Jacob Levy (McGill): Not so Novus an Ordo: Constitutions without Social Contracts. Let Them Eat Arugula: Hillary sure has become a populist these last few weeks—a conservative populist. A review of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein (and an excerpt at Bookforum). More on The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement by Steven M. Teles. Land of the free? Liberty in America is not quite as revered as its leaders pretend. A review of Aristotle's Politics Today by Lenn E. Goodman and Robert B. Talisse. Has science made belief in God obsolete? An excerpt from The Big Questions in Science and Religion by Keith Ward. Radar goes inside the world's elite secret societies. A look at why a growing number of universities are offering co-ed rooms. From New Statesman, a special issue on 1968, including humanity's last rage: Peter Wilby wonders whether 1968 changed everything — or nothing at all; and more by Eric Hobsbawm and more by Noam Chomsky. 1958, the war of the intellectuals: Fifty years ago, American critics worried about the collapsing distinction among highbrow, middlebrow and lowbrow. Two Cornell psychologists found we have two separate systems for memories, which helps explain how we can "remember" things that never happened. Rules of abstraction: Two rival critics argue over Pollock and De Kooning.
From Scientific American, the economist has no clothes: Unscientific assumptions in economic theory are undermining efforts to solve environmental problems; and brother, can you spare me a planet? Robert Nadeau on mainstream economics and the environmental crisis. Scientists know better than you, even when they're wrong: Why fallible expertise trumps armchair science—an interview with Harry Collins. Should philosophy have something to say to non-philosophers? Should philosophy be pursued only by those trained in philosophy? Cogito poses some big questions to four British and US philosophers. US presidential elections are suspiciously like high school popularity contests, er, elections — it's not who you know, it's who knows you. In pursuing the convenience of a Web 2.0 world, we are consenting to being incorporated into a finely tuned marketing machine, with ever more subtly adapted gears, to our meet our needs — manufactured and otherwise. Game Google, help the world: Why search-engine optimization makes the Web a better place. From TED, Paul Stamets on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world. Edward Rothstein on LSD, a mind-altering drug that altered a culture as well. Belles and tolls: Horse racing, like art and life, comes with tragedy built-in. War of the Babies: When modern warfare and demography square off, demography wins.
From New Humanist, a review of The Book of Dead Philosophers by Simon Critchley; and Heidegger’s former disciple Emmanuel Levinas, a victim of Nazism, pioneered a humanism for the 21st century. From The Global Spiral, an essay on Emmanuel Levinas’ challenge to the modern European cultural identity. A review of Queering the Underworld: Slumming, Literature and the Undoing of Lesbian and Gay History by Scott Herring; and a review of Political Interventions: Social Science and Political Action by Pierre Bourdieu. From The Nation, from campus to courtroom, longstanding gains for women are being eroded everywhere you look; a review of The Rain Before It Falls by Jonathan Coe. Gary Becker, Myron Scholes, Michael Spence, Ed Phelps discuss the depth of the U.S. financial crisis, its effect on the rest of the world and the commodity price rises. From Vanity Fair, in 1935 oil tycoon H. L. Hunt created what would become a multi-billion-dollar trust for his descendants; a lawsuit by his free-spending great-grandson is shaking the foundations of that mighty family fortune; and the private follies of middle-aged male politicians are treated as weakness, perversion, corruption—anything but the real issue: human desire. Literary criticism could be one of our best tools for understanding the human condition, but first, it needs a radical change: embracing science.