From Public Seminar, a symposium on the principles and possibilities of social democracy and liberal democracy in our current political times, with contributions by Michael Walzer, Sheri Berman, Leo Casey, and Jeffrey C. Isaac. Is more democracy always better democracy? Yascha Mounk reviews Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself by Frances McCall Rosenbluth and Ian Shapiro. Empower political parties to revive democratic accountability: The shrill cry that American democracy is dying rests on a misdiagnosis — if anything, we have introduced too much democracy in the wrong places. Immigrants will be vital to the future of American democracy. Worry less about crumbling roads, more about crumbling libraries: America’s social infrastructure is falling apart, and it’s hurting democracy. If you’ve lost hope in American democracy, here’s some good news.


Jessi Streib (Duke): Class, Culture, and Downward Mobility. Why attacks on Ukrainian ships amount to the greatest — and scariest — escalation in years. Anna Ohanyan on why Russia starts so many conflicts on its own borders. The migration disconnect: Stephanie Leutert on why Central Americans will keep on heading to the United States. How a march at the US-Mexico border descended into tear gas and chaos. U.N. finds the deadliest place for women is their home (and more). GM is closing plants and cutting jobs — here’s what it means for workers and for Trump. Chinese scientists are creating CRISPR babies: A daring effort is under way to create the first children whose DNA has been tailored using gene editing (and more). You thought fake news was bad? Deep fakes are where truth goes to die.


Fabio Sterpetti (Rome): Mathematical Knowledge, the Analytic Method, and Naturalism. Elaine Landry (UC-Davis): Plato Was NOT a Mathematical Platonist. A universal way to solve problems, from a mathematical genius. The mind-bendy weirdness of the number zero, explained. Did math kill God? Josephine Livingstone reviews The Great Rift: Literacy, Numeracy, and the Religion-Science Divide by Michael E. Hobart. The peculiar math that could underlie the laws of nature: New findings are fueling an old suspicion that fundamental particles and forces spring from strange eight-part numbers called “octonions.” Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from “math trauma”. For the sake of kids, embrace math.

From PUP, the first chapter from Reverse Mathematics: Proofs from the Inside Out by John Stillwell; and the first chapter from Ptolemy’s Philosophy: Mathematics as a Way of Life by Jacqueline Feke.

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