From NPQ, a special section on the fraying seams of globalization, with essays by Naomi Klein, Robert Reich, Francis Fukuyama and Joseph Stiglitz. From New Internationalist, what are the West’s nuclear weapons actually for? From Wired, an article on how to visit a secret nuclear bunker. Terry Eagleton on how the age-old conflict between civilisation and barbarism has lately taken an ominous turn. A review of Vote For Caesar: How the Ancient Greeks and Romans Solved the Problems of Today by Peter Jones. From TLS, an article on Clive Sinclair's po-mo Wild West. Can there be great composers anymore? Webster Young wants to know. A review of Philosophical Perspectives on Art by Stephen Davies. More on Planet Google: One Company’s Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We Know by Randall Stross. A review of Lenin's Brain and Other Tales from the Soviet Archives by Paul R. Gregory. An article by Alain de Botton on the idea of home. A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexual preferences. Sorry, Fido, it’s just a guy thing: More men are unabashedly embracing their love of cats. Creative thinking key to economic future: "Mickey Mouse" courses are the first to respond to worldwide shortages of graduates vital to the creative economy.
Andrew Koppelman (Northwestern): Is Pornography "Speech"? As more countries move to ban or restrict hate speech, some legal scholars say the US should reconsider the broad scope of First Amendment protection. An excerpt from Shock Jocks: Hate Speech and Talk Radio by Rory O'Connor with Aaron Cutler. How did Stephen Colbert become a progressive political force? An interview with Theodore Hamm, author of The New Blue Media. A review of Germany's New Right as Culture and Politics by Roger Woods. Cultural Learnings of Kazakhstan: Officials are frustrated by their most famous "citizen", Borat. Human rights campaigner Fiona Watson went to Brazil to meet recently contacted tribespeople. A review of The Sovereign Map: Theoretical Approaches in Cartography through History by Christian Jacob. From Vox, the economic case for prompt and powerful measures to mitigate climate changes is overwhelming once discounting and equity concerns are properly modelled. Harnessing the weather: Could new technology help humans eliminate "acts of God"? Today's government systems were built to cure the ills of the 19th century's spoils system, but what was a good idea a hundred years ago is not what we need now. A review of The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life by Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J. Nalebuff.
From Policy Review, Peter Berkowitz on Leviathan Then and Now: The latter-day importance of Hobbes’s masterpiece; and a review of Edmund Burke: Volumes I & II. Kwame Anthony Appiah wants you to turn to philosophy. A review of The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World by Owen Flanagan. From Dissent, Carlos Fraenkel on teaching Aristotle in Indonesia. From NDPR, a review of French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States by Francois Cusset. A review of Philosophers Without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life. From the latest issue of NPQ, Nathan Gardels on the challenges of non-Western and post-secular modernity; Jurgen Habermas on post-secular society and Regis Debray on God and the political planet. O death, when is thy sting: Some bioethicists reckon that the definition of death is starting to embrace the living; indeed, some reckon that it should. Mysterious DNA found to survive eons of evolution. Do intelligent men have better sperm? A look at how DNA could reveal your surname. From Dissent, zipped trousers, crossed legs, and magical thinking: An article on sex education in the Age of Aids. From Cato Unbound, the proposition that Charles Murray hereby lays before the house is that the BA degree is the work of the devil.
From Harper's, the specter of a no-growth world: A review of The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America’s Politics and Culture by Brink Lindsey; The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth by Benjamin M. Friedman; and Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben. From TNR, Cass Sunstein on why policymakers need to understand psychology as much as economics to solve the financial crisis. How the philosophies of a physicist, a wizard and a serial killer warned us of this financial crisis. Harold Bloom on how financial panic influenced the philosophies of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Prosperity theology: Can we blame a Christian branch of evangelicalism for the U.S.'s subprime crisis? Looking for someone to blame in the worsening crisis? Let's go back to Bedford Falls. Rampant consumerism nearly killed off civil society, says Benjamin Barber, but the financial crisis offers us a chance to make amends. How we got in over our heads: Johnna Montgomerie argues our high levels of consumer debt derive more from political decisions than from economic conditions. From the John Templeton Foundation, does the free market corrode moral character? Jagdish Bhagwati, Michael Walzer, Tyler Cowen and others respond. Have yourself committed: The market, combined with technology, can help you help yourself.
From LRB, why not eat an eclair? David Runciman reviews Free Riding by Richard Tuck. From Der Spiegel, an interview with Noam Chomsky: "The United States has essentially a one-party system". A look at how our psychology helps politicians bend the truth. Neurologist Robert Burtin explains why you shouldn't believe in political candidates that sound too sure of themselves. New directions in pork: Some little-known tips for reaping Federal pork dollars — hint: Vote against the president. From Gelf, here's a guide to the American electorate: Presenting a taxonomy of political stereotypes. Ezra Klein on undecided voters: Studies show that most actually have chosen a candidate. From Slate, here's the Really Busy Person's Guide to Political Activism: Life-hacking for partisans. How did ACORN become such a controversial organization in national politics? An article on "Red Dawn": Its portrait of Russia is dated, but its portrait of America is timely — and terrifying. A review of 10 Books that Screwed Up the World: And Five Others That Didn't Help by Benjamin Wiker. An article on what right wingers mean when they call Obama a "socialist". Does your subconscious think Obama is foreign? A profile of Andy Martin, the man behind the whispers about Obama. Christopher Hitchens endorses Barack Obama: McCain lacks the character and temperament to be president, and Palin is simply a disgrace.
From Big Think, Princeton professor and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on why he's not an economic imperialist. From PBS' "NewsHour", an interview with Krugman. Here's a summary of his work at Marginal Revolution. From The Washington Monthly (2001), a look at how economist Paul Krugman became the most important political columnist in America; and from TAP (1992), an essay on the rich, the right, and the facts: Deconstructing the income distribution debate; and from Slate, a collection of his series on the "dismal science". From Economic Principals, how peculiar is it that the leading introductory economics texts scarcely mention the cycles of manias, panics and crashes. From The New Yorker, Louis Menand reviews Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 by David Crystal; Elizabeth Kolbert reviews Emily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners by Laura Claridge; and Malcolm Gladwell on Late Bloomers: Why do we equate genius with precocity? From Intelligent Life, an article on the seething genius of "Get Your War On". From Political Affairs, an interview with Billy Bragg. The subtle subversive: Unlike rock's phoney rebelliousness, classical music still has the power to challenge entrenched ideas. From Esquire, an article on Samantha Power and Cass Sunstein, the fun couple of the 21st century.
From the new online magazine The Daily Beast, Christopher Buckley, son of William, has decided — shock! — to vote for Obama. Can Tina Brown, editor of note, perched online, show us everything that's great on the Web today? (and an interview). From Entertainment Weekly, an interview with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert: Mock the Vote. Here are 5 myths about those Tinseltown liberals. From TAP, for years liberals thought they could catch up in media by playing by conservatives' rules; Rachel Maddow's success proves it's better to just change the game. From CQ, an article on the fight by GOP conservatives for control of their party. End of an error: Jonathan Chait on the twilight of conservative rule. Terry Eastland on the faith journey of Sarah Palin, Bible-believing Christian. There's new footage from |http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2008-10-09/new-footage-from-inside-palins-church/#|inside Palin's church|; and more on Palin's pastor problem. From Salon, meet Sarah Palin’s radical right-wing pals, extremists Mark Chryson and Steve Stoll; and a look at the Palins’ un-American activities. Barracuda: Noam Scheiber on the resentments of Sarah Palin. A look at what America's smartest women say about Sarah Palin. Hockey Moms! You need a makeover. Toxic Paradise: How Sarah Palin made her state a dump. Palin vs. "Palin": When SNL parody becomes campaign reality.
Brad DeLong (UC-Berkeley): Greenspanism and Its Discontents. Can a massive government intervention in the economy work if it is being run by people who don't believe in government? Government is not the problem: An article on thirty years of bad economic policy. From The Wall Street Journal, here's a short banking history of the United States: Why our system is prone to panics. A review of The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson. From The Economist, a special section on the world economy. Nouriel Roubini on how the world is at severe risk of a global systemic financial meltdown and a severe global depression. From The Economist, 1929 and all that: How today’s crisis resembles the one that happened three-quarters of a century ago, and how it does not. Read all about the good news from the coming depression! From Reality Sandwich, an essay on money and the crisis of civilization. An interview with Muhammad Yunus: "Capitalism has degenerated into a casino". Too big to fail: If global capitalism is to die, it will be a death of a million stings. The end of American capitalism? Short takes on where the financial crisis might be headed. From NPQ, Kenichi Ohmae on the lessons from Japan's meltdown; and Carl Bildt on the lessons from the Swedish credit crunch. What can the US learn from the financial crises that have roiled emerging markets?
From Esquire, Chuck Klosterman issues his predictions for the coming century, featuring robot wars, near annihilation, and President Tom Brady. Is US literature too insular and media-crazed to merit notice by the Swedish Academy? The editor of TLS on why the Nobel selection was merely a minor insult to the Americans, after all. Will Le Clezio's Nobel prize cut America down to size? The Nobel prize for literature doesn't really have much to do with literary excellence — and that's not a bad thing. From Salvo, an article on The Death of Theory: The humanities have been in thrall to postmodern theory; now its empire seems to be breaking up. Ruth Wisse on the enduring power of literature: A cautionary tale about "change". From VQR, more on How Fiction Works by James Wood. History vs. Nature: For Yeats, the natural world is the symbol of his times. A look at why Dickens is so relevant today. An article on Emily Dickinson's secret lover: Why the big news is being ignored. Is it wrong to judge a book by its cover if it means more people might read it? Leon Wieseltier on why books matter: Defending Lionel Trilling from the vile attacks of The New Yorker. A review of Literary Essays and Reviews of the 1920s & 30s and Literary Essays and Reviews of the 1930s & 40s by Edmund Wilson. A review of Aesthetics and Literature by David Davies.
From Common-place, a special issue on Politics 2008, including Reeve Huston (Duke): What We Talk about When We Talk about Democracy; Jonathan D. Sassi (CSI): “Great Questions of National Morality”; and Christian Fritz (UNM): America’s Unknown Constitutional World. From The Economist, a special section on the US presidential race. What effect would Obama's election have on race relations? How race can help Obama: Why an Obama win wouldn't be a victory over racial prejudice. Susan Jacoby on the power of unreason: Obama has been winning the debates and is striding ahead in the polls — which is why he now has more to fear than ever before (and more on The Age of American Unreason). Andrew Sullivan on Barack Obama’s strategy of calm is provoking his rival into fatal errors. From National Journal, how much does it matter whether Barack Obama or John McCain wins the election? The Economist asks professional economists about their views on the presidential candidates' economic plans. (and more on the candidates' economic gurus). From The New York Observer, be logical, Captain! It’s Kirk vs. Spock in the weirdest presidential race of 21st century; and a look at the frenzy for The Making of the President, 2008. The Ultimate Election: Will economic meltdown, race, or regional loyalty be the trump card in election 2008?