The inaugural issue of Cultural Science is out. Look into the far, far future, to the day the cosmos decays into a frozen featureless void: What will happen as the stars wink out and the universe decays away to nothing? From Mute, hey kids, Marx is back, and this time he's being completely misrepresented again; and the Melancholic Troglodytes review two recent books exploring how speculation and risk management, once the preserve of finance, have become defining traits of all facets of contemporary capitalism. In France, nobody cares if leaders are single mothers. An interview with John R. MacArthur, author of You Can't be President: The Outrageous Barriers to Democracy in America. Why do polls always tighten right before an election? Beyond Diebold: A look at 10 ways to steal this election. From Time, a look at 7 things that could go wrong on Election Day. Why those "armies" of lawyers are our last, best hope for an honest Election Day. Peter Dreier and John Atlas on the GOP's blame-ACORN game. The Rationality Project: AJ Jacobs on his quest to ignore his gut instinct. Paper Money: Students with more cash than brains know how to get their term papers written fast. From Silver Lake to suicide: One family's secret history of the Jonestown Massacre. A review of My Life with Che: The Making of a Revolutionary by Hilda Gadea.
From Mercatornet, freedom is a no-brainer: Modern science has made great strides in knowledge of the brain, but our brains are not us. Creationists declare war over the brain: The creationists' battlefront with science has shifted from evolution to neuroscience. A look at why the denial of the right to die is sheer religious primitivism. From Obit, a special series on the morality, legality and personalities of assisted suicide. Fear, death and politics: What your mortality has to do with the upcoming election. To find out if you're fit for the Oval Office, simply take this personality test. Psychology Today bloggers put the presidential candidates to the test. Dear Mr. President: Advice from seven Nobel laureates on fixing the economy. The University of Chicago's Richard Epstein on the Obama he doesn't know. Or for worse: Why American politicians have such rotten marriages? Why relationship sex is boring: The very things that nurture love — comfort, stability, safety — can extinguish sexual desire. From The Guardian, a special report on sex uncovered; and an article on 1000 artworks to see before you die. Most scientists work in universities or corporations, but a plucky or foolhardy few exist outside the system — Susan Blackmore has done both. It turns out the future isn't "Blade Runner", but bicycles, recycling and "smart responsive simplicity" — it's not as bad as it sounds.
From NOVA, a special episode on Hunting the Hidden Dimension, including an interview with Benoit Mandelbrot, a true maverick, and an excerpt from Fractals: The Patterns of Chaos by John Briggs. Philippe Binder argues the unifying theme of complex systems is frustration. From the stages of grief to the stages of moral development, stage theories have little evidentiary support. Are you a closet conservative? Psychologist Sam Gosling has a few surefire ways to find out. From Dark Roasted Blend, a look at the worst time to buy, the best time to enjoy ads. Would a new league of democracies be a good idea? Philip Bobbitt and David Hannay debate. Presidential firepower: How FDR saved capitalism in eight days. Alan Greenspan concedes error on regulation — whoops, there goes decades of Ayn Rand down the drain. From New Left Review, Robert Wade on financial regime change; David Harvey on the right to the city; and Alexander Cockburn reviews Rick Perlstein's Nixonland (and an excerpt at Bookforum). From The L Magazine, a special issue on the election. From GQ, confession of a presidential campaign reporter: Michael Hastings had what for many journalists would be a dream job — covering the presidential race for Newsweek; too bad the dream is very, very far from reality. Amitai Etzioni on what social conservatives owe the Obamas.
From The Economist, an article on the guilty men of Wall Street: Jail time for financial titans? Madeleine Bunting on how the world's poor will pay the price for a crisis sparked by the rich. Three years after the world’s richest countries declared war on poverty, the aid industry is on the brink of disaster. Beyond the abyss: An article on America's economic future after the financial crisis. Death Defying: John Judis on heroism's grip on the political subconscious. Marci Hamilton on the rise and fall of John McCain, as explained by the principles the framers of the Constitution embraced. From The Daily Beast, Michael Kinsley on how to think like John McCain; and Stanley Crouch on how Palin will change the GOP. From IHE, Keith Gandal on why you shouldn't be afraid to study war. Curious about the state of higher education in America? Take a job churning out pages on Shakespeare, Faulkner, and the man one client called "Plah-toe". From Radar, how 21-year-old American college student Amanda Knox was framed for murder. A review of Descartes’ Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason by Russell Shorto. From Secular Web, a review of Antony Flew's There is a God; and an article on the human origin of the Bible: How Nicaea defined God with a vote. After two decades of increasingly graphic fare, comic book publishers are once again making superheroes safe for kids.
From Foreign Affairs, the Latter-Day Sultan: An article on power and politics in Iran. Five presidents have treated Iran as a threat — the next needs to think of it as an opportunity. Robert Kaplan on what war with Iran in the Gulf could be like. A look at why Israel wouldn't dare attack Iran. From Salon, the Army says no, but a graphic video and eyewitness testimony indicate that a tank killed two American soldiers. Moises Naim on what the lessons of 9/11 could teach the world about the financial crisis. Foggy Bottom may get the personnel it desperately needs, but if the government’s fancy new test is any indication, the American people may not quite want what they get (and take the Foreign Service Challenge). Republic of Vermont II: Can Green Mountain secessionists pull the plug on statehood? Start-Up Town: The quiet little hippie city of Boulder, Colorado has become a serious technology hub. Lee Siegel on how the idea that great literature can improve our lives is a con as old as literature itself. Enough of "art for art's sake": Let's have some art for the sake of humanity, truth and goodness. An interview with Susan Quilliam on revising the 20th century's most famous sex manual. Porn Maze: Porn has many critics; their days, however, are numbered. More on Men to Boys: The Making of Modern Immaturity by Gary Cross. A review of Long Distance Love: A Passion for Football by Grant Farred.
From Fibreculture, Caroline Bassett (Sussex): New Maps for Old? The Cultural Stakes of 2.0; and John Potts (Macquarie): Who’s Afraid of Technological Determinism? An article on the cooling climate "consensus" of 1970s that never was. From TLS, a look at when geology came of age, and how it changed the way we think about our place in the cosmos. The introduction to Corporate Governance: Promises Kept, Promises Broken by Jonathan Macey. Booklovers turn to Karl Marx as financial crisis bites in Germany. Here's a primer to Karl Marx's guide to the end of capitalism. 100 years of financial disasters: This isn't the first financial meltdown, and it won't be the last. A Capitalist Manifesto: Markets remain our best hope for a better future. The Tao of Poop: The meaning of the ultimate euphemism is anything but simple. A study finds 10 years on, high-school social skills predict better earnings than test scores. Berkeley Breathed explains why he is ending his comic strip "Opus". If Bill Maher and his fellow "new atheists" want to be effective, they need to stop preaching to the choir. From America, is the concept of intrinsic evil helpful to the Catholic voter? Here's a just-in-case guide for reporters just in case Obama collapses. From Frontline, you can watch "The Choice 2008" online. Christopher Hayes on how he committed voter fraud.
From Scientific American, a special report on HIV, 25 years later. From The Atlantic Monthly, what would you do if your son wanted to be a girl? Some doctors have a new and troubling answer; and a review of books on why women should rule. A review of The Impact of Women in Congress by Debra L. Dodson. If the Bradley Effect has disappeared or at least dissipated, it is worth thinking about why. Two families named McCain: Candidate's kin share a history with descendants of slaves. Gordon Wood reviews The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed. Michael Weiss on the spectacularly retro end of the Bush era. It can be emotionally overwhelming to see human flesh in high definition — especially when that flesh belongs to a vice-presidential candidate. The way we elect judges is a sham: It’s time we learned more about these be-robed candidates. More and more on The Freedom Agenda: Why America Must Spread Democracy (Just Not the Way George Bush Did) by James Traub. More on John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand by Richard Reeves. Iceland is on the brink of financial ruin — where did it all go wrong? Michael Weiss on the anti-Semite's favorite Jewish prayer. Europe will only have itself to blame for the collapse of its civilization in the second quarter of this century. How do we show our love for New York? We say it with monsters.
From Obit Magazine, an article on death and the Presidency. Are John McCain and Sarah Palin heirs to George Wallace's legacy? As the country scrutinizes Governor Palin's moose credentials, one wilderness-loving huntsman makes a case for the sport. An article on Sarah Palin Erotica: The ex-beauty queen takes down her hair and goes wild — in your dreams. Just how stupid are we: Puzzled by Palin's popularity with millions? The Next Right and Culture11 debate the best case scenario and the worst case scenario for the right. An interview with Jim Downey, Saturday Night Live’s chief political satirist. From NYRB, contributors on a fateful election; and an article on Hugo Chavez versus human rights. From Boston Review, the call of the tribe: Glenn Loury on the role of identity in our politics and our lives; and Amitava Kuma on authenticity and the South Asian political novel. What's the difference between a commissar's propaganda and a Constructivist's poetics of production? A review of Gerald Raunig's Art and Revolution. An excerpt from The B List: The National Society of Film Critics on the Low-Budget Beauties, Genre-Bending Mavericks, and Cult Classics We Love by David Sterritt and John Anderson. An excerpt from Rose George's The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters (and more and more and an interview and a review).
Foreign Policy asks 10 of the world’s top thinkers to name the unlikely team that can best guide No. 44 through the turbulent years ahead (and choose your own Dream Team); they told us to overlook the abuses because Guantanamo housed “the worst of the worst”, but new statistics prove that the vast majority of prisoners detained there never posed any real risk to America at all; and here's the 2008 Global Cities Index. A criminally insane system: Forget the sensational headlines about the mentally ill — the truth is in the alternative media. A review of Emily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners by Laura Claridge. Harvard Law is on the rise again — and shaking up the American legal world. From Esquire, a look at the 10 best and 10 worst members of Congress. From New York, a series of articles on the manic-depressive economy; a look at who Hank Paulson hired to run the nationalized financial system; an interview with Paul Krugman; and Howard Wolfson once bled Clinton blue — so what is he doing spinning for Obama on America’s reddest TV network? Working for the working-class vote: Will gun-toting, churchgoing white guys pull the lever for Barack Obama? Mark Schmitt on populism without pitchforks: Obama's inclusive, quiet tone has given liberals a new language of ethics.
The inaugural issue of the transhumanist H+ Magazine is out. From The Atlantic Monthly, first person plural: Paul Bloom on the neuroscience of identity. From SciAm, is the brain the ultimate computer interface?; in seeming defiance of the second law of thermodynamics, nature is filled with examples of order emerging from chaos; a look at the hidden dangers of geoengineering; an article on geoengineering and how to cool Earth — at a price. From Popular Science, if the Sun went out, how long would life on Earth survive? From New Scientist, an article on moving the Earth: A planetary survival guide. From Commonweal, a review of books for voters who take their faith seriously. Mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs: When Christian groups reunite, watch out for the next split. Jacob Wesiberg on how the financial collapse killed libertarianism. From The Economist, the crash has been blamed on cheap money, Asian savings and greedy bankers — for many people, deregulation is the prime suspect; and capitalism at bay: What went wrong and, rather more importantly for the future, what did not. Lisa Witter thinks capitalism is so five minutes ago. When markets fall, so do the big swinging dicks: A blow-by-blow guide to the four stages of market-related sexual dysfunction. Drudge unplugged: How his campaign influence has collapsed.