanity.
From Exile, an article on The Economist as the world’s sleaziest magazine. A Smackdown for the Ages! Jonathan Chait and Grover Norquist debate supply side economics. From The Wall Street Journal, a review of The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World by Alan Greenspan. An interview with David Vogel, author of Kindred Strangers: The Uneasy Relationship Between Politics and Business in America. A review of Robert Reich's Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life and Robert H. Frank's Falling Behind: How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class. Spending more for a little solace: If people don't use expensive high-end features, why do they pay more to get them? My jet is bigger than yours: High-end private jets are all the rage among business leaders. When the rich make too much: Is it time for a maximum wage?
From TAP, an article on The Hillarycare Mythology: Did Hillary doom health reform in 1993? It's time to get the facts straight about the Clinton plan and why compromise failed. From The Washington Monthly, a look at how Gingrich's Congress emasculated the one agency capable of controlling health care costs and improving quality; and here's an idea: a civilian VA for the uninsured, and maybe the rest of us. From Cato Unbound, Robin Hanson on cutting medicine in half. Taking our medicine: A look at the bad economics of switching health-care plans. From Governing, states are trying to make social and health services intake and screening more efficient. Jonathan Cohn on debunking conservatives' myths about S-CHIP. Why health care is a losing issue for the GOP: Free-market fundamentalism has prevented them from addressing the health care crisis. A review of When Illness Goes Public: Celebrity Patients and How We Look at Medicine by Barron Lerner.