Where Alaa Al Aswany is writing from: He’s a secularist; he’s a saloniste; he’s a dentist — and he’s one of the Arab world’s best-selling novelists. When elite get tough: Anti-snobbery is as American as apple pie. Science has seen the future — and it is invisible. A review of Pacifism and English Literature: Minstrels of Peace by R. S. White. Stephanie Zacharek reviews Nina Revoyr’s The Age of Dreaming. How many horn solos does it take to kill a perfect pop song? Joshua Allen applies science and taste to determine the exact best length—down to the second—for the platonic song. A review of A Billion Lives: An Eyewitness Report From The Frontlines of Humanity by Jan Egeland. The press is convinced that badgering candidates about faux scandals is necessary because they "will be raised" in the general election, but it ignores its own crucial role in shaping the terms of debate. An interview with Lester Brown, author of Plan B 3.0. An interview with Amanda Marcotte, author of It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments. Even deeper than emergence and its challenge to reductionism in a new scientific worldview is what Stuart A. Kauffman calls breaking the Galilean spell. The enduring mystery of suicide: Ever younger teens are falling victim to severe depression — for professionals, the problem remains as baffling as ever.

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