From Human Affairs, Sami Pihlstrom (Tampere): Mortality as a Philosophical-Anthropological Issue: Thanatology, Normativity, and "Human Nature"; and Alexander Kremer (Szeged): Rorty and Normativity. From The Bulletin, how can we reduce the risk of human extinction? An interview with Ray Kurzweil on plans to live indefinitely. From Discover, here are 10 everyday technologies that can change the world. From The Wilson Quarterly, even the most high-minded aid can sometimes do a lot of harm: John R. Miller on Slavery; Holly Yeager on The New Face of Global Giving; Matthew Connelly on Controlling Passions; and G. Pascal Zachary on Humanitarian Dilemmas. Michael Ignatieff reviews Freedom's Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention by Gary Bass (and more and more and more). From First Principles, an essay on the Americanization of conservatism; and a review of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement by Justin Raimondo. From Ovi, an article on the sad saga of American democracy. A review of Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (and How We the People Can Correct It) by Sanford Levinson. A review of Memo to a New President: The Art and Science of Presidential Leadership by Michael Genovese. A look at how cereal transformed American culture.
From re.press, you can download The Spirit of the Age: Hegel and the Fate of Thinking. Mein Leipzig: An interview with German publisher and bookstore owner Peter Hinke on his city’s distinguished literary legacy. A review of Raymond Williams: A Warrior's Tale by Dai Smith. An interview with Steven Shapin, author of The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation. From Carnegie Council, a discussion on The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq by Bing West. Who was the first president of the United States? Wrong. An interview with Ronald Wright, author of What is America? An interview with Larry Schweikart, author of 48 Liberal Lies About American History. From TAP, a look at how the Dems lost on education; and only by relinquishing some autonomy will teachers finally be able to attain the true professional status they deserve. An interview with Abbie Smith, author of Can You Keep Your Faith in College? A review of Faculty Incivility: The Rise of the Academic Bully Culture and What to Do About It by Darla Twale and Barbara DeLuca. The first chapter from All Politics Is Global: Explaining International Regulatory Regimes by Daniel W. Drezner. That won't be easy: Without a foreign policy reset button, what's next? An interview with Bobby Maddex, editor of Salvo magazine.
From IHE, an interview with Elizabeth Aries, author of Race and Class Matters at an Elite College; and a look at the worst academic careers worldwide: Are things getting so bad that a new kind of ranking is called for? The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood wins a victory against Bratz. From the latest issue of Bookforum, a review of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt (and more and more and more and more). But they mean well: A review of Have a Nice Day by Justin Webb and In Defence of America by Bronwen Maddox. From Cosmos, it can fly or it can crawl and it waits for no man; Erica Harrison looks at what makes our sense of time tick. An interview with steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal on politics, football, and philanthropy. The Numbers Guy on the most-common English words (and more on making every word count). A look at how the globalization of language will muzzle the nation-state. Contemporary populism and its discontents: A review of David Sirota's The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington. From International Viewpoint, an interview with Gilbert Achcar on the decline of US imperialism. Irwin Redlener on how to survive a nuclear attack.
From Capitalism, an article on economic freedom in America: What is economic freedom? Here's an open letter to European leaders on Europe’s banking crisis. From Vanity Fair, Joseph Stiglitz puts forth a clear, commonsense plan to reverse the Bush-era follies and regain America’s economic sanity. From Writ, an article on the rationality of spite: Why the bailouts do, and should, make people angry. The GOP blames the victim: Capitalism sure is fragile if subprime borrowers can ruin it. This is a crisis, but it's also an extraordinary opportunity. Let's admit it, the financial crisis is kind of cool. From Mute, a look at the new and improved Wall Street Journal. A Billion Little Pieces: Get out the Ritalin! It’s the attention deficit democracy — it’s Wall Street to McCain to Letterman to Palin to Couric to Biden to Obama. A review of Obama's Challenge by Robert Kuttner. From Culture11, is Obama intelligent enough to be president? From Salon, who is the real John McCain? From David Foster Wallace to Paul Begala, four authors trace the politician's journey from the liberal's conservative to flip-flopping hack. Emily Bazelon on the un-Hillary: Why watching Sarah Palin is agony for women; and can Palin's sentences stand up to a grammarian? GOP, RIP? Nearly three decades of Republican dominance may be coming to an end. More on Slavoj Zizek's In Defense of Lost Causes.
From Intercollegiate Review, George Carey on how to read Willmoore Kendall. The Timbaland Era: Sasha Frere-Jones on how the most important producer of the decade changed the rules. From Jewcy, an article on how Rightist Jews make common cause with Nazis against Islam. While some of America's smartest and most civic-minded people are trying to save daily newspapers, the media moguls who can make a difference seem to be completely off their rockers. Christopher Sorrentino reviews The Development by John Barth. From Wired, an article on Weird Al, forefather of the YouTube spoof. Birth of an ocean: An articled on the evolution of Ethiopia's Afar Depression. From In These Times, Susan Douglas on what Bush has stolen from us. Here are five cities that stand in a class all their own when it comes to brutal, homicidal violence. From Cafe Babel, an article on Europe between pragmatism and utopia. From Business Week, here's a business plan for the Catholic Church. From Big Think, can Dan Gilbert make you happy? An interview with Jonathan Gershuny, an expert in how we spend our time and what it says about us. More on Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. A review of Martin Gardner's Hexaflexagons, Probability Paradoxes, and the Tower of Hanoi. A review of The Case Against Barack Obama by David Freddoso.
A new issue of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication is out. From Psychology Today, Seven Deadly Sentiments: Evolutionary psychology helps us understand why we are ashamed of having forbidden thoughts that make us feel like lousy people — strategies that led to success on the Pleistocene savanna; and taboo impulses can be titillating, but more often they're a source of concern for those who harbor secret wishes or unusual desires. A review of Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment by Anthony Lewis and Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America’s Tradition of Religious Equality by Martha Nussbaum. The censor's dark materials: Censorship is a terrible thing — so thank goodness it never works, says Philip Pullman. When publishers are too intimidated to print even novels that may offend, it shows how far we’ve lost our way on free speech. Quinn Latimer reviews The Virgin Formica by Sharon Mesmer. From Public Ethics Radio, Thomas Pogge on pharmaceutical innovation. From TNR, with America in flames, it's time to revisit the righteously pissed-off work of C. Wright Mills: Alan Wolfe reviews The Politics of Truth: Selected Writings of C. Wright Mills; and Todd Palin, The New Hillary: What Democrats should remember when running against a scandal-ridden, hatred-inspiring, outside-DC couple.
From Scientific American, an article on the search for intelligence in our genes; an article on the X chromosome and the case against monogamy; why loneliness feels cold and sins feel dirty: Social psychologist Chen-Bo Zhong explains how abstract concepts can create physical feelings; and why do we like to dance and move to the beat? A study suggests AIDS emerged 100 years ago, points to 19th century urbanization of Africa as a cause. More and more and more and more on Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman. From Wired, a look at how voter database glitches could disenfranchise thousands. The Dixiecrats rise again: We may be seeing the resurgence of what was thought to be an endangered species, the Southern white conservative Democrat. Michael Walzer on Russia, Georgia and what we mean when we call ourselves "internationalists". What the 21st century will taste like: A preview of what you'll be eating for the rest of the century from Momofuku chef David Chang. Marion Nestle on the facts about corn sweetener. The original sex manual: A review of The New Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort and Susan Quilliam. A review of The American Future: A History by Simon Schama. From The Chronicle, a cartload of recent books suggests that it's time to reverse the customer-service mentality plaguing academe. More on Crowdsourcing by Jeff Howe.
From Rolling Stone, a cover story on Make-Believe Maverick: A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty (and more on The Double-Talk Express). From Economic Principals, the US has almost certainly entered an era of competition with China for global influence. From Esquire, an article on the Google diaspora: The next big idea to come out of Google may not come out of Google (and more on the Xoogler Universe). A review of Planet Google: One Company's Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We Know by Randall Stross (and more). From Foreign Policy, what if Google were president? From First Principles, an article on fusionism: Traditionalist and libertarian ideas. From Culture11, cuppa conservatism: A Midwestern entrepreneur offers a conservative antidote to liberal cafe culture; and can left coast transplants afford to make Montana purple? Cut the crap: A review of The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste by Rose George. What the financial crisis means for high-end prostitutes. From TNR, globalization, reconsidered: Economists aren't so sure about the benefits of "free trade" anymore; and Sing for Me, Muse, the Mania: A review of Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell.
From The New Yorker, in the ring: Norman Mailer on grappling with the twentieth century; Adam Gopnik reviews John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand by Richard Reeves; and Peter Boyer on the Appalachian problem: Obama goes to rural Virginia. From New York, a special issue on the unusual degree of tumult the city has experienced during the 40 years of the magazine’s life. Experimental philosophers emerge from the shadows, but skeptics still ask: Is this philosophy? Hidden histories: The Odyssey and The Iliad are giving up new secrets about the ancient world. Stoics, cynics and the meaning of life: Its language is now barely known, and only a few of the works produced by its great writers and thinkers survive, but ancient Greece's influence surrounds us. How would you respond if Cesare Borgia invited you to dinner? A look at why Machiavelli matters. An interview with Christine Garwood, author of Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea. Bulwark against the kingdom of the anti-christ: A brief guide to Massachusetts, the most important state in the union. Maverick 101: You may say you’re a dreamer, but you’re not the only one — here’s how other visionaries turned their big, crazy ideas into reality. How the Rusyns Could Save Civilization: Of all of the ethnic groups that have settled in Pittsburgh, few are as mysterious as the Carpatho-Rusyns.
From CUNY's The Great Issues seminar ("an online discussion about power in the contemporary world"), Harvard's Jill Lepore on Hannah Arendt and what grows out of the barrel of a gun. From TNR, Henry Aaron on how a lot of Democrats want universal health care to be the next president's top priority, but it shouldn't be. The Drudge Report, free Speech, and the election: Is the "marketplace of ideas" working efficiently? Jeffrey Sachs on the American anti-intellectual threat. From The Walrus, an article on Stephen Harper and the theo-cons: The rising clout of Canada’s religious right. What is Cameronism? Richard Newberry investigates. A review of The ABCs of Classic Hollywood by Robert B. Ray. From Reason, when free love died: Why the sexual revolution plays only in reruns. From Nerve, everyone pays for sex: Nine people track their sex-related budgets for one month. From The Village Voice, an interview with Savannah Knoop on being JT LeRoy (and more from Radar). Are you a fruit basket and grass skirt case? More than 50 years after she last wore a pile of fruit on her head, Carmen Miranda inspired a psychological test. Lottery tickets and credit cards: An article on the dangers of an irrational brain. Time for UN to keep tabs: Will an asteroid destroy Earth, and what "deep impact" might an asteroid make on Earth?