Eric Crampton (Canterbury): Political Ignorance and Policy Preference. From Policy Options, Jeremy Kinsman on the eternal Russian question. From FP, Moises Naim on 3 myths about Venezuela and why the oil crash won’t keep Chavez up at night; and an interview with former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso on the U.S. war on drugs. Eric Werker on how globalization's losers win. From Vanity Fair, along with millions of jobs and 401(k)s, the concept of a shared national ideal is said to be dying — but is the American Dream really endangered, or has it simply been misplaced? The secret history of Bear Stearns' collapse: An excerpt from William Cohan's House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street. An interview with Nick Montfort on Atari and the deep history of video games. A case for American Dynasties: Sometimes, bestowing power on a family name makes sense. Mad and madder: Nicholas Lemann on what anger doesn’t solve. From Magazine Rack, on the battle of the women's service mags: Good Housekeeping vs. Ladies' Home Journal. From The New Criterion, Christophobia on the march: A review of Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization; Anthony Daniels is Boxing with Mailer: On the ignoble science of boxing's hangers-on; and more on The Future of Liberalism by Alan Wolfe (and more).
From a conference at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Badiou, Eagleton, Hallward, Hardt, Nancy, Ranciere, Vattimo, and Zizek debate the Idea of Communism (and more). Totaled: Matt Bai on how DC could really save GM. Are we living in an age of sexual freedom, or are women more confused and unfulfilled than ever? An interview with Ira Lit, author of The Bus Kids: Children's Experiences with Voluntary Desegregation. From Cafe Babel, an interview with Richard Dawkins: "There is something illogical about the fear of death"; and is Benedict XVI stuck in the Middle Ages? A simple idea help make the world a better place: Children should be encouraged to find answers purely using logic. From guts to glory: It sounds miraculous — a machine to convert waste into oil, but the road to profitability has been paved with many problems and turkey carcasses. Real sex ed returns — but will Democrats axe abstinence-only? Discussing Hannah Arendt and the Viet Nam war, Cathy Caruth shows that images produced to justify war have a long tradition in the US. More on The Gamble by Thomas E Ricks. Roger Scruton on the New Humanism. From The New Yorker, Anthony Gottlieb reviews The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War by Alexander Waugh (and more; and more from Bookforum); and birds, bees, fish: Ben McGrath on Isabella Rossellini and animal sex.
Yannis A. Stivachtis (VPI): Anti-Americanism in World Affairs: Can the United States Do Anything About It? From Doublethink, an article on the misunderstood philosophy of abstinence education; and an article on the black presidents before Obama. Wall Street isn't the only place with a fearful lack of understanding these days; whether it's horror in Hollywood or Mumbai, the digital era has become boxed in to the unknown. An excerpt from The Wreck of Western Culture: Humanism Revisited. From Eurozine, does press freedom entail an unlimited right to information on behalf of the public? When that information concerns victims of violence, the answer is no; a district court in Belarus orders that a recent issue of the journal Arche be destroyed; and faced with public funding cuts, the editors of Esprit write an open letter defending the role of generalist cultural journals. From Reason, a review of Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan by Kim Phillips-Fein and The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution by Gregory L. Schneider. Balancing banks: James Surowiecki on the aims of the Geithner plan. From Metapsychology, a review of Mental Causation: The Mind-Body Problem by Anthony Dardis; and a review of A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives by Cordelia Fine.
From The Atlantic, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund Simon Johnson on The Quiet Coup: The finance industry has effectively captured our government — a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises (and an interview at TPM). The bubble next time: Daniel Gross on regulations that will stop us from acting crazy next time there's an irrational boom. From Newsweek, Paul Krugman has emerged as Obama's toughest liberal critic; he's deeply skeptical of the bank bailout and pessimistic about the economy. From TNR, Richard Posner reviews Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism by George A. Akerlof and Robert Shiller (and more and more and more and more and more). From The New York Times Magazine, hell nay, we won’t pay! The arcane, obsessive and, well, way-way-out-there arguments (and characters) of the tax-denial movement; and the civil heretic: How did Freeman Dyson, the world-renowned scientist and public intellectual, wind up opposing those who care most about global warming? Jed Lipinski reviews Unplugging Philco by Jim Knipfel. Syria Calling: Can Washington broker new negotiations? Seymour M. Hersh investigates. An interview with Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now!"
From Finance and Development, a special issue on reshaping the global economy, including a profile of Nouriel Roubini; and back to basics: what exactly is a recession and why do they happen? Travis Sharp on the worst kind of stimulus: Why a global weapons boom is the last thing we need. From Words Without Borders, a special issue on Greece. An interview with Alan Moore on superheroes, The League, and making magic. How to Twitter: The social rules and tips for gaining "followers"; why opinionated people win. The first chapter from Paying the Human Costs of War: American Public Opinion and Casualties in Military Conflicts by Christopher Gelpi, Peter D. Feaver and Jason Reifler. John Derbyshire reviews Steve Sailer's America’s Half-Blood Prince: Barack Obama’s “Story of Race and Inheritance”. Christopher Ruddy's conservative media empire is booming — can it save the Republican party? Memo to those faking their own deaths: Don’t write your own obituary, too. Eric Banks on Eudora Welty, whose 100th birthday takes place in April. Is taxing the super rich a waste of time? Chris Hedges on how we are breeding ourselves to extinction. From Boston Review, Martha Nussbaum on Islamic liberalism under fire in India; and John Bowen on "recognizing sharia" in England. A review of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within by Shuja Nawaz.
From Commentary, John Bolton on the coming war on sovereignty; and James K. Glassman on Stimulus: A history of folly. Can Obama convince Americans it’s a good idea to raise taxes? From BBC Magazine, for some women paying for sex is more convenient than cruising bars and clubs trying to find men; a look at why size matters — smaller is better; and once we were all happy to walk around naked, now we're not; can people unlearn their naked shame? Down, Dow, Down! Chadwick Matlin can’t stop rooting for the stock market to fall. Jonathan Yardley reviews Blake Bailey's Cheever: A Life (and more and more and more and more and more and more; and more from Bookforum). Where nature went: Landscape painting shaped the direction of art for a century, then all but vanished — what happened? State of Emergency: Moni Mohsin on a personal history of Pakistan on the brink. What kind of regulation czar will Cass Sunstein be? A Europe of 23 official languages: A recent Spanish case helps to understand the risk of politicizing the multilingualism. Here are 10 reasons why conservatives' fiscal ideas are dangerous. What is experimental mathematics? Keith Devlin explains. In the modern Internet age we increasingly seek out ideas that interest us and filter out all else; is this dumbing down society and making us less knowledgeable?
George Bragues (Guelph-Humber): The Ethics of US Monetary Policy in Response to the Financial Crisis of 2007-20?? From the inaugural issue of Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, Alessandro Lanteri (UPO): (Why) do selfish people self-select in economics?; Maurice Lagueux (Montreal): Are we witnessing a "revolution" in methodology of economics? (and a response); Maria Cristina Marcuzzo (Roma): Is history of economic thought a “serious” subject?; an interview with Uskali Maki on economic methodology; a review of Donald MacKenzie’s An engine, not a camera: how financial models shape the markets; a review of Stephen Ziliak and Deirdre McCloskey’s The cult of statistical significance (and a response); a review of David Colander’s The making of an economist, redux; and a review of Arjo Klamer’s Speaking of economics: how to get into the conversation. More on The Tyranny of Dead Ideas by Matt Miller. Lee Siegel on the intellectual crash of 2009: Why has the financial meltdown left our intellectuals speechless? Hope vs. fear: Should reality always trump optimism? From Nthposition, Ayn Rand, the founder of Objectivism, "is a great writer the way Dan Brown is a great writer". Is Aaron Sorkin better than Shakespeare? Satoshi Kanazawa investigates. A review of Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary by N. Katherine Hayles.
From Vanity Fair, a look at the Mystery Suicides of Bridgend County. Fatal distraction: Forgetting a child in the back seat of a hot, parked car is a horrifying, inexcusable mistake — but is it a crime? From Reason, an interview with David Hillman, author of The Chemical Muse: Drug Use and the Roots of Western Civilization; and can Christiania survive? A countercultural enclave in Denmark fights for its life. From Triple Canopy, here's evidence of a postindustrial disassembly line, performed live with a drill, mirrored plates, construction lights, and sheer distortion. Deceiver in Chief: Left-leaning columnist Kevin Field regrets his vote for President Obama. Greil Marcus reviews Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead. An article on the rational underpinnings of irrational anger. The call of the toad: Gunter Grass's 1990 diary has just been published' former East German writer Monika Maron looks at how blinded Grass was by his own preconceptions. Racism can be funny, and more importantly, political correctness has no place in the arts. Thomas Frank on conservatives and their pity parties; why the GOP fetish for outsourcing deserved to be repudiated; and why the "populists" are right about Wall Street. A review of John Milton. Life, Work, and Thought by Gordon Campbell and Thomas N. Corns. Two economists propose a simple system for deciding who gets to run the world — how about Bangladesh?
From the Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, Sara Martino, Kristin Dillon, and Brennan Jordan (Richard Stockton): The Rise of Obesity in Young Women: Does the Media Have An Impact?; and Denise E. DeLorme and Fred Fedler (UCF): Endowed Newspapers: A Solution to the Industry’s Problems? A review of The Political Thought of Jacques Ranciere: Creating Equality by Todd May. In Search of Silence: One man’s quest to find the quietest places on earth and keep them that way. The one thing markets don't make: No amount of regulation will restore our sense of honour and shame — economics needs ethics. A review of Nature Red in Tooth and Claw: Theism and the Problem of Animal Suffering by Michael J. Murray. From The Hindu, seeing a woman getting kidnapped in front of one’s eyes and the public reaction to it brings home many truths; and all about -ite, -ian & -ist: Does an “-ite”, then, denote a closer, perhaps even more slavish, association with a person than a mere “-ian”? As social emulsifiers go, nothing can beat a happily babbling baby. A spectre is haunting America: Ghosts of neoliberalism trouble Obama’s response to the recession. Should students be allowed to vote, via clickers, in class? Melvin Konner, author of The Jewish Body: An Anatomical History of the Jewish People, on the Jewish body: The circs; the sex; the nose jobs; and the muscle-Jews.
From Al-Ahram, is Bahrain another Kuwait? To blow things out of proportion is not the wise thing to do; and the ascendance of a business class in other parts of the world has fostered democracy — can the same happen in the Arab world? Pachamama: Ecuador provides the world with a bold new legal framework for protecting the biosphere. From Carnegie Ethics Online, Matthew Hennessey on Obama's moral obligation to Africa; an interview with Alex J. Bellamy on the responsibility to protect; and an interview with Simon Dalby on environmental security. A look at how top dailies are killing cartooning. With the Web’s advertising engine stalling just as newspapers are under pressure, some publishers are second-guessing their liberal attitude toward free content. Modern life can allow little time to maintain meaningful relationships, so what's the optimum number of friends? An easy way to lose your shirt: Why foreign-exchange trading is hazardous. Learning from slums: The world's slums are overcrowded, unhealthy and increasingly seen as resourceful communities that can offer lessons to modern cities. Who should Obama look to for advice?: Jimmy Carter. From Campus Progress, a review of Stanley Fish's Save the World on Your Own Time; and a review of Alan Michael Collinge's The Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History — and How We Can Fight Back.