From the inaugural issue of Future Internet, Martin Ebner and Hermann Maurer (Graz): Can Weblogs and Microblogs Change Traditional Scientific Writing? The Web would make a dandy blackboard if only we could scribble an equation. An Almanac of Internet Emotion: Computer scientist Sep Kamvar discusses the ways researchers are beginning to tap the blogosphere for psychological insights. Why do bloggers blog? A study of top political bloggers finds their motivations evolve over time. Could it be that blogs have become online fodder for the — gasp! —  more mature reader? From The Baffler, what does the Internet look like? Meaghan Morris (Lingnan): Grizzling about Facebook. A look at the 10 craziest Facebook groups. From NYRB, a review of The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich and Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America by Julia Angwin. From The Economist, a special report on social networking and a world of connections. Caitlin Kealey (Ottawa): Does Twitter Create a Daily Me or a Daily We? Microblogging, Awareness Systems and the Future of Newspapers. "Every time I hear about Twitter I want to yell Stop": George Packer on how Twitter sounds less like sipping than drowning (and more and a response). A look at how the proliferation of Internet memes makes it difficult to stay current. From Frontline, an episode on Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier. Everyone’s betting on the Internet’s next big thing; Michael Wolff provides a tip sheet on competing theories — it’s the platform (Google, Facebook); it’s the machine (iWhatever); it’s digital behavior (Twitter); it’s porn (Skype sex!); etc. — along with his own hunch about the year to come.


Frida Berrigan on America’s global weapons monopoly: Don’t call it “the Global Arms Trade”. Reality is broken and can only be fixed if we make the real world work like massive, multiplayer games. Peter Singer on Haiti and the rules of generosity. The Spy and the Silk Baron: David Mekelburg on the liberation of losing one’s identity in Asia. A review of The Whistleblower: Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman by Peter Rost. Bush's teen pregnancy bump: Did George W. Bush's focus on abstinence-only programs cause a rise in teen pregnancy rates? A review of Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals by Christopher Payne. The introduction to Critical Terms for Media Studies. On the predictable American response to translated literature: A review of Best European Fiction 2010 (and more and more and more and more and more). The Godfather paradox: From Sicily to the boardrooms of modern-day corporations, some insights into the mind of a socially enabled psychopath. Why — despite projections of huge American deficits — the debt of the United States remains the gold standard of creditworthiness by which all nations are compared. A review of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement by Jean Twenge and W. Keith Campbell. Tznius 2.0: As preteen pop stars play sexy, it’s time to rethink modesty. From New Left Project, an interview with Robin Hahnel, author of Economic Justice and Democracy; and an interview with Michael Albert on complementary holism and Participatory Economics. The Rise of the Ironic Class: What still matters to a generation for whom nothing matters? The voice answering the phone at one California convent responded to the invitation of a lifetime with some perplexity: “Who’s Oprah?”

Acclaimed authors Mary Gaitskill, Hari Kunzru, and Ed Park appear in a reading presented by Bookforum @ Housing Works' Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012, this Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 7:00 PM.


From TNR, Leon Wieseltier on the grotesque elitism of Sarah Palin. Future histories about How Sarah Palin Became President trace back to the anti-Disco riot at Chicago’s Comiskey Park on July 2, 1979. Night of the Living Dead: The US is in the process of falling into the hands of cannibals, the party of Palin. Trouble down south for US Republicans: The party's core constituency is disgruntled conservatives — as the opposition struggles back into national relevance, will it need to look elsewhere to win in 2010? From The Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes on the Rebels on the Right: The GOP establishment feels the heat; and Mary Katherine Ham on the Grand Old Tea Party: The insurgents meet the insiders. Welcome to the Tea Party: Who are these people, and what do they want? (and more and more and more on teabaggers). Unearthing the foundations of the Tea Party from wingnut e-mails: Was a bohemian hipster the first conservative talk-show host? From Texas Monthly, Alex Jones’s wild conspiracy theories have already earned him dedicated fans across the country, but as the tea parties and Obama hatred go mainstream, he may be ready to give Glenn Beck a run for his money. A look at how Glenn Beck helped turn the Invisible Committee's The Coming Insurrection (Semiotext(e)) into a bestseller (and more). Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph Cappella on how the conservative media establishment harms democracy. From The John Birch Society's The New American, Jack Kenny on 1960, a year that changed America; an article on CPAC, the JBS and conservatism's real fringe; and a conversation with Rachel Maddow. From Telos, we find ourselves in an almost Beckettian situation: "It is precisely this understanding — the knowledge that power rests in forms — that Barack Obama possesses".


Patrick McKinley Brennan (Villanova): Are Catholics Unreliable from a Democratic Point of View? From Anthropoetics, Matthew Taylor (Kinjo Gakuin): Traipsing into the Forest: Landscapes and Rivalry in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. From The Guardian, here is a pamphlet on Citizen Ethics in a Time of Crisis, with contributions from Michael Sandel, Mary Midgley, and more. The Google Alphabet: The search engine’s suggestions turn the Web into the Home Shopping Network. British actor Bill Nighy performs in support of the Tobin tax, also known as the “Robin Hood Tax”. From 3:AM, Darran Anderson on the Minotaur & the Maze: A Cultural History of Night #1; and a review of On Roads: A Hidden History by Joe Moran. Conscription, Again: "Draft" is still a dirty word these days, but our country is definitely in need of one. A review of IOU: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay by John Lanchester (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Lo, the poor telephone book! Consider how its prestige has dimmed. Christopher Fairman on the case against banning the word "retard". Why do we humans invest winning with so much more meaning and importance, strive to reach the podium at sometimes terrible cost? The rise of "non-private person": Openness is becoming the default social norm. A review of Tormented Hope: Nine Hypochondriac Lives by Brian Dillon (and more). "Attention must be paid": Lee Harris on understanding Joe Stack, anger, and ideology. A look at how Toyota's troubles are an example of consumer safety power. A review of Nations Have the Right to Kill: Hitler, the Holocaust and War by Richard A. Koenigsberg.


From New York, a cover story on the rise of Dog Identity Politics: Dogs are increasingly rootless souls, country bumpkins in city apartments — but is a vegan pup still an animal? Maltese terrier Malty writes to the New York Times on "debarking". As models strutted in Bryant Park, the divas across town at the Westminster dog show bore their fangs and got just as fierce (and more). The Vermont Supreme Court considers "loss of companionship" damages for a dog's death. Dogs may have been man’s best friend for thousands of years longer than we realized. Looking for the roots of human morality in the animal kingdom? Focus on canines, who know how to play fair. Why the saga of a shipwrecked dog tugs our hearts more than a distressed nation of millions. From The Bark, Kathryn Shevelow on the roots and shoots of the American humane movement; do male and female dogs learn differently?; an article on pup trusts and providing for your pup after you’re gone; BBC’s "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" strikes a chord; a review of Dogs: History, Myth, Art by Catherine Johns; and an interview with Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know (and more). Do dogs go to heaven? Well, it wouldn't be paradise without them. Moscow's 35,000 street canines, which wander around in markets and metro stations adapting to the ways of humans, have begun their journey back to the wild. In China, canines live in every imaginable situation, from the lap of luxury to dire straits (and more). There's nothing rational in the view that it's weird of the Chinese to eat dog. Match the Olympic stars to the canines they resemble most. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto is sceptical about claims cat-owners are smarter than dog owners. Before Oscar the Cat, there was Baxter, “the guru of therapy dogs”.

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