From TNR, a review of What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly (and a response). Current computer graphics are fairly well known and understood, but how did we get here? The evolution of computer graphics is intertwined with textual display, and it is difficult to consider the two separately. How to beat technology addiction: Has your BlackBerry taken over your life, or your iPhone? Academics are trying to find ways to help. An interview with Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age. Hearing is believing: How new media technologies and initiatives are breaking the sound barrier. From library records to iTunes: Where are we leaving traces of ourselves for the future to find? The most meme-worthy manifestation of near-nostalgia is not the pop-up book, nor a camera app, it’s not even the mixtape; it is, of course, the animated gif. A look at 10 inventions that changed your world. Liberation by software: Power has long been able to control the media, but the free software movement enables a radically democratic future. Battle of the Tech Titans: Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are going up against traditional infrastructure makers like IBM and HP as businesses move their most important work to cloud computing, profoundly changing how companies buy computer technology. An interview with Edward Tenner, author of Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences and Our Own Devices. A look at how the first cable was laid across the Atlantic.
Mathias O. Royce (SMC): Justice and Taxation: Is There any Form of Just Taxation? If so, What is it Like and how can it be Justified? Douglas Walton (Windsor): Rules for Reasoning from Knowledge and Lack of Knowledge. Otto F. Von Feigenblatt (Nova Southeastern): A Socio-Cultural Analysis of Romantic Love in Japanese Harem Animation: A Buddhist Monk, a Japanese Knight, and a Samurai. Is romantic love a Western, heterosexual construct? Researchers convince people they have three arms — then threaten one with a knife. Defiant chastity: When popular culture is relentlessly permissive and debauched, the only true rebellion is to exhibit self-denial and fearsome wholesomeness. Are we more or less moral than we think? Why Washington won't say no to nukes: Japan's crisis hasn't changed the bipartisan nuclear consensus. Time to go on offense: Our current tax system rewards unproductive speculation and punishes the working middle class. Damon Darlin on Monopoly, Milton Friedman’s way. Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur, argues that if we lose our privacy we sacrifice a fundamental part of our humanity. A review of The Docks by Bill Sharpsteen. A review of Porn: Philosophy for Everyone: How to Think With Kink. From Butterflies and Wheels, Allen Esterson on Darwin’s “delay”, Desmond and Moore’s Darwin, and Darwin's illness. We Are All Roman Porn Stars Now: Marc Bousquet on the Spartacus prequel miniseries "Gods of the Arena". A look at 6 important things you didn't know we're running out of. A mental map of the world: Razib Kahn on the total lack of perspective when it comes to current spatial patterns. A review of A History of Communications: Media and Society from the Evolution of Speech to the Internet by Marshall T. Poe.
Samuel Wiseman (Tulsa): Innocence After Death. Jeffrey Fagan (Columbia) and Aaron Kupchik (Delaware): Juvenile Incarceration and the Pains of Imprisonment. From NYRB, a review essay on prison rape and the government. To little public outcry, tens of thousands of citizens are being held in horrific conditions in super-harsh, super-maximum security, solitary-confinement prisons. Our packed prisons are starting to disgorge hundreds of mostly African-American men who, over the last few decades, we wrongly convicted of violent crimes — this is what it's like to spend nearly thirty years in prison for something you didn't do. An interview with Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. A review of The Politics of Imprisonment: How the Democratic Process Shapes the Way America Punishes Offenders by Vanessa Barker (and more). Take your mark, get ready, ablate: Three positions against prison. Giant Dutch prisoner: Different prisoners experience punishment differently, so why don't we treat them differently? Good takes a look at America's absurdly high incarceration rate. Stay out of jail clean: The best way to keep drug offenders from returning to prison. Atlas Obscura visits the Eastern State Penitentiary, the world's first "penitentiary", which meant to be humane but drove men insane; and La Isla de los Alcatraces: In all of the 29 years it was in operation, no prisoners ever escaped successfully — or so they claim.