From TNR, war on error: Peter Bergen on how Osama Bin Laden beat George W. Bush. The president says that America is engaged in a struggle between good and evil, but is he addressing all citizens when his policies touch so few of us? The New World Order is getting messier: Burma is the most recent example of how rarely the "America vs. terrorists" view of the world holds. More and more and more and more on The Terror Dream by Susan Faludi. A review of The Siege of Mecca: The Forgotten Uprising in Islam's Holiest Shrine and the Birth of Al Qaeda by Yaroslav Trofimov. More on The Al-Qaeda Reader. From the H-Bomb to the Human Bomb: Modern terrorism seeks to combine the annihilating power of Hiroshima with the nihilistic gospel of Auschwitz. Bug bomb: A look at why our next terrorist attack could come on six legs. A review of The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam's Threat to the West by Lee Harris. More on World War IV by Norman Podhoretz. "Islamofascism": An article on debunking a conservative smear tactic. Christopher Hitchens on defending Islamofascism: It's a valid term—here's why.
From Strange Maps, a look at how 1937 is a foreign country; and a look at Europe, if the Nazis had won. Becoming Adolf: Hitler's Toothbrush mustache is one of the most powerful symbols of the last century, an inch of hair that represents infinite evil—the author had his reasons for deciding to wear one. Speak No "Evil": Why can’t we call the diabolical by its proper name? Here's a map of the Apocalypse, according to Christian eschatology. A review of The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A. J. Jacobs (and more and more and more on literalism ad absurdum). In a trek across America, performance artist Reverend Billy delivers a brilliant but critical message. Researchers confirm the power of altruism in Wikipedia. European-Americans claim to be happy in general – more happy than Asian-Americans or Koreans or Japanese – but are more easily made less happy by negative events. Curing, not punishing, addicts: In contrast to U.S. policy, European countries focus on harm reduction — and it works. An article on 5 myths about that demon crack. A review of The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (And How to Do Them) by Peter Sagal. The confession makes a guilty verdict almost automatic. So why are many "suspects" making false confessions? A review of (If) I Did It: Confessions of the Killer by OJ Simpson, the Goldman Family and Pablo F Fenjves.
From Rutherford Journal, William Aspray (Indiana): Den Fujita: From the Japanese Transistor Radio Export Business to Makudonaldo; Bob Doran (Auckland): The First Automatic Totalisator; and Charles Care (Warwick): A Chronology of Analogue Computing. From The Hindu, a review of Blind Men and The Elephant: Demystifying The Global IT Services Industry by Was Rahman and Priya Kurien. From Techne: Research in Philosophy and Technology, get a free book online, Philosophy of Technology: In Search of Discourse Synthesis by Paul Durbin; and a special issue of virtual reality. From American Scientist, computing in a parallel universe: Multicore chips could bring about the biggest change in computing since the microprocessor.
Gospel Truth: An article on the evolution of an American musical tradition. A review of Coltrane: The Story of a Sound by Ben Ratliff. Fats Domino's relentless left hand helped invent rock and roll. Andrew Perry met him in New Orleans. A review of It Ain't Easy: Long John Baldry and the Birth of the British Blues by Paul Myers. A review of The Autobiography by Eric Clapton (and more). A review of White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s by Joe Boyd. From Blender, a look at the 40 worst lyricists in rock. "Girl Power", once just a slogan, now dominates the pop charts. So what happened to the boys? From The New Yorker, a paler shade of white: How indie rock lost its soul. From Slate, an article on the trouble with indie rock: It's not just race—it's class. An article on the conservative legacy of punk rock. From PopMatters, the Bull of Phalaris, or the Ambiguity of Musical Violence: By working directly on the body, music as a whole has access to a form of violence that far outstrips the petty accusations foisted upon certain of its constituent parts, such as hard rock and rap. A look at what neuroscience can't tell us about music: A review of Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks and This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin (and more and more and more and more and an interview). Melodic medication: New research is unlocking the electro-chemical secrets of how our brains respond to music – from self-medication to the tyranny of the "brainworm". From Science News, a look at why your headphone cords are always in a tangle.
Pride of place: Both Italy and America have claimed a Nobel prize winner as their own. Do the boundaries we use to define our nationalities still make sense? Farewell to arms: Recent Nobel peace prize winners don't conform to Alfred Nobel's original requirements for the award. Accounting for taste: Cultural prizes are under attack, but they serve a valuable role in bringing art to a wider market. When writing the personal was revolutionary: Doris Lessing redefined women's experiences as central to politics. In doing so, she didn't just win an important battle for feminism; she altered the way we think about relationships in the public and private sphere. Nobel laureate Doris Lessing defies convention – and confounds fans – with the breadth of her oeuvre. Christopher Hitchens on prizing Doris Lessing: The Nobel committee finally gets it right. Green Peace: Did Al Gore deserve a Nobel Prize for his work on global warming? Martin Peretz on Gore's well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize, and the two elections that got away. Al Gore as the anti-Bush: No wonder conservatives are apoplectic — Gore's fortunes rise as the president's plummets. Paul Krugman on Gore Derangement Syndrome. Gore's Nobel Prize win was a well-deserved honor for one of our finest politicians. It's also a stark reminder of how far into trivia the race to the presidency has fallen.
From Cafe Babel, Constitution 2.0? More obstacles to jump — the question is, how high? The Lisbon Coup: After two years of paralysis, European Union leaders have finally agreed on reforming the organization, with a treaty that replaces the failed European Constitution. Europe's new leaders are forging a different path to their predecessors, with some home-grown success. But divisions may prevent the EU from becoming a world power. Europe breathes a collective sigh of relief as Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski is decisively beaten by his opponent Donald Tusk. An article on the great political divide at Europe’s heart. Defenders of the nation: What is happening when the children of immigrants use their achieved social standing to reinforce Europe's narratives of national identity? From Osteuropa, throughout the territory of the former Soviet Union, regimes have established themselves behind a democratic facade while concentrating power in the hands of a president. Contrary to their purported stability, all contain the seeds of their own downfall. "Our negroes, our enemies": Serbian writer Vladimir Arsenijevic outlines the calamitous relationship of his compatriots to the Albanians. Anomalies and clashes in contemporary Turkey: Unearthing the past, endangering the future: Turkey votes to invade northern Iraq, Congress considers the Armenian genocide—the two are dangerously connected. Ian Bremmer on why Turkey's army will stay home: The country's government is well aware that an all-out attack inside Iraq is exactly what Turkey's Kurdish separatists want. Why does Turkey hate America? Spengler wants to know.
From Mother Jones, a special issue on The Moral Dilemma of Leaving Iraq: Interviews with more than 50 experts, from General Petraeus' advisers to antiwar activists. Fixing Iraq, without us: The key to the crisis in Iraq may lie Northern Ireland and South Africa. Ask the Iraqis: Lawrence Wright on how the will of the people has been clear from the beginning. Stagecraft, not statecraft Dennis Ross diagnoses Bush's failure in Iraq. In Iraq Forever: Despite the Bush administration's party line, construction of permanent U.S. bases along with long-term plans for troop presence continue apace. John Judis on Bush's neo- imperialist war: Our Iraqi occupation not only rejects American foreign policy since Wilson, it's a throwback to the great power imperialism that led to World War I. From The American Interest: Barry Posen on foreign policy after George W. Bush: The case for restraint (and a response by Francis Fukuyama). From Foreign Affairs, Hillary Clinton security and opportunity for the 21st century; and John McCain on an enduring peace built on freedom. From TAC, Americans will vote for a new president, but the same Beltway apparatchiks will be guiding our foreign policy.
From Mute, in the bowels of the fun palace: Architect Cedric Price's designs were seldom realised but his vision inspired fun palaces from the Beaubourg to the Millenium Dome—a look at two recent publications which deal in different ways with Price and his legacy. From New York, a cover story on Design Revolutionaries: Conversations with some of New York’s greatest living designers. A growing number of architects and designers is exploring humanitarian design for people displaced by a natural disaster or other emergencies. From The Nation, if the stuff of life is corporatized, does art about it become a form of interference in business? The new exhibition Art and Sex raises the question: has art ever been about anything else? Western art rears its ugly head: A review of On Ugliness by Umberto Eco. A review of The State of the Real: Aesthetics in the Digital Age. Laughing in the face of adversity: Is the boom in contemporary art ending?
A new issue of William James Studies is out, including Mathew A. Foust (Oregon): William James and the Promise of Pragmatism; a review of A Natural History of Pragmatism: The Fact of Feeling from Jonathan Edwards to Gertrude Stein by Joan Richardson; a review of William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism by Robert D. Richardson; a review of Ghost Hunters: William James and the search for scientific proof of life after death by Deborah Blum; a review of Contemporary Varieties of Religious Experience by Lynn Bridgers; and a review of Philosophy Americana: Making Philosophy at Home in American Culture by Douglas R. Anderson. The introduction to The Divided Self of William James by Richard M. Gale. The introduction to Wittgenstein and William James by Russell B. Goodman.
From Qualitative Sociology Review, a special issue on animals and people, including Leslie Irvine (Colorado): The question of animal selves: Implications for sociological knowledge and practice; Pru Hobson-West (Nottingham): Beasts and boundaries: An introduction to animals in sociology, science and society; Krzysztof T. Konecki (Lodz): Pets of Konrad Lorenz: Theorizing in the social world of pet owners. How baboons think (yes, think): Reading a baboon’s mind affords an excellent grasp of the dynamics of baboon society. Animal Insight: Recent studies illustrate which traits humans and apes have in common—and which they don't. Kicking your head to get rid of a headache: An article on palm oil and the imminent extinction of the orangutan. The Squirrel Wars: The red one is cute, the gray one is taking over, England is going nuts. In the study of human patterns, scientists look to bird brains: Bird sleep is so mysterious that scientists are considering several answers, all intriguing. In its ability to learn, the cockroach is a moron in the morning and a genius in the evening.