From First Monday, Erika Pearson (Otago): All the World Wide Web’s a Stage: The performance of identity in online social networks; and an essay on online courses and how they change the nature of class. An interview with Michail Ryklin, author of Communism as Religion. From FT, a review of Finance: Servant or Deceiver? Financialization at the Crossroads by Paul Dembinski. From Fortune, an interview with Paul Osterman, author of The Truth About Middle Managers. Beijing's GDP Numerology: A look at the unscientific origins of the national obsession with 8 percent — no more, no less — economic growth. Moderate extremists: Tunku Varadarajan on Taliban that he has known. God beats up on people who ask useless questions: A review of Peter L. Berger's Questions of Faith: A Skeptical Affirmation of Christianity. A review of Feminism and War: Confronting US Imperialism. Will Jurassic Park ever really come true? An excerpt from The Philosophers' Quarrel: Rousseau, Hume, and the Limits of Human Understanding by Robert Zaretsky and John T. Scott. The mainstream media have at last figured out how to deal with Tyler Perry. Shortchanging citizens, damaging the profession: Brian McKenna on how anthropology disparages journalism (and more). Is his power finally waning? Reza Aslan on Osama bin Laden's new irrelevance. An interview with Elana Schor of Talking Points Memo on the demands of a blog-driven job.
Bryan C. McCannon (WFU): Can You Beat A Fictitious Player At Matching Pennies? From New York, do you own Facebook, or does Facebook own you? Vanessa Grigoriadis on how trust is a fragile commodity; steering Detroit straight: Obama and Geithner got it right — what’s good for GM is not necessarily what’s good for America; Geithner’s Guru: John Heilemann on the turnaround artist who made the Treasury secretary telegenic; and an interview with Glenn Beck, weepy Fox populist. As social secretary, Desiree Rogers is gatekeeper and imagemaker, but her top job is brand promoter — casting the Obamas as occupants of a "People's House". Faced with a threat to your life, the mind does strange things — how do you get out alive? A review of Alger Hiss and the Battle for History by Susan Jacoby (and more). A look at why dreams mean less than we think. Are liberal college professors indoctrinating a generation of innocent college students? An interview with Doug Fine, author of Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living. From Wired, a road map for financial recovery: Radical transparency now! Enough market testing: Perhaps advertisers have too much access to demographic information, which is why none of them are taking creative risks. A review of The 10 Most Beautiful Experiments by George Johnson. Improve education by merging school districts? States have tried it, and it doesn't work.
From Cato Unbound, beyond folk activism: Patri Friedman charges libertarian activists with falling victim to bias — specifically, they seem to suffer from the belief that advocacy and education are enough to change public policy. A review of The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet by Neil deGrasse Tyson. A recent controversy over Titian's "Diana and Actaeon" has reignited discussion about public ownership of art. From Telos, it is only a "Catholic center" more extreme than either of the extremes that can think and act its way out of our current heretical, immoral, and neopagan political morass. From City Journal, Andre Glucksmann on the Postmodern Financial Crisis: “It is true because we say it is” has run its course. Why the London protesters are on the right side of history: There will be far more sympathy in the future for those who took to the streets and rioted outside the G20 than for people who stayed home. From Big Think, a look at how economists are saving our ecosystems. Here's a look at EU-Japan history via Karl Marx, the manga. Self-employment has made America more productive, but at what cost to the self-employed? Apocalyptic scientific experiments: It may not be surgically clean or painless, but it can be very fast. Our inner ape: A look at how Darwinian evolution has transformed liberal religion.
From The New Yorker, can Iran change? Ahmadinejad comes up for reelection; Jane Meyer on the British barrister behind the possible indictment of Bush Administration officials; and is there a philosopher-in-chief? George Packer on Obamaism. From Scientific American, a look at how humor makes you friendlier, sexier. Liza Featherstone on the case for more union power: Economic arguments against the EFCA don’t hold water. Michael Tomasky reviews The Rules of the Game by Leonard Downie Jr. Should Japan open itself up to an influx of immigrant labour or seal its borders and adapt to a new model of economic growth? The introduction to When Ways of Life Collide: Multiculturalism and Its Discontents in the Netherlands by Paul M. Sniderman and Louk Hagendoorn. From TED, Mike Rowe, the host of "Dirty Jobs", tells some compelling (and horrifying) real-life job stories. Does the harsh language in the Koran explain Islamic violence? Don't answer till you've taken a look inside the Bible. Green Building Blues: Is "well-designed green architecture" an oxymoron? Reviewing the reviewers: While almost all film criticism today focuses on performances and plot summaries, it misses out on the beautiful anatomy of filmmaking. Voluntary carbon offsets allow people to invest in projects that allegedly counteract their greenhouse gas emissions — but can voluntary offsets help slow global warming?