Making up our minds

From Enculturation, a special issue on McLuhan at 100: Picking Through the Rag and Bone Shop of a Career. Adventures in behavioral neurology: Vilayanur Ramachandran on what neurology can tell us about human nature. A review of Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War by Jonah Raskin. An interview with Ken Burns on Prohibition, pot, and PBS. Dogged by conspiracy theories, Freemasons insist theirs is a modern, open organisation — but can this male-dominated body cast off its secretive image and win over a sceptical public? Hashtags are the new lawn signs: Why Twitter won’t predict the 2012 cycle. A review of Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson’s Why Nations Fail (and more and more and more and more and more). Making up our minds: When are people individuals and when are they part of a group? The first chapter from Who's #1? The Science of Rating and Ranking by Amy N. Langville and Carl D. Meyer (and more). A new book series offers polemics against prominent figures — including an influential academic turned politician; Scott McLemee casts his vote. Glen Coco on five things that nobody is allowed to joke about ever again.