Richard van Oort (Victoria): Doubt, Compromise, and Doublethink: Transcendence in a Secular Age. From Cross Currents, an article on why the New Atheism is (partially) good for true spirituality and religion. A review of The End of Secularism by Hunter Baker. From TLS, a review of The Genesis Enigma: Why the Bible Is Scientifically Accurate by Andrew Parker. An interview with John Coats, author of Original Sinners: A New Interpretation of Genesis. Often sadistic, scatological and pornographic, the Bible is no innocent bedtime story. From Fortean Times, an article on tracing the Eucharist's source: Christian rite or pagan festival? A review of The Will to Imagine: A Justification of Skeptical Religion by J. L. Schellenberg. A postsecular world society: Eduardo Mendieta interviews Jurgen Habermas. Maud Newton on Doubt: Skepticism is as old as faith, and its manifestations are complex and varied. What business does God have hiding? Ophelia Benson wants to know. Is there anything left of the concept of blasphemy? A look at why it's so tricky for atheists to debate with believers. Julian Baggini meets Daniel Dennett, the least apocalyptic of the four horsemen. Sam Harris didn't realize Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens were idiots. Voicing our disbelief: Russell Blackford stands up for the new atheism and reviews Robert Wright’s The Evolution of God. More on The Faith Instinct by Nicholas Wade. From TPM, God and the brain: Mat Iredale on the natural basis of supernatural thinking; and what is religious education for? A US company, run by atheists, is offering to take care of your pets during the second coming — but are they serious?


Here's the latest issue of Canadian Journal of Sociology. Calculated Terror: How a computer model predicts the future in some of the world's most volatile hotspots. A review of How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and 20 Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell (and more and more). Are Americans stuck to their cubicles? An interview with Mary Collins, author of American Idle: A Journey Through Our Sedentary Culture. A review of The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande. An excerpt from Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind by Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert M. Seyfarth. A review of Frontiers of Consciousness: The Chichele Lectures. For A.M. Hinton, abortion was simply another issue to debate over drinks — then she became pregnant. A review of In My Father's Shadow: A Daughter Remembers Orson Welles by Chris Welles Feder. A review of Critical Transitions in Nature and Society by Marten Scheffer. From H-Net, a review essay on Martin Heidegger. The Lessons of Lady Gaga: With digital dominance, business savvy, a niche-busting sound and 1,001 wardrobe changes, she is a new model for success. From American Arts Quarterly, Frederick Turner on value, meaning and the economic crisis and on art and economics. Scionism: Jason Zengerle on the question of Democratic dynasties. Easy=True: How "cognitive fluency" shapes what we believe, how we invest, and who will become a supermodel. Here are excerpts from Kill or Get Killed by Col. Rex Applegate, first written in 1943 to quickly and effectively teach American solders hand-to-hand combat skills.


Andreas Herberg-Rothe (Fulda): Clausewitz’s “Wondrous Trinity” as a Coordinate System of War and Violent Conflict. A review of 7 Deadly Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores War in the 21st Century by Andrew Krepinevich. A panel on The Science of War by Michael O'Hanlon. An interview with Jeff McMahan, author of Killing in War. The first chapter from War Stories: The Causes and Consequences of Public Views of War by Matthew Baum and Tim Groeling. A farewell to victory: Wars once ended with winners and losers — then it got complicated. The global phenomenon of war distorts our ongoing attempts to build peace in conflict after conflict and in many different ways. A review of Buddhist Warfare (and more on monks with guns). A review of Castles, Battles, and Bombs: How Economics Explains Military History by Jurgen Brauer and Hubert van Tuyll. Is military power becoming obsolete? Joseph Nye investigates. A review of Jungle of Snakes: A Century of Counterinsurgency Warfare from the Philippines to Iraq by James Arnold. Can a colonialist strategy be reinvented?: A review of The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual and David Kilcullen's The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. A review of The Counter-Counterinsurgency Manual: Or, Notes on Demilitarizing American Society by Network of Concerned Anthropologists. A review of The Insurgent Archipelago by John Mackinlay. A review of A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the American Civil War by Daniel Sutherland. The environmental consequences of war: Why militaries almost never clean up the messes they leave behind. A wife looks to the Greeks when her husband is called away to war.


The latest issue of Fire to the Prisons: An Insurrectionary Quarterly is out. From Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture, Mike Meloy (Loyola): From Kid Nation to Caste Nation: Mobility, Privilege, and the Paradox of Class on Reality Television; Young Hoon Kim (Alberta): The Justice of Melodrama: The West Wing's Coping Strategies in a World of Violence and Terror; Becca Cragin (BGSU): Noirish Inversions: Investigation and Victimization in The Silence of the Lambs and Basic Instinct; and an interview with Philippa Gates, author of Detecting Men: Masculinity and the Hollywood Detective Film. From The Rumpus, Ethan Watters on 10 things you should know before going on The Daily Show. Patrick Egan on Perry v. Schwarzenegger: Is being gay a fixed trait or chosen identity? (but so what if sexual orientation is a choice after all?) From The American Scientist, a review of The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel by William Goldbloom Bloch; and knowing when to stop: How to gamble if you must — the mathematics of optimal stopping. From Haaretz, a review of The King of Oil: The Secret Lives of Marc Rich by Daniel Ammann; and a review of A Cracking of the Heart by David Horowitz. A look at the 6 most statistically full of shit professions. Franklin Bruno on Flarf Poetry: Since coming together on private Listserv exchanges in 2001, the writers of the Flarf Collective have attracted critical attention — oh, and readers — more rapidly than is deemed seemly for contemporary poets. Bundles of Cable: James Surowiecki on the ill-advised battle between the networks and the providers.


A review of A Language of Its Own: Sense and Meaning in the Making of Western Art Music by Ruth Katz. The revenge of the beer fiddlers: An article on the regulation of amateurs in musical life. There was more to the punk scene than sneering, swearing and affected nihilism — there were some decent tunes, too. Is classic indie rock an oxymoron?: Ben Gook ponders the difficulties of navigating a never-ending supply of new music. From Paste, we can tear down this idol with reckless abandon because, to our question, there is a concrete answer: Indie is dead, it has killed itself. Andy Battaglia on Future-Shock Music: Serious music fans fetishize moments of future-shock rupture — those moments of fruitful confusion and ecstatic release that attend the arrival of new movements and new sounds. Can pop music survive without a mass market, mass acceptance or the drive for mass profits?: A review of Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music by Greg Kot, Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music by David Suisman, and Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music by Greg Milner (and more at Bookforum). Audiophoolery: Ethan Winer reveals that the worlds of audio engineering and consumer electronics are filled with pseudoscience. The duet of brain and music: Two new studies of music and the brain give us insights into the mind of the improvising musician, and the conformist leanings of teenagers. Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnell famously declared that D minor is “the saddest of keys”, but is music in a minor key inevitably sad?

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