James H. Fowler (UCSD): The Colbert Bump in Campaign Donations: More Truthful than Truthy. Secrets of married men: Men, especially married men, are at a disadvantage in relationships, both verbally and emotionally. What do Beavis and Butthead have in common with Nietzsche? Susan Neiman wants to know. The Tao of Chuck: The far-right Constitution Party redirects the Ron Paul rEVOLution. The uses of hyperbole: Exaggerated doomsday forecasts are false, regrettable, inevitable, and possibly necessary. Is it safe now to admit Jimmy Carter was right? If it bleeds, it shouldn't lead: Years of sensational coverage haven't rescued TV news from ratings freefalls, and a new study suggests a quick application of quality might help patch things up. Is it time to mess with Mother Nature? Global warming could force preservationists to become zookeepers and gardeners. A review of The Social Atom: Why the Rich Get Richer, Cheaters Get Caught, and Your Neighbor Usually Looks Like You by Mark Buchanan. A review of The Flight from Reality in the Human Sciences by Ian Shapiro. Courage of the flip-flop: It's easy to be a conviction politician; real bravery consists of changing tack according to the evidence (and more). From Open Source, an interview with Dan Ariely on confronting irrationality; and an interview with Russell Banks on what novelists are for.
From Portugal's Revista Critica de Ciencias Sociais, how can a "critical border thinking" that envisages a "transmodern world" moves us beyond Eurocentrism? From First Principles, an article on Edmund Husserl and the crisis of Europe; and like H.L. Mencken, Gore Vidal, Ernest Hemingway, and other original Americans, Ray Bradbury had the advantage of never attending college. Voters choose, but on the basis of what? An excerpt from Rick Shenkman's Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter. From The Boston Globe's "Ideas", a look at how Prozac sent the science of depression in the wrong direction. Inside jokes: Science writer Jim Holt explores why we laugh. Harvard historian Steven Shapin says our image of scientists is all wrong. Here are 5 myths about the bust that will follow the Boom(ers). A review of Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East by Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac. A review of A Choice of Enemies: America Confronts the Middle East by Lawrence Freedman. From New Scientist, do we have the technology to build a bionic human? David Warsh reviews The End of Food by Paul Roberts. A review of 1001 Books for Every Mood by Hallie Ephron. From The Washington Post Magazine, Senator Jim Webb, first person singular. From LA Weekly, a series of articles on Zen and the Art of Cougar Hunting.
From Asia Times, Spengler on America's special grace: The agony of dying nations rises in reproach to America's unheeding prosperity; and Pepe Escobar on how Big Oil's "secret" is out of Iraq's closet. A review of The Magical Chorus: A History of Russian Culture From Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn by Solomon Volkov. A review of Children's Literature: A Reader's History From Aesop to Harry Potter by Seth Lerer. The search for intelligent light: Planet hunter Geoff Marcy scans the skies for answers to the universal question of other life. A review of High Wire: The Precarious Financial Lives of American Families by Peter Gosselin. A review of House of Wits: An Intimate Portrait of the James Family by Paul Fisher. From Archeology, evolution overdrive: An interview with John Hawkes on how the human genome is changing faster than ever; and a review of James Cuno's Who Owns Antiquity? A review of One to Nine: The Inner Life of Numbers by Andrew Hodges. A review of Ark of the Liberties: America and the World by Ted Widmer. From Chronicles, a review of Socialism by Thomas Fleming. Is dissent patriotic? Consider the case of Crystal Wosik. A review of Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex. From Bad Subjects, does Dove really love our humps? From FT, a review of books on world travel and tourism. Mao crazy: Jed Perl on art.
Simon Keller (BU): Patriotism as Bad Faith. From ResetDOC, can Islam accommodate democracy or democracy accommodate Islam? Benjamin Barber investigates. From ZNet, an excerpt from Real Utopia: Participatory Society for the 21st Century by Chris Spannos. Despite doom-laden prophecies, texting has not been the disaster for language many feared; on the contrary, it improves children's writing and spelling. Transloosely Literated: A book's journey from one language into another can be perilous. Christopher Hitchens says farewell to Jesse Helms, a provincial redneck. From National Review, a symposium on Jesse Helms. Apocalypse now: In a devastating global climate of our own making, how will humans survive? The wisdom of art crowds: 3,344 people may not know art but know what they like. A review of Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion by Francis J. Beckwith. Deconstructing Barry: Literary critic Andrew Delbanco reads Obama, The works that have influenced Obama illustrate that he would be the most literary president in recent memory — and one likely to govern from the center. It isn't just that young voters like Obama—more importantly, over the last eight years, they've come to believe in liberalism. How disasters help: Natural disasters can give a boost to the countries where they occur - and sometimes, the more the better.
From Freezerbox, a look at how politicians play general, generals play politics (and part 2). Jeff Greenfield on how Obama can lessen the intensity of the opposition. Ivo Daalder and Philip Gordon on why talking to Iran is our best option. A review of Presidential Travel: The Journey From George Washington to George W. Bush by Richard Ellis. Michael Barone on why veeps now matter: The evolution of an office. Nice guys finish last: Why do we expect presidential candidates to be kind? Psychoanalysis may have little place in university psychology departments, but it is flourishing within the arts and humanities. From McSweeney's, here's the latest of interviews with People Who Have Interesting or Unusual Jobs. We love independent filmmakers and musicians, and celebrate their maverick spirit, so why don't we want independent writers? Despite what the headlines say, US students fare well in international comparisons — it’s the schools serving the poor that demand our attention. A review of Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle over Our Ancient Heritage by James Cuno. From Literary Review, a review of Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles 1910-1939 by Katie Roiphe. More and more on The Age of Reagan by Sean Wilentz.
From New Statesman, people often claim they want cooler and more factual newspapers, but that is nonsense — what they really like is a news story that winds them up. From Vanity Fair, here's the blow-by-blow from Bear Stearns insiders in what some believe was the greatest financial scandal in history. Spengler on how to stop the Great Crash of '08. From Dissent, show me the money: Labor and the bottom line of National Health Insurance; and can “consumer society” accurately describe the American polity? The Pentagon’s Doomsday Men: Why the Department of Defense needs a lesson in risk management. A look at how political freelancers use the Web to join the attack. Can't-Do Government: The next president will inherit what Hamilton called a "government ill executed". A new social contract: Democrats have a chance to enact a sweeping liberal agenda. Should we care so much about the purity of the motive with which the gift was made? Peter Singer investigates. From TNR, six simple reasons the border fence is terrible policy (and from The Economist, here are scenes from la frontera). Writers to reflect on the consequences unexpected, unnoticed, unrealized, good, bad or indifferent of really expensive fuel. From The Space Review, here's a skeptic’s guide to space exploration. Cutting the competition: Mutilating male members may mar men’s mischievous matings.
From The Weekly Standard, Christopher Hitchens reviews Safire's Political Dictionary by William Safire; and Andrew Ferguson is lost on the personasphere. Hannah Bloch reviews The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century by Steve Coll (and more and more). A review of Iris Murdoch's Ethics: A Consideration of her Romantic Vision by Megan Laverty. A month of spam: no help for sex life, but it enlarges the inbox. Why dirty is funny: Judge Kozinski's raunch collection raises questions about obscenity and humor. A profile of Christian Lander, anthropologist of Stuff White People Like. From TED, are children's carseats necessary? Steven Levitt investigates. An interview with Karl Giberson, author of Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution. James Mann on the secret China history of George H. W. Bush. An interview with Sharon Weinberger and Nathan Hodge, authors of A Nuclear Family Vacation: Travels in the World of Atomic Weaponry (and more). Historian Niall Ferguson debates futurist author Peter Schwartz on the overall nature of human progress. Can the president ignore Congress? A new lawsuit with the potential to redefine the relationship between the branches of government. From The Village Voice, an article on Scientology's crushing defeat: A previously unpublished saga of an $8 million check.
From Axess, politics is looking for new ways: A look at how it is think tanks, not politicians, that push the development of ideas and put forward exciting proposals and reports; a look at financiers want to direct research; an article on lobbying, democracy and the right to exert influence; and “Right-wing dominance is disturbing”: An interview with Per Wirten, publisher of Arena. From Kulturos Barai, an article on how, in the consumerist system, the individual who asserts him or herself through authentic freedom is regarded as a non-efficient citizen. An interview with Josh MacPhee and Favianna Rodriguez, editors of Reproduce and Revolt: A Graphic Toolbox for the 21st Century Activist. Fun with art: Jonathon Keats makes art that makes you think — how much is that worth? A review of The Kingmakers: How the Media Threatens Our Security and Our Democracy by Mike Gravel and David Eisenbach. Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres on fixing the system Obama broke. and Amanda Schaffer and Emily Bazelon examine the science behind claims about sex difference and the brain. The jokes on U.S.: American women are standing up to be counted. An article on gay pride and patriotism: The fight for the right to serve. The first chapter from The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945–1989 by Nicholas J. Cull.
From Diplomatic Courier, an article on what peace with Iran could look like. Inside China's illegal fight clubs: Meet the products of Mao's one-child policy, a generation of dangerously unstable bachelors looking to vent. Michael Walzer on US foreign policy after January 2009 (If Obama wins). From TAP, Michael Tomasky on the Party in Search of a Notion: The opportunity before the Democrats is far bigger than a few House and Senate seats if they can recognize — and seize — this unique historical moment. The two parties have starkly contrasting views of what it means to love your country — can they be reconciled? Peter Beinart wants to know. From Slate, David Greenberg on how the Republicans claimed the "patriotism" mantle in presidential politics. This July 4th James Livingston is asking: Is Bill Kristol a Bolshevik? From National Journal, the nation's roads and bridges are in pretty good shape — it's the national will that is suspect. Be Ye Therefore Perfect: An article on perfection as a moral standard. Eric Banks reviews Original Sin: A Cultural History by Alan Jacobs. From The Weekly Standard, a review of books on genetic engineering. From NDPR, a review of Human Nature: The Categorial Framework by P.M.S. Hacker; a review of Rational Animals: The Teleological Roots of Intentionality by Mark Okrent; and a review of Immortality Defended by John Leslie.
From ResetDOC, Jurgen Habermas on a “post-secular” society; and where is Benedict XVI's church going? Former Rep. Curt Weldon tests legal bounds in Middle East arms bazaar. From The Nation, as the planet is rocked by multiple shocks, here's a look at how disaster capitalists are reaping the benefits—leveraging the Iraq War, the push for arctic drilling and the global food crisis; and a review of books by Bill McKibben. From Foreign Policy, from Seoul to Tegucigalpa, countries around the world celebrate their independence with unique and vibrant style (and more). Who runs the world? The post-war global institutions have largely worked well, but rising countries and growing threats are challenging their pre-eminence. Does Osama bin Laden still matter? Peter Bergen wants to know. Holy Bookworms! Superheroes take to the page (and from Bookforum, Karin L. Kross reviews Douglas Wolk’s Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean; an essay on Rodolphe Topffer, inventor of the graphic novel; a look at the work of Jack Kirby; and article on Fletcher Hanks’s bleak comics vision). Charles Babbage's 1822 design for a mechanical "difference engine", the world's first computer, was never actually constructed — until now. A look at how the ’60s begin to fade as liberal professors retire. Education for profit: Why is everyone flaming the University of Phoenix?