From The Nation, what legacy did Harold Pinter leave behind? Richard Byrne investigates (and more). Follow Emma Bovary and send your lover messages filled with "flowers, verses, the moon and the stars", but what does literature tell us about love? Inside the rise of the warbots: An interview with Peter Singer, author of Wired for War (and a review at Bookforum). An excerpt from The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008 by Thomas Ricks (and more and a review). BHL on why foreigners shouldn't expect Obama to be the president of the "decline of the American empire" (and an interview). Why do Americans love peanut butter? Losing our religion: Do more than light a candle for the patron saint of capitalism. Staying in bed is a particularly attractive idea right now — but what kind? Che, the Ronald McDonald of revolution: A look at the cliches of the revolutionary's admirers and detractors. A love letter to good men: Let us reiterate, men don’t suck — in fact, sometimes they’re downright heroic. A review of Photography and Philosophy: Essays on the Pencil of Nature. You've Got Mika: Scarborough and Brzezinski on "Morning Joe" are less Tracy and Hepburn than the Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston for this nutty age. An interview with Tom Perrotta on the evolution of Tracy Flick.
From Open Democracy, the concept of genocide has become a weapon of political polemic, but the violence inflicted on civilians in four conflicts shows how it is also rooted in the logic of modern wars, says Martin Shaw; and in the current crisis the strongest regions economically are being hardest hit; Putin's policy of centralizing government is also being called into question by widespread demonstrations in the Far East. Wagging the "fat tail" of climate catastrophe: How much should we pay to avoid the tiny risk of total destruction? Why the press should declare itself a religion. Yellow Journalism: There's nothing kitschy about the taste of good mustard. Why did Stauffenberg plant the bomb? Whatever his motives for killing Hitler, Stauffenberg was no role model for future generations. The Internet is made of kittens: How the lowly cat, shunned by Hollywood, became an online star; and an ode to loud, stinky, filthy canines and the pathologically needy people who love them. Core Principles: How science can help form a theory of design. Crisis on the color line: After 100 years of "pleading our own cause", is the NAACP equal to the task ahead? A review of Classified: The Secret History of the Personal Column by HG Cocks. It is worth remembering that bipartisan coalitions are not inherently good and that some have pushed Congress in the wrong direction.
A new issue of Judgment and Decision Making is out. From Wired, Felix Salmon on the secret formula that destroyed Wall Street. From Foreign Affairs, Richard Katz on The Japan Fallacy: Today's U.S. Financial Crisis Is Not Like Tokyo's "Lost Decade"; an essay on The Geoengineering Option: A Last Resort Against Global Warming?; a review of Egypt After Mubarak: Liberalism, Islam, and Democracy in the Arab World by Bruce K. Rutherford; and Michael D. Bell (Windsor), Daniel C. Kurtzer (Princeton), and Prem G. Kumar (CFR): The Missing Peaces. Bill McKibben and Wendell Berry call for mass civil disobedience against coal. We're on the brink of disaster: Violent protests and riots are breaking out everywhere as economies collapse and governments fail — war is bound to follow. From Standpoint, it's fashionable to say the US is in terminal decline — don't bet on it, still less wish for it; to hell with niceness: The spread of political "compassion" has led to the breakdown of family and school discipline; and a review of The Vanishing Face of Gaia by James Lovelock and He Knew He Was Right by John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin. Brad DeLong on why the Obama deficit-spending plan will (probably) work. Americans are going to have to pay higher taxes in order to continue to field a strong military and maintain popular programs like Medicare.
A new issue of H+ Magazine is out. The tallest building in the world is still going up — but what is the point of the Burj Dubai, and does it even have a good view? A review of Accounting for Mother Nature: Changing Demands for Her Bounty. An excerpt from Art Without Borders: A Philosophical Exploration of Art and Humanity by Ben-Ami Scharfstein. Avoid the apostrophe apocalypse: A survey of recent books on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Styles of radical shill: The problem that Shephard Fairey presents also leads to a fear — that he may be, in fact, the perfect portraitist to render Obama. When is special treatment unequal treatment? Reflections on Tim Geithner, Michael Phelps, and Rod Blagojevich. Michelle Rhee on teaching, the toughest job there is. Plastic Surgery Confidential: Cosmetic surgery is now so popular that even young, healthy, attractive women are choosing to be "enhanced". The wisdom of the discount rack: The 25-cent rack at a local library offers some insights into the literary taste of a different time. How Wall Street mocked American values: Just look at the lifestyles of these uberconsumers. A review of Ancient Rome and Modern America by Margaret Malamud. Can A Beginner's Guide to Philosophy help those of too old for PHIL 101? Vanity Fair sits down with the members of Spinal Tap, whose genre-defining mock-umentary just turned 25.
From ResetDOC, the interview President Obama released to al-Arabiya is more than a breath of fresh air: it's a sign of change and political turnover, something we weren't ready to expect from the United States. Here are excerpts from Dick Cheney's forthcoming memoir. Does a full moon really trigger strange behavior? From New York, Demetri Martin doesn’t do political humor, but he may be the Barack Obama of comedy — a cerebral stand-up whose moment has arrived just in time. More on Securing the City: Inside America's Best Counterterror Force — The NYPD by Christopher Dickey. D.C. vs. NYC: Has the balance of power (and the high spirits) really shifted southward? (and more) Why do we need bras for babies? Viva Chai! An article on the lefty hot spot in Obama's Washington. A review of Created Equal: How the Bible Broke With Ancient Political Thought by Joshua Berman. The Fallout: What Bush did, and what Obama can do, to face an arms buildup on the subcontinent. Is America's banking crisis worse than Japan? Look carefully and the answer could be yes. More and more and more on Elsewhere U.S.A. by Dalton Conley (and more from Bookforum). A review of Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry by Leanne Shapton.
A new issue of Plus: Living Mathematics is out. Martin Rees on mathematics, the only true universal language. From Science News, an article on Darwin, the reluctant mathematician. Here's a skeptic's take on the public misunderstanding of Darwin. Charles Darwin, conservative? Two hundred years later, the right still misunderstands him. From The Science Creative Quarterly, an essay on evolution and the Bible; and it's a lucky thing for evolutionary biology that the following passages aren't in the Bible. Here are eight of Darwin's experiments you can try at home. An article on why we still argue about Darwin (and why we should). Eric Foner on Our Lincoln: As a politician, Lincoln's greatness lay in his capacity for growth — can Obama follow suit? Prepare to change your thinking: We’re not going to have another Great Depression. Best of Everything II: Is there any glamour left in publishing? From Adbusters, four living generations have set the stage for the political youth of today. Peter Steinfels on the new atheism, and something more. Love (and hate) for chick flicks: Millions of women flock to theaters or search their Netflix queues for gal-pal camaraderie, but what they’ll get is cliche after gender-bashing cliche. More on The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 by Paul Krugman. An interview with former IMF economist Simon Johnson on the oligarchs (and more).
From Prospect, philosophers used to combine conceptual reflections with practical experiment; the trendiest new branch of the discipline, known as x-phi, wants to return to those days — some philosophers don’t like it. An interview with Simon Critchley, author of The Book of Dead Philosophers. From The Space Review, an essay on Darwin and evolutionary progress to the stars; and it is worth remembering that space is not the Old West. Before we can have thoughtful debates on how to curb our population explosion, we must first learn how to talk about it rationally. Is Zimbabwe a rogue state? Christopher Hitchens wants to know. A review of Copy, Rip, Burn: The Politics of Copyleft and Open Source by David M. Berry. A review of Fakers: Hoaxers, Con Artists, Counterfeiters, and Other Great Pretenders and Other Great Pretenders by Paul Maliszewski (and more and more and more; and more from Bookforum). The Google applications Maps, Earth and Street View are as controversial as they are popular. A review of Timothy Clack's Ancestral Roots: Modern Living and Human Evolution. From Slate, an article on Lincoln's laws of war: How he built the code that Bush attempted to destroy; and a look at the extraordinary life of a Chicago neighborhood's Abraham Lincoln statue. An interview with Steve Harvey, author of Act like a Lady, Think like a Man.
A new issue of Visions of the City is out. From The Utopian, a debate between Jurgen Habermas and Paolo Flores d'Arcais on religion and the public sphere. From CT, a review of Carl Schmitt and the Jews: The "Jewish Question," the Holocaust, and German Legal Theory by Raphael Gross. A review of Torture and the Ticking Bomb by Bob Brecher. From CRB, a review of books on modern environmentalism. Brian Appleyard on a guide to the 100 best blogs (and part 2). The Lawyer's Tale: Alexander Cockburn on Harvard Law School's hour of shame. A review of Blogging, Citizenship, and the Future of Media. Forgive me, but revenge is sweet: Philip Stephens admits to a guilty and illogical swell of satisfaction when he looks at one or two of the victims of the economic downturn. From FT, a review of books on violence. This is what really connects us to those who were living before 1914 — we, too, live in a period that might be described as vertigo years. What would a government investigation of Bush administration antiterrorism policies look like? Some past inquiries offer models. From Time, a look at how to know when the economy is turning up. Could the worldwide food crisis portend the collapse of global civilization? Arise Atlantis! In the hyper-modern emirate of Dubai, an over-the-top resort channels an ancient legend (minus the cautionary tale).
From Der Spiegel, quiet revolution: Can globalization help women out of traditional roles? From The Hindu, in the name of honour: The saga of Asian girls in Britain who do not conform to "tradition". They don't make Homo sapiens like they used to: Our species — and individual races — have recently made big evolutionary changes to adjust to new pressures. From FP, why China's currency manipulation doesn't matter: Timothy Geithner should stay away from cheap populism and hold his tongue about the yuan; and what do Saddam Hussein, France, and the Soviet Union all have in common? Finding Mr Right: Is a traditional romance worth all the parties, book signings and online questionnaires? Faithful reader: Do mailroom temps ever have occasion to wear a tuxedo? A growing chorus of observers believes that nanotechnology needs better oversight, especially as it works its way into household staples like cosmetics and sunscreen. A review of Lawyers of the Right: Professionalizing the Conservative Coalition by Ann Southworth. An article on Stanley Fish: Seven professors say what they think. It's the corruption, stupid: An interview with Lawrence Lessig. David Graeber argues that it is only with a general historical understanding of debt and its relationship to violence that we can begin to appreciate our emerging epoch. A review of The Natural History of Unicorns by Chris Lavers.
Paul B. Stephan (Virginia): Symmetry and Selectivity: What Happens in International Law When the World Changes? The introduction to Lost in the Sacred: Why the Muslim World Stood Still by Dan Diner. What do you say when a friend or colleague utters a remark that could be regarded as racist? An article on Rachel Maddow's amazing rise from geek to big-time cable news host. A look at what bibliophiles hate about books. From The Bulletin, a look at why increasing the U.S. defense budget won't stimulate the economy. A look at the 6 most insane moral panics in American history. Why are men still twice as likely to climax as women? New research is shedding light on one of the most enduring forms of gender inequity. From Dark Roasted Blend, here's the ultimate guide to modern writers of science fiction and fantasy. Here are six sites that are the Galapagos for modern Darwins. From First Principles, an article on the gist of Paul Gottfried: Right principle and the failure of the American Right. With a new president in the White House and a celebrated reformist shaking up Tehran, the time seems ripe for a diplomatic breakthrough 30 years in the waiting. The many faces of Pablo Picasso: Picasso was the first rock-star artist, whose wild visions gripped the public imagination and changed 20th-century art for ever — but his flamboyant personality divided opinion (and more).