Gayatri Sarin (Macalester): Economics: The Precocious Social Science. Nathan Berg (Texas): Behavioral Economics. Peter J. Boettke (George Mason): The Tasks of Economics Education. An article on envy as the foundation of capitalism. Economics was founded by moral philosophers, and links between the two disciplines remain strong — so why won’t economists make judgments on the gap between rich and poor? A review of Literature and the Economics of Liberty by Paul Cantor and Stephen Cox (and more). Hayek plus Sen rings a bell: A review of Socialism after Hayek by Theodore Burczak. A review of John Holloway's Crack Capitalism. Evolution, ethics, and the market: Does capitalism encourage people to treat each other better? A new report highlights the individual psychological decision making factors that play a role in economic downturns. Is capitalism a spiritual failure? Chris Lehmann on the fraudulent case for the benefits of wealth inequality. The Ig-Nobel Prize for Economics: Should companies promote people at random? The X factor of economics: Why can’t economists agree on whether the Fed should take action? Human behavior is partly to blame. What's the real problem, economics or economists? From HBR, what if Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters? Making religion of economics: The arguments of market fundamentalists don't fit the facts of our economy, so they ignore the facts. Roger Backhouse on his book The Puzzle of Modern Economics: Science or Ideology. A review of Karl Polanyi: The Limits of the Market by Gareth Dale. A review of The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely. A review of How They Blew It: The CEOs and Entrepreneurs Behind Some of the World’s Most Catastrophic Business Failures by Jamie Oliver and Tony Goodwin.
James R. Hollyer and B. Peter Rosendorff (NYU): Why do Authoritarian Regimes Sign the Convention Against Torture? From M/C Journal, a special issue on Pig: A Scholarly View, including Peta S Cook (Tasmania) and Nicholas Osbaldiston (Melbourne): Pigs Hearts and Human Bodies: A Cultural Approach to Xenotransplantation; Arhlene Ann Flowers (Ithaca): Swine Semantics in U.S. Politics: Who Put Lipstick on the Pig?; Lee McGowan (QUT): Piggery and Predictability: An Exploration of the Hog in Football’s Limelight; and Adele Wessell (Southern Cross): Making a Pig of the Humanities: Re-centering the Historical Narrative. The Believer presents the Declaration on the Notion of “The Future” by The International Necronautical Society: Admonitions and Exhortations for Cultural Agents of the Early-To-Mid-Twenty-First Century. Will the New York Times Styles section please change its name to the New York Times Bogus Trend section? From HiLobrow, iconicity ain't what it used to be — and neither is statue-toppling. Can you be too good-looking for your own good? The debate we should be having: Austerity is perverse economics and self-defeating politics — here are sensible alternatives. Leaks: Steve Coll on the ethics of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Duff McDonald on why Elizabeth Warren could be Obama’s best hope to get the masses back on his side. Astrophotographer grabs a snapshot of the darkest possible sky. Bloopers are bloopers, but the study of bloopers is Theory — it can also tell us a little about the ways that we're all essentially essentialists. What's in the Swift Boat crowd's bag of last-minute tricks? Nonstop robo-calls, for starters — meet one of the nation's top GOP telemarketers. The Perfect Stride: Can Alberto Salazar straighten out American distance running?
James Hollyer and B. Peter Rosendorff (NYU) and James Raymond Vreeland (Georgetown): Democracy and Transparency. Mark Fenster (Florida): Seeing the State: Transparency as Metaphor. Ilya Somin (GMU): Deliberative Democracy and Political Ignorance. Their own facts: How basic misunderstandings about government benefit the right. The stupidity of crowds: The trouble isn’t too many bad politicians, it’s too many voters. The first chapter from Cultivating Conscience: How Good Laws Make Good People by Lynn Stout. Mark Lilla on the nation we have, not the nation we wish for. Almost the worst thing anybody can call you today is an "elitist" — elites, it seems, are downright un-American. "We the people": Walter Benn Michaels on the tea parties, the GOP and the elites. A short history of the activists that started the groups that helped create the movement that became the Tea Party. Tea Party Hypocrites: Which states talk cuts, love federal spending. Is the tea party movement like a pyramid scheme? A review of The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party’s Revolution and the Battle over American History by Jill Lepore (and more and more and more and more and more). Conservatives are resurgent; is their conservatism authentic? Late for the tea party: Conservative pundits rush to catch up. Superficial observers for two decades have treated Rush Limbaugh as a cutup, a frat boy, a brawler with a barroom gift for getting people to listen — the facts are otherwise and have never been hidden. Why does the right hate George Soros? Just two years into his term, some 46 books demonizing the president have been published. Contrary to Gingrich and D’Souza, there is nothing foreign or exotic about the struggle to be free — anticolonialism is something Americans and Africans have in common.
Jan-Werner Muller (Princeton): Re-Imagining Leviathan: Schmitt and Oakeshott on Hobbes and Political Order. A review of Terrorism and the Ethics of War by Stephen Nathanson. A review of The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society by Frans de Waal. An article on 12 ancient landmarks on the verge of vanishing. Can negative publicity help? The research says yes — under the right circumstances. Lawless Courts: Immigration judges who flagrantly disregard the law are sheltered by a secretive system. Did scientist Marc Hauser get a raw deal? (and more) Unleash the dogs of capitalism: What should come after disarmament — how about tax policy? Optical illusions are more than just a bit of fun; Beau Lotto is finding out what tricking the brain reveals about how our minds work. Behold, the next media titans: Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Slate on the anniversary of Garry Trudeau's comic strip. An interview with Bill Bryson: “Have you ever seen Glenn Beck in operation? It’s terrifying”. First, it was gold, now, Glenn Beck is promoting another way to prep for disaster, freeze-dried food — is there a method to his endorsements? A review of The Peacock and the Buffalo: The Poetry of Nietzsche. A look at Debtors Anonymous and living a debt-free life. Should humanities programs be saved at public universities that are hard pressed to meet the needs of all sorts of students? Choosing a mate, selecting a chair: A design researcher suggests people look for the same qualities in products as they do in their partners. Leadership and Love: Do we really need to love the people we work with? Trial lawyers like Tony Buzbee got rich putting the screws to corporate America, but in the wave of gulf-spill litigation, they’re struggling to not get cut out of the action. What is a copy? An excerpt from In Praise of Copying by Marcus Boon.
From Flowtown, a chart of the evolution of the geek. The merchants of cool invade the Internet: Has geekdom officially jumped the shark? From Gizmodo, why do so many self-proclaimed geeks hold so much disdain for so-called hipsters? Hipster-hate blogs are multiplying, but who are these much-maligned trendies, and why do people find them so irritating? Being a hipster is an excellent and wonderful thing! Rob Horning on misguided hatred for the “hipster on food stamps”. Hasidim and Hipsters can’t be friends — but maybe they can eat together. Researchers tap the indie marketplace to learn more about hipsters, who don’t think of themselves as hipsters despite their obvious hipsterness. A review of Stuff Hipsters Hate: A Field Guide to the Passionate Opinions of the Indifferent by Brenna Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz. Substance over style: Hipster bible Vice magazine is making documentaries about war zones. A point system to get a handle on who the hippest hipster is: Who is the biggest celebrity hipster? Christian Lorentzen on the hipster that never was. What was the hipster? Mark Grief on a critical history of our era’s most controversial archetype (and more). Phoebe Connelly reviews What Was The Hipster? A Sociological Investigation. From Adbusters, Wayne Spencer on consumable youth rebellion: Teds, mods, rockers, hippies, skinheads, punks, hipsters, now what?; and the activist's dilemma: It’s time to start matching our sentiments to our actions. Avatar activism: Pop culture has now become the basis for a participatory approach to world activism — Harry Potter fans for gay rights in the US, Palestinians protesting with their traditional keffiyahs over skins painted blue after Na’vi people. Humanitarian activists' refusal of politics, combined with their willingness to identify with politics, elicits scorn from human-rights critics. Do volunteers make things worse? Volunteer programs often offer little social value — instead they're a form of poverty voyeurism.