Evan Smith (Flinders): Conflicting Narratives of Black Youth Rebellion in Modern Britain. You pay your taxes, or go to prison — unless you are super-rich, or a corporation. Latin and ancient Greek are making a comeback in British state schools and helping improve literacy levels; Harry Eyres welcomes the return of the classics’ rich mix of culture and philosophy. A review of Violent London: 2000 Years of Riots, Rebels and Revolts by Clive Bloom. "Do we really need a Supreme Court?": A lecture by Lord Hope of Craighead, Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Simon Head on the grim threat to British universities. Mill, Smith and Friedman, look away now: Coalition plans to marketise the academy are a corruption of laissez-faire ideology. Nick Clegg tells David Goodhart how he shrugs off the cries of “Judas” and accepts that “you often cannot defeat emotion with reason”. When the accent is on creating a good impression: Young British Asians are changing the way they speak in formal contexts, according to new research. A review of Beating the Fascists: The Untold Story of Anti-Fascist Action by Sean Birchall. The Blair Hitch: Debating Tony Blair in Toronto, Christopher Hitchens finds the former prime minister battered but unapologetic. A review of The Big Society: The Anatomy of the New Politics by Jesse Norman (and more). An interview with Mary Warnock: "The 'big society' doesn’t speak to me. It doesn’t speak to anyone". A review of Sex Before the Sexual Revolution: Intimate Life In England 1918-1963 by Simon Szreter and Kate Fisher. Could it be that UK governments have just been looking for allies in the wrong parts of the European continent?
Tony D. Sampson (UEL): Contagion Theory Beyond the Microbe. From Asia Times, Spengler on sodomy and Sufism in Afgaynistan. Obama's Building Boom: Will his architecture legacy be as lasting as FDR's? Blood Loss: Christopher Beam on the decline of the serial killer. Passion and the pursuit of truth: How do contemporary intellectuals corrupt their calling? Steven Pearlstein on how the day of reckoning for public employees unions is here. Which country has the simplest taxation system? Intellectual Entrepreneur: Denis Dutton’s genius lay not in his philosophy, but in his capacity to provoke intelligently. No big deal: The key to solving the planet’s most daunting problems — think small. Here, revealed in public for the first time, is the Conservative Constitution of the United States of Real America. Can a computer beat a human in the most challenging trivia game on TV? Jeopardy! All-Stars defeated by IBM's supercomputer. George Scialabba reviews Hope in a Scattering Time: A Life of Christopher Lasch by Eric Miller. Slavok Zizek on good manners in the Age of WikiLeaks. Ethno-spolitation Groups: Richard Rushfield and Adam Leff shed light on reality TV’s trashy stereotypes. From n+1, has any concept more completely defined and disfigured public life over the last generation than so-called elitism? Here are 10 reasons why you should never write a "10 Reasons" article. Drug experiment: What happens when an entire country legalizes drug use?
From TAP, we're beginning to take a long overdue look at the state of our political debate — but that examination needs to be honest; and weighing the consequences of political rhetoric: The alleged shooter of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords may have been mentally ill, but his hallucinatory fantasy world was informed by the real one. What science tells us about the risk of violence, and why treatment in prisons could help. Linking uncivil rhetoric with violent acts: Political scientists have long wondered if violent political speech can be linked to political violence. A space for democracy: What becomes of the democratic commons when citizens don't feel safe? A look behind Jared Loughner’s mug-shot grin. Two gun enthusiasts answer “Why the Glock?” Ed Kilgore on the Tucson shootings and Second Amendment theology. Why gun control is dead in America: The aftermath of the Giffords shooting shows the waning influence of gun control advocates. Are assassins like Jared Lee Loughner more likely to target liberals? Forget right or left: Jared Loughner's worldview puts him in the ugly center of American paranoid tradition. Glenn Beck says elderly professor Frances Fox Piven is as dangerous as the armed Hutaree militia — that's not extreme rhetoric? A look at 6 crackpot conspiracy theories (that actually happened). Is help on the way? Jared Lee Loughner isn’t the only reason we need mental health care reform. Angry Nerds: How Nietzsche gets misunderstood by Jared Loughner types.
Apple v Google: One is a gadget-maker, the other a search engine — but now they are at odds. Is it time to loosen Google's grip? An article on Facebook's grand plan for the future. $50 Billion for Facebook is cheap: Goldman Sachs' recent investment could be a small price to pay for future profits. From The Atlantic, all-star thinkers on Wikipedia's 10th anniversary. An article on how the scholarly community should build stronger links within Wikipedia to more advanced information sources. From Wired, an interview with Jimmy Wales (and more on Wikipedia Week). Om Malik interviews Ev Williams on the challenges of a Web of infinite info. Joanne McNeill on the blog in 2011: More pictures, more words. The Internet, it seems, is destroying everything; in the aftermath of its Shiva-like arrival, the rest of the world now appears shabby, neglected, left over. The Web hasn’t been designed to do anything — and so it doesn’t do anything, much less anything smart, creative, or suggesting awareness. More on Douglas Rushkoff’s Program or Be Programmed. A review of The Offensive Internet. Anonymity and the dark side of the Internet: When it comes to the Internet, are even free-speech advocates having second thoughts? A review of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom by Evgeny Morozov. Freedom.gov: Why Washington's support for online democracy is the worst thing ever to happen to the Internet.
From the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, here is an "Insurrectionism Timeline". From The Chronicle Review, the analysis of hundreds of billions of words in Google Books brings quantitative corpus research into a new phase; and good writing was once a matter of Strunk and White; now it's clunk — but why? The Mathematics of Narcissism: The common statistical thread between psychiatric diagnosis and grad school rankings. Wiki Rehab: How to save Julian Assange's movement from itself. Divided we eat: What food says about class in America. Hussein Ibish reviews The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives by Gilbert Achcar and The Flight of the Intellectuals by Paul Berman. Uncertainty is an important part of life, and recognition of that uncertainty is itself an important step — this is where statistics can help us. Default position: Why we needn't worry too much about municipal bankruptcy. Private plane, public menace: The astonishing security flaws of private aviation. Nostalgia for the now: Photographs give us the ability to capture what we see, more or less, and and apps give us the ability to capture what we wish — so what do we wish for? The 10 Percent Solution: Andrea Louise Campbell on how progressives can stop worrying and love a value-added tax. The handwritten letter, an art all but lost, thrives in prison. A review of Which "Aesthetics" Do You Mean? by Leonard Koren.
From Intercollegiate Review, Larry Arnhart on Darwinian conservatism versus metaphysical conservatism (and a response). What is conservatism for? An interview with Harvey Mansfield. James Kalb on the "conservative canon", books that have been, or should be, central to the American Right (and two responses). An interview with C. Bradley Thompson, co-author of Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea. Letter to a young black conservative: John McWhorter on why they call us Uncle Toms. From Minding the Campus, Jonathan Imber of Wellesley College writes about teaching conservatism; and because the conservatives most likely to be employed in academia are of the neo variety, students may not get an accurate picture of conservatism or, for that matter, America. A review of The Dilemmas of American Conservatism. Tory Anarchism in America: An interview with Daniel McCarthy, editor of The American Conservative. Andrew Hartman on neoconservatism and the spirit of the anti-Sixties. The conservative bind: Why Edmund Burke would hate the GOP Congress. Two dangerous conservative philosophies are at work behind the huge prison population. Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. on National Review and the unthinking Right. An interview with Jennifer Frost, author of Hedda Hopper's Hollywood: Celebrity Gossip and American Conservatism.
From New Left Review, looking at the origins of the figures of unemployment and the informal sector, and their inadequacy to contemporary forms of wagelessness, Michael Denning draws lessons from Marx, Fanon and the streets of Ahmedabad. How did a simple mortgage crisis transmogrify into a global financial crisis?: Money is always vulnerable to panic once people start to look at how it's made. Brad DeLong on how the central insight of macroeconomics is a fact that was known to John Stuart Mill in the first third of the nineteenth century. Is current unemployment cyclical or systemic? James Surowiecki investigates. A review of Making the Market: Victorian Origins of Corporate Capitalism by Paul Johnson. From Vision, a review essay: Does capitalism have a future? David Sirota on why the "lazy jobless" myth persists. Stimulus worked: Without the quick and massive policy response, the Great Recession might still plague the United States. The introduction to The New Lombard Street: How the Fed Became the Dealer of Last Resort by Perry Mehrling. State of the Unions: Why is organized labor so unpopular? The Worst of Wall Street: From Goldman’s "shitty" deals to Foreclosuregate, a year-end round up of the finance industry’s lowlights. A review of The Hellhound of Wall Street: How Ferdinand Pecora’s Investigation of the Great Crash Forever Changed American Finance by Michael Perino. More on Deirdre McCloskey's Bourgeois Dignity.
From Image and Narrative, a special issue on photography in artists' books — between documentation and fiction. From Big Think, an interview with Matt Taibbi. Can Europe be saved? The liberal democracies of Western Europe represent one of the greatest achievements of human civilization, says Paul Krugman— but is there any way to save them from sinking together in the ill-conceived currency union? The Times books section has asked what criticism means today — the answer: less authority, more freedom and integrity. "Sustainable fashion" is a buzzword of the moment, but is it also a contradiction in terms? That’s political entertainment: With the likes of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin as pundits, James Wolcott writes, rational debate is really beside the point. Amy Sullivan on the chutzpah of Palin. Can't we just have majority rule? It's not clear what theory of governance elevates the tyranny of the minority into a sacred principle. Why Chinese mothers are superior: Can a regimen of no playdates, no TV, no computer games and hours of music practice create happy kids — and what happens when they fight back? No more Mrs. Nice Mom: Is the iron hand of Chinese parenting the future for Americans raising their kids? A look at how conservatives could inadvertently revive the public option. The Hangover Cure: A review of alleged hangover remedies, ancient and modern. Why is solving crossword puzzles fun? Robert Kurzban investigates.
The first decade of the 21st century is over — can we finally admit we live in the future? Civilization has been a big mistake: Why AD 2011 beats 100,000 BC. Could the world be on the verge of a new period of re-ordering itself, similar to the one experienced nearly 20 years ago? A review of Why the West Rules — for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris (and more and more). The poverty of ambition: Joel Kotkin on why the West is losing to China and India. Andy Nowicki on the suicide of the West: Not with bang but a whimper. The next 40 years will be the most important in human history: We are living through the biggest shift in wealth, power, and prestige since the Industrial Revolution catapulted Western Europe to global dominance 200 years ago. Can civilization survive without God? A look at 6 insane laws we'll need in the future. From Cosmos, a special report on The World in 2030. It looks like even the Mayan Calander doomsayers were wrong, and the end of the Mayan Calendar may not be for another 50 years (or it may, in fact, have already happened). World to end by October: Why failed predictions don't stop Apocalypse forecasters. A review of A Is for Armageddon: A Catalogue of Disasters That May Culminate in the End of the World As We Know It by Richard Horne (and more). Jonathan Fitzgerald on the unfortunate effects apocalyptic beliefs can have on morality. From The Awl, a series on the end of the world. Jeffrey Green on 10 skills needed to thrive in a post-collapse world.
A review of The Chinese Dream: The Rise of the World's Largest Middle Class and What It Means to You by Helen Wang. After 30 years of the one-child policy, why aren't there fewer Chinese people? How today's China resembles 19th century America. Cultivating the urge to splurge: Building a consumer society in China won’t be easy, but the health of the world economy depends on it. Richard McGregor on 5 myths about the Chinese Communist Party: Market-Leninism lives. Why Chinese teenagers don't speak Albanian: For some Beijingers, the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s lingers on, but who has time for history? Mickey finds a new home: The first Disneyland on the Chinese mainland is expected to open in 2014. Are profits good reason for rebuilding a long-lost kingdom? An ancient Chinese kingdom largely lost over time may come alive again if the plans of a less developed county in Hunan Province are realized. Jeffrey Wasserstrom examines the current crop of books aiming to open Western eyes to China in this “post-post-Cold War Era”. Why don’t Chinese spend more money? The Rise of the Tao: China is in the grips of a religious revival, but can the country handle the return of its most venerable faith? Tariq Ali reviews Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World by Rebecca E Karl. China's new stealth fighter jet shouldn't make Americans worry. Neil Faulkner examines China's imperial history, where for two millennia political revolution did not lead to social transformation, but simply to the replacement of one dynasty by another.