Efe Can Gurcan (Montreal): New Regionalisms and Radical Identity Formation in Latin America: Towards an “Alter-global” Paradigm. Miguel Angel Nino-Zarazua (CPRC): Mexico’s Progresa-Oportunidades and the Emergence of Social Assistance in Latin America. From LRB, Perry Anderson on Lula’s Brazil. Can a land route rival the Panama Canal? China and Colombia are talking about building 250 miles of railroad to link Colombia's Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Narco-War Dispatch: The Gulf Cartel releases a brutal video threat against the Zetas. The Plunder of South America: An interview with Andres Dimitriu, co-director of Theomai, an academic journal marked by, among other concerns, resistance to neoliberalism. A Peruvian tomb discovery is deemed "as important as Machu Picchu". Richard Andre on the invisible war against Afro-Colombians. Brazil town’s Nazi twin mystery solved: Why the village of Candido Godoi has so many twins and why Nazis had nothing to do with it. States of Exception: Valerie Kaussen on Haiti’s IDP camps. The Island People: Joshua Foer on the seventh hidden wonder of South America. Brazil’s Potential in the Rousseff Era: Is Brazil’s recent success sustainable over the coming decade? America's backyard is no longer an afterthought — or Washington's to claim. Cano Cristales is the most beautiful, undiscovered river in South America. A review of Being "Dutch" in the Indies: A History of Creolisation and Empire, 1500 - 1920 by Ulbe Bosma and Remco Raben. Why Daniel Ortega will go on ruling Nicaragua: It's the economy, stupid — the erstwhile Marxist commandante is presiding over the fastest growing one in Central America. Barbers and Barbarians: Argentina is one of the places in the world where the hairdo of European “civilization” has most earnestly (and anxiously) been worn.
Rashmi Dyal-Chand (Northeastern): Useless Property. Norman Williams (Willamette): Reforming the Electoral College: Federalism, Majoritarianism, and the Perils of Sub-Constitutional Change. From n+1, we possess ever vaster quantities of mostly accurate facts, and not much sense of what to do with them — data data everywhere, and not a thought to think! Outside of a hedge fund or the CIA, there aren’t too many places where knowledge is power — much of the time, intellectually and politically, knowledge is powerlessness. From Vanity Fair, of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%: Joseph Stiglitz on how Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few — yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income, an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret. Spillovers from the Arab Revolts: Is Armenia next in line? The odd challenge for Detroit planners: City planners usually work on overseeing growth, but not in Detroit, where the population is declining. George Scialabba reviews Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq by John Dower. Geocurrents on the Economist’s “Shoe-Thrower’s Index” — a success? James Warren on the potentially revolutionary political role of fried chicken. From the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Charles Perrow on Fukushima, risk, and probability: Expect the unexpected. A government shutdown can mean a host of changes for the country, from a shuttered Smithsonian to an Internal Revenue Service that stops issuing refund checks. Bruce Grant is charmed and provoked by two posthumous books by British historian Tony Judt. The Link is Broken: An interview with globalisation expert David Held on the future of social justice.
What is the secret to happiness and money? Follow these principles: 1) Buy more experiences and fewer objects. 2) Don't worry about insurance. 3) The frequency of happy events matters more than their intensity. Are happy people dumb? Shawn Achor investigates. Is GDP the right measure of wealth and well-being? Science closes in on the reason rich people are jerks. It is difficult to imagine a more ambitious philosophical project than the one which John Kekes pursues in his book The Human Condition. The corporate pursuit of happiness: A Stanford marketing professor is teaching her students — along with AOL, Facebook, and Adobe — how to find and export joy. Happiness studies, sometimes also called positive psychology, is very trendy in university social-science departments these days — but lately, “fear studies” would seem to be more appropriate. Is happiness overrated? Study finds physical benefits to some (not all) good feelings. A review of What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth by Wendell Berry. Mark Vernon on the return of virtue ethics: What is the good life, and how can we know? Psychologised Society: What do we gain and lose from emphasising the individual? The Happynomics of Life: The British case for measuring the happiness of a society, rather than G.D.P. alone, has become compelling. A review of Altruism in Humans by C. Daniel Batson. A review of The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens, and the Search for the Good Life by Bettany Hughes (and more). Condemned to Joy: The Western cult of happiness is a mirthless enterprise. A review of Cultivating Conscience: How Good Laws Make Good People by Lynn A. Stout. A review of Perpetual Euphoria: On the Duty to Be Happy by Pascal Bruckner (and more). Unhappy? Don’t blame the government, it’s probably your marriage.