From Wired, the investment arms of the CIA and Google are both backing a company that monitors the web in real time — and says it uses that information to predict the future. From New Scientist, Google may know your desires before you do: In the future, search engines could know what you want before you do — if you're willing to trust them with the details of your private life; your online traces are helping fuel a revolution in the understanding of human behaviour, one that's revealing the mathematical laws of our lives; and tired of status updates from people you hardly know? Pay attention and you might find those weak ties more useful than you think. Researcher Danah Boyd argues that Facebook's success is due in part to "white flight" from MySpace. Despite its giant population, Facebook is not quite a sovereign state, but it is beginning to look and act like one (and more and more). Ryan Singel on five things that could topple Facebook’s empire. Amazon.com's first sale was fifteen years ago, and while the pioneering online retailer eventually found success, many of its peers weren't so lucky — a look at great sites of the Web 1.0 era that never made it. Goofy pictures of cats, Hitler screaming about Kanye West, Sad Keanu Reeves — these are the products of vast Internet collaboration, and we should take them seriously. The end of forgetting: The digital age is facing its first existential crisis — the impossibility of erasing your posted past and moving on.


A review of The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire by Linda Himelstein. An interview with David Stipp, author of The Youth Pill: Scientists at the Brink of an Anti-Aging Revolution (and more and more and more). As ethnic and sectarian solidarities and conflicts sharpen in this part of the world, it may be worth reminding ourselves of another way of being — "new Ottoman" cosmopolitanism, with its complex relationship to colonialism. Arab photographers' view of the "Orient": Frequently criticized as they are, images that "orientalize" Middle Eastern subjects are widespread and well known — the Arab Image Foundation, however, presents other views of this part of the world. Enlightened Views: The Book That Changed Europe: Picart and Bernard's Religious Ceremonies of the World by Lynn Hunt, Margaret C. Jacob, and Wijnand Mijnhardt shows how a set of 18th-century etchings helped change the way Europe thought about religion. A review of Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water by Peter H. Gleick. How prepared are we for the next great flu breakout? Why we’re losing the War Against Influenza. David Johnson on the difference between winning and losing: Baudrillardian reversibility and chance versus the world as stake. A review of A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West by Ian Johnson (and more).


From The Potomac, ars poetica: Gregg Mosson on a case for American political poetry and on Janus-faced optimism: America’s inaugural poetry. From TPM, examples of anti-mosque protests in all corners of the country: it's not just new mosque construction that angers the right — even the idea of Muslims reusing existing, non-mosque-looking buildings seems to be a step too far for many Americans. A review of American Christians and Islam by Thomas S. Kidd. Nick Rosen on his book Off The Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America. From Ralph, a review of U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth by Joan Waugh; and a review of Early Stone Houses of Kentucky by Carolyn Murray-Wooley. A review of Capture the Flag: A Political History of American Patriotism by Woden Teachout. Culture club: Does the nation’s culture need federal protection? An interview with Eric Jay Dolin, author of Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America (and more and more and more). The Reds and the Blues, it's time for a divorce: An expanded proposal to divide America into two countries. From Preservation, an article on America's eleven most endangered historic places; and Biltmore behind the scenes: How many caretakers does it take to keep one of America’s grandest houses humming? From Paste, Josh Jackson on 50 new state songs for the 21st century.


From Reconstruction, Kenza Oumlil (Concordia): Discourses of the Veil in Al-Jazeera English; Brian Winkenweder (Linfield): The Homometrics of eInterviews; and Rhonda Dass (MSU): Avoiding the Peep Show: Talking from within the Tattoo Community. A handy little chart will tell you everything you need to know to survive a zombie attack as well as many other attacks such as werewolves and vampires. New research acknowledges that money doesn’t buy happiness all on its own purchasing power, but rather happiness comes indirectly from the higher status money provides. Michael Washburn reviews Dark Harbor: The War for the New York Waterfront by Nathan Ward. It's hard out here for a snitch: Despite a host of whistleblower-protection laws, the feds rarely punish bosses who retaliate. From Alternative Right, Srdja Trifkovic on the meaning of the myth: Srbrenica, Islam, and Western Decadence (and a response and a reply and a response). Two weeks before the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, the huge, trouble-plagued BP refinery in the coastal town of Texas City spewed tens of thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals into the skies. To most people, typefaces are pretty insignificant — yet to their devotees, they are the most important feature of text, giving subliminal messages that can either entice or revolt readers. A look at 6 completely legal ways the cops can screw you.


From Z magazine, Jack Rasmus on an economic crisis balance sheet. It could have been a lot worse: An interview with Henry Paulson. Conventional economic models failed to foresee the financial crisis — could agent-based modelling do better? From National Affairs, N. Gregory Mankiw on crisis economics; and why should "real" unemployment be considered a more useful economic barometer than the standard unemployment rate? We would benefit from a better understanding of what the seemingly familiar statistics actually tell us. "Happiness economics" in reverse: Does happiness affect productivity? Un-Freakonomics: Alvin Roth uses economics to save lives, assign doctors and get kids into the right high school. Profiting from non-profits: Charities are often told they should learn from business — the reverse is also true. Schumpeter 2.0: A great thinker’s contribution not only appears in his or her finished works and arguments, but also within the rich intuitions or core ideas that underlie the arguments. Capitalism as a cultural system: A review of Joyce Appleby's The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism. Voodoo economics: What vampire and zombie movies can tell us about the future of capitalism. A review of Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem by Jay W. Richards. Blame Games: Could bad feeling between Wall Street and the White House be harming the recovery?


A new issue of Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy is out. Nivien Saleh (St. Thomas): Philosophical Pitfalls: The Methods Debate in American Political Science. Claude Polin (Sorbonne): Western Political Models and Their Metaphysics: The Two Political Philosophies of the West (and part 2: On the Differences between a Republic and a Democracy). From Politics and Society, a special issue on "Winner-Take-All Politics", including an introduction by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson. From Kettering Review, David Ellerman (UC-Riverside): The Workplace: A Forgotten Topic in Democratic Theory. From TED, Michael Sandel on the lost art of democratic debate. From Student Pulse, an essay on political ideals versus political realities: A dilemma of theory. UC-Riverside's David Ellerman on Inalienable Rights (and part 2 and part 3). Here are sample chapters from The Twilight of Constitutionalism?, ed. Petra Dobner and Martin Loughlin. A review of Tradition, Rationality, and Virtue: The Thought of Alasdair MacIntyre by Thomas D'Andrea. A review of The Cambridge Companion to Leo Strauss, ed. Steven B. Smith. A review of Human Rights, Legitimacy, and the Use of Force by Allen Buchanan. A review of The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse by Steven D. Smith (and more). A review of Numbers Rule: The Vexing Mathematics of Democracy, from Plato to the Present by George Szpiro. More on Great Books, Bad Arguments by W.G. Runciman.


A new issue of Economic Sociology is out. An interview with Tim Parsons, author of Rule of Empires: Those Who Built Them, Those Who Endured Them, and Why They Always Fall (and more and more and more). There’s sweet nostalgia, and then there’s refried crap: The Eighties are back, and they’re bad. From Plus!, uncoiling the spiral: Marianne Freiberger on maths and hallucinations; do you prefer your maths in exotic locations? Then perhaps you should join a band of bell ringers, engaged in the grand old practice of ringing the changes; Liz Newton on the power of origami; and fractals are a treat for your eyes, but what about your ears? From National Geographic, an article on the 21st century grid: Can we fix the infrastructure that powers our lives? The value of not knowing: When did people become so unwilling to get in a little over their heads? "They called me a child pornographer": Jody Jenkins took some photos of her kids naked on a camping trip — a drugstore employee called the police and her family's life became a living hell. Mens sana in corpore sano: Parasites and pathogens may explain why people in some parts of the world are cleverer than those in others. Boys’ voices are breaking earlier; girls are developing breasts as young as six — but why? An interview with A. J. Jacobs, author of My Life as an Experiment. Trooper down: Why drivers hit officers on the side of the road.


Zafer Aracagok (Bilgi): Deleuze on Sound, Music and Schizo-Incest. From Reconstruction, Nicola Masciandaro (Brooklyn): Black Sabbath's Black Sabbath: A Gloss on Heavy Metal's Originary Song; and a review of Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge by Keith Harris-Kahn. Classical Music’s New Golden Age: Thanks to period-music evangelists, breathtaking virtuosity, and millions of listeners, the art form remains vibrant. New Orleans’s gender-bending rap: The fast and profane music known as sissy bounce creates an atmosphere of sexual liberation — for women. From Fast Company, a look at the state of Internet music on YouTube, Pandora, iTunes, and Facebook. A review of No Such Thing as Silence: John Cage's 4' 33" by Kyle Gann. A review of Why Mahler? How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed the World by Norman Lebrecht. A survey of the cognitive benefits of music makes a valid case for its educational importance — but that's not the best reason to teach all children music. A review of The Beatles and Philosophy: Nothing You Can Think That Can't Be Thunk. Temporal warp and your brain: Michael Pulsford on the side effects of classics hits radio. In music, like in all of life, the present and the past are not as distinct as we may first have thought. A review of Music and Sentiment by Charles Rosen. A review of Sound and Space in Renaissance Venice: Architecture, Music, Acoustics by Deborah Howard and Laura Moretti.


From H-Net, a review of Toward an International History of Lynching. From The Economist, do-it-yourself or hire-a-pro: A review of Made By Hand: Searching For Meaning in a Throwaway World by Mark Frauenfelder and The Case for Working With Your Hands by Matthew Crawford; and the click and the dead: E-commerce favours large companies but only because that is what people want. Spoiled brats: Are kids really lamer than they used to be? From International Socialist Review, Eric Kerl on contemporary anarchism. The Taxonomy of the Nerd: Non-nerds often fail to understand that not all nerds are created equal, with four distinct subspecies of nerd. From 3 Quarks Daily, Ashley Mears on how supermodels are like toxic assets. The oil-soaked are least likely to favor regulation: Fear of unemployment leads places blighted by oil or coal to hold on all the tighter to those industries. Ben Scarlato on the policy implications of happiness research. Lately, it seems like we see civilization crushed into rubble every other week, but why the sudden rise? It’s not because we want to be scared, it’s because we find post-apocalyptic movies reassuring. A review of Bonfire of Illusions: The Twin Crises of the Liberal World by Alex Callinicos. Carmela Ciuraru reviews Light Boxes by Shane Jones. About those unpaid internships: TAP talks with Dalton Conley about a Department of Labor crackdown on the intern racket.


From the Ryerson Review of Journalism, an investigation into small publications and the secret to their survival, which swim outside the mainstream and connect with communities that don't always have a voice — but all that swimming can tire a magazine out; custom publications may seem like the dark side, but as these marketing books adopt higher journalistic standards, it’s getting harder to tell the difference between them and consumer magazines; the life of today’s magazine editor is low pay, high anxiety, long hours and short-staffed; and freelance writers march into war for rights and respect. An interview with Tom Lutz, editor of The Los Angeles Review of Books. Raritan can be thought of as the intellectual bridge between those heroic organs of the past like Partisan Review and contemporary little magazines like FEED, The Believer, or n+1. State of Independents is an independent magazine about independent magazines. Unlike blogs, zines are tactile, unique and timeless — and despite the popularity of online publishing tools, the zine-scene is here to stay. While some publishers eye the Apple iPad hopefully as way of migrating the print experience into a rich, multimedia domain as never before, others are already leaping over paper entirely to reach new readers with original digital publications. Flipboard is a new type of digital publication for the iPad that wants to meld your news and social worlds into a sort of personalized magazine (and more and more).

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