Dan McQuillan (Goldsmiths): Manifesto on Algorithmic Humanitarianism. Just how transparent can a criminal justice algorithm be? Imprisoned by algorithms: The dark side of California ending cash bail. Franken-algorithms: Andrew Smith on the deadly consequences of unpredictable code. When is it important for an algorithm to explain itself? Weeding our algorithmic gardens: Hallam Stevens reviews Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil; Machine Learners: Archaeology of a Data Practice by Adrian Mackenzie; and The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale. Odd Numbers: Frank Pasquale on how algorithms alone can’t meaningfully hold other algorithms accountable. God is in the machine: The terrifying, hidden reality of Ridiculously Complicated Algorithms.


Sarah Roache and Lawrence O. Gostin (Georgetown), Charles Platkin (Hunter), and Cara Kaplan (Fordham): Big Food and Soda Versus Public Health: Industry Litigation Against Local Government Regulations to Promote Healthy Diets. U.S. officials reportedly met with dissident Venezuelan military officers, and Maduro’s regime is putting the news to use. Kim Kelly on anarchy: What it is and why pop culture loves it. Consortium of the largest science funders in Europe announce that they’ll only fund open access research. China is detaining Muslims in vast numbers — the goal is “transformation”. Cosma Shalizi reviews The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters by Tom Nichols.

Giacomo Bonan (Bologna): Confronting Hardin: Trends and Approaches to the Commons in Historiography. How the Left lost Brazil: This October, the far Right may take over South America’s largest economy. From Vox, what so many men are missing about #MeToo: Sexual discrimination and abuse constitute a crisis — Louis C.K. will be fine; CBS gave Les Moonves a graceful exit he didn’t deserve; and why did it take so long for Les Moonves to leave CBS? Davey Alba on how Duterte used Facebook to fuel the Philippine drug war. Academic publishing is a mess and it makes culture wars dumber. Why a far-right party with white supremacist roots is on the rise in Sweden. Did scientists discover a new shape? Well, first we have to define “shape” — also, “new”.


From TPM, Democrats need voters’ help to fix gerrymandering — will they get it? On the sidelines of democracy: Asma Khalid, Don Gonyea, and Leila Fadel on why so many Americans don’t vote. America’s biggest conspiracy theory is real: The racist truth behind the myth of voter fraud. Carol Anderson on the Republican approach to voter fraud: Lie. Jon Green (OSU) and Sean McElwee (Columbia): The Differential Effects of Economic Conditions and Racial Attitudes in the Election of Donald Trump. President Trump and the fantasy of a race war against white people. Joanne B. Freeman on the violence at the heart of our politics.

Trump, symptom or cause? Paul Campos on tomorrow's historical revisionism today. OK, Trump’s not a fascist leader — but does his fascist rhetoric mean he’s on the way to being one? True patriots would thwart the GOP agenda Trump pushes — it’s just as scary as his “worst inclinations”. We’re doomed: Isaac Chotiner reviews Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward. Donald Trump makes the case for his own impeachment: Ezra Klein on why America can’t trust Trump’s presidency. Jerry Nadler is appropriately cautious about impeachment. The empire of disorientation: Hans Sluga on politics in the age of Trump.


Victor L. Shammas (Oslo): Burying Mont Pelerin: Milton Friedman and Neoliberal Vanguardism. Charlie T. Blunden (Utrecht): Libertarianism and Collective Action: Is There a Libertarian Case for Mandatory Vaccination? Adam Gurri on finding liberty between vulnerability and coercion. Must we have cultural commitments as well as political ones? Stephanie Slade and Matt Zwolinski debate whether libertarianism is about more than the state. The “classical liberal” pivot: A new big tent for the clown show — from Paul Ryan to the YouTube right. For fancy racists, classical liberalism offers respect, intrigue. From Current Affairs, here are some puzzles for libertarians; and a review of Capitalism vs. Freedom: The Toll Road to Serfdom by Rob Larson.

Why should we care, then, about a discredited goofball ideology from deep within the last century? Because Ayn Rand–style libertarianism has probably never been more assertive in American politics than it is today.


Jeremy Pollack (CSUDH), Colin Holbrook (UC-Merced), Daniel M. T. Fessler and Adam Maxwell Sparks (UCLA), and James G. Zerbe (ASU): May God Guide Our Guns: Visualizing Supernatural Aid Heightens Team Confidence in a Paintball Battle Simulation. From the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, a special issue on Mathematics and Motherhood. India and Pakistan fight together for the first time thanks to Russia and China. Kavanaugh’s refusal to recuse disqualifies him. Judge Brett Kavanaugh should be impeached for lying during his confirmation hearings. At U.S. Open, power of Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka is overshadowed by an umpire’s power play (and more). Trump administration discussed coup plans with rebel Venezuelan officers.

If our opposition to terrorism is principled rather than performative, we might usefully focus our energies on exposing and ending our own complicity in these disciplinary forms of violence. The dominant political institutions for black and women candidates are struggling with the new wave of black and women candidates. A witch hunt or a quest for justice: An insider’s perspective on disgraced academic Avital Ronell. Avital Ronell’s new book, Complaint, is not really about the recent harassment case, writes Scott McLemee — at the same time, it’s not exactly not about it. We finally know why former GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole joined the most crooked bank in Central Asia.


Donald Haase (Wayne State): No Laughing Matter: Fairy Tales and the 2016 US Presidential Election. Ben Shapiro’s revealing explanation for Donald Trump’s rise: It’s all Obama’s fault. Bryan T. Gervais and Irwin L. Morris on how the tea party paved the way for Donald Trump. Why right-wing “populism” is a fraud: Nathan Robinson on Steve Bannon’s flailing attempts to distinguish his desired ruling billionaires from “elite” ruling billionaires. U.S. President Trump facing a “coup”: Bannon. Behind Trump’s obsession with social media suppression: Advisers have encouraged the president’s view that Silicon Valley giants are part of a wide-ranging liberal campaign to undermine his presidency.

The quest to unmask the New York Times op-ed writer has been filled with speculation — but the article’s prose points to one person in particular. Isn’t it obvious Kelly and Mattis wrote the NYT op-ed? “He’s destroying your presidency”: In the op-ed aftermath, Javanka quickly blamed John Kelly and his deputy — and a new suspect emerges. Feuds between Trump and his administration critics could produce policy catastrophe. “People better wake up to what’s going on” in the Oval Office: David Martin interviews Bob Woodward, author of Fear: Trump in the White House.

Michelle Goldberg on the corrupt bargain of the adults in the room: They’re not restraining Trump — they’re making him more powerful. How aides working to contain Trump put America at risk: By mitigating Trump’s worst excesses, they keep him in power. Helaine Olen on the GOP’s cowardice problem. Zack Beauchamp on Kavanaugh, the NYT op-ed, and the failure of Trump-skeptical Republicans. A mutiny amid the Republican Party? “Never Trump” Republicans are setting themselves up to claim victory when the Trump GOP loses control of the House of Representatives later this year.

The battle for crazytown: America’s newest live-streaming reality show features the foreign-policy establishment fighting for its life against Donald Trump. White House staffers reportedly told a psychiatrist Trump was “unraveling”. Stop talking about the 25th Amendment — it won’t work on Trump, and it might just set off a constitutional crisis. Daniel Nexon on the double crisis of the American political system.

Obama vs. Trump: The clash everyone’s waited for arrives (and more and more and more). Obama calls Trump the product of a Republican Party gone mad (and more). He’s clear on who broke things: Republicans. Obama: Just vote for a Democrat, any damn Democrat.


John D. Leshy (UC Hastings): Are U.S. Public Lands Unconstitutional? Jerrold A. Long (Idaho): The Origins of a Rebellion: Religion, Land, and a Western Environmental Ethic. Ian C. Bartrum (UNLV): Searching for Cliven Bundy: The Constitution and Public Lands. The dark bounty of Texas oil: Will the booms and busts of the energy industry always dominate the state? Reverse cowboy: Myth is not history, and to see the invention of the former, we must understand the latter — how does what happened on the frontier compare with what we now imagine? Rebecca Solnit on the myth of a “real” America: Whose story (and country) is this? Zandria F. Robinson on when the South is everywhere and nowhere. The duality of the Southern thing: Rachel Bryan on the fall of Roy Moore and the rise of the better angels of Alabama. As goes the South, so goes the nation: History haunts, but Alabama changes. Why do we value country folk more than city people?

Ann Eisenberg (South Carolina): Rural Blight. Alone in America: Nobody is immune to our epidemic of separation and despair. What happens when capitalism and families collide: Ann Neumann interviews Alissa Quart, author of Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America. “We are all accumulating mountains of things”: How online shopping and cheap prices are turning Americans into hoarders. Addison del Mastro on the slow death of the shopping plaza. American nostalgia on a bun: The burger, shake, and fries — “enduring icons of American cuisine” — are used to symbolize abundance, accessibility, and dominance while ignoring the dark side of those values.

The dark side of nice: D. Berton Emerson reviews American Niceness: A Cultural History by Carrie Tirado Bramen. The myth of the ugly American: Americans abroad are actually quick to defer to other cultures — it’s a result of our own multiculturalism, but is it a good thing? The problem with happy endings: From tidy stories of reunited migrant families to #PlaneBae, Americans’ bias toward optimism is a wonderful thing — until it’s not. Ryan Murphy (SMU): Psychopathy by U.S. State. Undoing one of twentieth-century America’s greatest political achievements: Win McCormack reviews The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics by Dan Kaufman.

Roger Cohen on how far America has fallen. Peter Turchin on population immiseration in America. An autopsy of the American dream: Sean Illing interviews Steven Brill, author of Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall — and Those Fighting to Reverse It. These should be the end times for American patriotism. America isn’t an idea, it’s a place with unique customs that people are proud of — why do country singers get this but so many scholars don’t?


James Christensen (Essex): Arming the Outlaws: On The Moral Limits of the Arms Trade. Maarten Boudry (Ghent) and Michel Vlerick (Tilburg): The End of Inquiry? How to Overcome Human Cognitive Limitations. Alex Jones said bans would strengthen him — he was wrong. Colin Kaepernick’s Nike sponsorship shows that athletes have more power than they realize. Trump’s new plan to detain immigrant families indefinitely, explained. Kim declares “faith” in Trump, who offers his thanks. “Bless Nixon for those tapes”: Claudia Dreifus interviews John Dean. Hollywood redeems men for almost anything and punishes women for almost everything. The anonymity dilemma: New York Times rivals react to explosive op-ed.

Why was Kavanaugh obsessed with Vince Foster? Thread: “here’s why on personal level, unlike Gorsuch for instance, i really can't stand Kavanaugh—he's been part of every awful thing GOP has done for last 20 yrs”. Kavanaugh is presenting himself as a #MeToo ally — his record shows he is not. The things we know Kavanaugh has lied under oath about: Abortion, warrantless wiretapping, torture (and more). If I didn’t know this was all rigged, I’d think Brett Kavanaugh is in serious trouble. Kavanaugh hearings show his devotion to presidential power. Kavanaugh will kill the constitution: The legitimacy of the Supreme Court is on the line. A simple plan for saving the Supreme Court: Court-packing might seem attractive — but there are better solutions.


Sure, Trump’s advisers aren’t the first to push back against a president — but what’s happening now is completely unprecedented. A senior official’s op-ed will change no one’s mind— but it will make the president even less likely to listen. The unnamed op-ed writer can’t be pleased: An op-ed that didn’t achieve its aim. The anonymous administration official’s NYT op-ed is a study in reputation-saving. If Anonymous Times Contributor had any guts, he or she would quit and tell the truth about Trump in public. The rogue White House official who wrote that Times op-ed is a moral coward. Zack Beauchamp writes in defense of the New York Times’s anonymous Trump official.

Margaret Hartmann on all the theories on who wrote the anonymous anti-Trump op-ed (and more). Here are the administration officials who deny they wrote The New York Times op-ed (and more). White House aides turn on each other in hunt for op-ed author. The snakes are everywhere: “Two senior administration officials reached out to Axios to say the author stole the words right out of their mouths”. “We see ourselves as rebels”: Trump’s internal resistance celebrates. Trump’s paranoid rage is getting worse — but the White House “resistance” is a sham. “Anonymous” is another word for “complicit”: Republican insiders tell one another that Trump is an abomination — what they tell his voters is something else. Republicans: Trump is a mad king — vote for us to give him unchecked power. It’s time for Republicans to walk away from Trump.

Republicans are preparing to disavow Trump if he fails — then come back and try the same policies. It’s good to be stirred out of complacency about Trump’s dangerous presidency, but only if we grapple with the true nature of his enablers. There’s no coup against Trump: American democracy is imperiled by Republicans enabling the president’s authoritarian impulses, not by self-aggrandizing op-eds from anonymous bureaucrats. The crisis isn’t Trump — it’s his Republican enablers. The constitutional crisis isn’t coming — it’s here.

I am the real Resistance, the Resistance within the Trump administration. That New York Times op-ed may not have given us hope — but it did give us memes.


Samuel L. Perry and Joshua T. Davis (Oklahoma) and Andrew L. Whitehead (Clemson): God’s Country in Black and Blue: How Christian Nationalism Shapes Americans’ Views about Police (Mis)treatment of Blacks. Geoff Ward (WUSTL): Living Histories of White Supremacist Policing: Towards Transformative Justice. Violence is what we were paid to do: Eileen Chen on the LAPD and the Rodney King affair (and part 2 and part 3). Symone Sanders on how police violence is gun violence. From National Review, shouldn’t police at home exhibit at least as much discipline as soldiers at war? Andrew Cohen on the ugly truth about police reform in the age of Trump.

Franklin E. Zimring (UC-Berkeley): The Death of the Unarmed Assailant on Racial Fears, Ambiguous Movement, and the Vulnerability of Armed Police. The black police policing our own: Devon W. Carbado and L. Song Richardson review Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr. How America became over-policed: Mychal Denzel Smith reviews Fortress America: How We Embraced Fear and Abandoned Democracy by Elaine Tyler May and The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale. Ben Austen on how one American city chose to tackle crime, combat racism, and reckon with the legacy of police brutality.

Emma Frankham (Wisconsin): How Were Encounters Initiated That Resulted in the Fatal Shooting of Civilians by Police? Writing crime into race: Historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad studies one of the most powerful ideas in the American imagination. Did you know that white people are a terrifying threat to police everywhere? How conservatives use made-up and/or misleading nonsense to justify police killings. Constant police violence takes massive toll on black Americans’ mental health, per study. Unprotected, underserved: Michael Harriot on the (false) criminalization of black America. “Stand your ground” laws give white citizens the kind of impunity that’s usually reserved for police.

Ekow N. Yankah (Yeshiva): Pretext and Justification: Republicanism, Policing, and Race. Militarized policing doesn’t reduce crime and disproportionately hits black communities.

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