From Plus, Marianne Freiberger on understanding uncertainty and evolutionary maths and quantum geometry; Chris Sangwin on arithmetic, bones and counting; Caroline Series and David Wright on non-Euclidean geometry and Indra's pearls; a review of Nonplussed! Mathematical proof of implausible ideas by Julian Havil; a review of The Art of Mathematics: Coffee time in Memphis by Bela Bollobas; a review of Mathematics and Common Sense: A Case of Creative Tension by Philip J. Davis; and a review of A Beautiful Math: John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern Quest for a Code of Nature by Tom Siegfried.
From Fast Capitalism, a special issue on Virginia Tech, including Timothy W. Luke (VT): To: Multiple Recipients: "There is a Gunman on Campus"; Stephen Pfohl (BC): A Hokies' Lament: American Social Psychosis and the Virginia Tech Killings; Douglas Kellner (UCLA): Media Spectacle and the "Massacre at Virginia Tech"; Charles Lemert (Wesleyan): Baudrillard (1929-2007) & Mao: The History of Normal Violence; Ben Agger (Arlington): Cho, Not Che?: Positioning Blacksburg in the Political. From The Objective Standard, Lisa VanDamme on The False Promise of Classical Education. The president of Iran isn’t the only Holocaust denier to win a platform on an American college campus, with the BNP's Nick Griffin being invited to Michigan State. Oral Roberts to the rescue? With his school, and son, mired in scandal, the retired televangelist returns—he already may be too late. Look who's bitching at CUNY: An ad campaign promoting CUNY's renaissance has not sat well with everyone at the school. Skybox U.: Why schools pour millions into football programs is a question for academics and arms-race theorists. The real student debt problem: Bush's signature on the College Cost Reduction Act was a victory for student aid reform advocates. But we still need to look at how aid is distributed at the state and institutional level.
From Prospect, for more than a century, Americans have seen Britain as tired and broken. But some of them now think that the old dynamism and iconoclasm has returned. If Britain really is back, it will be another test for the special relationship. A review of Old World, New World: The Story of Britain and America by Kathleen Burk (and more and more). Although Britain’s capital is now a residence of choice for the savvy global billionaire because of its light tax regime and proximity to Europe, its real wealth lies in its less well-known multimillionaires. Will hunters ever pack it in? A review of Blood Sport: Hunting in Britain Since 1066 by Emma Griffin. The Welsh language is steeped in culture and tradition stretching back to the sixth century, but the battle for its continued existence is raging. Wales has been enjoying a revival of its native tongue, driven chiefly by those in rural areas, but some fear it could foster division and resentment. A review of How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads by Daniel Cassidy.
From Monthly Review, an article on the ninetieth anniversary of the Russian Revolution: Why socialism did not fail. Good comrades: Stefan Klemp investigates the role of the German postwar criminal justice system in aiding the perpetrators of the Rechnitz massacre. A review of Marxism, Multiculturalism, and Free Speech by Frank Ellis. From Mother Jones, Workers of the World Unite: Unions are going global, so your job doesn't have to; and an article on the 50 year strategy: A new progressive era (no, really!). Is a new conservatism possible? The right is in serious trouble — and not just because of Bush's disastrous presidency. But will it be able to change its reactionary ways? Conservatism's buzz-kill: In theory, Americans like limited government; in practice, they're loath to roll back programs that benefit them. A review of The Death of the Grown-up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization by Diana West. From Taki's Top Drawer, an article on the wrongs of "rights", and a look at the silence of Father Neuhaus.
From Newsweek, Gangland USA: An interactive map of America's most dangerous gangs. Teenage Wasteland: A night in a police cruiser in a typical American college town reveals the cumulative effects of suburban boredom. From New Politics, Betty Reid Mandell on Homeless Shelters: A Feeble Response to Homelessness. An ounce of prevention: A social program that works, but where's the funding? Barry Schwartz on Bonus Babies: The more society embraces the idea that nobody will do anything right unless it pays, the more true it will become that nobody does anything right unless it pays. Jonathan Chait on how entitlement hysteria has gripped the capital. From National Civic Review, Michael Hamill Remaley and Patty Dineen on constructing a modern democracy one forum at a time; and is everything up to date in Kansas City? Matt Leighninger on why "citizen involvement" may soon be obsolete. A push for plain English: Gobbledygook—it's the stuff of government, maybe its No. 1 export.
From The Nation, a review of Cion and Ways of Dying by Zakes Mda. A review of Other Colours (and more and more), and an interview with Orhan Pamuk: "The art of the novel is anti-political". Reluctant rebel: Orhan Pamuk was tried for his political views, but as Andrew Purcell discovers, literature is his one true passion. Turning novel ideas into inhabitable worlds: Orhan Pamuk, honored by Georgetown, speaks of a power inherent on the page. Has materialism conquered all? An interview with Nadine Gordimer. Let them eat Kafka: Chilean president Michelle Bachelet enlists the literary critics and spreads the literary word.
Ze’ev Levy (Haifa): Emmanuel Levinas and Structuralism. A review of Ernesto Laclau's On Populist Reason. A review of Judith Butler: Live Theory by Vicki Kirby. Distribution of the sensible: A review of The Future of the Image by Jacques Ranciere. From Rain Taxi, an interview with Michael Hardt, co-author of Multitude, on power and social oppression. A review of Liquid Fear, Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty; Consuming Life by Zygmunt Bauman. From Ephemera, an interview with Bruno Latour, author of Politics of Nature. The life-force of ideas: The work of the social anthropologist Edwin Ardener remains a fertile source of insight and influence.
From Inkling, a look at the calculus of saying "I love you": Why you should never date a man who knows more math than you. An excerpt from Love and Language by Ilan Stavans and Veronica Albin. The good, the ugly, and the simply awful: Since we expect our celebrities to be beautiful, it's no surprise that we've acquired a clinical, critical eye for fine distinctions of physiology, scrutinizing the form and shape of the human face in Talmudic minuteness. A review of Latin Love Lessons: Put a Little Ovid in Your Life by Charlotte Higgins. From Psychology Today, a look at how sex can be a selfless act—those who are very warm and those who are very cold get around; and sure, we know better than to lie to a partner about our sexual history if it's likely to threaten our health. So why do many of us do it anyway? Children of the Porn: The Supreme Court contemplates lying about porn in the real world. Racist porn stars: There's a tangible streak of racism running through the adult entertainment industry.
From Skeptic, a review of Darwin’s Origin of Species by Janet Browne. A review of Francisco Ayala’s Darwin and Intelligent Design and Philip Kitcher’s Living With Darwin: Evolution, Design and the Future of Faith. A review of Darwin Loves You: Natural Selection and the Re-enchantment of the World by George Levine and Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think about Our Lives by David Sloan Wilson (and more). A review of Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life by Martin A. Nowak. Why pigs don’t have wings: Jerry Fodor on the case against natural selection. From In These Times, a review of The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin’s Theory by Kenny Fries. From What is Enlightenment, a special issue on the mystery of evolution, including a brief history of Evolutionary Spirituality. A review of The Jesuit and the Skull: Teilhard de Chardin, Evolution, and the Search for Peking Man by Amir Aczel.
From NPQ, a series of articles on China. From Dissent, back to the future: China gets Beijing and Shanghai ready for the 2008 Olympics and 2010 Expo. From Foreign Policy, the battle of Beijing: What happens when an authoritarian government and thousands of activists go head-to-head at the Olympics? China is about to find out. Despite predictions to the contrary, the Internet has not brought about abrupt political change in China and is not likely to do so anytime soon. Its significance and implications for Chinese society lie elsewhere. Textbook case: Study Marxism, Leninism, Mao Zedong's thought—and Bill Gates. A review of Return to Dragon Mountain: Memories of a Late Ming Man by Jonathan D. Spence. From Derive, the demolition of Star Ferry Pier: Hong Kong has branded itself as "Asia's World City", yet by demolishing historical features to make way for shopping malls and tourist kitsch, it is becoming just another Asian megalopolis.