A review of About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang by Adam Frank (and more). The twin child of the Big Bang: In the first moments of the universe, matter overpowered antimatter, its mirror opposite — we may soon find out why. The secret ingredient: Combine topology with symmetry and add a sprinkling of quantum mechanics — the result? A powerful new theory of everything. Now that physicists at the Large Hadron Collider at Cern have found a Higgs particle, are they reaching the end of the road? The Cosmological Supercomputer: Joel R. Primack on how the Bolshoi simulation evolves the universe all over again. Mira, one of the world's fastest supercomputers, will run the largest, most complex universe simulation ever attempted. Phil Plait on how the universe is still expanding — as expected. How an underfunded team of Spanish astronomers could help solve the mystery of dark energy. Clay Dillow on 5 ways the brand new Dark Energy Camera will utterly change our understanding of the universe. Frank Jacobs looks at a 1939 map of physics. What would happen if a beloved web comic created a series of physics explainers? An interview with Randall Munroe, the creator of XKCD.
A new issue of Fare Forward is out. George K. Yin (Virginia): James Couzens, Andrew Mellon, the “Greatest Tax Suit in the History of the World”, and Creation of the Joint Committee on Taxation and Its Staff. Reasons matter (when intuitions don’t object): Gary Gutting, Michael P. Lynch and Jonathan Haidt debate The Righteous Mind (and more). Because of the cost disease, it is inevitable that the cost of things such as health care or a college education will rise faster than everything else. From Otherkin to Transethnicity: Your field guide to the weird world of Tumblr identity politics. The patent, mighty as a sword: Alongside the impressive technological advances of the last two decades, software patents started to be used as destructive weapons, stifling competition. More than a trillion dollars in cash and short-term investments sits in offshore holding companies, awaiting a repatriation tax holiday; in the meantime, tax professionals spin out ways to manipulate the system. Tragedy's decline and fall: Jenny Diski on how tragedy evolved from Oedipus to Kim Kardashian’s cellulite and Amy Winehouse’s struggles.
Kay Mathiesen (Arizona): The Internet, Children, and Privacy: The Case Against Parental Monitoring. Deborah Lupton reviews Why Have Children? The Ethical Debate by Christine Overall (and more). Not wanting kids is entirely normal: Jessica Valenti on why the ingrained expectation that women should desire to become parents is unhealthy (and more). I'm not a “Mother First”: Jessica Valenti on why women need to put personhood before parenthood. From artificial wombs to men and women being able to reproduce entirely alone, Aarathi Prasad says science is rewriting the rules of sex and human reproduction — what would that mean for our ideas of family and parenthood? Julian Savulescu says creating so-called designer babies could be considered a "moral obligation" as it makes them grow up into "ethically better children". Which matters more, cognitive ability or motivation? An excerpt from Paul Tough's How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough. Razib Khan on the waning of the nuclear family. Marcia Segelstein interviews Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, which seeks "to promote lifelong married love to college students by creating an intellectual and social climate favorable to marriage".
Alexandra Glynn (NDSU): Will, Plato, Love, and Jew-Frenzy. From Foreign Policy, a special section: Who won the Great Recession?, with contributions by Tyler Cowen, Joshua Keating, Michael Lind, Kate Sheppard, and Slavoj Zizek, among others. From Swarthmore College Bulletin, Christopher Maier on the right kind of economist: In the shadow of the White House, Diana Furchtgott-Roth sings the gospel of the competitive marketplace; and Paul Wachter on how the pursuit of the truth preoccupies Hoover Institution scholar Peter Berkowitz. From Nerve, Alex Heigl on why liking Ayn Rand makes you a terrible lover — shockingly, it has little to do with trains. Is the Republican Party racist? How the racial attitudes of Southern voters bolster its chances. Peter Blair on why political rhetoric should not mention God. Cliffhangers: James Surowiecki on the fiscal-cliff absurdity. Why power corrupts: New research digs deeper into the social science behind why power brings out the best in some people and the worst in others. Who closed the American mind? Allan Bloom was brilliant, but wrong about Burke and multiculturalism.
A new issue of Foreign Service Journal is out. Kevin E. Davis (NYU): Why Does the United States Regulate Foreign Bribery: Moralism, Self-Interest, or Altruism? US strikes People's Mujahedin of Iran off terror list: Stephan Buchen on the schizophrenia of US foreign policy. Ronald E. Neumann on educating Americans to think about foreign policy. Seema Sirohi on how Sabrina De Sousa, a former US diplomat of Indian origin, was swept up in the undertow of the war on terror. When it comes to lies and half-truths, Mitt Romney saves his best stuff for foreign policy. Jackson Lears reviews Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age by Christopher McKnight Nichols. The future of power: An interview with Joe Nye, author of Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era. Humanitarian Intervention: Jeff Bloodworth on the American experience from William McKinley to Barack Obama. From republic to empire: Curtis F. Jones on the American trajectory. Jordan Mattox on the allegorization of imperialism or “why they hate us”. Each of the 66 empires in the last 3,000 years bankrupted itself — will the United States go the same way?