It ain't in the head: Jerry Fodor reviews Consciousness Revisited: Materialism Without Phenomenal Concepts by Michael Tye. A review of Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness by Alva Noe. A review of Making Up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental World by Chris Frith. Timewarp: A look at how your brain creates the fourth dimension. An article on how brain scanners can tell what you're thinking about. Here are 5 horrific ways your brain can turn on you without warning. Ghost in the Shell: Why our brains will never live in the Matrix. How much power does the human brain require to operate? A study suggests consciousness is the brain's Wi-Fi, resolving competing requests. Scientists have finally woken from their slumber: armed with a flood of new discoveries from the neurosciences, they have been able to provide several competing models of consciousness. The holy grail of the unconscious: What the unearthing of Carl Jung’s Red book is doing to the Jungs and the Jungians (and maybe your dreams). A "complex" theory of consciousness: Is complexity the secret to sentience, to a panpsychic view of consciousness? When does consciousness arise in human babies — does sentience appear in the womb, at birth or during early childhood? Ray Tallis argues that there is no evolutionary explanation of consciousness. An interview with John Bargh on unconscious mechanisms that underlie social perception, evaluation and preferences. A new study raises the question of whether being honest is a conscious decision at all.
From TNR, Michael Crowley on the reinvention of Robert Gates: How his ideological journey will shape the war. As the enormity of the actions of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan sinks in, we must ask whether we are confronting a new phenomenon of violent rage, one we might dub — disconcertingly — "Going Muslim." Marc Lynch on Fort Hood, Nidal Hassan and Islam: There is a connection between what critics are calling "political correctness" and national security, but it runs in the opposite direction. The Zealot: Christopher Hitchens reviews Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic by Michael Scammell. 3,000+ words of jackassery: Christopher Hitchens enjoys widespread acclaim as an intellectual provocateur of the highest caliber — that is, until his ego overshadows his argument. Linguistic Currency: In an information economy, tiny asymmetries in language comprehension translate into vast profits — and large-scale collapses. From n+1, an essay on gentrification: "The gentriﬁers now have the opportunity to recognize themselves as what they are — the dominated members of a dominant class — with the power to ally with the displaced". America has been flooded by a tsunami of cute — we’re drowning in puppies and kittens and bunnies and cupcakes — that is transforming marketing (the Geico Gecko), automobiles (the Smart car), and movies (Up), but is the world bound to sour on all this sweetness? A review of Why We Suck by Denis Leary. Malcolm Gladwell explains Christmas to Craig Brown. F&%#ing ineffable: Apparently “f&ck” has replaced “God” as the most popular word in the English language.
From Words Without Borders, a special issue on Twenty Years After: Germany Then and Now. Stealth travel in the USSR: A look at the East German adventurers who "escaped" the other way. Humor under Communism: An article on East German jokes collected by West German spies. Why was Berlin the key to the Cold War? New revelations have shattered the official story on how the wall came down 20 years ago; far from a spontaneous protest, it was a carefully planned government plot. The untold story of East Germany's anarchic underground punk scene and the critical role it played bringing down the Berlin Wall. Months before the Berlin Wall fell, Hungarians had marched to demand democracy. By Nov. 9, 1989, when Germans breached the Berlin Wall, a long line of regimes were already toppling. When the Berlin Wall came down, the world cheered — and the West Germans sipped lattes. From Standpoint, did German reunification work? Berlin was besieged during the war and strained by the fall of the Wall — it never really recovered. In 1989, Central Europe's fate was supposed to be uncertain and bleak — today the region prospers more than ever. Scenes from post-communist Poland: Marci Shore on the legacies of "Judeo-Bolshevism". From Solidarity to democracy: Polish dissident Adam Michnik reflects on the liberation of Eastern Europe 20 years later. An article on academe in Eastern Europe 20 years after the fall. Here are 4 of the unexpected consequences that the end of the USSR had for Europe. Europe’s place at the center of modern history is over; this proves not the failure of 1989 but, rather, its astounding success.
Making health care better: The evidence-based medicine practiced at Intermountain hospital could be the cure for American health care. The biggest roadblock to change may be in our minds: An overlooked component of the health care debate is our tendency to justify the status quo. Is the House health care bill better than nothing? Marcia Angell doesn't think so (and two responses). From Slate, a guide to the shifting political factions in the health care debate; and a look at why insurers aren't complaining about the House bill's anti-abortion amendment. Democrats leave women behind: Health-insurance reform was supposed to end the cruelties our system inflicts on patients, not create them (and more). A look at how the Stupak amendment radically undermines women's rights and is as much about class as about choice — but could Obama have done more? (and more) Alan Wolfe on abortion, Catholics, and the health care bill. From First Things, her choice, her problem: Richard Stith on how abortion empowers men; and why aren't vegetarians and pro-lifers more closely aligned? Here's the introduction to a new edition of Defending Reproductive Rights, an activist resource kit on the anti-abortion movement. The conversion of a pro-choice warrior: Planned Parenthood's Abby Johnson says she turned against abortion — true transformation or right-wing propaganda? Fetus-shaped potatoes: Ann Newmann goes undercover inside the weird world of right-wing abortion foes.