From Psychology Today, a look at what your stuff and your music reveal about you, but our preferences in art and music are often influenced by the masses. Field Guide to the Snob: Why some people look down on those less cultured — of course, others just have lofty tastes. "The Rockist" Micheal Brett on how hipster hatred knows no bounds. If hipsters really are the harbingers of cultural end-times, then what sort of apocalypse have they wrought? A review of The Peep Diaries: How We're Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors by Hal Niedzviecki (and more and more and more and more and more). A review of Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff (and more and more). From Wired, a special section on the power of personal metrics, including an article on tracking every facet of life, from sleep to mood to pain, 24/7/365. More and more and more on Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford. Relentless consumption, spiralling debt, information overload — is modern life making you ill? Could Samuel Smiles's Victorian ethos in Self-Help be applied to modern-day dilemmas? The problem with self-help books: Study shows the negative side to positive self-statements (and more and more).
Red Reads: New Statesman countdowns 50 books that will change your life. What if in the end they got it right? History books may conclude that the financial crisis of 2008 turned out to be far less bad than it could have been and that Washington deserved much of the credit. Gregory Clark on how, as economic disparity grows, higher taxes may be the only solution. Here are the top 5 ways the Birthers are like climate deniers. Brace yourself for the next round of town halls — this time against climate change legislation! Bill Wasik, author of And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture, introduces the "nanostory", the basic unit of new-media culture. A look at why neoconservative pundits love Jon Stewart. Fears of a clown: Why don’t comedians respect their own art? From Esquire, the last abortion doctor: For thirty-six years, Warren Hern has been one of the few doctors in America to specialize in late abortions — George Tiller was another. Nothing makes headlines like excess; so what does our fascination with the uncontrollable appetites of others reveal about ourselves? An interview with James Lovelock as he prepares to blast off from Earth on the inaugural Virgin Galactic flight. What was the most pivotal moment of all time?
From Der Spiegel, settling for second best: In global institutions, mediocrity is the way to the top. From TNR, meet Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, the Sandinista who runs the United Nations. You can't spell unproductive without the letters "U" and "N": David Rothkopf on the United Nations (and a response). New World Playpen: A look at the United Nations’ parental power grab. Gideon Rachman on why the world needs a United Nations army. The crisis where: Why some world trouble spots get all the attention? Long conflict can wreck a country, leaving behind poverty and chaos — but what's the right way to help war-torn countries rebuild? A review of Defending Humanity: When Force is Justified and Why by George Fletcher and Jens David Ohlin (and more on peacekeepers and peacebuilders). The blanket militarization of humanitarian aid: The U.S. military has performed successful aid missions in war zones, but that doesn't mean it will work everywhere. An idea whose time has come and gone: An idealistic effort to establish a new humanitarian principle is coming under attack at the United Nations (and more and more by Noam Chomsky; and more by Jean Bricmont). The end of interventionism: The world has lost its appetite for confrontation, and rogue regimes have gotten smarter.
From City Journal, Heather MacDonald on New York’s indispensable institution: The NYPD's crime-fighting sparked the city’s economic revival and is essential to its future; and Edward Glaeser on The Reinventive City: New York remains rich in the ultimate resource, human capital. A review of Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took On New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City by Anthony Flint (and more and more and more and more). From Bookforum, a review essay by Philip Nobel on New York City’s urban ecology; Martha Schwendener reviews A Short Life of Trouble: Forty Years in the New York Art World by Marcia Tucker; Mark Caldwell reviews Licentious Gotham: Erotic Publishing and Its Prosecution in Nineteenth-Century New York by Donna Dennis; and David O'Neill reviews Knickerbocker: The Myth Behind New York by Elizabeth L. Bradley. A review of American Passage: The History of Ellis Island by Vincent J. Cannato. From THES, dream date with Carrie's Big (Apple): When Joanna Lewis finally got to meet the city she had watched for years on the screen, she found that, like many long-anticipated rendezvous, it did not all go to plan. Has Google found a stairway to heaven in Brooklyn? “It’s Brooklyn. Trust me that that isn’t Heaven".