From Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, a special issue on the ethics of science journalism. From Seed, conservationists may wish money were no object, but if nature is to survive, economic incentives and biological imperatives must align; and recent studies on the effects of the internet and other new media on brain plasticity raises an open research question: Is Google making us smarter? It's unfocused, random, and extremely good at what it does: How we can learn from a baby's brain. From History Today, a look at how Friedrich Engels financed the research behind his friend Karl Marx’s epic critique of the free market, Das Kapital. Engels was a strangely enlightened sexist: A review of The Frock-Coated Communist: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels by Tristram Hunt (and more and more and more and more and more). From n+1, Patrick Harrison had always dismissed Michael Hardt, with the kind of macho contempt that comes from reading too much Zizek, as a crypto-liberal who was too politically weak (and more on the conference "On the Idea of Communism"). Clive Crook is in search of an Obama doctrine. The Great Game Moves North: As the Arctic melts, countries vie for control. An interview with Greenland's Per Berthelsen on how to build a new energy economy and still hunt caribou.
From Plus, what happened before the Big Bang? Alvin Toffler on a Bigger Big Bang: We may soon be smart enough to understand how insignificant we might be in the cosmos (and more). From Cosmos, is the ultimate fate of our universe dependent on an utterly inexplicable form of dark energy? It has been five decades since CP Snow warned that this mutual incomprehension threatened the survival of western civilisation — so what has changed? A recent visualization of scholarly research based on online user patterns offers a fresh perspective on C.P. Snow's landmark treatise on science and the arts. From TAP, progressivism goes mainstream: New research on ideology refutes the conservative myth that America is a "center right" nation; and Ezra Klein on the argument over inequality: The myth of individual exceptionalism may undermine society on the whole. From FT, a review of books on Margaret Thatcher (and more and more). Three decades after Margaret Thatcher came to power, Iain Macwhirter considers the legacy of a political leader who changed our world. Acceptable in the 80s: Thatcher was no friend of culture, yet by provoking such strong opposition, did she give the arts a shot in the arm? A review of “There Is No Alternative”: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters by Claire Berlinski.
From The Nation, William Greider on the future of the American Dream; Barbara Ehrenreich and Bill Fletcher Jr. on change socialists can believe in; the KGB in America: A review of Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America by John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vassiliev and Alger Hiss and the Battle for History by Susan Jacoby; and a review of The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia by Laura Miller. From Foreign Policy, some disassembly required: A bit of creative destruction might be just what the United Nations needs; blue helmets are expected to fix failed states from the ground up, but increasingly, the troops aren’t up to the task; and Paul Collier on The Dictator’s Handbook: A thought experiment sheds new light on why aging autocrats remain so hard to dislodge. Monetarism Defiant: Legendary economist Anna Schwartz says the feds have misjudged the financial crisis. David Warsh profiles Emmanuel Saez, winner of the 2009 John Bates Clark Medal. Is protectionism really all that bad? Noreena Hertz wants to know. Greed for power, lust for revenge, pride to defend: An article on the sixty four chess stratagems. From Harvard Magazine, "you haven't changed a bit": Why we worry about reunions. Marjorie Perloff reviews House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War by Alexander Waugh.
A new issue of the Journal of Social History is out. From The Atlantic, is there a formula — some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation — for a good life? Joshua Wolf Shenk investigates. From Fortune, a look at how S&P and the subprime crisis hurt McGraw-Hill. Caleb Das on how to save lit mags. From World Affairs, Julie Flint and Alex de Waal on Luis Moreno Ocampo, a prosecutor without borders; life on Venus: Adam Kirsch on Europe’s Last Man; Scott McConnell on multiculturalism and foreign policy; and is the U.S. military profession in decline? Richard H. Kohn wants to know. ROTC Revisited: It's time to bring the military back to elite campuses — for the benefit of the nonmilitary students. Mark Steyn on why "Live free or die!" is still the greatest rallying cry. "Those who can, do; those who can't, govern" — that's the motto of many libertarians, but is it realistic in practice? David Gordon reviews Deleting the State: An Argument about Government by Aeon J. Skoble. From The University of Chicago Press, an excerpt from Madison’s Nightmare: How Executive Power Threatens American Democracy by Peter M. Shane; an excerpt from Black Men Can’t Shoot by Scott N. Brooks; and an excerpt from Bigfoot: The Life and Times of a Legend by Joshua Blu Buhs (and an interview).