From Arion, Paul Barolsky on there is no such thing as narrative art. From e-flux, an interview with Hakim Bey; and politics of art: Hito Steyerl on contemporary art and the transition to postdemocracy. Michael Fried on the philosophical stakes of art. All literature is the search for a better metaphor; if this is true, cinema might be described as a quest for a better image, literally and figuratively. The rules of art are not decrees which forbid the artist from doing this and that; rather, they are the accumulated insights which counsel him as to the best means for achieving the purpose he has at hand. Is the Ghent Altarpiece, or Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, completed in 1432 by Jan van Eyck, the world's most coveted painting? Magnum Opus: Jed Perl on the book that could save American art. The art of management: Business has much to learn from the arts. A review of The Moment of Caravaggio by Michael Fried. Art's chasing after its own limits is like our dreams of transcendence which must fail and, in so doing, justify our despair; here, John Russell gives a corpse-eye-view of the bogusness of limits, not least the one between the living and the dead. Good Intentions: Art has a long history of engagement with politics — does recent so-called socially engaged or political art really effect change? The first chapter from A General Theory of Visual Culture by Whitney Davis. What the Google Art Project does — and doesn’t — mean for art. From TLS, a review of 100 Artists' Manifestos: From the Futurists to the Stuckists (and more). Tacky or Terrific, the art of experience: New books survey black-velvet painting's aesthetic delights, and the hipness, worth, and cynicism of the global art market. A review of The History of American Graffiti by Roger Gastman and Caleb Neelon. A look at 6 famous artists you didn't know were perverts.

Daniel N. Posner (MIT) and Eric Kramon (UCLA): Who Benefits from Distributive Politics? How the Outcome One Studies Affects the Answer One Gets. From the Independent Review, William F. Shughart (Mississippi): Disaster Relief as Bad Public Policy; and a review of The Political and Cultural Economy of Recovery: Social Learning in a Post-Disaster Environment by Emily Chamlee-Wright. It's hard to to top the phrase "pole dancing for Jesus" because it satisfies so many absolutely awful contemporary needs in just four words. Colum Lynch on how Ban Ki-moon is learning to love regime change. The fantasy of survivalism: Without trade, every day would be like the aftermath of disaster. Superpowerless: Why the United States can't do as much as you think in Afghanistan and the Middle East. A look at how political narratives on race and Southern identity influence national elections. Are African-American Republicans the most minority group of all? Compromised Position: Paul Waldman on why political negotiations are harder than ever. Porn's Queer Mafia: They’re here, they’re queer – and they’re changing the face of porn. When Alan met Ayn: Maria Bustillos on Atlas Shrugged and our tanked economy. Is Ulysses Overrated? All but one chapter — and not the one you think. Ogi Ogas on why feminism is the anti-Viagra: The neural circuitry of dominance and submission (and a response). Pursuing self-interest in harmony with the laws of the universe and contributing to evolution is universally rewarded: The billion-dollar aphorisms of Ray Dalio, who built the world’s biggest hedge fund by running it like a cult. An article on the trials of Kaplan Higher Ed and the education of The Washington Post Co. The G.O.P.’s Dukakis Problem: Why Republicans will nominate a dweeb to run against Obama in 2012.

Amin George Forji (Helsinki): The Correlation between Law and Behaviour as Pillar of Human Society. Thom Brooks (Newcastle): Punishment: Political, Not Moral and Autonomy, Freedom, and Punishment. Shima Baradaran and Frank McIntyre (BYU): Predicting Violence. From Merkourios: Utrecht Journal of International and European Law, a special issue on criminal justice and human rights. You will commit a crime in the future: Leon Neyfakh goes inside the new science of predicting violence. The art of the police report: Los Angeles cop Martinez writes “just the facts” and still tells one helluva story. A review of Governing Through Crime: How the War of Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear by Jonathan Simon. Simply changing the metaphors used to describe crime can alter what we think is the best way of tackling it. Government investment in prenatal and postnatal health care could help prevent violent behavior later in life, researcher says. Law enforcement facilitator: David Onek works to bring together stakeholders in the criminal justice system who often agree — usually without knowing they do. Does a murderer's crime-scene behaviour echo his criminal history? Life without parole: When you know you'll spend your whole life in prison. Criminals look different from noncriminals: Yes, once again, you can judge a book by its cover. Some states are looking to end policies that allow prisoners to accrue child-support debt while in prison and have most of their wages garnished when they get out — policies that drive many ex-prisoners to re-offend. Getting forensics right: The forensics system is finally getting some national attention, but reformers aren't addressing the real problem. The man who defined deviancy up: Why has crime dropped since James Q. Wilson wrote about "broken windows" in 1982?