In 2005, he said the housing boom would cause a recession, and mortgage lenders laughed, calling him "Mr. Bubble"; wouldn't you like to know what Robert Shiller has to say today? Questioning a chastened priesthood: Jeremy Clift profiles psychologist Daniel Kahneman on the economic crisis. From Critical Review, Jeffrey Friedman on a crisis of politics, not economics: Complexity, ignorance, and policy failure. From National Affairs, Luigi Zingales on capitalism after the crisis. A year after the crash, a few financial giants are back to making millions, while average Americans face foreclosure and unemployment — what's wrong with this picture? The Deal of the Century: As our financial system entered free fall last September, an epic battle for power and, above all, cash was being waged between Barclays and JPMorgan Chase. Laurence Grafstein on the real banker boondoggle: What the finance industry owes us. From The Huffington Post, a look at how the Federal Reserve bought the economics profession. Eliot Spitzer on the nine questions Ben Bernanke needs to answer before the Senate confirms him to another Fed term. Is Bernanke a follower of John Maynard Keynes or Milton Friedman? (and more and more and more on In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic by David Wessel). A review of books on Keynes (and more and more and more). Richard Posner on how he became a Keynesian: Second thoughts in the middle of a crisis. David Gordon reviews Posner's A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of ‘08 and the Descent into Depression (and more).
What does the U.N. Security Council do, exactly? The answer, it turns, out, is more than you think, and less than you might hope. From Newsweek, critics slam Ban Ki-moon for being charmless and ineffective — they'd better get used to it, because they're stuck with him; a look at when leaders radically remake their countries; Brazil's Lula is the most popular politician on Earth (and more); and Somalia is worse off than ever — why don't we care? A review of The New Plagues: Pandemics and Poverty in a Globalized World by Stefan Kaufmann. Turning point for the poor: The world needs a crisis response facility, ready to offer help for the most vulnerable countries. The G-20 nations could help both the poor and the global economy by imposing a very small tax on the prosperous foreign exchange industry. Norman Borlaug died Sept 12, but his ideas and the green revolution they produced are still transforming agriculture. From National Geographic, a special report on the State of the Earth 2010. Conformists may kill civilizations: Lack of original ideas leaves societies vulnerable to environmental upheaval. From Cultural Survival Quarterly, a look at indigenous science solving contemporary problems. Cultural relativism and Western chauvinism share one basic principle, claims Kenan Malik: a loss of faith in universal values. A review of Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950 by Charles Murray. The nadir of Western Civilization to be reached this Friday at 3:32 P.M.
Nestor Micheli Morales (CUNY): Psychological and Ideological Aspects of Human Cloning: A Transition to a Transhumanist Psychology. You, the updated owner’s manual: Biotechnology is ushering in changes that sound freakish today but will soon seem utterly normal. From Prospect, the age of enhancement: A cornucopia of drugs will soon be on sale to improve everything from our memories to our trust in others. The introduction to Human Enhancement. Here's a report on Ethics of Human Enhancement: 25 Questions & Answers. From IEET, Nick Bostrom on the posthuman possibility space, including catastrophic risks and the concept of the Singularity; and fantasists ponder a future of superlongevity, superintelligence, and superabundance, as if wishing will make it happen — meanwhile, people are dying. A review of Mortal Coil: A Short History of Living Longer by David Boyd Haycock. Who wants to live forever? One might be tempted to respond by asking "Who wouldn’t?" Immortalism: An article on Ernest Becker and Alan Harrington on overcoming biological limitations. How fast are humans mutating? Katherine Harmon investigates. From The New Yorker, synthetic biologists are convinced that they will be able to not only alter nature but guide human evolution as well. Do transhumanists hold a set of beliefs that effectively offer an alternative to traditional religions, and if so, is that necessarily bad? It's time to play God: If Craig Venter's research leads to engineering new forms of life, mankind has hope for the future.
The internet at forty: A mid-life crisis threatens its future (and a look at its top 10 achievements). Here are 50 things that are being killed by the internet. Is the Internet melting our brains? No! Dennis Baron, author of A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution, explains why such hysterical hand-wringing is as old as communication itself (and more). From Dissent, does the Internet help or hurt democracy? The Web was supposed to bring new citizens into the political process — a new study finds that’s just not happening. Who still uses internet cafes? The teen bloggers who took over the internet: John Crace investigates the rise of the super young e-scene and profiles its biggest names. From Wired, a special report on why Craigslist is such a mess (and more and more and more and more and more). Farhad Manjoo on how to fix Craigslist: Better feedback, better search, and more openness. Wikipedia's new editing policy isn't the end of the encyclopedia's democratic age — it's business as usual. Wikipedia promises to clean up its act; does that mean no more famously wrong obituaries? A look at how search engines are about to drive dictionary sites out of business. Is Google evil? New Statesman investigates (and more and more and more). International stereotypes may have disappeared with the Ark but they seem to live on in the weird world of Google Suggest. Which site has the stupidest commenters on the Web? (and more on commenters and more on trolls).