Johan De Smedt (Ghent) and Helen De Cruz (Leuven): Toward an Integrative Approach of Cognitive Neuroscientific and Evolutionary Psychological Studies of Art. Where is art now? Leaving the art world to decide what art is doesn’t resolve the issue of quality. A review of A Brief History of the Artist from God to Picasso by Paul Barolsky. A matter of interpretation: Is all art history Western art history? Jessa Crispin on the tricky issue of ownership in art: A review essay. From The American Scholar, Edwin M. Yoder, Jr. on The Faux Arts: Variations on a theme of deception. The Curious Case of the Le Guennec Picassos: How did an elderly French electrician stumble across $60 million in lost art? After the shock is gone: Pity the poor artist trying to get a rise out of an audience today. A review of Art in Three Dimensions by Noel Carroll. Understanding uncertainty: David Spiegelhalter on pure randomness in art. From First Things, Matthew Milliner on the neglected fireplace: Protestantism and the arts. Away, then, with the jelly creatures: Noah Berlatsky on Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling, and why Puritans hate art. Can there be such a thing as “Unitarian art”? After all, there is Christian art, Buddhist art, Islamic art, and so on. Why art should matter to Christians: Three ways to keep from losing a vital connection to God. Restoring the "American Sistine Chapel": How Sargent’s Synagogue provoked a nation.
Winston P. Nagan Levin (Florida): Legal Theory and the Anthropocene Challenge: The Implications of Law, Science, and Policy for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Climate Change. From Arts & Opinion, disgust and intimacy: Tatiana Buzekova and Monika Isova on the social and sexual implications of disgust; and sickness, banking and being: Disease and illness are the pharmaceutical industry's best friends. Simon Schama profiles Arianna Hufﬁngton, new media entrepreneur. An interview with Anne Conover Heller, author of Ayn Rand and the World She Made. A look at the 7 most horrifying cost cutting measures of all-time. Why is outdoor gear so ugly? The weird world of performance outerwear. Can modern science help us to create heroes? That's the lofty question behind the Heroic Imagination Project. Will we ever learn just to be content? We're stuck on a treadmill of envy, acquisition and dissatisfaction — worse, developing nations are copying our unsustainable ways. How digital maps are changing the landscape of the 21st century: Mapmakers have more power than ever, but who are the mapmakers? From NYRB, James Gleick on how the word “information” has grown urgent and problematic, a signpost seen everywhere, freighted with new meaning and import. A review of Fraser's Penguins: A Journey to the Future in Antarctica by Fen Montaigne. My Zombie, Myself: Chuck Klosterman on why modern life feels rather undead.
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh (Drake): Militarization of the World: The Case of Iran. A study finds Al Jazeera helps shape political identity of Arabs. The first chapter from The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East by Timur Kuran. Secret liaisons in the Middle East: Every city is different on a gay writer’s eye-opening tour. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent visit to Hezbollah reveals the deepening isolation of the Shia in Lebanon. Can soccer solve a separatist problem in Yemen? Rap and metal on Planet Islam: James M. Dorsey on the booming voice of pent-up Middle Eastern anger. In the Arab world, as elsewhere, the Internet opens up new freedoms and opportunities for democracy — blogging involves playing with fire. In Abu Dhabi and Qatar, large-scale cultural projects, particularly museums, are being planned and built in an effort to reshape corners of the modern Arab world. A review of Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us, and Why it Matters by James Zogby. Sultan of the Muslim World: Why the AKP’s Turkey will be the East’s next leader. Why can't Arabs and Iranians just get along? The 14 centuries of bad blood behind the WikiLeaks cables. What does Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the world’s most influential Islamic movement, really want? During 2009’s post-election protests in Tehran, one man is struck into a commitment to the cause. WikiLeaks: Mohammadbagher Forough on the tortuous politics of the Middle East and Iran. Qatar's Balancing Act: The Arab nation is keeping close ties with the US while building its relationship with Iran.
Randall Morck (Alberta) and Bernard Yin Yeung (NYU): Corporatism and the Ghost of the Third Way. From TNR, which languages should liberal arts be about in 2010? John McWhorter wonders. A radical new idea: what if we tested laws before passing them? For the first time since World War II, German combat troops are being stationed in France. Most observers agree that the Cancun deal is a tremendous achievement for UN climate process. “The” unbearable “whiteness” of “science”: How would you feel as a chemist if professional meetings were dominated by alchemists? (and more) You might call it a policy of don’t bark, don’t smell: U.S. soldiers and Marines are smuggling dogs and cats onto bases across Afghanistan. Now that literary journalism is all but gone from magazines, many writers are choosing to walk a perilous tightrope to books — good luck with that. The jihadists want to destroy all that is good about America, but, frankly, the Catholic League may beat them to it. The joyless or the jobless: Should governments pursue happiness rather than economic growth? One of the most curious intellectual developments of the past decade has been that quantitative social scientists — economists and psychologists, most especially — have become philosophers of happiness. Philosophers are the smartest humanists, physicists the smartest scientists, economists the smartest social scientists.
From Democracy, a symposium on America 2021: Jobs and the Economy. Gilles d'Aymery on why the economy is not coming back (in three parts). From The Monkey Cage, a roundtable on Larry Bartels' Unequal Democracy. If America is to be rescued, the American people must be mobilized — but today, the money is mobilized and the people are not. The new American oligarchy: Creating a country of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. A book salon on Matt Taibbi's Griftopia (and more). Workless: The price of a social safety net is low taxes for the wealthy — the cost is unsustainable. A review of The Trouble with Billionaires by Linda McQuaig and Neil Brooks. How should America improve its economy? Don't ask Americans for guidance. Fred Siegel reviews three books on the powerful political elites of America. Here's 15 mind-blowing charts about wealth and inequality in America. David Leonhardt on how resistance to the expansion of the social safety net stems from tension between two competing traditions in the American economy. Tyler Cowen on the inequality that matters: Most claims about inequality are groundless — one, however, is not. One of the great enduring mysteries of American politics is why Republicans attach so much importance to cutting taxes for the rich. Jim Manzi on how unbundling components — and understanding each one separately — can open up the path to achieving the goals of the welfare state in a modern environment. Though John Adams railed against it more than two centuries ago, we now find ourselves in a new age of aristocratic despotism. Notes from the Moral Underground: Andrew Oxford on how and why Americans are subverting their economy.