Nate Silver on why S&P's ratings are substandard and porous: S&P's bond ratings from five years ago would have told you almost nothing about the risk of a default today. How should Obama answer the stock market's wake-up call? Brad DeLong wonders. When Ken Rogoff sees the markets panic because it just realized we’re not returning to normal anytime soon, he wishes they would have read him more closely. How bad is it? John Cassidy on the economy after the debt-ceiling agreement. The psychology of political stubbornness: A framework for what motivates rigidity among politicians helps explain the debt ceiling debate. Articles of faith: Did austerity politics kill compassionate conservatism? James Surowiecki on the business of austerity: Why Wall Street should fear the Tea Party. Leap of faith: Ryan Lizza on the making of Michele Bachmann. Tea Party Queen: Why Michele Bachmann is riding high going into Iowa. The Tea Party, the debt ceiling, and white Southern extremism: The goal, methods and passions of the Tea Party in the House are all characteristic of the radical Southern right. From Daily Caller, James Poulos on the end of optimism and the pursuit of happiness, on how only libertarianism can save the GOP and on how the Tea Party can win the left. Obama is too good for us: The debt deal fiasco proved that any decent, honest politician like the president simply doesn’t stand a chance against the likes of Michele Bachmann; Charles Fried on how the Tea Party ruined America. The next election: Andrew Hacker reviews Pendulum Swing, ed. Larry Sabato; The Audacity to Win: How Obama Won and How We Can Beat the Party of Limbaugh, Beck, and Palin by David Plouffe; and Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America by Kate Zernike. Do political experts know what they’re talking about? Jonah Lehrer interviews Philip Tetlock, author of Expert Political Judgment.

Michelle Giles (OCC): Postcolonial Gothic and The God of Small Things: The Haunting of India's Past. Arundhati Roy is the new India's most high-profile critic (and more and more). Apurba Kundu (IIT): Secularism in the World Today: Challenges and Prospects. IIT’s stressed-out geeks opt for suicide solution: Management and counseling cells come under fire for failing to tackle spike in deaths. From Outlook India, a special issue on the decline of the Left in India. Badri Raina writes on how the left parties in India may have relied too much on theory and too little on practice. In the wake of an historic defeat, can India’s communists finally break with the hidebound dogmas of their past? Poor Little Rich Country: How do you categorize India, a nation that is at once fantastically wealthy and desperately poor? Feast and Famine: India is growing, but Indians are still starving. A rapidly developing suburb of New Delhi, Gurgaon is a microcosm of India’s dynamic, dysfunctional growth, where private development has outpaced any functioning city government. India invents a city: Lavasa is an orderly, high-tech community with everything — except people. A review of Mumbai Fables: A History of an Enchanted City by Gyan Prakash. See you in the hot flash club: Namita Gokhale’s Priya sets Nisha Susan wondering why fiction has so few 70-year-olds with green, strap-on dildos. Sexual immorality in our conservative society is more damaging than financial embezzlement — so how come no one is reporting on it? Vijaykumar Shrikrushna Chowbe (SGBAU): Adultery: A Conceptual and Legal Analysis. Want to be a Hindustani Music stud? Here are 6 steps to faking it. India’s Vanishing Vultures: Can the world’s fastest growing nation restore its prime scavenger before there are untold human consequences?

From Dissent, dancing in the streets: Benjamin Shepard on contested public spaces and the history of queer life; and when it comes to abortion, Norway and the United States are on different planets. John Sides on the political and electoral impact of the debt ceiling debate, with some broader implications for elections generally. Obama’s Hope-a-Dope Strategy: Progressives are furious that Obama, yet again, pulled his punches — the White House says it's all part of the master plan. The case for caving: Washington’s deal satisfied no one — game theory explains why it couldn't have turned out any other way. Kevin Drum on why S&P is wrong. Edmund L. Andrews on why S&P’s downgrade is no joke: The real impact is political, not economic. From AAA to AA+: While the consequences of the downgrade — the first time in over seventy years that U.S. debt will not have a risk-free, AAA rating — remain to be seen, the event offers a window into financial market-government relations. Legislating by crisis: A chronicle of the coming hostage dramas on Capitol Hill. Lessons of the Crisis: The debt-ceiling debacle revealed that politics is broken in every possible way and there's no point in explaining complicated matters to the American people. Jacob Hacker and Oona Hathaway on our unbalanced democracy. An interview with Bill James, the father of sabermetrics on his new book Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence. Flags of the world: An interview with vexillologist Whitney Smith. Nominative Determinism: Yes, that’s his real name. From Capitalism magazine, an interview with Edward Cline on writing, Ayn Rand, and his new novel, The Daedalus Conspiracy. Has Google become one of our expressions of existential moaning? Nishant Batsha wants to know.

Timothy Erik Strom (Southern Cross): Space, Cyberspace and Interface: The Trouble with Google Maps. From Penn State, a series called the Geospatial Revolution Project. In the emerging field of “spatial humanities,” scholars are using mapmaking software to recreate vanished landscapes and envision history as it really happened. Mapmaking has a new challenge far more involved than depicting the traits of the physical world. A new world order of maps (Google and MapQuest) changes how we engage with cities. Creative Cartography: Here are 7 must-read books about maps. Restoring a 1770 map, found at the Brooklyn Historical Society, entailed boiling old books to get the right aged color. From Strange Maps, Fank Jacobs on Nazis up the Mississippi and other Axis invasion scenarios. From GeoJunk, while some artists use paint or charcoal, the artist Nikki Rosato prefers to make portraits of the human body using old road maps; and here is a brief history of maps. Ingenious Flat Earth Theory revealed in old map, with the Earth as an inverse toroid. From GeoCurrents, Martin W. Lewis on a key to map of geopolitical anomalies; delusional mapping: A review of The Comanche Empire by Pekka Hamalainen; and an article on microstates in cartograms. Maps with only words, known as “Typographic Maps”, are becoming increasingly popular (and more). Know your meme: “The World According to X” (a.k.a “How X Sees the World” or “The X World”) is a series of world map satires that are labeled with various geopolitical stereotypes and jokes to reflect the biased worldview of country X. Everybody, meet Kergolus: This little furry thing is a geo-mascot, shaped like the territory it symbolises. Mapping the human condition: What the empire of love has to do with the intellect forest and the bay of agoraphobia.

Digging into technology's past: “Digital archaeologists” excavate the microprocessor that ushered in the home computing revolution. New technology which makes it possible to study the finer details of some of the world’s greatest historical artefacts has been developed by computer scientists and archaeologists. An interview with Jennifer Gabrys, author of Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics. Trond Lundemo describes the complicated endeavours of various technologies, from the early days of chronophotography to today's 3D blockbusters, to capture and classify gestures and movement. The measured life: Do you know how much REM sleep you got last night? New types of devices that monitor activity, sleep, diet, and even mood could make us healthier and more productive. The widespread use of search engines and online databases has affected the way people remember information (and more). How computers can cure cultural diabetes: The networked computer offers an antidote to the junk culture of broadcasting — why not choose the healthy option? The more time we waste online, and the more grief it causes for us, the closer we come to making the computer reflect — rather than refract — the person sitting behind it. A review of Between Reason and Experience: Essays in Technology and Modernity by Andrew Feenberg. Michael Anissimov and Rick Moss explore futuristic social networks combined with brain-computer interface technology. A review of The Techno-Human Condition by Braden R. Allenby and Daniel Sarewitz. Merger or trainwreck: The more powerful our technology becomes, the more drastic the unintended consequences become. A review of God Is Technology: How the Singularity of Monotheism Transcended Biology and Primed the Techno­logical Genesis of God by Mitchell Heisman.

Andrew Clapham (ADH-Geneva): Corporations and Criminal Complicity. The incredible shrinking game: Timothy J. Seppala on the truth of game length in the modern industry. A review of The Queer Art of Failure by Judith Halberstam. From physics to biology and society: Are financial and scientific views of the world similar? A review of State Power and Democracy Before and During the Presidency of George W. Bush by Andrew Kolin. In honor of the 10th annual Lebowski Fest in Louisville, Ky., Miller-McCune looks at the scholarly papers inspired by the Coen brothers’ 1998 film The Big Lebowski. A review of Human Rights and Human Well-being by William J. Talbott. Shauna Niequist on 11 things to know at 25(ish): What you need to know to be a real adult. A review of The Culture of Flushing: A Social And Legal History of Sewage by Jamie Benidickson. Is there such a thing as writing “like a woman” or writing “like a man”? From Cato Unbound, Ryan Alford on Targeted Killing and the Rule of Law. The Great Atlantic Divide: Why Europeans riot (but American’s don’t). A review of Foreign Fanaticism and American Constitutional Values by Rodney Jay Blackman. The next frontier for video games: current events. Military metrics: How do governments know whether they’re winning or losing a military campaign? Preying on sadness: Psychics do have special powers — turning grief into money. An interview with Max H. Bazerman and Ann E. Tenbrunsel, authors of Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to Do About It. Cheap workers, high profits, global competition: Olivier Aubert on the online sex industry. An interview with David O. Stewart, editor of the Washington Independent Review of Books. A review of The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting by Rachel Shteir (and more and more and more).

How Kevin McCarthy wrangles the Tea Party in Washington: The House majority whip may have the toughest job in Washington — persuading dozens of Congressional Tea Party freshmen to play well with others. "Rebuild the Dream": Can Van Jones help liberals create their own version of the Tea Party? The Great Right Hype: Joel Meares on Tucker Carlson and his Daily Caller. The right really, really wants Obama to be Jimmy Carter: Why is it that every address Obama delivers is the second coming of the "malaise" speech? Michael Kazin on Newt Gingrich, America’s worst historian. A review of Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind by Tim Groseclose. John Pilger on the strange silencing of liberal America: Obama's greatest achievement is having seduced, co-opted and silenced much of liberal opinion in the US. A review of Satire and Dissent: Interventions in Contemporary Political Debate by Amber Day. Meet the radical evangelical army behind Rick Perry: Leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation believe they have prophetic powers. Dear Yankee: Here are eight things you ought to know before you start writing stories about Rick Perry. Man Without a Plan: Michael Kazin on Obama’s shortsighted view of U.S. politics. Why do Democrats seem to have such a hard time with the politics of synecdoche? Meet the Susan B. Anthony List, the anti-abortion group pushing presidential politics to the extreme right. How can we not love Obama? Because like it or not, he is all of us. A review of Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America by Ann Coulter. ALEC Exposed: A trove of documents reveals the vast procorporate strategy of this powerful right-wing group. Hope, Change, Nietzsche: A review of Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition by James T. Kloppenberg.

From Americana, a special issue on Narrating Cultural Identity. Burn the Constitution: You would almost think Madison had been listening to Glenn Beck. Beyond the Fields: A review essay on books on Cesar Chavez and the UFW. A review of Survive the Bomb: The Radioactive Citizen’s Guide to Survival. A review of The Magazine Century: American Magazines since 1900 by David E. Sumner. Anti-social network: Technology meant to bring us together is turning America into a nation of narcissists. A review of American Pornographies: Consumerism, Sensationalism, and Voyeurism in a Global Context. Radical Kirk: Kirkpatrick Sale's secessionism brings left and right together. A review of Paranormal America: Ghost Encounters, UFO Sightings, Bigfoot Hunts, and Other Curiosities in Religion and Culture by Christopher D. Bader, F. Carson Mencken, and Joseph O. Baker. Revisionist history: Politicians rewrite the past to suit their present. Why Americans can't afford to eat healthy: The real reason Big Macs are cheaper than more nutritious alternatives? Government subsidies. A review of The Two Faces of American Freedom by Aziz Rana (and more). What we don't talk about when we talk about jobs: How racism, global economics, and the new Jim Crow fuel black America's crippling jobs crisis. A review of Capture the Flag: The Stars and Stripes in American History by Arnaldo Testi. Why does America romanticize slavery? From Gone With the Wind to a controversial marriage pledge, this nation can't kick its addiction to Old Dixie. A review of Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America by Adam Winkler. Stuart Banner on his book American Property: A History of How, Why, and What We Own (and more). Americans are destroying America: Stop blaming the politicians, America — blame yourselves.

A new issue of The Futurist is out. Paul J. Burke (ANU): Economic Growth and Political Survival. The Encyclopedia of Babel: Wikipedia has been growing in authority and a new paper shows that scholars are studying and citing it, as well as writing for it — Scott McLemee hits "view source". Is there a sensitive period in human incest avoidance? Liqun Luo investigates. Stephen Kinzer on a new direction for Turkey’s democracy. From Splice Today, an article on Lockheed Martin's dangerous power: The center of our nation's military-industrial complex; and corporate death spiral: Privitization and lobbying have given some corporations the ability to commit murder with impunity. A review of The Best of Cover Design: Books, Magazines, Catalogs, and More. "Mindless, violent thugs, hell-bent on sowing chaos": That’s the kind of press anarchists often get — Uri Gordon provides a more sympathetic take on a growing yet still little understood political movement. The debate zone: Has the US passed peak productivity growth? Looking for someone: Nick Paumgarten goes inside the world of online dating. Peter Byrne takes on the ego-sodden exchange between Michel Houellebecq and Bernard-Henri Levy in Public Enemies: Dueling Writers Take On Each Other and the World. Is fusion power finally for real? Brett Nelson on ten things they don’t tell you in business school. Is the BP Oil Spill a "cultural anomaly" pushing for alternative solutions to an environmental problem, shaping policy and legalistic approaches? From The New Inquiry, Rob Horning on Social Media, Social Factory. What's your life worth, in dollars? Though calculating the "value of a statistical life" (VSL) may sound callous or morbid, it can lead to stronger safety and environmental regulations. Why sex with creatures from the future is a bad idea.

From Verbum et Ecclesia, Johann-Albrecht Meylahn (Pretoria): Seeking the Good (Peace) of the Republic: The Violence Against and of Difference in Defining the Public Space. Bernard Levinson (Minnesota): The Bible’s Break with Ancient Political Thought to Promote Equality: "It Ain’t Necessarily So". A review of The Hebrew Republic: Jewish Sources and the Transformation of European Political Thought by Eric Nelson. What would Jesus do? A person who could gather the courage to really follow the WWJD principle as an undistracted life would be a powerful leader indeed. A review of The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East by Timur Kuran (and more and more). A review of The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere (and more). James Schall on what is "Roman Catholic Political Philosophy". God and political science, democratic diplomacy, and terror: Whether or not one likes religious actors, they are here to stay — the issue is not whether but when and how religious actors will enter public life and shape political outcomes. A discussion of Paul W. Kahn’s Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty (and more). A review of Not in the Heavens: The Tradition of Jewish Secular Thought by David Biale (and more). A review of The Bible Now by Richard Elliott Friedman and Shawna Dolansky. A review of Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years by Philip Jenkins. Religious liberty and Islam: By the year 2020, the Islamic nations of the Mediterranean Basin will resound with positive cries for democracy, human rights, individual liberty, and the dignity of every man, woman, and child. Point and Counterpoint: Why should Christians promote religious freedom?