From Technology Review, the Semantic Web goes mainstream: Radar Networks is unveiling a new tool that provides a smarter way to find information and increase productivity. Images uploaded to photo-sharing websites like Flickr could find a surprising new application – they could help build accurate 3D models of the real world. What’s Russian for "hacker"? A formula for Web schemes: a lot of mathematicians, a lax legal system and Western targets. Can Google kill PowerPoint? A look at how mighty Google is ringing changes by aiming to break open the closed world of social networking (and more). From Carnegie Council, a talk with Cass Sunstein on Republic 2.0. Where's my free Wi-Fi? Why municipal wireless networks have been such a flop. Even though online advertising is growing fast, that growth is being stunted, industry executives say, because nobody can get the basic visitor counts straight. The Internet gets its first full census for 25 years.
From PS: Political Science and Politics, a symposium on the future of election reform in the states, including an introduction, and Lonna Rae Atkeson (UNM) and Kyle L. Saunders (CSU): The Effect of Election Administration on Voter Confidence: A Local Matter?; Bruce E. Cain (UC- Berkeley): Reform Studies: Political Science on the Firing Line; Paul Gronke, Eva Galanes-Rosenbaum and Peter A. Miller (Reed): Early Voting and Turnout; Thad Hall ( Utah), J. Quin Monson and Kelly D. Patterson (BYU): Poll Workers and the Vitality of Democracy: An Early Assessment; Timothy Werner and Kenneth R. Mayer (Wisconsin): Public Election Funding, Competition, and Candidate Gender; Barry C. Burden (Wisconsin): Ballot Regulations and Multiparty Politics in the States; Michael P. McDonald (GMU): Regulating Redistricting; and Todd Donovan (WWU): A Goal for Reform: Make Elections Worth Stealing.
From The Telegraph, a list of the 100 most influential conservatives and liberals in America. From The Washington Monthly, an interview with Tom Tancredo. Will illegal immigration destroy the Democrats? E.J. Dionne investigates. From The New York Observer, a look at why the next Democratic era might be different. Take the FDR: Eric Rauchway on why Democrats should embrace Roosevelt's legacy. The Sisyphus from Searchlight: Harry Reid has united Senate Democrats on shutting down the war, but the Republican votes just aren't there. Chuck Schumer says Iran war would destroy the GOP. Free the running mates: Anne Applebaum on what Americans can learn from Cecilia Sarkozy. Vote early, count often: There is a simple way to establish a national primary and yet still allow retail politicking to meaningfully affect the course of the campaign over several months. Evan Thomas on the politics of arrogance: Why candidates don't tout humility on the stump. A look at why Tim Russert is a terrible moderator for our presidential debates. John Dickerson on Obama's challenge to Clinton's candor. Doing the Math: The races look like Hillary's and Rudy's to lose, but numbers can deceive. From The Village Voice, no skeletons in my closet: How Michael Mukasey and Bernie Kerik are haunting Rudy's run; and Rudy's pants on fire: Secret testimony shows that Rudy's stump speech is inflated, at best. A look at the Christian phenomenon of a Giuliani presidency. Dirtier! Nastier! Slimier! South Carolina '08 is already muddier than ever before, and it'll only get worse. Fred Thompson vs. the moonshiners: Ex-moonshiner Dwayne Kent served as a witness in a Thompson prosecution.
From Small Wars Journal, Thomas P. Odom (Army): America's Cultural First Battles: Understanding the Influence of Culture on War. A review of Clausewitz in the Twenty-First Century. An interview with former Assistant Secretary of Defense Philip Coyle on the military-industrial complex. From The Economist, brains, not bullets: Western armies are good at destroying things, but can they be made better at building them too? After smart weapons, smart soldiers: Irregular warfare may keep Western armies busy for decades; they will have to adapt if they are to overcome the odds that history suggests they are up against. From Carnegie Council, a talk with Robert Kaplan on Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts: The American Military in the Air, at Sea, and on the Ground. The false decline of the US Navy: Robert Kaplan is convinced the US Navy is in decline—too bad his argument ignores the Navy's true strategic strength and capabilities. From Regulation, should we bring back the draft? Is the all-volunteer force a "mercenary army"? Ambush in War Zone D: Wesley Clark on the Vietnam War draftees who fought with valor and saved my life. A review of A Time to Lead: For Duty, Honor and Country by Wesley Clark.
From The Economist, a cover story on the new wars of religion: Faith will unsettle politics everywhere this century, and it will do so least when it is separated from the state, and a special report on religion and public life. A review of The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West by Mark Lilla (and more). From TLS, a review of John Cornwell's Darwin's Angel: An angelic riposte to The God Delusion and John Humphrys' In God We Doubt: Confessions of a failed atheist. An interview with Dinesh D'Souza on What’s So Great About Christianity. From Carnegie Council, a talk with Garry Wills on Head and Heart: American Christianities. A review of The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy and The Prince of War by Cecil Bothwell. A review of On God: An Uncommon Conversation by Norman Mailer with Michael Lennon. A review of Beyond Toleration: The Religious Origins of American Pluralism by Chris Beneke. Theocracy now! Max Blumenthal reports from the 2007 Values Voters Summit. A look at how the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary espouses the role of the godly woman 101. From The Simon, an article on the best/worst deceased televangelists.
From The New Criterion (reg. req.), a special issue on the 20th anniversary of Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind, including essays by Roger Kimball, Mark Steyn, and Heather McDonald; and Jeffrey Hart on Jacques Barzun at 100. From Inside Higher Ed, regrets, I’ve had a few: Half of education is knowing what you don’t know. Scott McLemee checks out a new pamphlet for undergraduates; a skeptic’s take on academic blogs: Adam Kotsko has seen their benefits, but also how difficult they are to sustain in productive ways; and an enthusiast’s view of academic blogs: Scott Eric Kaufman writes that blogging gives him two invaluable things: community and an audience. Liaisons in the lecture theatre: Surely romantic trysts in the tutorial room are alright between consenting adults? From Prospect, data from Sweden suggests that vouchers could offer the government a truly equitable way of combining its educational ideals with pragmatism. What every child needs: How universal pre-K could benefit middle- and upper-class children as much as poor ones.
This week is Fall Fiction Week at Slate, which includes Paradise Lost: Cees Nooteboom takes on our jet-fueled millennium; Is It a Chamber Pot? Nope! Joshua Green on a century-old literary mystery, solved; The Invisible Lesbian: Sarah Schulman on challenging the myth of merit-based publishing; "I was Gordon Lish's Editor: Not that he let me do any editing"; When Poetry Meets Politics: Nathan Heller on Robert Hass' poetic journey; and No Second Chances: Emily Johnston on the bracing vision of William Trevor. From TLS, a new term for French literature: Five recent novels show that contemporary French fiction is self-reflexive, steeped in Paris – and in good hands. Has Her Majesty read any good books lately? A review of The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. From Political Affairs, an essay on Marxism, language, and the Laureate who wasn't: Doris Lessing says "Communism debased language" (and more). From Eurozine, Zinovy Zinik traces the history of the shadow as metaphor for exile through Evgeni Shwartz's play "The Shadow" back to earlier fables by Hans Christian Andersen and Adelbert von Chamisso. From California Literary Review, a brief account of the decay of selfdom: The question of meaning has been asked, and the new millennium must abide its answer. An article on Edgar Allan Poe and the publicity hounds of Hell. X-X-excesses: A review of Harold Robbins: the Man Who Invented Sex by Andrew Wilson.
From TLS, an article on Wordsworth's hidden arguments: From egotism to epic, how the poet's inspired "breathings" contain the world that surrounds him; and a review of Eighteenth-Century Coffee-House Culture. Conversation Starter: Out of the dregs of the seventeenth-century French culture, Mme de Rambouillet, the bride of a mediocre Marquis, invented the unlikely prototype of the literary saloon. What's all this debate for anyway? Plato, Rousseau, Mill, Arendt and Habermas debate. From The New York Observer, Philip Gourevitch is young, attractive, socially ambitious and successful. And it’s his job to make George Plimpton’s Paris Review remarkable again in an era that no longer produces George Plimptons. Slate is set to launch a business site. Is hideous blather, page after page of it, any way to celebrate the 150th birthday of the Atlantic Monthly, one of the best magazines ever published in this great land of ours? Josh Levin on what's wrong with Sports Illustrated and how to fix it. The Washington Times is looking for a new executive editor, and the job description seems to call for someone with almost superhuman qualities. The introduction to Liberty and the News by Walter Lippmann.
From Skeptic, aping language: A skeptical analysis of the evidence for nonhuman primate language. A look at how humans and monkeys share Machiavellian intelligence. Researchers find earliest evidence for modern human behavior in South Africa. A look at how ancient African megadroughts may have driven human evolution — out of Africa. Researchers posit new ideas about human migration from Asia to Americas. Evolutionary sprint made us human: Genes come and go much faster in humans than in other mammals. Samuel Bowles and Jung-Kyoo Choi suggest that the altruistic and warlike aspects of human nature may have a common origin. A review of Marc D. Hauser's Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong. From TNR, a review of Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness by Lee Alan Dugatkin. A review of Double-Effect Reasoning: Doing Good and Avoiding Evil by T. A. Cavanaugh. A review of Working Virtue: Virtue Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems. The first chapter from Confucian Political Ethics. A review of Ethics and the History of Indian Philosophy by Shyam Ranganathan.
Robert Prus (Waterloo): Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics: Laying the Foundations for a Pragmatist Consideration of Human Knowing and Acting. The introduction to Michel de Montaigne: Accidental Philosopher by Ann Hartle. The introduction to The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes's Leviathan. A review of The Cambridge Companion to Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding". A review of Feminist Interpretations of John Locke. A review of The Cambridge Companion to Berkeley by Kenneth P. Winkler. From Florida Philosophical Review, Jill Hernandez (SFASU): On Asymmetry in Kant's Doctrine of Moral Worth; Martin A. Bertman (Helsinki): Kant contra Herder: Almost against Nature; and Nathan Andersen (Eckerd): Hegel on Community and Conflict. The introduction to The Young Karl Marx: German Philosophy, Modern Politics, and Human Flourishing by David Leopold. Ed Cameron (Panam): The Ethical Paradox in Kierkegaard’s Concept of Anxiety. From Philosophers' Imprint, Brian Leiter (UT-Austin): Nietzsche's Theory of the Will; and Robert Shaver (Manitoba): Sidgwick on Moral Motivation. Timothy Fuller (CC): The Tension of the Perennial, Traditional and Historical in John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty. A review of J. S. Mill's Political Thought: A Bicentennial Reassessment. From Action Philosophers!, a preview of You're a Good Man, John Stuart Mill!