Michael Woolcock (Harvard), Simon Szreter (Cambridge) and Vijayendra Rao (World Bank): How and Why Does History Matter for Development Policy. Can developing countries carry the world economy? Reinventing the Wheel: Why no-tech ancient civilizations still can't catch up. A review of “Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 BC?” by Diego Comin. A review of The Crisis Caravan: What’s Wrong With Humanitarian Aid? by Linda Polman (and more and more and more). Nicholas N. Eberstadt on the Global Poverty Paradox: Hopes for the achievement of worldwide prosperity have dimmed. A review of Politics as Usual: What Lies Behind the Pro-Poor Rhetoric by Thomas Pogge. Jeffrey Frankel on big ideas from small countries. Grameen Bank and microcredit: The "wonderful story" that never happened. As highlighted by the Millennium Development Goals, measuring development is crucial; Leandro Prados de la Escosura presents a new human development index challenging the UN measure. UN asks countries to put out their welcome mats for refugees. From New Internationalist, a special issue on global migration, including Dinyar Godrej on why we have to hear the stories of those turned away at our borders. Mark Leon Goldberg on the world’s 22 most crisis prone countries. From Foreign Policy, Elizabeth Dickinson on what it costs to run Somalia; and how much turf does the Somali government really control? The New World Order: Tribal ties — race, ethnicity, and religion — are becoming more important than borders. From UN Chronicle, a special issue on achieving global health. As populations age, a chance for younger nations: Populations are getting older faster, which leads to more globalization, which means even older countries (and more and more). Everyone is panicked that the world is aging, but let's stop to consider what such a world could be. Maddison’s forecasts revisited: What will the world look like in 2030? From Carnegie Council, a panel on facing the crises of our time: The United Nations and the United States in the 21st century.
The inaugural issue of the Journal of Social Research and Policy is out. Michael E. Lewyn (Florida Coastal): What Would Coase Do? (About Parking Regulation) Jonathan Cohn on how the recovery act was virtually free of waste, fraud, and abuse — that's too bad. When pressed, Republicans can’t name any spending they want to cut. From New Scientist, take the ultimate intelligence test. Often wrong, but she still has rights: Arundhati Roy has been accused of sedition after claiming Kashmir was not part of India — her comments may be controversial, but the real scandal is the law. Facts about online lovebirds: The trove of dating data at OkCupid offers surprising insights on American sexuality and culture. Robert Reich on soaking the rich for their own good. Taki Theodoracopulos pines for the day when gigolos were He-Men: "Now most of them are effete if not gay". More and more on The Pope Is Not Gay! by Angelo Quattrocchi. By letting Tea Party members speak their mind, ambitious gay reporter Chase Whiteside finds fans, critics, and millions of YouTube views. Suppose you’re an idiot: A review of The Autobiography of Mark Twain: Volume I. The antiliberal defenders of civilization — resisting the Ground Zero mosque — are wrong: Liberalism still offers the best hope for combating extremism. This post has been flagged for controversy — DO NOT READ. Neocon Like Me: John Dolan on how he spent a year in Iraq teaching with the Bush-Cheney crazies. A review of Why not Torture Terrorists? Moral, Practical, and Legal Aspects of the "Ticking Bomb" Justification for Torture by Yuval Ginbar. From The Atlantic Monthly, a special section on Brave Thinkers 2010. The story of a Mad magazine artist: A review of Al Jaffee’s Life and Ongoing Juvenilia by Eddy Portnoy. An interview with Ammon Shea, author of The Phone Book: The Curious History of the Book That Everyone Uses But No One Reads.
Why are Christian movies so bad? A call for Christians to get serious about being artists. A look at how evangelical Christians are reinventing the haunted house. Jordan Ballor on the superiority of Christian hospitals. Sophia Mason writes in defense of dancing. In defense of dating: Why it's ok to let go of the courtship. Taking the missionary position: Is it OK for Christians to date non-Christians? An interview with Michael Coogan, author of God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says (and more). A look the 9 most badass Bible verses. It's a known fact that a good pair of shoes can help lessen the aches and pains of weary feet, but can they promote Christian unity? The following are some fashion must-haves if you want to get the Opus Dei look. An article on why dresses and skirts should be the norm for Catholic women (and a response). Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma on becoming a Diva for Jesus. If all are female in respect to God, what then is the fundamental importance of gender, of sexual identity, to the Christian tradition and experience? The manliness of St. Thomas Aquinas: Donald DeMarco on an illuminating and instructive example of the coincidence of manliness and sanctity. Is it okay for Christians to do yoga? Looking back forty years from the vantage of our belly-baring, pants-drooping, tattooed and lip-ringed society, Philip Yancey finds it hard to resurrect the ethos of the late 1960s at a southern Bible college where gentlemen students wore jackets and ties to dinner each evening and all men stood when a female student approached the table. Life in the Late Republic: Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. on the Catholic role in America after virtue. Kenny Smith on Jesus in Disneyland, the Church of Body Modifications, and postmodern religion in America. A review of To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World by James Davison Hunter (and more). A new and improved Christianity: Four reasons that Christianity is going to change the world in new ways. An interview with Becky Garrison, author of Jesus Died for This?: A Satirist’s Search for the Risen Christ (and more).
A new issue of the American Journal of Economics and Sociology is now online. Jeffrey M. Lipshaw (Suffolk): Capitalism Didn't Fail, But the Metaphors Got a "C". From National Review, Stephen Spruiell on Paul Krugman: Professor Ahab. John Quiggin on five zombie economic ideas that refuse to die (and the first chapter from Zombie Economics). John Paul Rollert on the problem with capitalism — capitalists. What would the world's economics Nobel Prize laureates make of Barack Obama's response to the financial crisis? Tunku Varadarajan identifies the most important writers on business and economics who are helping us navigate the turbulent times. An excerpt from All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera. A review of Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets by Debra Satz. Reinventing the Bazaar: A Natural History of Markets by John McMillan is a book for you if you really want to know how economists think. Larry Summers and the subversion of economics: A compromised cadre lies at the nexus of academe, banking, and government. A review of Greed, Lust & Gender: A History of Economic Ideas by Nancy Folbre. Shorting economists: Steven Hill asks whether we should still be listening to the “experts” who keep getting it wrong. The Invisible Man and the Invisible Hand: Paul A. Cantor on H.G. Wells's critique of capitalism. Same output + fewer hours = economic crisis: Today’s economic crisis is less about the quantity of output than the distribution of income and leisure. A review of Tweetonomics: Everything You Need to Know About Economics in 140 Characters or Less by Nic Compton, Adam Fishwick, and Katie Huston. As the world faces recession, climate change, inequity and more, Tim Jackson delivers a piercing challenge to established economic principles. Virginia Postrel writes in praise of irrational exuberance: Does a flourishing economy depend on delusion? Of Guffaws and GDPs: An interview with Yoram Bauman, standup economist.
Sonal Pandya (Virginia) and Robert Urbatsch (Iowa State): French Roast: Nationalism and Consumer Preferences Prior to the 2003 Iraq Invasion ("That nationalism plays a role in economic choices is widely suggested but difficult to demonstrate. The 2003 dispute between the US and France over the proposed invasion of Iraq provides the backdrop for a novel test of this claim.") From the Journal of Social, Evolutionary and Cultural Psychology, Minna Lyons and Sue Aitken (Liverpool Hope): Machiavellian Friends? The Role of Machiavellianism in Friendship Formation and Maintenance; and a review of The Murderer Next Door: Why the Mind is Designed to Kill by David Buss. In defense of middle management: A new study demonstrates just how important bureaucracy and paperwork really are. Erik Klemetti catches up with the Kamchatka peninsula. Privacy Rights Inc.: Your right to personal privacy is shrinking even as Corporate America's is growing. From The Root, an interview with Antoine Dodson, concerned brother and YouTube sensation. Colonial presence felt 100 years on: Can Seoul and Tokyo finally put aside differences in the face of unpredictable North Korea? The Magical Battle of Britain: Fighting Hitler's Nazis with occult ritual. From Cato Unbound, Deirdre McCloskey on Bourgeois Dignity: A Revolution in Rhetoric. Atlas Obscura visits Bir Tawil, land that belongs to no nation. A review of Claude Levi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory by Patrick Wilcken. The first chapter from Why People Cooperate: The Role of Social Motivations by Tom R. Tyler. Philip E. Tetlock reviews David H. Freedman's Wrong, Kathryn Schulz's Being Wrong and Charles Seife's Proofiness. Eric Banks reviews Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier.
A review of God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science by James Hannam (and more). A review of Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think by Elaine Howard Ecklund. From Big Questions, Susan Jacoby on the myth of separate magisteria: Can and should science and religion avoid each other’s turf?; and Michael Shermer on the biggest Big Question of all: Why is there something rather than nothing? Is the search for a theory of everything fundamentally misguided?: A review of A Tear at the Edge of Creation: A Radical New Vision for Life in an Imperfect Universe by Marcelo Gleiser. Tim Maudlin on how philosophy can inform physics. An interview with David Goldberg on books on cosmology. An interview with Pedro Ferreira on the universe. A review of The Shape of Inner Space: String Theory and the Geometry of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions by Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis. The me-sized universe: Some parts of the cosmos are right within our grasp. Sean Carroll on how the laws underlying the physics of everyday life are completely understood. A review of The End of Discovery: Are We Approaching the Boundaries of the Knowable? by Russell Stannard (and more). 50 ideas to change science forever: There are still plenty of big problems left, from the nature of consciousness to the fate of the cosmos — here's where to start looking for answers. Mark Henderson on Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. A look at lesser known laws of physics and mathematics. From Cracked, a look at 5 insane scientific charts you won't believe actually exist; and a look at 4 Nobel Prize winners who were clearly insane. From io9, mad scientists have haunted science fiction since Mary Shelley created Victor Frankenstein in the 1810s, but what kinds of research have fictional mad scientists done since?; and six scientists on the most accurate science fiction in their fields. Alexander David Perkins on news and the public (mis)understanding of science. David Rowan on how to save science journalism. This is a news website article about a scientific paper: is this an important scientific finding?
From Amsterdam Law Forum, a special issue on Drugs & the Law. Adrian Vermeule (Harvard) and Christian List (LSE): Independence and Interdependence: Lessons from the Hive. The first chapter from Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley (and more). You think your job sucks? Trade with Robert Gibbs — GQ goes inside the woeful world of the White House press secretary. From Jesus Radicals, there is the myth of America and the myth of God and one cannot live out both — one has to decide. The first chapter from Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind by Robert Kurzban. On Hannibal's Trail: The clues are in the geology. As we digest the WikiLeaks revelations, a new book offers the soldiers' perspective. Joe Conason on why the right really hates NPR, with or without Juan Williams. People of intensity, people of power: Diedrich Diederichsen on the Nietzsche economy. Though snobbery was once quite popular and even socially acceptable in Europe, it was never popular in America, but one form of it still is, in both continents: chronological snobbery. From TPM, an idea of the century: “9/11″ as “event”. Microgravity's mysterious side effect: Stuff disappears. It’s a paranoid thought that crosses the mind of every subway rider: What if someone shoved me in front of an oncoming train? In Chile, the lessons of isolation: The performance of the miners shows that humans are not wolves, set to descend upon each other. Serving two masters: Stanley Fish on Shariah law and the secular state. Banking Porn: Pam Martens on the “Flash Crash” cover-up. The Numbers Guy on why construction projects often run over budget. Stewart and Colbert rally in DC this weekend; Scott McLemee opposes their extremist moderation. The trauma of long term unemployment: Here in the Land of Limbaugh, what's a laid-off boomer to do?
Mitchell N. Berman (Texas): "Let ‘em Play": A Study in the Jurisprudence of Sports. Keith Harrison (Central Florida): Themes that Thread Through Society: Racism and Athletic Manifestation in the African-American Community. A review of Soccer and Philosophy: Beautiful Thoughts on the Beautiful Game by Ted Richards. The run of Ricky Dobbs: Navy's quarterback in Annapolis has come to represent something larger than football. Moneygolf: Will new statistics unlock the secrets of golf? A senior writer for Sports Illustrated who has had a good look at big-time sports returns for The Game — and finds a lot to like in Ivy League football. A review of The Manly Art: Bare-Knuckle Prize Fighting in America by Elliott J. Gorn. How a Southie tough made mixed martial arts the sport of the decade, and the UFC a moneymaking empire. A review of The Gipper: George Gipp, Knute Rockne, and the Dramatic Rise of Notre Dame Football by Jack Cavanaugh. Why is it that soccer goalkeepers sometimes have more trouble stopping long-range shots than shots from up close? Sports rivalries: When hating another human being is standard behaviour. A look at how baseball explains the nature of language. Can men and women ever compete fairly in a sport like running? Yes, but it requires a little bit of maths know-how. How fast will humans ever run? Josh Sanburn on the limits of sporting feats. America at the Bat: Diana Schaub on meritocracy and the national pastime. The corrupt culture of big-time college athletics: A review of Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime, and Complicity by Ken Armstrong. Experts say ex-football players with head injuries often end up in the criminal justice system — former USC lineman Chris Brymer is exhibit A. Baseball’s Bat Man: When stars like Derek Jeter ask to customize their baseball bat, Chuck Schupp makes sure they get what they want.
Right-wing billionaires and business propaganda: An excerpt from Joshua Holland's The Fifteen Biggest Lies about the Economy (And Everything Else the Right Doesn't Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs, and Corporate America). Whose media bias? Progressives' attempt to reshape the media has had some successes, but the failures may be more instructive. Chasing Fox: Gabriel Sherman on the loud, cartoonish blood sport that’s engorged MSNBC, exhausted CNN — and is making our body politic delirious. Why politics sucks: Political debate is so shallow and devoid of nuance that it is stifling the momentous decisions we may need to make this century. Why I love partisanship: Political feuding dominates our land — and in the eyes of one European, that’s exactly how it should be. How can Americans talk to one another — let alone engage in political debate — when the Web allows every side to invent its own facts? The Myth of Consensus Politics: For most of the past century, consensus in American politics has been more phantom than fact. In a sign of political junkies' further-diminishing free time, there's a service that will, essentially, read political books so you don't have to. D.W. MacKenzie on the impossibility of an informed electorate. Increasing numbers of ordinary Americans believe the U.S. political system is “fixed” against them — they’re not wrong. Why do our leaders disappoint us? It might have something to do with us. Michael Kazin on the myopia of anti-Washingtonitis. A "Government Doesn't Suck" march is planned. What normal person would put up with the inane indignities of the electoral process? New research looks at the importance of looks in running for office. A look at how D.C. became Hollywood for semi-attractive people. How GOP insurgents borrow from the left to move America right. Throw the Bums In: Americans distrust the GOP, so why are they voting for it? (and a response) Eight false things the public “knows” prior to Election Day.
Keith Swisher (Phoenix): Lawyers as Johns: The Professional Responsibility to Pay Lady Justice. From Vice, a special issue on comedy. Morals without God? Frans de Waal on how primate behavior sheds light on the origins of our sense of right and wrong. A review of The Shadow Market: How a Group of Wealthy Nations and Powerful Investors Secretly Dominate the World by Eric J. Weiner. A look at 6 bullshit facts about psychology that everyone believes. From California Law Review, a symposium on Martha Nussbaum's view on same-sex marriage and the constitution. Why commercial fishing is the deadliest job in America (and more). Riding the edge: For a moment, skaters, punk bands and artists had a secret place to call home. Research discovers how the deaf have super vision. When will obscenely rich aholes stop crying about taxes? Bill Maher wants to know. From New Statesman, an interview with Paul Johnson: “I suspect the sex abuse scandal has been greatly exaggerated”. The Nerd Report remains to this day one of the most extensive and far-reaching nerdological investigations ever undertaken. From Fortune, meet Josh Kaufman, the enemy of the MBA (and more). Private Security: Amitai Etzioni writes in defense of the "virtual strip-search". From Wired, Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson debate where ideas come from. Why are the effects of marijuana so unpredictable? Joseph Epstein has finished writing a book — now comes the anxiety. What will happen when the Earth's magnetism reversal occurs? For more than 40 years, social scientists investigating the causes of poverty have tended to treat cultural explanations like Lord Voldemort: That Which Must Not Be Named. An interview with Paul Thagard on books about the meaning of life. A look at 5 simple things you won't believe are recent inventions.