From Human Rights and Human Welfare, a roundtable on women's human rights. Unfinished business: An article on sex equality on the global agenda (and part 2). How can you save the world?: Social scientists have known for years that investing in girls has a multiplier effect, sending positive ripples to their families and communities. How women can save the planet: Empowering young women through education will help reduce overpopulation in areas that cannot support it and avoid extremism in the children they raise. A feminist case for war: Women's rights activists are conflicted over a continued US presence in Afghanistan. What does a woman want? Women want to be Swedish. From H-Net, a review of Making Marriage Modern: Women's Sexuality from the Progressive Era to World War II by Christian Simmons. An excerpt from When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins (and more and more and more and more and more and more). Did feminism make women miserable? Barbara Ehrenreich on why a recent study on declining female happiness really stinks. From CAP, here's the The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything. Work/life balance is not a woman's issue: Men need family-friendly workplaces, too — so why is this issue framed as something only mothers should care about? Calling all male feminists: Erasing gender stereotypes benefits all of us, men and women. The Mismeasure of Woman: Somewhere along the line, especially in recent years, progress for women has stalled — this isn’t simply a woman’s issue, it affects us all.
Robert Crumb thinks God might actually be crazy (and more and more and more and more and more and more on The Book of Genesis Illustrated; and a review by Jeet Heer at Bookforum). You don’t need psychedelic drugs to start seeing colors and objects that aren’t really there; just 15 minutes of near-total sensory deprivation can bring on hallucinations in many otherwise sane individuals. An Afternoon in Auschwitz: Can the world's most famous death camp teach us anything but horror and despair? Margaret Thatcher's German war: Newly released documents reveal the British Prime Minister's fear of a reunited Germany. Weakness, ineptitude, and folly: Harvey E. Whitney, Jr. on scientistic sensationalism and corporatized cliches of university game day television ads. Saddam’s space program: Before the first Gulf War, Iraq was actively developing a launch vehicle for placing a satellite into orbit, and perhaps other purposes; Dwayne Day looks at what’s known about this effort. Lives less ordinary: No one wants to read about writers diligently scribbling in lonely garrets — bring on the addictions, the affairs. Is this the Hand of Google?: "Finger condoms", the sheathed fingers of scanners employed by the search giant's Google Books service, are provoking amusement and consternation online. All sports books are local: National scandal fatigue has revived the appeal of hometown loyalties and the true fan. An interview with Emily Bobrow, editor of More Intelligent Life, the online version of The Economist’s quarterly culture and style magazine. A review of Iris Murdoch and the Art of Imaging by Marije Altorf. The Boar War: A wild menace invades Houston.
From THES, Kant trumps cant any day: "Intensely relaxed" about the academy's "filthy rich legacy", Simon Blackburn sees no need to justify his work to ministers. Thirty years after he graduated from Exeter University, John Crace returns to find out how loans, fees and accountability have changed the student experience. The long march: China is hungry for Western-style universities, not least to fuel its economy. US decline or a flawed measure: Can international rankings of universities provide a picture of the relative rise and fall of nation’s universities? From the new Wall Street Journal on Campus, are the Ivies worth the price? Yale for Sale: In the pocket of political correctness and Saudi princes. One shudders to think of how these euphoria-deprived pashas of the nation’s bogus meritocracy will forge onward in their post-Harvard professional lives. At NYU, a more progressive president means less progressive labor policies. A review of Wannabe U: Inside the Corporate University by Gaye Tuchman (and more). An interview with James C. Garland, author of Saving Alma Mater: A Rescue Plan for America's Public Universities (and an excerpt). The first chapter (and video) of Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Public Universities by William Bowen, Matthew Chingos and Michael McPherson. Why do so many first-generation college students fail?: An interview with Rebecca Cox, author of The College Fear Factor. Subprime student loan racket: With help from Washington, the for-profit college industry is loading up millions of low-income students with debt they'll never pay off.
A review of The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves by W. Brian Arthur. Who still uses fax machines (other than Mia Farrow fans)? A review of Cassette From My Ex: Stories and Soundtracks of Lost Loves by Jason Bitner. Since stacks of vinyl are quickly disappearing, is it possible that we will be handing our kids our old hard drives for them to look through or USB drives for them to play with? More on Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music by Greg Milner. The father of video games: From a few notes scribbled on a notepad, Ralph Baer invented a new industry. Global Impositioning Systems: Is GPS technology actually harming our sense of direction? Enthusiasts use GPS to track down hidden booty. Free municipal wireless sounds like a great idea for any city that has already invested heavily in high-tech infrastructure — too bad there’s no more money to pay for the last link of the chain. Happy 40th birthday, Internet: In 1969 a UCLA team sent the first message over ARPANET — and fundamentally changed humanity (and more and more and more). A review of The Tyranny of E-mail: The Four Thousand Year Journey to Your Inbox by John Freeman (and more). Nary a decade after its coronation as the lingua franca of technological communication, has email already lost its crown? A review of Total Recall: How the e-memory revolution will change everything by Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell. A review of Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger (and the first chapter; and more). Private Worlds: Lives spent lurking too long in the shadows of the virtual. Stop your search engines: Forcing ourselves offline may be the path to true knowledge.
From New Scientist, the best of expert opinion on population. Let's try cap-and-trade on babies: Population growth is the real driver for higher greenhouse gas emission, so why don't more mainstream solutions start there? Capitalism in Wonderland: The inability of received economics to cope with or even perceive the global ecological crisis is alarming in its scope and implications. From Mother Jones, a special section on the Copenhagen Climate Countdown. Recipe for Failure: Why Copenhagen will be a bust, and other prophecies from Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, the foreign-policy world's leading predictioneer. Anthony Giddens reviews Saving Kyoto: An Insider's Guide to the Kyoto Protocol: How it Works, Why it Matters and What it Means for the Future by Graciela Chichilnisky and Kristen Sheeran. From M/C Journal, a special issue on climate culture. From Physics World, many policymakers have traditionally seen climate models as irrelevant, but recent advances are making such models an essential tool in informing policy choices; publicize or perish: The scientific community is failing miserably in communicating the potential catastrophe of climate change; and like the popular SimCity computer-game series that inspired its name, Clim'City puts players in charge of a virtual city and allows them to choose how it develops. What makes Europe greener than the US? An article on why climate change denial must be taken seriously. Bill McKibben thinks you should know that global warming isn't coming — it's already here. On geoengineering: We may not be able to save ourselves, but at least we won’t be bored.
From The New Yorker, robots that care: Jerome Groopman on advances in technological therapy. Animals reconsidered: Eric Banks describes a book series on humans' interactions with and treatment of some earthly co-creatures. Stoics might not have been so stoical if they’d had bloggers to deal with, says Ophelia Benson. The Audacity of "Precious": Is America ready for a movie about an obese Harlem girl raped and impregnated by her abusive father? Readers can enjoy Electric Literature, a new quarterly literary magazine, any way they like: on paper, Kindle, e-book, iPhone and, starting next month, as an audiobook. Counterinsurgency is at least 50 percent civilian — so where have all the Foreign Service officers gone? An interview with Andrew Losowsky on Stack America: "Think of it as a private magazine club that brings a fresh perspective on the world every two months". Daniel Shaw, editor of Film and Philosophy, laments the reduction of Hannibal Lecter. Obama & Google (a love story): The President relies on Google execs for tech and economic advice as his own regulators scrutinize the online-ad behemoth — is the romance starting to sour? A review of The United States of McSweeney’s: Ten Years of Accidental Classics by Nick Hornby and Eli Horowitz. The Long Shadow of Willie Horton: More than two decades ago, a governor showed a prisoner leniency, with horrifying results — our justice system hasn’t been the same since. From IRB, hubby’s not undead? Nobody’s perfect: An essay on vampire literature (and more on vampire mania). An interview with Mark Denny, author of Froth!: The Science of Beer.
From Forward, a review essay on six takes on God. A review of Why There Almost Certainly Is a God by Keith Ward. How to read the evidence that God is back in an almighty way — in the bookstores, in popular culture, in world affairs? Can religion fill gaps left by the state, or is it being co-opted into a role that it should not play? A review of Saving God: Religion after Idolatry by Mark Johnston (and more). Karen Armstrong on why we need God more than ever — and why secularism is as dangerous as fundamentalism (and more and more and more on The Case for God). From Eureka Street, an article on Christopher Hitchens' illogical atheism and ethics without God (and a video interview). Faith No More: Christopher Hitchens on what he's learned from debating religious people around the world (and an interview). From Spiked, why they love to hate Mother Teresa: The radical-atheist assaults on the late sister of Calcutta are the intellectual equivalent of mugging an old woman. From Religion Dispatches, a review of Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe by Greg Epstein; and an atheist convention inspires some reflections on the virtue of a positive, productive humanism, rather than the anti-theism that dominates the discourse. An atheist in the pulpit: Public identity and private belief are never more at odds than when a preacher loses his faith. Joshua Leach on the uses of common sense: It's often wrong — yet we'd be in trouble without it. Atheist, gnostic, theist, agnostic: Here's a graph showing a very rough placement of one’s theological position.
From The Wilson Quarterly, a review of Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns and Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne C. Heller (and a review by Francine Prose at Bookforum; and more at Liberty and more at Reason; and more and more and more and more and more and more). With two new biographies, the mother of Objectivism is so in vogue now that even designers such as Ralph Lauren are finding inspiration in her writing. Why Ayn Rand is hot again: Brian Doherty on the unconservative Ayn Rand and her relationship to the American right. Mark Sanford on how Ayn Rand has drifted in and out of favor, but she may be more relevant today than ever before. Sam Anderson on the one argument Ayn Rand couldn't win. Howard Roark in New Delhi: The surprising popularity of a libertarian hero in India. From Inside Catholic, John Zmirak on the vanity of Ayn Rand. From Obit, an article on Ayn Rand and the supremacy of self. A life of contempt: Ayn Rand's defining characteristic was hatred — for government, other people, and the very concept of human kindness. Objectionable content: Having waded through her complete works, Gerald Houseman concludes that there should never, ever be an Ayn Rand revival. From Esquire (in 1961), Gore Vidal may not like New York Times' critic Orville Prescott, but he dislikes Ayn Rand's "philosophy" even more. From the Journal of Libertarian Studies, a special issue on the 50th anniversary of the publication of Atlas Shrugged. Molly Sechrest on Atlas Shrugged in Haight-Ashbury: A Memoir. Ralph R. Reiland on how Atlas is shrugging. An interview with Robert Mayhew on Ayn Rand's We the Living.
The Battle of Agincourt’s status as perhaps the greatest victory against overwhelming odds in military history — and a keystone of the English self-image — has been called into doubt by a group of historians in Britain and France. The English Montaigne: A review of William Hazlitt: The First Modern Man by Duncan Wu. A review of Reading Gladstone by Ruth Clayton Windscheffel. A review of Incest and Influence: The Private Life of Bourgeois England by Adam Kuper. A review of The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 by Christopher Andrew (and more). A review of Spooks: The Unofficial History of MI5 by Thomas Hennessey and Claire Thomas (and more and more and more and more and more and more; and what do real life spooks make of fictional spies?). A review of books on British intelligence. An article on Penelope Fitzgerald and the story of a British family. From Prospect, while Britain’s annual exam standards row rages on, the most important question is ignored: what should our children learn?; and how to really hug a hoodie: Karyn McCluskey has led a controversial project in Glasgow to tackle gang violence — it seems to be working, but is there the political will to roll it out across the whole country? The Tories and the GOP: Rupurt Darwall on the limits of political “modernization”. Jean Eaglesham profiles the new generation of thinkers, pundits and money men vying for influence on a future Cameron government (and more on the new ruling class jostling for power around Prime Minister Cameron). Burned by the Sun: Courting Murdoch was always bound to backfire on Labour but the paper's influence is built on a myth. Saluting the Sun: The British tabloid offers the world’s most amusing corrections.
From TNR, the interested man: Nathan Glazer on Irving Kristol. From The Americano, Pedro Blas Gonzalez on intellectuals, democracy and good will. From American, are liberals smarter than conservatives?: What if we could know, scientifically, that one side has the edge in brainpower, and should that change how we think about political issues? From The Smart Set, how can we bring together red and blue America? Marry fashion with industry. Why even Obama cannot bring an end to the culture wars. Assessing a young presidency: Barack Obama campaigned as a populist firebrand but governs like a cerebral consensus builder — the founding fathers wouldn't have it any other way. From The New Yorker, David Remnick on how Cornel West keeps his promise to Barack Obama; and Louis Menand on the White House vs. Fox News. Obama's Foxhole: Is journalistic objectivity at risk of becoming collateral damage in the war between Fox News and the White House? (and more from Slate) Birth of a Blowhard: Did Glenn Beck hatch his plan to become a right-wing radio megastar on Connecticut's airways? From John Birchers to Birthers: The right's paranoid political style has gone mainstream. "Social justice is for losers": Neil Lambert on trying — and failing! — to infiltrate the Tea Party Movement. Meet the senators in the creepy Right-wing cult trying to defeat health care reform. Send lawyers, guns, and money: Anti-Obama paranoia is good for at least one business. Who is us? Even Newt Gingrich recognizes that the right's ideological litmus tests are bad news. From CRB, Henry Olsen on the reemerging Republican majority.