From Culture Machine, a special issue on Recordings, including an introduction; Eugene Thacker (Georgia Tech): Pulse Demons; Greg Hainge (Queensland): Vinyl is Dead, Long Live Vinyl: The Work of Recording and Mourning in the Age of Digital Reproduction; Paul Hegarty (Cork): The Hallucinatory Life of Tape; Jerome Hansen (Sussex): Mapping the Studio (Fat Chance Matmos): Sonic Culture, Visual Arts and the Artist's Studio; Gary Genosko (Lakehead): 8 Track Rhapsody; and Dan Hays on Painting in the Light of Digital Reproduction. Obsolete to whom? Despite declining sales, albums are not going anywhere — as an object or an idea.
From California Literary Review, an interview with Alfred S. Posamentier, co-author of The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers. A review of The Mathematician's Brain: A Personal Tour Through the Essentials of Mathematics and Some of the Great Minds Behind Them by David Ruelle. Presenting numbers in the billions and trillions is a common challenge for advocates, politicians and journalists. These numbers can present a cognitive challenge and how they have been presented to shock or to edify. A review of The Tiger that Isn't: Seeing Through a World of Numbers by Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot. An interview with Ian Ayres, author of Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart (and a review).
From the International Journal of Speech Language and the Law, a review of Creating Language Crimes: How Law Enforcement Uses (and Misuses) Language by Roger W. Shuy. An interview with Wendy Murphy, author of And Justice for Some: An Expose of the Lawyers and Judges Who Let Dangerous Criminals Go Free. More and more and more and more on The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin (and an interview). Three decades ago, Justice John Paul Stevens was appointed to the Supreme Court as a judicial conservative and moderate Republican. So how did he come to lead the liberal wing of a fiercely divided court? A review of Strategic Selection: Presidential Nomination of Supreme Court Justices from Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush by Christine Nemacheck.
From Cultural Survival, an essay on recognizing indigenous peoples' human rights. The UN General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a resolution calling for the recognition of the world's 370 million indigenous peoples' right to self-determination and control over their lands and resources. The introduction to Indigenous Rights and United Nations Standards: Self-Determination, Culture and Land by Alexandra Xanthaki. From Green Left Weekly, an article on the epic struggle of indigenous Andean-Amazonian culture. A review of Perspectives on Contemporary Ethnic Conflict.
A new issue of Workplace is out, on academic organizing after the long NYU strike. From The Chronicle, a look at how six scholars have found educational value for their students and institutions in the virtual world of Second Life; a self-published book on teaching is the surprising source of some valuable insights on the college classroom; and even the famous are subject to scathing student evaluations on ratemyprofessors.com. A review of The Secret Lives of Teachers by Rob Wilder and Seth Biderman. A review of Letters to a Young Teacher by Jonanthan Kozol. An interview with Richard Kahlenberg, author of Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race, and Democracy (and the introduction).
Todd Moss (Georgetown): Zimbabwe’s Meltdown: Anatomy of a Peacetime Economic Collapse. From LRB, a review of When Bodies Remember: Experiences and Politics of Aids in South Africa by Didier Fassin and The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West and the Fight against Aids by Helen Epstein. Will the new African oil rush doom these countries or save them? A review of Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil by John Ghazvinian. Biafran lessons: More attention has to be paid to the traditional tribal boundaries of Africa rather than the European enforced "countries". From the Journal of Pan African Studies, a special issue on literature, politics and music.
Paula Abrams (Lewis & Clark): The Tradition of Reproduction. The first chapter from The Troubled Pregnancy: Legal Wrongs and Rights in Reproduction by J. K. Mason. A review of Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction is Changing Men, Women, and the World by Liza Mundy. From Dissent, Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow on designer babies and the pro-choice movement. The fight over building permits for the Aurora, Ill. Planned Parenthood clinic is just one more example of how the fight over reproductive health is coming down to questions of infrastructure (and more). The National Right to Life Academy gives students the information and training they need to champion the anti-abortion cause on their college campuses. From Human Life Review, James Hitchcock (St. Louis): Abortion and the "Catholic Right". Who’s infallible here, anyway? The Human Life Review chooses party over Church.
From Mclean’s, a cover story on How George Bush became the new Saddam: Its strategies shattered, a desperate Washington is reaching out to the late dictator's henchmen. Guns, not roses, for Iraq: The U.S. is selling billions in weapons to Iraq. Is the Pentagon's plan making the country secure or arming it to the teeth for civil war? Why isn't Congress asking tough questions about Pentagon spending? Fred Kaplan wants to know. The media has a responsibility to provide context for President Bush's repeated references to al-Qaida when discussing Iraq. Not Necessarily Reporting the News: It isn't just Fox—even the liberal media is in the fake news business. From The Nation, Olbermann Rules! He's the guy who put the guts back into TV journalism.
From Human Technology, a special issue on culture, creativity and technology. From The New Atlantis, an essay on virtual friendship and the new narcissism. The first chapter from Republic.com 2.0 by Cass R. Sunstein (and a review and an interview). From the Daily Me to the Daily We: Social websites such as Digg and Reddit, whose users vote on the importance of news items, give a glimpse of what future citizen-journalism might look like. The local news portal Outside.in has quietly changed the nature of the information game, and made local information matter—it may be the future of search. Wikipedia 2.0, now with added trust: The online encyclopedia is set to trial two systems aimed at boosting readers' confidence in its accuracy. The :-) smiley is 25; inventor Scott Fahlman tells how it was born. Canning spam: Why is it so difficult to prevent junk e-mail?
From Time, a cover story on The Real Running Mates: Political spouses have traditionally wielded their influence in private. But in this race, all the rules will have to be rewritten. Does Clinton’s guru know all? Mark Penn has helped Hillary build a commanding lead in national polls—but she may have an Achilles’ heel. The risk of President Giuliani: The tough-guy approach worked well for him as mayor of New York, but it wouldn't as president. A look at why Dennis Kucinich is wise to play the fool. He is rock bottom in fundraising and the presidential polls, best known for comparing himself to a potted plant. What makes Mike Gravel run?