China’s Values Vacuum: Artists and intellectuals search for meaning in a society devoid of values. Want to know how culture develops, or where humour and the arts spring from? Ask a group of robots. Ian Stewart on what his book Why Beauty Is Truth: A History of Symmetry is really about.

Are book reviewers out of print? All across the country, newspapers are cutting book sections or running more reprints of reviews from wire services or larger papers. From The Scholar and Feminist Online, a special issue on Blogging Feminism: (Web)sites of Resistance. An article on GodTube, where the rightwing Christians surf. From Harper's, an article on "The Mormons" and Johann Gottfried Herder.

Form TCS, an article on The Real Solution to Poverty. From the inaugural issue of Crimes and Misdemeanours: Deviance and the Law in Historical Perspective, Heather Shore (Leeds Metropolitian): Undiscovered Country: Towards a History of the Criminal "Underworld" doc. From the Manhattan Institute's City Journal, an article on Broken Windows at 25: It has worked wonders on both coasts. Missing the Middle: Fifteen years after the riots, L.A. embodies the progress and problems of America's increasingly two-tier cities. Baby Boomers hoped to die before they got old. They lied. And now they’re dragging the whole country down.

From National Review, an interview with Angela McGlowan, author of Bamboozled: How Americans Are Being Exploited by the Lies of the Liberal Agenda. A review of The Man Who Would Not Shut Up: The Rise of Bill O'Reilly. From CJR, how conservative congressman from Indiana Mike Pence became journalism's best ally in the fight to protect anonymous sources. If you want to understand the wrenching dislocations in today's newsrooms, look to the advertisers whose purchasing decisions drive the business.

From Business Week, crazy like a Fox: Rupert Murdoch's bid for Dow Jones may seem foolishly pricey, but he's got his reasons. Inside Murdoch's surprise attack. The Threat to the Wall Street Journal: Rupert Murdoch’s audacious bid to grab Dow Jones underscores the larger issue of news consolidation and the shrinking number of major media voices, and more on Murdoch's trophy hunting by The Economist. And from TNR, Jonathan Chait on how the netroots are important, but they're still paranoid


Anupam Chander and Madhavi Sunder (UC-Davis): Is Nozick Kicking Rawls's Ass? Intellectual Property and Social Justice. From Glšnta, performance, staging, and technology in the court of law: Increasingly sophisticated technology for reproducing sound and images is altering the traditional theatrical element of the courtroom. Is it possible to imagine a court, guided by justice and law, taking into account the new "politics of representation"? French theorist Jacques-Alain Miller and North American historian William J. Turkel respond very differently to the digital age. Scott McLemee reports.

A review of The New Hegelians: Politics and Philosophy in the Hegelian School. An article on Templeton Prize winner Charles Taylor.

From Edge, Gregory Paul and Phil Zuckerman on why the gods are not winning. A review on God, The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist by Victor J Stenger.

From Skeptic, a look at how science will never explain everything: That is why it is so useful! Robert McHenry on anti-scientism: Which side are you on? A review of The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. From Psychology Today, Gut Almighty: Intuition really does come from the gut. It's also a kind of matching game based on experience. There are times when trusting your gut is the smartest move—and times you'd better think twice. Shankar Vedantam on Robert L. Trivers, seeing and disbelieving.

From Newsweek, the Joy of Economics: Politicians are looking to the dismal science for ways to make us happier—but is the well-being state a bad idea? Noam Scheiber on how Freakonomics author Steve Levitt takes his criticism personally. The national pastime helps explain the “dismal science”: A review of The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed. From Great Britain, the fight over funding is about much more than the Olympics. It's arts v sport: the showdown. Chess goes to school: How, and why, the game caught on among young Americans. Matters of faith find a new prominence on campus: Across the country chaplains, professors and administrators say students are drawn to religion and spirituality with more fervor than at any time they can remember. Cash-starved and hopelessly out of date, Bulgaria’s universities need reconstructive surgery. The government is starting with a nip and tuck.


From Seed, an article on The China Experiment: Inside the revolution to green the biggest nation on earth. The negotiations over the third part of the United Nations report on climate change are expected to be particularly tough. China and the US are already trying to water down the final version, arguing that immediate action may be futile and too costly. Many people in southern Bangladesh have never even heard of climate change. Yet should ocean levels rise even slightly, their existence would be imperiled. New research reveals Arctic ice has been vanishing about 3 times faster than the models have predicted.

From the Sierra Club, a debate on Climate Exchange: Cool heads tackle our hottest issue. An excerpt from George Monbiot's Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning. From Time, a special section on global warming and innovation. Weaponized Weather: In a race to solve global warming, some scientists are declaring war on the weather.

Black Gold of the Amazon: Fertile, charred soil created by pre-Columbian peoples sustained surprisingly large settlements in the rain forest. Secrets of that ancient “dark earth” could help solve the Amazon’s ecological problems today. A review of Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability, and Survival. A look at why slaughtering horses and using them for meat is cost effective, and it's more humane and environmentally friendly.

From Prospect, why home doesn't matter: We assume that studying children with their parents will help us understand how their personalities develop. But this is a mistake: parents influence their children mainly by passing on their genes. The biggest environmental influences on personality are those that occur outside the home. A review of Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction Is Changing Men, Women, and the World, and Waiting for Daisy: A Tale of Two Continents, Three Religions, Five Infertility Doctors, an Oscar, an Atomic Bomb, A Romantic Night, and One Woman's Quest To Become a Mother.

Scott Lemieux reviews Safe, Legal, and Unavailable? Abortion Politics in the United States by Melody Rose. How Feminism Got Corrupted: Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body seeks to unravel the mystery of how intelligent women and girls have such unhealthy notions about food and the body. A look at how many female lawyers are dropping off the path to partnership. The work of a stay-at-home mother has an annual monetary value of $138,095, according to a new survey.


From Dissent, after genocide: An article on memory and reconciliation in Rwanda. From Slate, a look at how Liberia recovers from war: A boy soldier grows up. Liberia is a country mired in its past. But, as Zadie Smith discovers when she meets its traumatised boy soldiers, struggling rubber workers and children desperate to learn, it is taking its first tentative steps to a better future; and on why we have fallen for Africa's lost boys: Are Africans telling their own stories, or are these merely signs of our appetite for tales of "savagery"? The perfect weapon for the meanest wars: The charade of ideology is over. All over the world children are used to fight for greed and power.

President of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on the chance for an arms treaty. Every year in the Sahel region of West Africa, hundreds of thousands of children die, and malnutrition means millions of others will live on with permanent mental disability and physical stunting. The wages of punditry: The partnership between policy-makers and development specialists can endanger the latter's intellectual independence and increase the risk of bad outcomes. A review of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World by Vijay Prashad.

From The Globalist, an article on coming to grip with the Iraq War's refugees. Northern exposure: American soldiers are fleeing the Iraq war for Canada, and US officials may be on their trail. North of the border is no longer the safe haven it was during the Vietnam era. George W. Bush’s infatuation with the kitsch landscape of the American west lit the path to Abu Ghraib, says Sidney Blumenthal.

From The Atlantic Monthly, statecraft and stagecraft: David Samuels interviews former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and George Schultz. From The Politico, Reagan advisers weigh in on Republican candidates. Marc Ambinder on The Perils of Reagan Republicanism: Candidates who invoke the spirit of Reagan may live to regret it. Glenn Greenwald on Harvey Mansfield and the right's explicit and candid rejection of "the rule of law".

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