Caroline Gerschlager (Brussells): Foolishness and Identity: Amartya Sen and Adam Smith. From nthposition, "Isn't God a shit?": What is the difference between reading and misreading or translating and mistranslating? From The Smart Set, an article on handwashing, food, and existentialism. Global warming demands more than do-gooder actions — it demands "geoengineering", like blocking the sun's rays with stratospheric dirt. From The Guardian, an interview with Salman Rushdie. From Popular Mechanics, can America find true happiness in a microcar? He pioneered the cult of youth and turned himself into a brand — no wonder Oscar Wilde is still seen as "one of us". A review of The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations by Brian Fagan. A review of Servants of the Supernatural: The Night Side of the Victorian Mind by Antonio Melechi. More and more on A Brief History of Anxiety (Yours and Mine) by Patricia Pearson. Stanley Fish blogs about French theory in America. Niall Ferguson reviews The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order by Parag Khanna (and more and more and more). From Cafe Babel, a special issue on architecture in Europe. PR-savvy powerhouse or the media world's own Britney Spears? Read what it took semi-credible, self-made maelstrom Julia Allison to bumrush New York's media elite.
Nick Bostrom and Anders Sandberg (Oxford): The Wisdom of Nature: An Evolutionary Heuristic for Human Enhancement; Nick Bostrom and Toby Ord (Oxford): The Reversal Test: Eliminating Status Quo Bias in Applied Ethics; and an essay on The Future of Humanity. Here's a list of the world’s biggest construction projects. In Web world of 24/7 stress, writers blog till they drop: Professional bloggers toil under physical and emotional stress created by the Internet's around the clock demands. An article on sex and the music factor: Do tunes really turn you on? Glenn Greenwald introduces his new book, Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics. Is it wrong to make intelligent animal slaves? Ronald Bailey investigates. Pornography can be a harmless pleasure or a source of bitter resentment — how do you prevent the XXX explosion from undermining your relationship? Research suggests that college-age men confuse friendly non-verbal cues with cues for sexual interest. Eric Banks reviews Dennis Balk’s Colin De Land, American Fine Arts. Obama-ism without Obama: His campaign shows how a democracy-minded reform movement and community organizing have transformed the Democratic Party. Philosophy is being embraced by a new generation of college students as they try to make sense of a world full of moral dilemmas.
From The New Yorker, everyone wants to close Guantanamo, but what will happen to the detainees? Jeffrey Toobin wants to know; a review of Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America’s Tradition of Religious Equality by Royall Tyler and Martha Nussbaum's Head to Heart: American Christianities; and an article on the effort behind George Clooney’s effortless charm. From New York, a special issue on The New York Canon: 1968-2008. A review of The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's: A Secret History of Jewish Punk by Steven Lee Beeber. From Dissent, David Bensman on how neo-liberalism is leading the US to the brink of economic collapse; Avishai Margalit on why sectarianism is utterly incompatible with social democracy; the Turin Book Fair Controversy: Mitchell Cohen and Andrew Arato debate Israel and the Left; and Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow reviews Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski (and more from Bookforum). From Think Tank, an interview with Tom Wolfe on the Derriere Guard; an interview with Daniel Gross, author of Pop! Why Bubbles are Great for the Economy; and an interview with Elon Musk on the frontier of technology. From TED, Stephen Hawking asks some big questions about our universe. Bryan Walsh reviews Jiang Rong’s Wolf Totem. Here's a list of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winners (which include Junot Diaz for fiction).