Tiziano Bonini (IULM): The New Role of Radio and its Public in the Age of Social Network Sites. Why are songs on the radio about the same length? Garrett Martin on how college radio is dying — and we need to save it. John McDuling on the reinvention of MTV, chapter one million. Mat Honan on death and iPods: A requiem. The classical cloud: Alex Ross on the pleasures and frustrations of listening online. Can Apple and Beats fix the economics of streaming music? An epic battle in streaming music is about to begin, and only a few will survive. It’s not just David Byrne and Radiohead: Scott Timberg on Spotify, Pandora and how streaming music kills jazz and classical. Scott Timber interviews David Lowery on how Pandora is destroying musicians. Rob Pegoraro on how Pandora's "Music Genome Project" explores the cold hard facts of how we interact with music. John McDuling on how “The Problem With Music” has been solved by the internet. Before the modern Internet, lots of media was "rare" — bootleg recordings, strange videos, obscure bands — but today, nothing is rare; as a consequence the social capital that comes from having an encyclopedic knowledge of some band's b-sides has been greatly diminished. There is something admirable about people with a passion for forms of media that have fallen by the wayside, and a case in point is the growing enthusiasm among audiophiles for monoaural recordings that date back to the early days of the LP album before stereophonic sound took hold in the late 1950s. James Reed on when technology became a musical instrument: Susan Schmidt Horning uncovers the importance of the studio sound. The T-Pain Effect: Kyle Kramer on how auto-tune ruined music — and saved hip-hop. From The New Yorker, do recordings kill music? Sasha Frere-Jones interviews David Grubbs, author of Records Ruin the Landscape; and on the perfect beat: is there such a thing as a “perfect recording”?


Tom Ginsburg and Alberto Simpser (Chicago): Constitutions in Authoritarian Regimes. David S. Law (WUSTL) and Mila Versteeg (Virginia): Constitutional Variation Among Strains of Authoritarianism. Georgy Egorov (Northwestern) and Konstantin Sonin (HSE): Incumbency Advantage in Non-Democracies. Katsunori Seki (Texas A&M): Whom to Elect? Causes of Elections in Nondemocracies. Michael K. Miller (GWU): Elections and Elite Violence on the Road to Democratization, 1800-2010. James Franklin (Ohio Wesleyan): Democratic Revolutions and Those That Might Have Been: Comparing the Outcomes of Protest Waves under Authoritarian Rule. B. Peter Rosendorff, James R. Hollyer (Minnesota) and James Raymond Vreeland (Georgetown): Why do Autocrats Disclose? Ashutosh Avinash Bhagwat (UC-Davis): Free Speech in Unfree Countries. Jeroen Van den Bosch (Adam Mickiewicz): Personalism: A Type or Characteristic of Authoritarian Regimes? Ozan O. Varol (Lewis and Clark): Stealth Authoritarianism. Jie Lu (American) and Tianjian Shi (Duke): The Battle of Ideas and Discourses Before Democratic Transition: Different Democratic Conceptions in Authoritarian China. Fabiana Sofia Perera (GWU): Resource Abundance and Social Spending: A Comparison of Democracies and Autocracies. What good is a fake legislature? Authoritarian legislatures protect investors from each other, not from the state. Suzanne Nossel on the age of imperviousness: A dangerous new crop of dictators is learning that they really can get away with murder — but it's as much Obama's fault as it is Putin's. A lot of research suggests that dictatorships see faster economic growth than democracies; however, the differences may be exaggerated by dictatorships' penchant for lying about how fast they are growing.


Erwin Dekker (Erasmus): The Intellectual Networks of Otto Neurath: Between the Coffeehouse and Academia. Michael Lee (Charleston): The Rich Bitch: Class and Gender on The Real Housewives of New York City. Michael D. Gilbert (Virginia): The Problem of Voter Fraud. A comprehensive investigation of voter impersonation finds 31 credible incidents out of one billion ballots cast. Tom Cotton is going places in the Republican Party. From Vice, an Islamic State member warns of NYC attack in an interview. In the Oklahoma beheader, Rightbloggers see U.S. jihad, counsel pants-wetting fear. Josh Marshall on the return of terror politics. Scientists have an answer to how the Egyptian pyramids were built. Max Fisher on how Hong Kong's protesters are using the same "hands up, don't shoot" gesture used in Ferguson. You can’t say “Hong Kong Police” or “Umbrella” in China today — well, not on social media anyway. What’s happening in Hong Kong? Stunning images from the Occupy-inspired, Ferguson-tinged protests. Igor Volsky on everything you need to know about Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution. In honor of #NationalCoffeeDay, Helaine Olen writes a short tweet essay about the history of the latte factor. Best in the world, baby: Kevin Drum on yet another rage-inducing scam in the American health care system. How is she still a thing? There must be something about Ayn Rand's brand of selfishness that holds a special appeal for free-market-loving lawmakers and 200-foot-yacht owners. Andrew B. Irvine on the paradox of wu-wei. McKenzie Wark on Joseph Needham, the Great Amphibian: “if one wanted a useful past for this present, Needham’s life and work might be one of them”.


From Daedalus, Elizabeth J. Perry (Harvard): Growing Pains: Challenges for a Rising China. From The Economist, a special report on China; and an essay on what China wants: As China becomes, again, the world's largest economy, it wants the respect it enjoyed in centuries past — but it does not know how to achieve or deserve it. China’s crisis is coming — the only question is how big it will be. Is China the fastest rising power in history? China may seem to be catching up with U.S. GDP — however, its statistics are distorted by political manipulation. James Fallows on the China story you should pay attention to, and the one you should ignore. The Postcapital Economy: Izabella Kaminska on how China’s command-like economy may be better suited to cope with technologically driven abundance. Ming Du (Lancaster): When China's National Champions Go Global: Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself? Geir Sigurdsson (Iceland): Frugalists, Anti-consumers, and Prosumers: Chinese Philosophical Perspectives on Consumerism. Jamal Munshi (Sonoma State): The Private Sector in China. Warner Brown on mapping the four C's of Chinese wealth: Live in a city near China's coast, and in a capital. China’s losers: Amid spreading prosperity, a generation of self-styled also-rans emerges. From Foreign Policy, Rachel Lu on a new definition of Chinese patriotism: Communist authorities are increasingly insisting that loving the party is a precursor to loving the country; and Jessica Chen Weiss on the flame of Chinese nationalism: The Communist Party can't entirely control what it's helped create — that poses a risk to China, and the world.


Pavel Vasilyev (Max Planck): Emotions in the Early Soviet Courtroom. Roman Levkin (Duke): The Effect of Stalin's Deportations on Distrust in Central Authority. Nadina Milewska-Pindor (Lodz): The Almanac “Woman and Russia” and the Soviet Feminist Movement at the End of the 1970s. Leonard J. Baldyga reviews Hot Books in the Cold War: The CIA-Funded Secret Western Book Distribution Program Behind the Iron Curtain by Alfred A. Reisch. Why Russians love biathlon: William D. Frank on how the sport became the ultimate expression of Soviet pride. Robert Farley on five revolutionary Soviet weapons of war that never happened. Benjamin Breen goes inside the NAZ-3, a cosmonaut survival kit. Ola Cichowlas on how the Kremlin is trying to erase memories of the gulag. Civilization and its malcontents: Terrell Clemmons on how Soviet disinformation infected the West and what the West can do about it. A look at how Soviet kitchens became hotbeds of dissent and culture. Joy Neumeyer goes inside the Soviet Union's secret erotica collection. Neither East nor West: Bob McGlynn on how a small group of anarchists took on the Soviet Union and won. Whatever happened to St. Petersburg? Greg Afinogenov investigates. Vincze Miklos on how these futuristic buildings reveal the Soviets' vision for tomorrow. Soviet ghosts: Rebecca Litchfield on an empire in decay — in pictures. The dissolution of the Soviet Union: John Lloyd on Ukraine’s role and how Mikhail Gorbachev, George HW Bush and Boris Yeltsin were resistant to the break-up. The ghosts of ’91: Joshua Keating reviews The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union by Serhii Plokhy (and more). Richard Connolly on how the Soviet Union could make a comeback: Blame the sanctions against Russia — and Ukraine.


A new issue of Eurasia Border Review is out. Jeremy Waldron (NYU): What Do Philosophers Have Against Dignity? Tara Morrissey (Sydney): The New Real: Iggy Azalea and the Reality Performance. Katie Zavadski on how more than 3,000 Europeans are now fighting for ISIS. Is the Islamic State committing genocide? G.D.Blunt investigates. Michael G. Waltz and Alyssa Kelly on ten lessons from the Afghan war about how to fight ISIS. Kalev Leetaru on why big data missed the early warning signs of Ebola. Jon Cohen on how to stop Ebola: Could survivors safely care for the infected? Managing a nightmare: The CIA reveals how it watched over the destruction of Gary Webb. Michael Dobbs on the real story of the "football" that follows the president everywhere: Take a peek at the mysterious black briefcase that has accompanied every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy. Right-wing truck dispatcher Brandon Finnigan is America’s fairest new election night vote counter. For the first time in modern history, the eastern basin of the South Aral Sea has completely dried. Dean Baker on how The Washington Post is a mess: Social Security edition. Stephen M. Walt on how to justify any policy, no matter how bad it might be: A handy 10-step guide to defending yourself, your country, or your boss. Contesting equality: Daniel T. Rodgers reviews American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation by Michael Kazin and Why America Needs a Left: A Historical Argument by Eli Zaretsky. No, the Founders were not Tea Partiers. Author Rachel Lu promotes something called "virtue-interested libertarians", or as we call them around here "the worst of both worlds".


Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard): Engineering an Election. Todd L. Belt (Hawaii): Leader or Follower? The President and Public Opinion in an Online World. Reza Mousavi and Bin Gu (ASU): The Impact of Twitter Adoption on Congressmen’s Voting Behavior. Is Twitter ruining politics? Chris Cillizza wonders. Casey N. Cep on whispering in the town square: Can Twitter provide an escape from all its noise? The appropriation of public space: The debate over technology and disruption is a red herring, writes Glenn Fleishman; the trouble with Uber is that it's a middleman that can control both ends of the market. Let’s nationalize Amazon and Google: Richard Eskow on how publicly funded technology built Big Tech. Andrew D. Selbst and Solon Barocas (Princeton): Big Data's Disparate Impact. J. Bradford DeLong assesses the ICT revolution's ongoing impact on the middle class. The “sharing economy”: masks a failing economy In the first of a series of monthly columns, Evgeny Morozov, the leading critic of the politics of the internet, argues that the benefits of the latest innovations are overstated and often risible. How to succeed in Silicon Valley without really trying: Tech investors gave Seth Bannon millions of dollars, even though they knew almost nothing about him. Consider the plight of the office drone: Such are the perverse rewards we reap when we permit tech culture to become our culture. Jesse Singal on 5 things you learn when you take a yearlong break from Facebook, Twitter, and work. David Roberts is against the “digital detox” metaphor. Reclaiming what we've lost in a world of constant connection: Soon enough, nobody will remember life before the Internet — what does this unavoidable fact mean? Anti-technology rant: Maria Bustillos reviews The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr. The new Luddites: Bryan Appleyard on why former digital prophets are turning against tech.


From the Conspiracy and Democracy Project, Andrew McKenzie-McHarg on the poisoned chalice of counter-revolutionary conspiracy theory; and Alfred Moore on communism, conspiracy, and surveillance and on why conspiracy theories in America are not on the rise after all. Tara Culp-Ressler on how half of Americans believe one of these 6 medical conspiracy theories. The Illuminati doesn't run the world — but it does control the Internet. Matt King on how secret societies stay hidden on the Internet: Inside the surreal recruitment process of a legendary club — or something like it — at New York University. Matthew Phelan on the patents used to prove chemtrails are not what they seem. Dennis Mersereau on a list of all the evidence that proves chemtrails exist (and more). Matthew Phelan on debunking those Moon landing conspiracies with some basic physics. Mark Jacobson on the end of UFOs. Meet the respectable JFK conspiracy theorists: Questioning JFK’s assassination is not crazy. I guess we can all see where this is going, right? It'll start with Alex Jones, maybe, and then Glenn Beck will catch the infection. Seth R. Payne (Yale): Satan's Plan: The Book of Mormon, Glenn Beck and Modern Conspiracy. Believe it or not, Fox News is more obsessed with reporting on Benghazi than 9/11 truthers are with the temperature that steel melts. Jean-Daniel Collomb (Lyon): The Ideology of Climate Change Denial in the United States. Are all Americans created equal when it comes to fearing collusion and conspiracies? Alfred Moore, Joseph Parent and Joseph Uscinski on how conspiracy theories aren’t just for conservatives (and more by Andrew Gelman, and a response and a reply). This isn’t a conspiracy theory: “So the question is not so much ‘do you trust the CIA/NSA/MI6/etc?’ It’s ‘Do you trust every single sysadmin working for these organisations? Every single analyst? Every single middle manager?’”


Luca Di Blasi (Bern): Less than Nihilism. Damian Cox (Bond): Reflections in a Mirror (“In this paper, I develop a solution to the puzzle of mirror perception: why do mirrors appear to reverse the image of an object along a left/right axis and not around other axes, such as the top/bottom axis?”) Isaac Kfir (Syracuse): Social Identity Group and Human (In)Security: The Case of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). Opher Baron and Oded Berman (Toronto) and Arieh Gavious (Ben-Gurion): A Game between a Terrorist and a Passive Defender. Niccolo Leo Caldararo (SFSU): Al-Qeda, ISIS, Boko Haram and Forms of Rebellion in the 21st Century in the Vacuum of Ottoman Soviet “Collapse”. Why is the U.S. bombing ISIS and ISIS’s sworn enemy? Joshua Keating wonders. Are militants from China's Xinjiang region really being trained by the Islamic State? Nick Holdstock investigates. Ebola’s lost ward: A hospital in Sierra Leone has struggled to continue its research amid the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Is Ebola coming to America? Experts ponder as Ebola epidemic worsens in Africa. It turns out that all our worrying is for naught — the cure has been staring us right in the face all this time: Magic Water. Yes, Republicans really are unprecedented in their obstructionism. Paul Ryan's The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea is Mad Libs with a thesaurus full of conservative lies. The race to make Hillary Clinton more liberal is on. Rosie Gray on how the people who organized Occupy Wall Street are now suing each other: The movement descends into litigation. Rani Molla on a history of government employment. Ross Perlin on radical linguistics in an age of extinction.


Tom C. W. Lin (Temple): CEOs and Presidents. Renee B. Adams (UNSW), Matti Keloharju (Aalto), and Samuli Knupfer (LBS): Match Made at Birth? What Traits of a Million Swedes Tell Us About CEOs. Gennaro Bernile (Singapore Management), Vineet Bhagwat (Oregon), and P. Raghavendra Rau (Cambridge): What Doesn't Kill You Will Only Make You More Risk-Loving: Early-Life Disasters and CEO Behavior. Eric Chemi and Ariana Giorgi on the pay-for-performance myth. Alan Pyke on how the more a company pays its CEO, the worse its shareholders do. The introduction to Indispensable and Other Myths: Why the CEO Pay Experiment Failed and How to Fix It by Michael B. Dorff. Gretchen Gavett on how CEOs get paid too much, according to pretty much everyone in the world. Roberto A. Ferdman on how the pay gap between CEOs and workers is much worse than you realize. Josh Kovensky on the Chief Happiness Officer, the latest, creepiest job in Corporate America. Haibo Zhou and Isabel Estrada (Groningen) and Ana Bojica (Granada): The Role of Emotional Intelligence on Entrepreneurs’ Perception of Success. Entrepreneurs anonymous: Instead of romanticising entrepreneurs people should understand how hard their lives can be. Why innovators hate M.B.A.: Peter Thiel, Scott Cook, and Elon Musk have all spoken out about why B-school grads hurt rather than help innovation — but is it really true? Competition is for losers: If you want to create and capture lasting value, look to build a monopoly, writes Peter Thiel. Peter Thiel is a closet humanist: Elizabeth Winkler reviews Zero to One: Notes on Startups or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel (and more). Do consultants really save as much money as they claim? No, say consultants who consulted on the consultants. Sorry, Wall Street — paying young bankers more won’t make you cool again.

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