From The Village Voice, a look at how century-old burial societies were taken over by black-market speculators. Here are 5 terrifying bastardizations of the Wikipedia model. From Chronicles, Peter Brimelow on the economic impact of immigration. From Business Week, here is a guide to social media. Here are the top 10 exercise and sports performance myths. Classifying Nuts and Zoo as porn would not have the desired effect — society needs a more grown-up attitude to sex. The XXX-Files: Porn industry lobbyists feel out Capitol Hill in a time of economic crisis. An excerpt from Not Being God: A Collaborative Biography by Gianni Vattimo. A review of ˇViva South America! A Journey Through a Restless Continent by Oliver Balch (and more). The Luxury City vs. the Middle Class: The sustainable city of the future will rest on the revival of traditional institutions that have faded in many of today’s cities. A review of What Should We Do with Our Brain? by Catherine Malabou. Wabi Sabi: A look at how the Japanese town Kamikatsu will banish waste by 2020. The Age of Disorganization: Don't assume that the rise of new powers will lead to a new world order — the era of U.S. hegemony could be followed by a period of chaotic "nonpolarity" instead. A look at 6 random coincidences that created the modern world.
From FLYP, a look at how two ardent fans are working to preserve a Southern folk tradition. Obama's New Tech Guru: How federal CTO Aneesh Chopra will make government innovative. More on Real Education by Charles Murray. A review of Why Don't Students Like School? A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom by Daniel T. Willingham (and more). The Long Goodbye: An article on the book business and its woes. An interview with Craig Calhoun, President of the Social Science Research Council. It's supposed to be the gold standard for conservation, but is Unesco's World Heritage project harming the very places it seeks to protect? A look at how In Character is making the virtues devilishly interesting. Scientists have solved the moral conundrum of whether fish suffer pain — but never mind, there's probably no cod. More and more on Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo. The first chapter from James Lovelock: In Search of Gaia by John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin. A review of The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia — and How It Died by Philip Jenkins. A review of Ecological Intelligence: Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy by Daniel Goleman.
From TED, Alex Tabarrok on how ideas trump economic crises — a surprising lesson from 1929. Comparing Crises: Is the current economic collapse like Japan's in the 1990s? A review of The Philosophers' Quarrel: Rousseau, Hume, and the Limits of Human Understanding by Robert Zaretsky and John T. Scott. More and more on The Future of Liberalism by Alan Wolfe. One year after the earthquake that devastated central China, Ben Huang contemplates the connections between the quake, Chinese history, and his father’s death. James Fallows on Beijing’s almost-perfect hotel: The Opposite House is an idealistic island in a country that rarely worries about details. Fareed Zakaria on why Iran may not want the Bomb and other unexpected truths. A look at how intolerable life would be without books and bookshops. John McWhorter on where hiphop is "going" and where it never was. The Real McCain: Why is Meghan McCain so popular in the press? Perhaps she’s who the media thought her dad really was. Jane Ciabattari reviews Trouble by Kate Christensen. Virtuous Reality: Jed Perl on a critical tour through L.A. as an art town. On commencement addresses: Occasionally, amid all the cliches and speechifying, a pearl issues forth, but for the most part the ceremonies are absolutely forgettable.
From New Matilda, why do we hate paying tax? Paying tax is no different to paying for a gym membership — it enables collective, cross-subsidised ownership. The free thinker: Isaiah Berlin was born 100 years ago — Nick Fraser explains why his ideas of liberty are more relevant than ever. More and more and more and more and more on Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor by Brad Gooch (and more at Bookforum). From NPQ, Gary Becker, Roger Myerson, Myron Scholes discuss the economic crisis: "This is not going to be a depression". Teabags vs. Douchebags: Why this may not be the second coming of the New Deal after all. From The Center for Science Writings, is the Singularity a cult? A nonviolent debate. A review of Global Catastrophic Risks, edited by Nick Bostrom and Milan M. Cirkovic. An excerpt form Among Liberals: How to Become a Conservative by Accident by Spiegel editor Jan Fleischhauer. A look at new develpments on the case of the spy who fired the shot that changed West Germany (and a review of Baader-Meinhof: The Inside Story of the R.A.F. by Stefan Aust). From TNR's The Plank, a look at the worst case yet against gay marriage (and more). Gay marriage is a threat to our culture — why? Because, if you haven't noticed, gays make most of our culture.
From GJSS, Jonathan Kemp (Birkbeck): Queer Past, Queer Present, Queer Future; a review of Sally Munt's Queer Attachments: The Cultural Politics of Shame; and a review of Lee Edelman's No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive. An excerpt from Peter Beaumont's The Secret Life of War. Mark Rozzo reviews Big Machine by Victor LaValle. Saving the world, one Jew at a time: A review of Spiritual Activism: A Jewish Guide to Leadership and Repairing the World by Rabbi Avraham Weiss and Shared Dreams: Martin Luther King, Jr. & the Jewish Community by Rabbi Marc Schneier. From New Statesman, John Gray on J G Ballard, an appreciation; and the neoliberal era is over — but at what cost? David Willetts, one of Margaret Thatcher’s young ideologues from the 1980s — and now a senior Conservative thinker — reflects on where Thatcherism came from and why he is no longer a Thatcherite (and more from Standpoint). Need to proclaim that there is just too much drama going on? There's a simple, emphatic solution: just add some sauce. A review of Real Utopia: Participatory Society for the 21st Century by Chris Spannos (and more). The rise and fall of a physics fraudster: Seven years after rumours of massive fraud began to surface, the repercussions of Jan Hendrik Schon’s lies still reverberate.
Jacob T. Levy (McGill): Multicultural Manners. The American heresy: When should religious dogma bow to experience? Gone: An article on mass extinction and the hazards of Earth's vanishing biodiversity. A review of Beyond the Good Death: The Anthropology of Modern Dying by James W. Green. A review of Parentonomics: An Economist Dad Looks at Parenting by Joshua Gans. The Media's Lost Generation: How do you get ahead in an industry that can’t see its own future? Universal broadband internet is going to be spectacularly disruptive, and the challenge isn't just going to be getting everyone connected. SpongeBob's Golden Dream: A look at the mysterious allure of the fry cook from Bikini Bottom. Forest Fighters: Developers tearing down the Peruvian Amazon have a new enemy. Deer Heaven: Humans invented suburbia, but it is deer who may be its most enthusiastic residents. Rise of the geeks: A new class of specialists is analysing which websites you look at, what you buy in the supermarket, and how you behave at work. A review of The Contested Nation: Ethnicity, Class, Religion and Gender in National Histories by Stefan Berger and Chris Lorenz. Stuart Blackman on why health warnings can be bad. From New Scientist, a special section on the five greatest mysteries of antimatter.
From The New Yorker, Atul Gawande on why expensive health care can be harmful; why don’t company directors do a better job? James Surowiecki investigates; two speeches: Jeffrey Toobin on Obama vs. Cheney. It’s not about Bill: The advent of a new Democratic administration, with his wife in the top cabinet slot, has opened a new chapter in the eventful life of the nation’s 42nd president. Reihan Salam on how Obama could blow it. Fatwa Overload: Why Middle East sheikhs are running amok. A review of The Conservative Turn: Lionel Trilling, Whittaker Chambers, and the Lessons of Anti-Communism by Michael Kimmage. Why Leonard Bernstein’s politics can’t explain his best music: A review of Leonard Bernstein: The Political Life of an American Musician by Barry Seldes. A review of The Diplomats' World: The Cultural History of Diplomacy, 1815-1914. A review of The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World by Michelle Goldberg (and more). To cook or not to cook: In our quest to unchain ourselves from the stove, are we cheating ourselves out of a useful and creative skill? A review of You Are Here: A Portable History of the Universe by Christopher Potter and Why Us? How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves by James Le Fanu (and more).
From Prospect, Sarko the sex dwarf: The collective French desire to be dominated by a strong, libidinous male explains Nicholas Sarkozy’s mysterious power. A look at why war-torn countries prefer masculine leaders. From The Guardian, an editorial on why a new democracy must emerge from this mire; Parliament in crisis: When will MPs start to listen to the people?; and a climate of loathing towards all MPs is bad for democracy. From Miller-McCune, a case for parliamentary systems: One system of democratic government is consistently better, say political scientists John Gerring and Strom C. Thacker, and it's not the one we have in the US; and political economist Johnna Montgomerie argues our high levels of consumer debt derive more from political decisions than from economic conditions. A review of A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books by Alex Beam. More and more on One-Party Classroom by David Horowitz. More on Cruelty: Human Evil and the Human Brain by Kathleen Taylor. A review of Stephen Miller’s The Peculiar Life of Sundays. From CT, James Calvin Schaap on righteous acts, filthy rags, and a mission cemetery (and part 2). Longing for great lost works: From Shakespeare's Cardenio to Ovid's Getic poetry, missing texts hold tantalizing possibilities.
From PopMatters, an interview with journalist Bob Drury; and a review of Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music by Greg Prato. When do deficits matter? While Democrats and Republicans switch sides, economists try to pin down a tipping point. A review of The Cost of Capitalism: Understanding Market Mayhem and Stabilizing Our Economic Future by Robert J. Barbera. The economics of turning people into things: Economics does violence when it forgets that social science must also be moral science. Put it on my O-Card: Christopher Beam on the case for government-backed credit cards. A journey through darkness: What one woman learned from four decades of psychotherapy, three hospital stays and the ever-present fear of returning to the psychological dungeon. A review of The Third Man Factor: The Secret of Survival in Extreme Environments by John Geiger. A review of Billy Graham and the Rise of the Republican South by Steven P. Miller. An excerpt from The Idle Parent by Tom Hodgkinson. Hate at First Sight: Instant antagonism has become one of reality TV’s favorite conceits. The headmaster of an independent school has employed a philosopher-in-residence to teach pupils "to think and reason". Jeremy Harding on Islamic finance, the money that prays.
From HNN, William H. Goetzmann, author of Beyond the Revolution: A History of American Thought from Paine to Pragmatism, on 19th century American intellectuals; and James Livingston on fifty years after William Appleman Williams' The Tragedy of American Diplomacy. A review of A Tolerable Anarchy: Rebels, Reactionaries, and the Making of American Freedom by Jedediah Purdy. What are zoos for? Conservation parks are struggling to change the basic nature of their enterprise: the display of captive animals for the entertainment and edification of humans. A review of Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher (and more). Newsweek’s recent makeover cannot gild the cold fact that it remains a weekly magazine in a continuous news cycle. Just when Canadians thought that Red Toryism was pretty much dead and buried, the Brits have decided to reinvent it for the new millenium. A review of Splendors and Miseries of the Brain: Love, Creativity, and the Quest for Human Happiness by Semir Zeki. From The Activist, an article on the Bolivarian Revolution: Tragedy, farce or alternative? More on Stealing MySpace by Julia Angwin. An article on the eight druggiest rock star stories. Big Cheese: The appeal of the big seems to transcend any economic moment. More and more on Emergency by Neil Strauss.