From Brevity's "The Craft of Concise Literary Nonfiction", becoming your own best critic: In truth, most acts of revision are nothing more than attempts to make sure what you have written fits current rules and fashions; and writers who engage in navel-gazing with the same scientific spirit of risk-taking and inquiry may also glean discoveries of merit; from confession to craft: Memoir as its own reward; “Perhapsing”: The use of speculation in creative nonfiction; the editing part, the preparing for publication, is also a privilege — but of a different order; and to blog or not to blog? Using the blogosphere to shape narrative voice. Genocide Myopia: Sonia Cardenas on how reframing mass atrocity could backfire. Gerald Howard reviews Homer & Langley by E. L. Doctorow. It’s hard to see how we’re supposed to be mortified that the high-fashion world might forsake aristophilic excess. Why do people think that it is more important for the government to reduce the deficit now, rather than to spend money to create jobs? More on The Flight of the Intellectuals by Paul Berman. A General Theory of Individuality: Whether we're looking at marmots or human beings, variation is the norm — why? We know slavery was an abhorrence, and that sexism and racism are wrong; does that make our society more ethical? Not at all — like generations before us, we make excuses for the clear injustices of our age. A review of Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience by Stephen S. Hal. Chloe Schama reviews Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon. Why a positive result on a medical test doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sick: A review of The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow. John Allen Paulos on five or six reasons why parity puzzles are fun.
Daniel Overgaauw (Groningen): The Paradoxes of Liberty: the Freedom of Speech (Re-)Considered. From Essays on Philosophy, a special issue on the concept of "dirty hands". From Public Reason, Roman Altshuler (Stony Brook): Political Realism and Political Idealism: The Difference that Evil Makes; and a review of Horrorism: Naming Contemporary Violence by Adriana Cavarero. A review of Wittgenstein and Political Theory: The View from Somewhere by Christopher Robinson. A review of Rothbard vs. the Philosophers. Morality as a plus-sum game: Why libertarianism fails as a social policy. A review of Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-Secular World and Religion and Violence in a Secular World: Toward a New Political Theology. An interview with Thomas Pogge on global justice and health (and more by Pogge). The first chapter from Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire by Wendy Brown. A review of Constitutional Patriotism by Jan-Werner Muller. A review of Illusion of Consent: Engaging Carole Pateman. A review of Political Affect: Connecting the Social and the Somatic by John Protevi. Brendan Boyle reviews Politics and the Imagination by Raymond Geuss (and more). The first chapter from Numbers Rule: The Vexing Mathematics of Democracy, from Plato to the Present by George Szpiro. A review of Reasonable Disagreement: A Theory of Political Morality by Christopher McMahon. A review of Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy by Bonnie Honig. From Telos, Ulrike Kistner on the Exception and the Rule: Fictive, Real, Critical. A review of What is Political Theory and Why do We Need It? by Rajeev Bhargava. A review of Hollywood Westerns and American Myth: The Importance of Howard Hawks and John Ford for Political Philosophy by Robert Pippin.
From the Dhaulagiri Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, Pushkar Singh Raikhola and Yasuhiro Kuroki: Aging and Elderly Care Practice in Japan: Main Issues, Policy and Program Perspective; What Lessons can be Learned from Japanese Experiences? Ronald Reagan had an interest in lucky numbers and newspaper horoscopes — less known is that a certain scholar of occult philosophy had a lifelong influence on him. From Church & State, Rob Boston on how a church won a diplomatic coup by posing as a state; and the pope’s claim to be head of state may help with legal defense in abuse lawsuits, but it raises troubling church-state questions. Strip club: Why are we obsessed with getting our kit off? From Boston Review, Marcia Angell on Big Pharma, Bad Medicine: How corporate dollars corrupt research and education (and responses). Libertarians plan to build floating islands to house casinos, hospitals, hotels, offices and even new societies — will the “seasteading” movement sink or float? A review of The Ancient Book of Hip by DW Lichtenberg. Here's commentary on Newsweek by David Carr, Jack Shafer and James Fallows. From Emory Magazine, researchers convene at the intersection of neurobiology, psychology, and economics to learn about human decision making; and from America’s Funniest Home Videos to the Real Housewives of Atlanta, why are we so consumed with watching ordinary (and not so ordinary) people on television? Tom Shone reviews The Double Life Is Twice as Good by Jonathan Ames. A look at the 9 most annoying people at Starbucks. Mark Ames on the wonderful world of American fraud. Guiding lights: Drake Bennett on how soap operas could save the world. Soul Talk: If you tune it out as irrational nonsense, you might miss out on some worthwhile and beautiful ideas.
A tool for comparative religion: A review of The Ascetic Self: Subjectivity, Memory and Tradition by Gavin Flood. A review of David Gelernter's Judaism: A Way of Being. A review of The Story of the Scrolls: The Miraculous Discovery and True Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Geza Vermes. A review of Out of the Cave: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Dead Sea Scrolls Research by Edna Ullmann-Margalit. A History Channel documentary purports to reveal “the real face of Jesus” through the same technology that brought us Avatar’s big blue aliens, but the 3D rendering of the Shroud of Turin is only the latest big-ticket appearance of one of history’s most famous relics — so what do we know about its authenticity? Pope Benedict says it's authentic. The do-gooding propensities of the Church would one day lead Catholics to embrace socialism; the language of social justice has been one very important mechanism that has encouraged this fatal embrace. A review of Islam and Modernities by Aziz Al-Azmeh. Super Muslims: Can the heroes of The 99 save Islam from misunderstanding? A review of The Future of Islam by John Esposito. A review of Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? by Eric Kaufmann. It is misleading and dangerous to think that religions are different paths to the same wisdom: A review of God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World — and Why Their Differences Matter by Stephen Prothero (and more and more). What is a religion? Damon Linker reviews Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents by Ian Buruma (and more). An interview with Michael J. Baigent, author of Racing Toward Armageddon: The Three Great Religions and the Plot to End the World. Kenneth Grubbs reviews The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller.
Steve Wuhs (Redlands): From the Boardroom to the Chamber: Business Interests and Party Politics in Mexico. Insurrectionary Mexico celebrates Black Christmas. Eileen Myles reviews Incantations: Songs, Spells and Images by Mayan Women by Xpetra Ernandes, Xalik Guzman Bakbolom, and Ambar Past. A review of Zapatistas: Rebellion from the Grassroots to the Global by Alex Khasnabish. An article on gangsters as superstars in Mexico. From A Contracorriente, a review of Mexico, From Mestizo to Multicultural: National Identity and Recent Representations of the Conquest by Carrie Chorba; and a review of The World of Lucha Libre: Secrets, Revelations, and Mexican National Identity by Heather Levi. Can Mexico turn the tide against its powerful drug cartels? Vicente Fox on poverty, paternalism and the lessons he learned as president. A review of The Posthumous Career of Emiliano Zapata: Myth, Memory, and Mexico's Twentieth Century by Samuel Brunk. A review of Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields by Charles Bowden. A review of The Search for the Codex Cardona: On the Trail of a Sixteenth-Century Mexican Treasure by Arnold Bauer. To call Carmen Boullosa a “woman writer” seems like a fair description. Tomas Kellner and Francesco Pipitone on the plague of Mexico's Drug Wars. The ninos run out: A falling birth rate in Mexico, and what it means. It is lucky most Mexicans will never read Ignacio Solares’ classic reconstruction of the US invasion in 1846-47, Yankee Invasion, a novel of Mexico City. The Lerma Santiago River is one of the most contaminated waterways — so why do government officials want people to drink it? A review of Black Mexico: Race and Society from Colonial to Modern Times. John Murray on why the press declared a cartel win in Juarez (and more).
The latest issue of Resistance Studies is out. Lives, singular if not individual: What the hell is a “roguelike” and why should I care? Critics of reality TV need to stop worrying about Jersey Shore and start worrying about Wife Swap. How the volcano eruption exposed the vulnerability of the global supply chain. The moral of the volcano is life’s really too simple: It’s best to depend on lots of things, but no one thing in particular. Why did they stay? Perspectives on Katrina survivors’ “choice” to stand their ground or evacuate. The Power of Lucky Charms: New research suggests how they really make us perform better (and more). A review of How the World is Made: The Story of Creation According to Sacred Geometry by John Michell with Allan Brown. A review of The Great Oom: The Improbable Birth of Yoga in America by Robert Love (and more). An interview with Anne Lutz Fernandez, co-author of Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on our Lives. Joe McCulloch reviews The Nobody by Jeff Lemire. Worried about overpopulation, why are you being such a girl about our one chance to be a Big Country? Andrew Potter reviews No Logo: 10th Anniversary Edition by Naomi Klein. More and more and more and more on The Authenticity Hoax: How We Get Lost Finding Ourselves by Andrew Potter. From History & Policy, a special section on Election 2010; a look at how history can help with today's toughest policy problems; and an article on proportional representation: Historical destiny beckons? A review of Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It by Richard Clarke (and more and more). As the Political Studies Association unveils the 20 greatest protest songs, Mark Fisher asks if music can change the world if our songs remain the same.
An interview with David S. Grant, author of Rock Stars: The Rise, Fall and Rise of 80's Glam Frontmen Into Pop Culture. A review of Popcorn: Fifty Years of Rock'n'Roll Movies by Garry Mulholland. From rock to rubble: How Manchester lost its music. Devin McKinney reviews How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ’n’ Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music by Elijah Wald. A review of Peer to Peer and the Music Industry: The Criminalization of Sharing by Matthew David. A review of Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell: The Dangerous Glitter of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Lou Reed by Dave Thompson. A review of Tupac Shakur: The Life and Times of an American Icon by Tyannah Lee McQuillar and Fred Johnson (and more). What could possibly be left to write about Paul McCartney, David Bowie and Led Zeppelin? Well that's just grate: Morgan Meis on the Grateful Dead's skull icon. The Lounge Lizard King: Malte Borgmann on the return of Christian Anders, the estranged kaiser of German popular music. A review of Segregating Sound: Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow by Karl Hagstrom Miller. Nina Power on the politics of the soundtrack: Was there a golden age of the film soundtrack? Let’s say you want to be the producer, writer, and, as it turns out, star of your own movie — and that movie is about trying to reunite the legendary, elusive rock band the Kinks. Jennifer Waits on technology and the soul of college radio. From Flavorwire, a look at 10 mediocre musicians partially redeemed by appearing on The Simpsons. A review of Gimme Something Better: The Profound, Progressive, and Occasionally Pointless History of Bay Area Punk from Dead Kennedys to Green Day by Jack Boulware and Silke Tudor. A review of Rush: Rock Music and the Middle Class by Chris McDonald.
Alexander Styhre (CUT): The Production of Informational Objects in Innovation Work: Pharmaceutical Reason and the Individuation of Illnesses. From Essays in Philosophy, Jessica B. Payson (Binghamton): Moral Dilemmas and Collective Responsibilities; Joseph Levine (UMass): Collective Responsibility and the Individual; and a review of Does Ethics Have a Chance in a World of Consumers? by Zygmunt Bauman. A classicist in a class of her own: Delightful don Mary Beard, whose lively blog is read by thousands, is to host a TV series about Pompeii — and it's likely to inspire a new generation of Latin lovers. A review of A History of Murder: Personal Violence in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present by Pieter Spierenburg. Jenna Krajeski reviews The King by Rebecca Wolff. An interview with Jonathan Safran Foer. Space, the designer's frontier: NASA needs to inspire us again — how about starting with the logo? Skeptics of the World, Unite! We're awash in conspiracy theories — and that's not a good thing. A review of Be Very Afraid: The Cultural Response to Terror, Pandemics, Environmental Devastation, Nuclear Annihilation, and Other Threats by Robert Wuthnow and How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts by David Ropeik. More and more on Kissing the Mask by William T. Vollmann. Judging and Personality: What does a judge’s biography tell us? David Grann, if his last two volumes of nonfiction are any indication, doesn’t have what you might call an abiding interest in the lives of everyday people. For Niall Ferguson, apparently, social services for the elderly are not worth the money, but there is no limit to the value of the “order” imposed by the U.S. empire. The first phase of the National Journal counteroffensive against Politico is now under way.
From On the Human, Karen Strier on the challenge of comparisons in primatology. A review of The Infanticide Controversy: Primatology and the Art of Field Science by Amanda Rees. A closer look at evolutionary faces: “Paleo-artist” John Gurche has recreated strikingly realistic heads of our earliest human ancestors. If man were a qualitative jump off the quantitative progression of evolution, then what was the first quality? Our microbes, ourselves: We are home to whole worlds of bacteria; new research suggests that they can tell our history and, perhaps, our future. A review of Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose by Deirdre Barrett. If females must compete, evolution will furnish them with weapons to do so. What determines the price of a woman's eggs? SAT scores. Are sperm donors really anonymous? DNA testing makes them easy to trace. Selecting our children: Peter Singer on prenatal testing of fetuses. Who’s your Daddy, or your other Daddy, or your Mommy? Why reproductive contracts should trump genetic ties. Inside India’s Rent-A-Womb Business: Gestational dormitories, routine c-sections, quintuple embryo implants — Brave New World? Nope, surrogacy tourism. Ten years after the completion of the human genome’s first draft, the expected revolution in medicine and research has only partly come to pass. The case against gene patents: Genetic sequences are naturally occurring things, not inventions. A review of Ethics and the Business of Biomedicine. A review of Harming Future Persons: Ethics, Genetics and the Nonidentity Problem. Lawrence Krauss on human uniqueness and the future and our unparalleled ability to shape the world's evolution. A review of Mapping the Future of Biology: Evolving Concepts and Theories.
Angela Stuesse (OSU): What's "Justice and Dignity" Got to Do with It?: Migrant Vulnerability, Corporate Complicity, and the State. From Globality Studies, Alyaksandr Sychov on Human Trafficking: A Call for Global Action. A review of Trafficking in Human Beings: Modern Slavery by Silvia Scarpa. Although most people think of slavery as a matter of racial oppression, new research has suggested that, between 1500 and 1800, human bondage was often based on religion rather than on race. A review of Rethinking Asylum: History, Purpose, and Limits by Matthew Price. An interview with David Bacon, author Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants. A review of Uncertain Identity: International Migration since 1945 by William Spellmann. A review of The International Law of Economic Migration: Toward the Fourth Freedom by Joel Trachtman. A review of Migration, Work and Citizenship in the Enlarged European Union by Samantha Currie. New research indicates that labor migration benefits the developing world, and not just through remittances that are sent home. Does the astonishing volume of global remittances redeem the moral ambiguities of migrant labour? Defining a right to move: James Farrer and Devin Stewart on the ethics of migration (and more on a conference on the right to move). An interview with Rob Kroes, author of Them and Us: Questions of Citizenship in a Globalizing World. From ResetDOC, a special issue on the right to citizenship, including an interview with Seyla Benhabib on migrations and human rights. The UN’s point man on refugees, Antonio Guterres, says the world’s conflicts are getting “more worrisome and more difficult to solve”. A review of Peoplequake: Mass Migration, Ageing Nations and the Coming Population Crash by Fred Pearce (and more).