Roger D. Congleton (George Mason): Voting By Altruists: Some Electoral Implications of Civic Virtue. Aaron Edlin (UC-Berkeley), Andrew Gelman (Columbia) and Noah Kaplan (Houston): Voting as a Rational Choice: Why and How People Vote to Improve the Well-Being of Others. The introduction to Democratic Authority: A Philosophical Framework by David M. Estlund. Is democracy making us stupid? Democracy is a form of mob rule that is incapable of acting in the mob’s best interests. From Swans, an article on democracy versus stability. Obama's plan for open-source democracy: For the candidate working to establish himself as the harbinger of modern era in politics, Obama's new technology plan is a big step in the right direction. How social media can help shape society: An interview with David Colarusso, co-creator of, about how the site is helping empower popular discussion about the U.S. Presidential campaign.  The Democratic presidential debate moderators seem more interested in eliciting mistakes from the candidates than informing the public. The campaign and the horse race: An unusually large number of serious presidential candidates bunched somewhere behind the front-runners are not getting major attention.

From Time, a cover story on What Makes Us Moral: Morality and empathy are writ deep in our genes, as are savagery and bloodlust. Science is learning what makes us both noble and terrible—and perhaps what can make us; and here are some of the dilemmas used to study human morality — take this quiz to see how you compare. The Theory of Moral Neuroscience: A look at how modern brain science is confirming Adam Smith's moral theories. A review of Ethical Theory, ed. Russ Shafer-Landau. A review of A Theory of General Ethics: Human Relationships, Nature, and the Built Environment by Warwick Fox. A review of What Is Good and Why: The Ethics of Well-Being by Richard Kraut. A review of Reasons without Rationalism by Kieran Setiya. A review of Asking Questions: Using Meaningful Structures to Imply Ignorance by Robert Fiengo. A review of Relativism and the Foundations of Philosophy by Steven D. Hales. A review of How Ficta Follow Fiction: A Syncretistic Account of Fictional Entities by Alberto Voltolini. A review of The Paranormal and the Politics of Truth: A Sociological Account by Jeremy Northcote. Mind of a rock: Is everything conscious? Jim Holt investigates. How does one package a philosophical anthology? An abstract photograph with a smart typography. I think, therefore I earn: Philosophy graduates are suddenly all the rage with employers — what can they possibly have to offer?

From Inside Higher Ed, a study suggests that the lack of ideological diversity among professors can be traced in part to reasons (other than bias) why right-leaning undergrads don’t pursue PhDs. A nationwide trend for universities to use adjunct professors instead of a tenured faculty has become so extreme that some schools are pulling back. Antioch College and its uncertain future: The country's most radical experiment in higher learning and its discontents. Harlem takes on university in battle of town versus gown: Residents object to plans to turn black neighbourhood into "Manhattanville". An interview with D. Randy Garrison and Norman D. Vaughan, authors of Blended Learning in Higher Education: Framework, Principles, and Guidelines. Measuring mortarboards: A new sort of higher education guide for very discerning customers. Learning 2.0: Rah, Rah! Block that rook! Small, no-name colleges have become powerhouses in intercollegiate chess, trying to attract top-quality applicants and alumni money. Sexy education: A modest movement makes its way onto campus. Wingnut Awareness Week: Neocons beat the war drum on college campuses.

Editor or algorithm? Refinements in news services from and Yahoo! Portals think small for the latest news niche: Sites offer access to content as gateways battle traffic slippage. Big media octopuses, cutting off tentacles: Is the age of media deconsolidation upon us? An interview with Michael Eisner on the writers’ strike, Internet-only content and starting a new-media company. Why newspapers love the striking screenwriters — for the same reason journalists love themselves. Breaking news, not transcribing it: The Washington Post gives the embargo system a kick in the pants. Not-So-Hot Buttons: Race and gender continue to be standbys in political media coverage despite the fact that they aren't as important as they once were. A review of Reporting Iraq, ed. Columbia Journalism Review. A look at how Al Jazeera English offers news without the nonsense. Media bias is a fact of life: Is anyone really so naive to expect something different from these news outlets?

From Wired, an interview with Ray Kurzweil, whose latest book is to made into a movie titled "The Singularity Is Near: A True Story About The Future", and a look at how we are nearing a tipping point in life extension, thanks to technologies that enhance our health and maximise resources. In an unprecedented feat of biological alchemy, researchers have turned human skin cells into stem cells that hold the same medical promise as controversial embryonic stem cells. Are scientists playing God? It depends on your religion. A review of The Jesuit and the Skull: Teilhard de Chardin, Evolution, and the Search for Peking Man by Amir D. Aczel. An article on building a safe nanotechnology future. Liberal Creationism: William Saletan on race, genes and intelligence. Arnold Kling on race, IQ and education. A review of Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother's Boyfriend by Barbara Oakley. A review of Love and Sex With Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships by David Levy.

From Prospect, do we need a literary canon? Jonathan Sacks is right that we need a common culture, but wrong to think it should be based on a canon. Forcing young people to read the Bible won't foster a sense of belonging — shared references must evolve more organically. In search of a good read? A review of Michael Dirda's Classics for Pleasure. A review of The Book That Changed My Life: 71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books That Matter Most to Them. Literature's invisible arbiters: We never get to read them, but reader's reports for publishers can make or break books - - particularly so for translations. A review of Soldier's Heart: Peace and War at West Point by Elizabeth D. Samet. Lost in translation: Here are 20 good books made into not-so-good movies. Man Bites Dog: A mainstream newspaper covering academic books regularly? Scott McLemee looks into it. Two well publicized academic books offer contrarian looks at Western history. But how persuasive are they?

From The Nation, a review of The Conscience of a Liberal by Paul Krugman and The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Hijacked by Crackpot Economics by Jonathan Chait (and more). An interview with Naomi Wolf, author of The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. You all know Hanoi Jane, now meet Tehran Todd: Treason is in the eye of the beholder. A review of Strictly Right: William F. Buckley Jr. and the American Conservative Movement by Linda Bridges and John Coyne Jr. A review of Heroic Conservatism: Why Republicans Need to Embrace America's Ideals by Michael J. Gerson. Allan Lichtman on conservative big government: Whither American conservatism? From Conservative Battleline, here are things you need to believe to be a Republican. An interview with Barry Lynn, author of Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom. An interview with Craig Unger, author of The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America’s Future (and more). Is Dick Cheney unconstitutional? Glenn Harlan Reynolds investigates. Dog-Whistling Dixie: When Reagan said "states' rights", he was talking about race. 

From New Left Review, on current projections, a fifth of the world’s population will be over 60 by 2050. With old-age poverty set to increase across the planet, Robin Blackburn presents a plan for funding a universal pension of a dollar a day. Sovereign wealth world: James Surowiecki on why there’s too much anxiety over foreign investment. Sovereign wealth funds are in the news these days mainly because of the possibilities of strategic behavior that they offer their owners. Who will pick up the thread after the great unwinding? Martin Wolf wants to know. A new apologia for Anglo-Saxon noblesse oblige: More on A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World by Gregory Clark. John Kay on how emerging economies have not become "decoupled". Dani Rodrik on economic growth’s many recipes, and more on One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions and Economic Growth. The consensus story is that resource abundance boosts GDP in the short-run but hinders or reverses the development of growth-enhancing institutions and thus long-run growth. New evidence suggests that this works by worsening corporate transparency, capital allocation and growth. An interview with Richard B. Freeman on globalization and its complex consequences for inequality in national and global contexts. A look at how big governments and globalisation are complementary. An excerpt from The Bottom Billion by Paul Collier.

From Spiked, is modern art a left-wing conspiracy? A review of Modernism: The Lure of Heresy From Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond by Peter Gay. A review of Creators: From Chaucer to Walt Disney by Paul Johnson. What's ugly? Is it the flip-side of beautiful? Umberto Eco says it depends on who's doing the looking. Architectural cannibalism in Athens: An excerpt from Anti-Architecture and Deconstruction by Nikos A. Salingaros. A review of A Little History of the English Country Church by Roy Strong and Cathedral: The Great English Cathedrals and the World that Made Them by Jon Cannon. Building a brand: How architecture firms name themselves. Love by a thousand cuts: Museums can't get enough of Kara Walker, whose silhouettes of history seem to be a nightmare she's trying to enjoy. A review of Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs. A review of Early Discourses on Colour and Cinema: Origins, Functions, Meanings by Eirik Frisvold Hanssen. Secret lives of others: It doesn't matter if films play fast and loose with historical facts — what matters is to convey the spirit of the age and its players. A review of Strange Duets: Impresarios and Actresses in the American Theater, 1865-1914 by Kim Marra. A review of Ethel Merman: A Life by Brian Kellow and Brass Diva: The Life and Legends of Ethel Merman by Caryl Flinn.

From Island Studies Journal, an introduction to the journal, Pete Hay (Tasmania): A Phenomenology of Islands;  Dag Anckar (Abo): Islandness or Smallness? A Comparative Look at Political Institutions in Small Island States, and Archipelagos and Political Engineering: The Impact of Non-Contiguity on Devolution in Small States; Sue Farran (Dundee): The Coastal Zone of Islands: Comparative Reflections from the North and South; Gillian Cambers (UPR): Islanders’ Perspectives on Sustainable Living; Ilan Kelman (NCAR): Sustainable Livelihoods from Natural Heritage on Islands; Scott M. Fitzpatrick (NCSU): Archaeology’s Contribution to Island Studies; Barbara Groome Wynne (Alberta): Social Capital and Social Economy in Sub-National Island Jurisdictions; Te’o I. J. Fairbairn (UNSW): Economic Vulnerability and Resilience of Small Island States; Roger Marjavaara (Umea): Route to Destruction? Second Home Tourism in Small Island Communities; Arie Boomert and Alistair J. Bright (Leiden): Island Archaeology: In Search of a New Horizon (and a response); From Odysseus to Robinson Crusoe: A survey of early Western island literature; and a review of Empire Islands: Castaways, Cannibals and Fantasies of Conquest by Rebecca Weaver-Hightower; a review of The Ice Museum: To Shetland, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Estonia, Greenland and Svalbard in search of the Lost Land of Thule by Joanna Kavenna; a review of Islands in History and Representation.