From Jacobin, Ian Williams on geek culture: What is Superman in the twenty-first century but a corporate mascot, albeit one with a lavish backstory? (and a response by Jase Short: “Geeks are more than passive consumers of corporate media”); and Gavin Mueller on how no act of consumption is completely passive, but even the most active types of consumption form a shaky ground for serious left politics. David Sessions on the scourge of liberal moralism. From Column F, why would anyone actively choose not to be a liberal? Here are ten possible reasons (and more). Colonialism though is not just about race, it is also about that great unmentionable, class: Deirdre O'Neill on the gentrification of the Left. Adam Puchejda interviews Zygmunt Bauman on the future of the left. Nudge nudge, drink drink: Joe Thorogood on the prosaic geographies of libertarian paternalism. David Brin on libertarianism, creativity and Silicon Valley and on how "neo-reactionaries" drop all pretense: End democracy and bring back lords. Geeks for monarchy: Klint Finley on the rise of the neoreactionaries. Welcome to the century of the Trotskyite monarchists, the revolutionary reactionaries, and the fringe politics of the paradoxical. An excerpt from The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine and the Birth of Right and Left by Yuval Levin (and more and more). Your genes influence your political views — so what? Larry Bartels on how genetic “explanations” of political attitudes and behavior are neither impossible nor illegitimate; they are just not very interesting (and why biology belongs in the study of politics: Scholar of genopolitics John Hibbins defends the field).
T. Michael Perrin (Leicester): A Brief Consideration of Psychogeography: Archaeological Applications and Possibilities. From The Humanist, a special section on Humanists of the Year. One does not normally think of ancient Hawaii when thinking about the early societies of Egypt and China, Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica, the Indus Valley and the Incas — but a new scholarly work argues that pre-contact Hawaii should join the recognized list of "cradles of civilization", primary states from which "all modern nation states ultimately derive". From Wonkblog, a series on Graphs of the Year 2013. Everyone with a nagging sense of self-doubt induced by finding themselves procrastinating over this or that writing assignment will find a 1990 article about Saussure’s time in Leipzig immensely therapeutic. From Nautilus, a special issue on Waste: Endings and beginnings. Roy Edroso on the 10 dumbest Rightblogger ideas of 2013. Evangelical church’s ugly truth: Brittney Cooper on “Duck Dynasty” and Christian racists. Felix Salmon on the new era of the New York skyscraper. Philip Roessler on why South Sudan has exploded in violence: South Sudan has fallen prey to the "coup-civil war trap". Brian Lehrer is going unseen, but asking the tough questions for almost a quarter-century at WNYC. The NSA's TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency's top secret weapon; it maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting.
Walter E. Block (Loyola): The Natural Rights of Children. Ori Friedman (Waterloo): How Do Children Represent Pretend Play? From The Hedgehog Review, Diane M. Hoffman (Virginia): Raising the Awesome Child; and Carl Desportes Bowman (Virginia): Holding Them Closer. Growing up poor changes children’s brains and may even shorten their lives: A new study adds to the evidence that poverty has lingering effects on young minds (and more). Big Mother is watching you: Judith Shulevitz on the creepy new technology of spying on your kids (and a response). Rewild the child: A week in the countryside is worth three months in a classroom. Jake Johnson on fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in your kids. Apps for brats: American parents snap up apps to make their children less horrible. Children today are cossetted and pressured in equal measure — without the freedom to play they will never grow up. Marlena Graves on raising Christian kids in a sex-filled culture. Inside the outrageous world of child cage fighting: Tiny boys who are trained to attack each other in America’s baby MMA arenas. Should we be allowed to choose the sexual orientation of our children? Alice Dreger wonders. Hilary Levey Friedman on parents' scary trust in after-school programs: How much do you really know about that soccer coach or piano teacher? Parents, don’t panic about your kids’ social media habits: Danah Boyd tries to puncture some myths about teenagers and the Internet. The opium is our children: Rory Stewart believes we have gone from ancestor worship to descendant worship. Get your kicks: No wonder adolescents jump off cliffs and fall in crazy love — they are constantly stifled by school and society alike.