From Big Think, Tom Perrotta on the state of American literary culture. Where are today's farmer poets? Farming has changed beyond all recognition since the days of "poets of the land" Robert Burns and John Clare. Can poets do themselves justice? Philip Larkin reads his own poetry beautifully, but not all poets have that ability. All a-Twitter: You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wonder why — all in 140 characters. More on Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations by Raymond Fisman and Edward Miguel. An interview with Nick Gillespie, editor-in-chief of reason.com. From The Space Review, an article on planetary demographics and space colonization. From Slate, a continuing series on revolting creatures: The tick, the jellyfish, vultures. Hip-hop from pop charts to politics: Is hip-hop’s mainstream success hindering its political future? The art of the withdrawal: Learning from Daschle, Richardson, Kennedy, and Killefer the right and wrong way to bow out. A review of Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Future by Nikolas Kompridis. A review of The Inheritance of Rome: A History of Europe from 400 to 1000 by Chris Wickham. An excerpt from Mark Leonard’s What Does China Think? Laura Bush was pro-choice — and dozens of other things you never knew about America's First Ladies.
A new issue of Forum: Qualitative Social Research is out, including Carolyn F. Pevey and Nelya J. McKenzie (Auburn): Love, Fear, and Loathing: A Qualitative Examination of Christian Perceptions of Muslims; and a review of Charles Tilly's Why? What Happens When People Give Reasons And Why. Why should I respect these oppressive religions? Whenever a religious belief is criticised, its adherents say they're victims of "prejudice". What other financial crises tell us: The lesson of history is grim — expect a prolonged slump. Unspinning the Right: The rich don't really bear most of the tax burden. Hope on the hardwood: How FreeDarko saved the sport of basketball. The end of American capitalism: Has the government "bailout" been so large that capitalism’s founding principle is now irretrievably lost? A new era may be dawning in which artists, strongly supported by the president, will transcend starry-eyed campaign pictures and develop new forms of enduring art. A review of Waltz With Bashir: A Lebanon War Story by Ari Folman and David Polonsky. The way we beg: A shady new Web site is the best place to see our recessionary desperation. Can a simple idea help make the world a better place? Baroness Haleh Afshar suggests banning make-up. An interview with Mario Livio: Is mathematics the language of the universe? More on Snark by David Denby.
A new issue of The Cato Journal is out. When is a threat not a threat? A recent British High Court ruling in the case of Binyam Mohamed has caused a firestorm in Britain over these and other questions. How I lost my one-of-a-kind collection and my girlfriend, too: For his PhD, Daniel Bennett had built a unique set of faecal samples from a rare lizard; when it was destroyed, he really hit bottom. The N-Word: TNR on the financial-sector fix that dare not speak its name — nationalization. Charles Darwin’s ideas have spread widely, but his revolution is not yet complete. The economics of giving it away: In a battered economy, free goods and services online are more attractive than ever, so how can the suppliers make a business model out of nothing? The Right Man: David Frum breaks ranks over cocktails. Dahlia Lithwick on seeking a bomb-throwing, passionate, liberal Scalia for a seat on the Supreme Court. From Popular Mechanics, a look at why shovel-ready infrastructure is wrong (right now). A review of Reasons, Patterns, and Cooperation by Christopher Woodard. George Mitchell's task of negotiating peace between Israel and the Palestinians will be complicated by the rivalry of key Arab players. John Gray reviews James Lovelock's The Vanishing Face of Gaia. Michael Kazin on a liberal revival of Americanism.
From Wired, a look at one father's attempt to hack his daughter's genetic code; and Clive Thompson on how more info leads to less knowledge. From The Science Creative Quarterly, the science/arts divide stands between us: A love story. From Seed, an article on science diplomacy for the 21st century: On being a citizen of a world without borders or boundaries. Can a person be scared to death? A 79-year-old North Carolina woman dies after a heart attack brought on by terror. When dreams come true: People interpret dreams in ways that affect their waking lives, especially when those dreams support pre-existing beliefs. A review of The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science That Could Save Your Life by Ben Sherwood. By switching to a weekly (and weekend) format, the big dailies can get their print version in the hands of readers who aren't online all day. Victorian values and the censoring presence of his prudish daughter blinded Charles Darwin to female promiscuity and delayed the study of sperm competition for 100 years. When groups don’t think: Collaboration, done right, produces dazzling results — so why is it often disastrous? From Vanity Fair, in many ways, the men who made "The Godfather" were as ruthless as the gangsters in Mario Puzo’s blockbuster. An article on Paul Krugman's winning of the Nobel Prize in economics — contributions to international trade theory.
A new issue of Ephemera is out. From The Wilson Quarterly, Americans have developed an admirable fondness for books, food, and music that preprocess other cultures — but for all our enthusiasm, have we lost our taste for the truly foreign? Which ex-president is Obama most like? A review of Taking Aim at the President The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Shot at Gerald Ford by Geri Spieler. Face value: Does profiling actually help to catch terrorists? A look at how a self-fulfilling stereotype can drag down performance. From Secular Web, an article on answering theists' questions. Alms for the press? Jack Shafer on the case against foundation ownership of the New York Times; and who should replace William Kristol as a Times op-ed columnist? Yes, he wrote pure partisan propaganda — that's what made Bill Kristol's column valuable. Know your right-wing speakers: Irving Kristol, the godfather of the modern neoconservative movement began as a Trotskyite radical leftist. Here are history's 6 greatest examples of financial fail. Power to "The People's Court": The daytime-TV institution remains relevant by giving viewers what they want — sloppy, sad humanity. An interview with Helen Fisher, author of Why Him, Why Her. A checkup of Canada's major cities reveals some surprises (it's okay, Montreal, you're still cool). The Arbesman Limit: How to be famous in a few easy steps.
A new issue of Open Letters Monthly is out. From FT, a review of Slow-Tech: Manifesto for an Overwound World by Andrew Price; and how can you tell if your life is getting better? Here's a more humane way to measure progress. From New Scientist, born believers: How your brain creates God; and an article on super clocks: More accurate than time itself. The book that changed my life: John Gray chooses The Pursuit of the Millennium by Norman Cohn. A review of The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, in Politics, and in Life by Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot. Christina Young explains how physics can help to preserve our cultural heritage. An interview with Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost, authors of Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System. Will desperate climates call for desperate geoengineering measures? (and a response) The vagaries of paternity have led men to sharply categorize women — even in a hookup culture — but women can get savvy about this male propensity. If you think evangelicals are anti-sex, you’d be wrong — today’s evangelicals push a hyper-sexualised message. From NPR, an interview with David Duke on the Obama Presidency. A review of Vanity Fair's Tales of Hollywood Rebels, Reds, and Graduates and the Wild Stories Behind the Making of 13 Iconic Films.
From Monthly Review, John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney on a new New Deal under Obama; and Michael Yates on why unions still matter. Inside Iraq's confessional politics: A review of The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace by Ali A. Allawi. A review of Christian Marazzi's Capital and Language: From the New Economy to the War Economy. An interview with Jon Wertheim, author of Blood in the Cage: Mixed Martial Arts, Pat Miletich, and the Furious Rise of the UFC (and a review). Can we ever learn to love our bodies? A review of Bodies by Susie Orbach (and more). Female writers are getting more graphic than ever about the messy realities of their bodies; is it too much information, or enlightened honesty? From TNR, a review of Four Centuries of Jewish Women's Spirituality: A Sourcebook. All of us live by the logic of finance: Margaret Thatcher promised wealth for all in her new society — first, though, we all had to become capitalists. Link by link: In a Google Library, millions of books, but no card catalog. Does legalizing prostitution work? Heleen Mees investigates. From Policy Innovations, a look at how Japan became an efficiency superpower. The 8˝ Laws of Rumor Spread: Some rumors grind to a halt, while others circle the world — why some ideas spread and others die. A review of Spinoza by Michael Della Rocca.
From Good, here's a guide to prefab construction. Pre-fab houses are greener, better built, and last longer — so why haven't they caught on in the U.S.? If biologist and entrepreneur Christoph Westphal, 40, has found a way to turn back aging, then why aren't we all getting younger? As the economy takes a spanking, many women are turning to freelance fetish work to supplement their incomes. A review of A History of the American Peace Movement from Colonial Times to the Present by Charles F. Howlett and Robbie Lieberman. An interview with Deborah Nelson, author of The War Behind Me: Vietnam Veterans Confront the Truth About U.S. War Crimes. For more than two centuries, it has been a wannabe among the great world capitals — but now, Washington is finally ready for its close-up. President Obama’s pledge to embrace the capital’s social life and dine out more often may prove to be a boon for some Washington-area restaurants, but it’s come too late to save several well-known eateries. A review of How the Rich are Destroying the Earth by Herve Kempf. From In These Times, ready to rumble: Workers and Corporate America battle over the Employee Free Choice Act; and there’s a problem with journalism when a newspaper lays off a reporter like Phil Dine. A review of My Word! Plagiarism and College Culture by Susan D. Blum.
Christian Welzel (Jacobs) and Ronald Inglehart (Michigan): The Role of Ordinary People in Democratization. From Fortune, the most wanted man on the planet: Fired as chief of Viacom, Tom Freston took off on a nonstop global adventure. Now he's helping Oprah to start a new TV network and Bono to save the world; and these days, online services and applications are sexy; hardware? Not so much. A review of Post-Foundational Political Thought: Political Difference in Nancy, Lefort, Badiou and Laclau by Oliver Marchart. A review of Alain Badiou's The Meaning of Sarkozy. A review of Exploitation and Developing Countries: The Ethics of Clinical Research. An Opec for gas? An article on Russia, Ukraine and the complex politics of natural gas pipelines. A review of The Euro: The Politics of the New Global Currency by David Marsh. An interview with Richard Lingeman on The Nation: Guide to the Nation. Isn't it ironic? An article on hipsters and the emergence of altporn. From JASSS, a review of books on neuroeconomics. Are you a profound thinker or merely a clever-clogs? Jonathan Wolff on self and text. Magazine Rack reviews Reader's Digest, Men's Journal, Swindle, Ode, Preservation, Singular, Playboy, and Inked. From Miller-McCune, research finds some recovered memories are more reliable than others; and what are American schools doing right?
From Esquire, campaign manager David Plouffe got the first black president elected — now he's moving on to something even more difficult, and potentially more important. Bryan Burrough tracks the rise and fall of the ornery, loudmouthed state of Texas (and an excerpt from The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes). From n+1, one more time: The Britney Symposium. Bored with the paparazzi's take on Spears? A three-volume self-reflection is coming. An interview with Jessica Valenti, author of PurityMyth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women. From Merkur, the witches and werewolves of post-Soviet fantasy fiction embody the morality of a society in denial about its criminal past. As an anthropologist working in Russia in the 1990s, Sigrid Rausing believed a culture of memorials would emerge to mark the Soviet past — how wrong she was. From First Principles, Paul Gottfried on understanding Nietzsche; and James V. Schall on necessarily making us “good”. Coming to America: Life as a refugee can mean putting dreams on hold, but on American campuses, a few young Iraqis are getting a second chance. Bring back the draft: Why a return to mass conscription is the only way to win the war on terror. A review of Servants of War: Private Military Corporations and the Profit of Conflict by Rolf Uesseler.