From M/C Journal, a special issue on deafness. Julian Sanchez on why the intelligence community needs GAO oversight. Can the government actually plug the WikiLeak? The declining literacy of our present age has been lamented many times, and yet never sufficiently; consider, for instance, all the erroneous thinking occasioned by the misuse of the word “elite”. Jaron Lanier on The First Church of Robotics: The concept of artificial intelligence clouds our view of the world. Don’t be ugly by accident: People don't really think about flash, focus, and aperture when they choose a profile photo, and yet, their misuse can seriously mess you up. Walter Block, author of Defending the Undefendable, on defending the blackmailer. From The New Individualist, an article on the persecution of KPMG: Is there such a thing as a right to violate the rights of others? Find out how government prosecutors claimed such a right, all in the name of justice; in a world where everything from socializing to sex is becoming bureaucratized, David Kelley shows you why rule-breaking can be your best moral option; a Washington couple finds fulfillment in a cocktail of philosophy and fashion — metaphysics never looked so good; and here is the story of the IQ2 US debates. The Bounceback Problem: Why patients can't stay out of hospitals. The late historian Tony Judt was provocative and courageous ; Scott McLemee practices reader response criticism.
Sarah Bienkowski (Rutgers): Has France Taken Assimilation Too Far? Muslim Beliefs, French National Values, and the June 27, 2008 Conseil D'Etat Decision. From National Review, should France ban the burqa? A symposium. Why France is banning the veil: The legislation is only the latest move in a centuries-old grapple between the French state and organised religion. After a series of books established him as a world-famous analyst of radical Islam, Gilles Kepel decided to start mapping a renaissance in Gulf-Europe relations. The battle for a European Islam: In an effort to better assimilate Muslims into its society, Germany seeks to incorporate the education of imams into the country's universities. An interview with Ruprecht Polenz: "Turkey belongs in the EU". Not about prejudice: EU members have good reason to be cautious about Turkish accession. From NPQ, a special section on Islam in Europe. The burqa and the body electric: The clash between religious liberty and the state goes back centuries. Walter Laqueur on Europe's long road to the mosque. An interview with Ian Buruma, author of Taming the Gods. A review of Nomad: From Islam to America by Ayaan Hirsi and The Flight of the Intellectuals by Paul Berman (and more and more). A review of The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism by Theodore Dalrymple. Culturalism and culture as political ideology: More unites Left and Right in the fierce debate on multiculturalism.
From Revue de la regulation, Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira (GVF): The Global Financial Crisis, Neoclassical Economics, and the Neoliberal Years of Capitalism. From New Left Review, will the present crisis issue in a new phase of accumulation, or a growthless "stationary state"? Gopal Balakrishnan charts epochal trends in world capitalism; what does the present crisis represent? Immanuel Wallerstein investigates; and despite the torrent of literature on the crisis, its historical meaning remains obscure — what ended, and what did not, in September 2008? A review of Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? by Mark Fisher. A review of Stuff Matters: Genius, Risk and the Secret of Capitalism by Harry Bingham. A review of Panic: The Betrayal of Capitalism by Wall Street and Washington by Andrew Redleaf and Richard Vigilante. A review essay on the culture of capital. What do BP and the banks have in common? Gonzalo Lira on the era of corporate anarchy. A review of Diary of a Very Bad Year: Confessions of an Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager by Keith Gessen. Matt Taibbi on Wall Street's Big Win: Finance reform won't stop the high-risk gambling that wrecked the economy — and Republicans aren't the only ones to blame. We are all guilty: No doubt it was very wrong of banks to offer credit to the uncreditworthy, but while you can lead a man to a loan, you cannot make him borrow. A review of Capitalism 4.0 by Anatole Kaletsky.
From News & Letters, a special issue on the Raya Dunayevskaya Centenary Year 1910-2010. You are how you camped: What your enjoyment of sleep-away camp, or lack of same, says about your character. Mark Juddery on the 8 underrated icons that should knock out the most overrated things ever. Biohazard: David Hoffman on what the world doesn't know about germ warfare. Jesus plus recession doesn't equal charitable giving: When times are tough, we’re supposed to throng into the pews, imploring the Creator to straighten out our suboptimal economic prospects, and to revive our faith in the American gospel of success. A review of Cocaine Nation: How the White Trade Took Over the World by Tom Feiling. From New English Review, human nature is corruptible which is why attempts to degrade our young people work; and let them inherit debt: Is it true that justice always and everywhere trumps other considerations? Extreme Function: Why our brains respond so intensely to exaggerated characteristics. Remember the family atomic-bomb shelters that were popular in the '50s and '60s? They're back, bigger and better than ever. From Meanjin, Richard King on C.P. Snow and the "two cultures" debate; and what is there to write about sleep? Good, plain sleep is invisible — it harbours no narrative and demands no investigation. Bible study goes 2.0: Is the internet the way of the future when it comes to Bible studies?
From Reconstruction, Jennifer Grouling Cover and Tim Lockridge (VT): Icons and Genre: The Affordances of LiveJournal.Com. From the International Journal of Internet Science, Monica T. Whitty (NTU) and Tom Buchanan (Westminster): What's in a Screen Name? Attractiveness of Different Types of Screen Names Used by Online Daters. From First Monday, Danah Boyd and Eszter Hargittai (Northwestern): Facebook Privacy Settings: Who Cares?; and Zizi Papacharissi on privacy as a luxury commodity. A Wall Street Journal investigation finds that one of the fastest-growing businesses on the Internet is the business of spying on consumers (and more). An article on the end of online anonymity: Why will you be freaking out? Why do websites let anonymous commenters just say whatever the hell they want anyway? "Why I like vicious, anonymous online comments": As news outlets push back against trolls, we may be losing something — a glimpse of the real America. From samizdat to Twitter: What happens when barriers to free expression come crashing down? Internet companies must screen content submitted by users, and the firms that sell the screening services are weighing the emotional toll on their workers. Social media addiction: In an age when most pathologies have long since been romanticized and commodified, pathological excess is still the winning equation for consumer behaviour.
From GQ, a look at Rand Paul's kooky college days (Hint: There's a secret society involved). From National Civic Review, Alison Kadlec on play and public life; and Pete Peterson on the return of the citizen. From Bookslut, just-so stories: Elizabeth Bachner on reading about infinity; and JC Hallman, author of In Utopia: Utopias are not merely elaborate plans that tend to go wrong, they are the calculated efforts to repair dystopias that are often the result of earlier utopian efforts. A review of Taking Care of Youth and the Generations by Bernard Stiegler. From Russia, Keith Gessen complains about weather, predicts end of world. Maybe you need a job: Matthew Yglesias on anchor babies, the Ground Zero mosque and other scapegoats. A review of books on silence. If evolution had taken a different turn, could dragons have existed? Jonathan Cohn on why public employees are the new welfare queens. Keith Hennessey on the roles of the President’s White House economic advisors. As coins and banknotes are displaced by credit cards and virtual transactions, Joachim Kalka conjures twin visions of money’s sensuous effects — prompting mystical revulsion or cartoonish delight — from the disappearing world of cash. Shocking the bourgeoisie: Worn-out gestures of rebellion before an audience that long ago lost the capacity for outrage. A review of Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more).
From The New Leader, Marvin Kitman on Fox’s Palin Factor. Whoa, Mama: Sarah Palin claims to speak for moms but offer no policy solutions for working families. John Dickerson on the Facebook posts Sarah Palin doesn't want you to see. A Grand Unified Theory of Palinisms: Jacob Weisberg on why Sarah Palin says all those stupid and ridiculous things. Conservatives in disguise: Tea partiers have taken the political stage as fire-breathing revolutionaries. Are Tea Partiers trying to hijack 9/11? Conservatives plan to mark the 9th anniversary of the attacks with a protest in DC — and they thought they had a PR problem before. How the Tea Parties almost killed America (Revolutionary War Edition). Confessions of a Tea Party Casualty: Why GOP Rep. Bob Inglis is looking for a new job. Tea Party Paradox: The country has moved right, but it's not clear that this helps Republicans in the long run. David Weigel on five myths about the "tea party". A look at why the Tea Party is un-Christian. Timothy George on Christians and civil disobedience. A pre-election symposium: Have the Republicans learned their lesson, and can they ever be trusted again? The rise of the confounding conservative: A profile of Va. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The Beltway crowd gets fooled again, this time by Representative Paul Ryan’s plan for a major overhaul of federal spending and taxes. What would Lincoln say? When the GOP attacks the Fourteenth Amendment, it trashes its own legacy.
From Pacific Journalism Review, what price freedom? Chris Cramer on global reporting trends and journalistic integrity; and a review of All News is Local: The Failure of the Media to Reflect World Events in a Globalized Age by Richard C. Stanton. From AJR, despite the danger, the Dallas Morning News’ Alfredo Corchado investigates violence and corruption along the border between the US and Mexico; and cappuccino and citizen journalism: A New Jersey news blog moves its newsroom into a coffee shop. One school of thought says that news organizations are best equipped to cover small neighborhoods, so if you really want to attract readers go local. Mark Potts last hyperlocal effort stalled after losing three million dollars — here's why he thinks his next one is poised to succeed. Jennifer Rubin on how the mainstream media misses the news. From CJR, Chrystia Freeland on the rise of private news: A niche model can make a lot of money — what are the costs? Arianna’s Answer: The Huffington Post may have figured out the future of journalism — but it’s going to be a very difficult future. This new media age could bring with it a better, more rigorous kind of journalism. When it comes to online content, do newspapers know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em? There's a substantial online audience for compelling, in-depth journalism — and that's a good thing. A look at how Slate is making a case for long-form on the web.
From NPQ, a special section on Twenty Years After the End of History. From One Country, a review of The Forgotten Schools: The Bahá'ís and Modern Education in Iran 1899-1934 by Soli Shahvar; and a review of Gate of the Heart: Understanding the Writings of the Bab by Nader Saiedi. A review of A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy by Jonathan Israel (and more). A review of High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg by Niall Ferguson (and more and more). From CEO to Senate: Why some executives make better politicians than others (reg. req.). Jenny Hendrix reviews Elegies for the Brokenhearted by Christie Hodgen. Not so sleepy any more: Alex Ellgee explores Mae Sot, the once dusty border town in Burma that is now a thriving hub of NGO and business activity. Who are you calling a fanatic? Rationalists should think twice about using a term which has, in its day, been used to condemn those who struggle for freedom and equality. Oregon Humanities wants you to look away from stuff. Punk will never diet: Curran Nault on Beth Ditto and the (queer) revaluation of fat. A review of books on yoga. We have the French Revolution’s tradition to digest, and the Bolshevik Revolution to come to terms with; the flags from both are with the masses — lift both, and walk forward, take up the Withered State and bring it back to order.
Zhao Juan (BTBU): A Comparison of Tennessee Williams and Anton Chekhov. From The New Atlantis, a special section on scientific progress and the American literary genius. Franco Moretti on Ibsen and the spirit of capitalism. Daniel Wood on peering beneath the surface of Ernest Hemingway's six-word story. From the forthcoming The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books, Benjamin Kunkel says goodbye to the graphosphere; and Marco Roth on the outskirts of progress. Long before Elizabeth Gilbert, Somerset Maugham turned the ashram experience into a monster best seller, The Razor’s Edge. A review of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg: The Letters, and The Typewriter is Holy: The Complete, Uncensored History of the Beat Generation by Bill Morgan (and more and more and more and more). Lindsay Eanet on eight literary works that deserve a graphic-novel treatment. Stephen Burt reviews On Whitman by C.K. Williams. Why fiction may be twice as true as fact: Keith Oatley on fiction as cognitive and emotional simulation. From NPQ, an interview with Orhan Pamuk, caressing the world with words; and an interview with Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio: "The world has no center". Novelist Jonathan Safran Foer discusses fiction and how to teach it. John Gray reviews Politics and the Novel During the Cold War by David Caute. Author Photo Smackdown: As usual, The L Magazine comes up with ever classier ways to engage with contemporary literature.