From The Moscow Times, an article on the paradox of an educated Russian. Why is Russia convinced that it is the victim of a campaign to make it look bad? While the West weighs how best to mobilise against climate change, Russia looks forward to an age of defrosted prosperity. Novaya Gazeta in the newspaper loved in the West, hated at home. The painful post-Soviet history of Russia's smallest republic: Can Ingushetia hold on to its independence now and what is the Kremlin's policy in the Caucasus going to be? Attempts to compensate for Belarusian lack of national pride by turning the country into a fortress and uniting nationality and religion are "insane". What went wrong with Latvia? From Eurozine, over the last thousand years, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have had multiple identities and been members of several empires; and while the Nordic countries cannot compare with France, the Netherlands, or Great Britain when it comes to classical colonialism, this is no reason not to discuss their colonial past. Can Iceland be saved? The plan to get an entire country out of debtors’ prison (and more and more and more). Olle Wastberg on the symbiosis of Sweden and IKEA: "Frankly, IKEA is doing more for the image of Sweden than all governmental efforts combined".
A review of Christopher Lloyd’s What on Earth Happened? The Complete Story of the Planet, Life, and People from the Big Bang to the Present Day. Out of our minds: How did humans come down from the trees and why did no one follow? Party Animals: A look at how early human culture thrived in crowds. A review of Caveman Logic: The Persistence of Primitive Thinking in a Modern World by Hank Davis. More on Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending's The 10,000 Year Explosion. Always cited as the hallmark of man’s innovation, here is the real story behind the wheel — from its origins to its reinvention. A review of An Intellectual History of Cannibalism by Catalin Avramescu. A review of Sharon Waxman's Loot: The Battle Over Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World. From TLS, a Nabokov of the ancient world: A review of Ananios of Kleitor by George Economou. The introduction to Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism by Cathy Gere (and a review by Mary Beard). An interview with Owen Hatherley, author of Militant Modernism (and at Bookforum, Matthew Price reviews Peter Gay’s Modernism: The Lure of Heresy from Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond). Mortality and the contradictions of modernity: A review of Genevieve Lloyd's Providence Lost.
From New York, did leveraging his connections to sell access to New York's pension funds make political consultant Hank Morris a felon? From FT, an in depth report on the pensions crisis. Growing old: Is retirement at age 62 still possible? Unless we change our attitudes towards work, education and retirement, we run the risk of pensioner poverty and intergenerational conflict. From The Economist, a special report on aging populations: Demography means virtually all of us will have to work longer — that need not be a bad thing. It is a screwed-up society which sees older generations as little more than a future nutritional resource for worms. Why Japan isn't rising: It's mellowing as its population ages. Our ageing world isn't a catastrophe — it's a triumph. Is aging a moral good? (and a response and a reply). In a world without miracles, death is a miracle — a bad one, it makes no sense at all. A review of Death and Character by Annette Baier. A a review of Well-being and Death by Ben Bradley. A look at how posthumous events affect rated quality and happiness of lives. A review of Death Becomes Them: Unearthing the Suicides of the Brilliant, the Famous, and the Notorious by Alix Strauss. There's pleasure to be had in reading "The Possible Pain Experienced During Execution by Different Methods".
A review of The United Symbolism of America: Deciphering Hidden Meanings in America's Most Familiar Art, Architecture, and Logos by Robert Hieronimus and Laura Cortner. Is Apple the world's most discreetly feminine brand? Nowhere is the cynicism of modern female-directed advertising better seen than in the peddling of "natural" makeup. An article on the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the people who keep advertisers honest. The internet advertising industry is worried the government will clamp down their tracking of web users. Pop Nihilism: Mass media's codependent relationship with advertising has destined both to failure. An interview with Carrie McLaren and Jason Torchinsky on Ad Nauseam: A Survivor’s Guide to American Consumer Culture. A review of Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell (and more and more and more and more). A review of All Consuming: How Shopping Got Us Into This Mess And How We Can Find Our Way Out by Neal Lawson (and more and more). A review of Buying Power: A History of Consumer Activism in America by Lawrence Glickman. Shop right: The best ways to support worthy causes by buying cool products. It's still possible to find parts of the world where people think they have enough.