From The American Scholar, opposition to affirmative action has drastically reduced minority enrollment at public universities; private institutions have the power and the responsibility to reverse the trend. Experts have for some time been acknowledging that too many people are paying too much for schooling they don't need — how many grad students do we need? To hell with student loans — it's time for college to be free. The enrollment controversy: Worries that efforts in the U.S. to limit enrollment of Asian students in top universities may migrate to Canada. Adam Stevenson on the economic case for open access in academic publishing. An interview with John J. Sloan and Bonnie S. Fisher, authors of The Dark Side of the Ivory Tower: Campus Crime as a Social Problem. Does it matter where you go to college? What sensible and ambitious students should keep in mind about where they go to school (and more). Incisive debate on contemporary issues is curtailed by the glacial pace of academic publishing — adopting new journalistic models would inject vitality into academics' work. How to be a graduate student: Tips from the student rep. Gavin McInnes on 10 unbelievable things he was taught in college. The Perils of Higher Ed: College life can be downright detrimental — sleep deprivation, a bad diet and binge drinking can lead you to memory loss, alcoholism and even Alzheimer's. Why free online lectures will destroy universities — unless they get their act together fast. The cop beats the professor: Skip college — you will earn more as a cop.
From Swans, Michael Barker on elite philanthropy, SNCC, and the civil rights movement: A three-part review of the history of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. From Mental Floss, here is a brief history and future of the shopping cart. A look at how chemists help archaeologists to probe biblical history. Living the quantified life: Michael Agger on some of the most inspiring self-tracking projects. Christian Bale may kill someone yet: When a rage for authenticity meets a passionate fakery meets a workingman's attitude, you get this guy. A review of Incivility: The Rude Stranger in Everyday Life by Philip Smith, Timothy L. Phillips and Ryan D. King. Nicolas Pujol on freemium and the attributes of an emerging business model. The WikiLeaks cables suggest that President Obama’s diplomacy is a mixture of openness to negotiation, constantly escalating pressure and a series of deadlines. The Dark Lord of Coal Country: Don Blankenship grew up poor in the hollows of West Virginia, but as the richest and most powerful coal baron in Appalachia, he has destroyed the region's mountains, polluted its waters and overseen the worst mining disaster in 40 years. The Big Uneasy: James Surowiecki on the backlash against the Federal Reserve. How to create temperatures below absolute zero: Absolute zero sounds like an unbreachable limit, but there is a weird realm of negative temperatures that could reveal new states of matter.
From Seed, hundreds of multinational collaborators and scientists, and a $10 billion particle accelerator at CERN have produced a new working model for science — and for globalization; and grid computing began as a data-management solution for CERN — now, it stands to redefine collaborative problem-solving in science and beyond. Research projects waste millions or billions of euros, so is it conceivable and possible for amateurs to operate serious scientific research in their garage or at their home desk? Good scientific research often ends up making a glorious mess: Popular science tends to talk as if we have clear answers, but genuine studies constantly produce magnificently conflicting results. Writing about science poses a fundamental problem right at the outset: You have to lie. In science a diagram can describe things that transcend the written word — a single image can convey the simple underlying pattern hidden by words or equations. The truth wears off: Jonah Lehrer on the decline effect, the tendency of scientific results to shrink over time (and more). What if it turns out the Earth was flat after all? Unfortunately, science is not always cumulative. When science goes backward: John Horgan on scientific regress. Open-and-Shut Case: Do open-access journals enhance scientific progress? Most scientists in this country are Democrats — that's a problem. What makes American conservatives different from other right-wing parties around the world? It’s Al Gore’s fault.
From Public Knowledge Journal, a special issue on public information in a democracy. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay slams China for their imprisonment of Liu Xiaobo, defends Julian Assange. From The New Yorker, an article on Rod King, the man behind the slow-driving movement. Why are Latin American countries endorsing a Palestinian state? A Palestinian state means war: Why Abbas shouldn't go unilateral. Jim Morrison gets a posthumous pardon — so with the culture in a clement mood, who else should win absolution? From The Atlantic, here's a look at ten of the most remarkable ideas to have emerged in 2010. The first chapter from The Global Carbon Cycle by David Archer. Achieve mathematical immortality by giving a theorem your name: For a small fee you can realise that dream of joining the mathematical greats. Matt Taibbi on Matt Bai's post-partisanship. Black Hawk Up: Dominic Tierney on the forgotten American success story in Somalia. A review of The Finger: A Handbook by Angus Trumble. From Slate, Rose George spends five weeks on a container ship. Laptopistan: Where open laptops mean a buzz of (quiet) activity. The politics of destruction: Emmet J. Bondurant on the Senate filibuster. The malady of me: Even if it’s dropped from the bible of psychiatric disorders, the narcissistic personality will still be with us. Duane W. Roller on Cleopatra’s true racial background (and does it really matter?)
From European Journal of American Studies, a special issue on film: European film-makers construct the United States. Jaimie Baron (UCLA): "How Could She?": The "Inappropriate" Woman in Contemporary Appropriation Films. From Film-Philosophy, Steven Shaviro (Wayne State): Post-Cinematic Affect: On Grace Jones, Boarding Gate and Southland Tales; what is film-philosophy? A round table; and a series of book reviews. PopMatters spotlights Oliver Stone and Akira Kurosawa. The rise of self-awareness in cinema: Is film doomed to become a mockery of itself? Josiah Howard, author of Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide, discusses the uniquely American film genre. A review of Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille by Scott Eyman. A review of A Philosophy of Cinematic Art by Berys Gaut. Toward a universal cinema: An interview with Steven Soderbergh. From The New Yorker, John Lahr on the life and work of Elia Kazan. Cutting it out: Hillary White watches movies with Mormons. The End: Grady Hendrix on why projectionists will soon be no more. Fifty years ago, death on the silver screen was typically quite decorous — then came Psycho and the murder that broke all the rules and changed American movies forever. Pamela Robertson Wojcik on her book The Apartment Plot: Urban Living in American Film and Popular Culture, 1945 to 1975. A review of Arts of Darkness: American Noir and the Quest for Redemption by Thomas S. Hibbs.