From the latest issue of Continent, Graham Harman (AUC): Meillassoux’s Virtual Future; Michael O'Rourke (IC-Dublin): The Afterlives of Queer Theory; and Gregory Kirk Murray (GPC): Covering Giorgio Agamben's Nudities. From Social Text, a series of articles on thinking through violence. Concluding their three-part exchange for Mute, artist Alfredo Jaar and philosopher Simon Critchley contemplate how to keep on, artistically and politically, in the face of the spectacular violence that washed-up liberal democracy meets with daily indifference; in two recent books — Web Aesthetics and Interface Criticism — new media critics rescue the sensuality of digital aesthetics from the gnostic grip of communications theory; and in the elegant and obscure Letters Journal, an anonymous collective traverses the black hole of nihilism to elude capitalism's all-encompassing ability to swallow resistance. From Ceasefire magazine, an A-Z of theory continues with profiles of Arjun Appadurai and Samir Amin (and part 2). Signs and wonder: The narrow focus of "profane" media studies on semiotics and consumption ignores the extent to which culture is rooted in our deep yearning for the sacred. A review of Foucault, Psychology and the Analytics of Power by Derek Hook. From The Rumpus, Nicholas Rombes on Julia Kristeva’s face. From Jacobin, Jason Schulman writes in defense of grand narratives. Thinking anew, every time: An encounter with Judith Butler. Radical, like in the eighties: A review of Dialectical Passions: Negation in Postwar Art Theory by Gail Day. A review of The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Continental Theory by Benjamin Noys. A review of Democracy in What State? by Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, Daniel Bensaid, Wendy Brown, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Ranciere, Kristin Ross and Slavoj Zizek (and more).
A new issue of the Journal of Conflictology is out. David Sirota on the ridiculous third party rallying cry: Bloomberg and Friedman pretend partisan fighting is ruining our country — the real problem is too much consensus. The Centrist Cop-Out: Placing blame equally on Democrats and Republicans for the stalemate over the debt crisis only encourages more bad behavior. Norman Ornstein on the public approval consequences of the debt ceiling debate. Sexy doesn't always sell: When do beautiful models help? From Social Ecology, Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero on North and South, ecology and justice (and part 2 and part 3). Is a sane president bad for the country? In A First-Rate Madness, Nassir Ghaemi argues that George W. Bush’s presidency was a failure because he was too mentally healthy. Occultural Studies 3.0: Demonology is not simply the study of demons, but of noise's assault on signal — a media theory avant la lettre. Moody's Blues: Everyone hates the credit rating agencies, but will fixing them just make things worse? For a special anniversary issue, This magazine profiles individuals and organizations who are doing the most exciting, creative, and important work in politics, activism, art, and more. When is profligate government spending not a crime against the American public? When it's done in a GOP freshman's district. Why fiction is good for you: Forget moral edification — psychological research shows literature’s mind-altering effects. Wired goes inside Darpa’s secret Afghan spy machine. When an upstate imam named Yassin Aref was convicted on a suspect terrorism charge, he was sent to a secretive prison denounced by civil libertarians as a Muslim quarantine. Alana Lentin and Gavan Titley on their book The Crises of Multiculturalism: Racism in a Neoliberal Age. Why is a touch on the arm so persuasive?
Maree Kimberley (QUT): Neuroscience and Young Adult Fiction: A Recipe for Trouble? A review of Brain Bugs: How the Brain's Flaws Shape Our Lives by Dean Buonomano. Has the Internet become an external hard drive for the brain? According to a new paper, reading a short article which argues that free will is an illusion causes measurable changes in brain function. The first chapter from The Recursive Mind: The Origins of Human Language, Thought, and Civilization by Michael Corballis. The neurobiology of bliss: Sex in the brain, and what it reveals about the neuroscience of deep pleasure. A review of How Intelligence Happens by John Duncan. Top ten myths about the brain: When it comes to this complex, mysterious, fascinating organ, what do — and don’t — we know? A review of The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good by David Linden. R.U. Sirius on questioning the authority of your brain. The limits of intelligence: The laws of physics may well prevent the human brain from evolving into an ever more powerful thinking machine. Simon Baron-Cohen reviews The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for What Makes Us Human by V. S. Ramachandran. Sean Carroll on how free will is as real as baseball. Sam Harris on free will (and why you still don't have it). The design of the brain: Evan Lerner on the design of something that wasn’t designed at all. A review of How the Mind Uses the Brain: To Move the Body and Image the Universe by Ralph Ellis and Natika Newton. A review of What Should We Do with Our Brain? by Catherine Malabou. We often think of mathematics as a language, but does our brain process mathematical structures in the same way as it processes language?