It’s not so easy being Han Han, the heartthrob race car driver and pop novelist who just happens to be China’s most widely read blogger. A review of Your Own James: The Montreal Lectures of C.L.R. James by Rico Cleffi. A review of The Allure of Chanel by Paul Morand. Simon Schama on why we like tough guys in politics. A review of books on the history of medicine. The problem with Murdoch's Journal isn't the politics, but his tabloid sensibility. Tal Pinchevsky on the emerging political force that is Snoop Dogg. Robin Hood and the Templars of Doom: John Paul Davis on the forgotten history of England's most famous outlaw. What if our economy was not built on competition? Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom talks about her work on cooperation in economics. A review of Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World's Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her by Robin Gerber (and more). An interview with Harvey Klehr on books on communism in America. Everything is political — and you don't have to be a card-carrying Foucauldian to think so. An article on Hitler as the most versatile word on the Internet. Melissa Milgrom on why the Victorian fascination with stuffing animals has become the hot new thing among hipsters and urbanites. Here is CMO's Guide to the Social Media Landscape. Saints on Percocet: Drug-addicted healers are elevating hospital drama to metaphysical art. A review of Albert Camus: Elements of a Life by Robert Zaretsky (and more on Camus). To understand radical Islam, To Padnos pretended he was a Muslim and settled himself into Yemen’s radical mosque scene; years later, his cover has finally been blown. The Coffee Party held its first meetings in cities around the country — is it really the liberal answer to the Tea Party movement? (and more and more).
Daniel Peter Hourigan (Griffith): Zizek and the Ontological Emergence of Technology. Peter Otto (UCSD): Romanticism, Modernity, and Virtual Reality: An Overview and Reconceptualisation of the Field. From The Economist, a special report on managing information: Information has gone from scarce to superabundant — that brings huge new benefits, but also big headaches. Tim Berners-Lee on the year open data went worldwide. Triple Canopy goes Inside the Mundaneum: Snail-mail Google and a card-catalog Web — a fin-de-siecle Belgian information scientist’s proto-Internet. A review of Simulation and Its Discontents. From Popular Science, what the future of America's infrastructure might look like: 25 new technologies that will transform America's systems. Given what technology can now achieve, the enduring crapness of airplanes must serve some psychological purpose, mustn’t it? Steampunk's turn toward the past is more than merely aesthetic — technology is viewed with a turn-of-the-century sense of wonder that opposes our contemporary tendency to take it for granted. An interview with Tom Chatfield on books on computer games. That whole Internet thing's not going to work out: Farhad Manjoo on how to suss out bad tech predictions. An interview with Aleks Krotoski on books on virtual living. Geert Lovink examines the colonization of real-time; comment culture and the rise of extreme opinions; and the emergence of "national webs". A review of Fun Inc.: Why Games are the 21st Century's Most Serious Business by Tom Chatfield. We now face a new threat to our control over our computing: Software as a service — for our freedom’s sake, we have to reject that. Jane McGonigal on how gaming can make a better world. A look at how the Internet will change the world — even more.
From GQ, Manny Pacquiao is the Biggest Little Man in the World: What do you get when you cross Muhammad Ali, Sly Stallone, Vaclav Havel, Michael Vick, Che Guevara, & Clay Aiken? From The Awl, Christopher Conklin on the Henry Blodget/Felix Salmon Twitt-spat and how Web writers get held responsible for the lawyers, the sales guys and even the coffeemaker (and more at FishbowlNY). Are the new diminished payouts causing more Wall Street players to keep their big swinging dicks zipped, and endure the quiet desperation of keeping up their loveless marriage franchises? The Siege of Rome: With stories spreading about the abuse by priests, without effective Vatican intervention, of 200 deaf boys in Wisconsin and of choir boys in Germany, shrubbery may not be enough. A review of The Social and Political Thought of Benedict XVI by Thomas R. Rourke. On “krabattophily”: What is the appeal of a flat cuboidal amalgam of springs and stuffing that someone else has deemed worthless enough to discard? The trials and tribulations of the "perfect mother": The controversial French philosopher Elisabeth Badinter has stirred up a storm with her critique of the Anglo-American eco-mums whose values are now invading France (and more). American Jeremiad, a Manifesto: Is it possible that some of our current manifestos are really jeremiads, trapped in the wrong packaging? The Huffington Post features the most surprising college drop-outs, celebs who are currently getting their degrees, the craziest celeb-written theses, and the clebs who teach. Government 'a counting: Does the U.S. Census need a 21st-century makeover? From Time, a look at 10 tech trends for 2010 as seen at SXSW. Do you have an Internet connection, some free time and a penchant for staring off into space? Then Galaxy Zoo needs you.
Common Calamities: What can literature tell us about the tragedies in Haiti and Chile? Work has become central to most people’s self-conception — why does fiction have so little to say about it? A look at why some memoirs are better as fiction. What does the popularity of memoirs tell us about ourselves? (and more and more on Ben Yagoda's Memoir: A History). By marrying the intimacy of autobiography with the aesthetic eclecticism of the graphic novel, graphic memoirs occupy the fertile realm between fiction and nonfiction, as well as between literature and art. At a time when comic book culture has never been more mainstream, where’s the line between wannabe and true believer? An interview with Tom Gauld on picture books for adults. Authors may gear their novels toward the junior and senior high crowd, but adults are snapping up the books, often about misfit teens or fantasy worlds. Do the edgy offerings for today’s young adults go too far over the edge? You must be having a laugh: Comic literature rarely wins prizes but the best examples are still a serious joy to read. A contemporary spin on age-old myths: Sam Munson on why we can’t help reinventing classics like the Odyssey. Something weird this way comes: Meet the 21st century's new literary movement. Critics like to denigrate horror by pointing out that unlike mystery, western or romance, horror specifies no content beyond the emotion it is intended to arouse — but this absence of specificity is not at all a limitation. From Hipster Book Club, Kyle Olson on the dearth of good horror and the downside of hot vampire sex; and an interview with Seth Grahame-Smith on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Is monster lit worth unearthing? Here are a few examples of artificially engineered genres to get you brainstorming.
William I. Robinson (UCSB): Theories of Globalization. Alex Evans (NYU), Bruce Jones (Brookings) and David Steven (Demos): Confronting the Long Crisis of Globalization: Risk, Resilience and International Order. From Globalization, Agreement Lathi Jotia (Botswana): Globalization, Education and the Birth of a Democratically Active Global Citizen; and Kathleen R. Smythe (Xavier): The Dangers of Teaching About Globalization. Nayan Chanda (Yale): Runaway Globalization Without Governance. From The Globalist, Stephan Richter on the future of globalism after Copenhagen. A needier era: An article on the politics of global disruption, and how they may change. Globalization on the rocks: David Ransom argues that a corporate shipwreck lies behind the collapse of financial markets. Trade and militarism: Daron Acemoglu and Pierre Yared on the political limits to globalisation. From The National Interest, the increasing disorder of our world will lead eventually to a sort of global ennui mixed with a disturbingly large dose of individual extremism and dogmatic posturing by states. The scary new rich: The global middle class is more unstable and less liberal than we thought. Kidnapping in the developing world is a grim byproduct of globalization, and a strange and shadowy ransom industry has grown to protect and retrieve the victims — but are all the consultants and insurers really just part of the problem? A review of Sonic Boom: Globalization at Mach Speed by Gregg Easterbrook (and more and more and more). In praise of hybridity: Ales Debeljak on globalization and the modern western paradigm. Towards global diversity: The combination of high technology and the market has produced new kind of economy and culture. Globalization unchecked: A look at how Western media suffocates real culture.
John A. Davis (Conn): Greece in Contemporary English-language Historiographical Perspectives. New research supports the notion that we fixate on enemies, and inflate their power, as a defense mechanism against generalized anxiety. An interview with anthropologist Lionel Tiger on faith and sexual behaviour, why religion comforts us, and how churches act as "serotonin factories". A look at how the emergence of reggaeton has proven problematic, calling into question many notions of race and identity. Why women don't want macho men: New research suggests that women from countries with healthier populations prefer more feminine-looking men; Jena Pincott on the science behind attraction and masculinity, and the future for manly men (and is Arthur Sulzberger a girly-man?). The Prize Lies of a Nazi Tycoon: Alfred Toepfer posed as a peacemaker in postwar Europe and lavished awards on British artists; unknown to them, he played a key role in the Third Reich and helped war criminals flee justice. From Swans, Michael Doliner on a short history of stupidity (and part 2). From St. Austin Review, an article on GK Chesterton, fairy tale philosopher. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America serves a critical role in contemporary society, not as a harbinger of charity and health, but instead as an integral humanitarian tool in capitalism's war against life. China is now laying claim to the Arctic, bringing to six the number of countries vying for rights to the resource-laden region. The US government is cracking down on misleading advertising; shouldn't political propaganda be included in the discussion? Fashion may sound like an odd subject for a futurist to think about, but it's often an indicator of broader cultural trends around sexuality, material technology, gender roles, and money.
The United States mostly lies between the 30th and 45th parallels — now isn't that just the very best of temperate climes? A review of Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America by Stephen Trimble. American Pastoral: A review of Ken Burns's works on the National Parks. The phenomenon of public gathering is by no means unique to America, but the contemporary U.S. landscape is full of environments, both built and natural, with an undeniable magnetism for crowds. The easy way to purify our geography: If it's named for a scoundrel, change the namesake. The strange fruit of desperation: How con men and paranoiacs learned to love the Hardin huskow. Jane Ciabattari on Writing the West: The stories told in these books arise from this bitterly inhospitable, starkly beautiful landscape. Welcome to Ecotopia: As the Pacific Northwest goes green, it is becoming more estranged with the rest of the country. In Salt Lake City’s suburbs, the newest great dead American economy lies in wake atop the rumblings of the last one. Why is Joel Kotkin extolling the virtues of suburbia? Immigrants and the Suburban Influx: They used to flock to big cities — that's changing, as the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County is discovering. To the people of the small American city of Fort Hood, Texas, war is nothing new. To live in a small town is to be connected, and not electronically or digitally; rather, it means to be connected to people in the flesh, to actual places, to land and buildings, to a common past. Can old-fashioned New England ingenuity solve some of our most intractable global problems? Bill McKibben on how New England can save the world (and part 2). Vermont Libre: Imagine Free Vermont, the Switzerland of North America — but why doesn't Vermont just annex itself to Canada and get it over with?
From the Mises Institute, an essay on a libertarian approach to the ethics and economics of adoption in Haiti — and a defense of orphanages. The Puppet Master and the Apprentice: Ronnie Burkett, one of the world’s great puppeteers finds renewal — for himself and his art form — in mentorship. Behind the consumer agency idea is fiery advocate Elizabeth Warren. The world that Tiger Woods created — golf as a lucrative sport, golf as pop culture — is deep in the rough; can he get it back out? From New Statesman, a special issue on David Cameron and the conservatives. A review of Red Tory: How Left and Right Have Broken Britain and How We Can Fix it by Phillip Blond. Is civility dead, and and if not, are social media trying to kill it? An interview with Tony Judt: "I am not pessimistic in the very long run". Retrieving the idea of progress: Brian O’Connor explains why Adorno is not the enemy of the Enlightenment. Experiments suggest rats are able to cooperate and adjust tactics depending on the strategy of their opponent, when put in a Prisoner’s Dilemma scenario. Capitalists beware: No less a journal than Nature has just published a paper proving conclusively that the human brain is a Communist. What's fascinating in the steady onslaught of new incidences of previous cover-ups of child rape and molestation in the Catholic hierarchy is the notion that the hierarchs tended to see child rape as a sin rather than a crime. Matt Taibbi on how the Catholic Church is a criminal enterprise. A review of How Many Friends Does One Person Need? Dunbar's Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks by Robin Dunbar. You’ve come a long way, maybe?: Nicole Rudick reviews Mom by Rebecca Jo Plant. From Writ, Steve Sheppard on how the torture lawyers broke the law, and why they must be punished.
Not human, not Neanderthal, what is she? Researchers identify possible new human group with DNA from bone (and more and more and more). A look at 6 human character flaws (that saved the species). A caring god would not have designed us like this: A review of Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-intelligent Design by John Avise (and more). The first chapter from Genetics For Dummies by Tara Rodden Robinson. It's not just financial markets that experience bubbles, society does too — and the Human Genome Project is a perfect example. Do-it-yourself genetic engineering: In the burgeoning field of synthetic biology, even amateur scientists are building life forms. The real promise of synthetic biology: Scientists are closing in on the ability to make life from scratch, with potential consequences both good and bad. Life's code rewritten in four-letter words: A totally new genetic code has been devised, along with the machinery that could make it a biological reality. Reinventing life: A look at the strange and wondrous science of biological technology. A review of How to Defeat Your Own Clone: And Other Tips for Surviving the Biotech Revolution by Kyle Kurpinski and Terry D. Johnson. DNA meets the distribution channel: Reaching the potential of personalized medicine is as much a matter of logistics as science. A review of Who Owns You: The Corporate Gold-Rush to Patent Your Genes by David Koepsell. Who owns your DNA?: Why patenting genes is a bad idea. A review of Observing Bioethics by Renee Fox and Judith Swazey. How might the new Bioethics Commission operate? Fortunately, we have some idea because its new chair, Amy Gutmann, outlined her views on how bioethics commissions should be run. Henry Louis Gates's latest televised genetic odyssey is rich in emotion but lacking in context.
From Perspectives on Politics, Kristin A. Gossa (Duke) and Michael T. Heaneya (Michigan): Organizing Women as Women: Hybridity and Grassroots Collective Action in the 21st Century. A review of The Women's Movement Against Sexual Harassment by Carrie N. Baker. Does Germaine Greer's Female Ennuch still have balls, can it deliver any important life lessons today? How the "new feminism" went wrong: Germaine Greer's free-thinking female eunuch has been replaced by the desperately self-inventing "Madonna", who looks back in shame at the moment in the 1990s when her generation turned its back on feminism. Girls gone anti-feminist: Is ’70s feminism an impediment to female happiness and fulfillment? Feminism hasn’t failed — in the workplace and the family, it’s only just getting started. A decade ago, Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards published their breakthrough work Manifesta and became energetic leaders of feminism's third wave; now, they're helping a younger generation of women make its way. The state of feminism: A review of Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism by Natasha Walter and The Equality Illusion: The Truth About Women & Men Today by Kat Banyard. A review of Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message that Feminism's Work is Done by Susan J. Douglas. Jonah Goldberg on where feminists get it right: Women civilize men — ’nuff said. From Prospect, a look at why feminism favours men (and a response). A review of Glamour: Women, History, Feminism by Carol Dyhouse. A review of One Dimensional Woman by Nina Power. An interview with Stephanie Schriock, the new president of Emily’s List. Good news, bad news: What makes for the most gender-egalitarian country in the world? An interview with Marisa Meltzer, author of Girl Power.