Yochai Benkler (Harvard) and Aaron Shaw (UC-Berkley): A Tale of Two Blogospheres: Discursive Practices on the Left and Right (and more). Matthew Gentzkow and Jesse M. Shapiro (Chicago): Ideological Segregation Online and Offline. Epistemic closure: Political conservatives are quarreling over charges of closed-mindedness in the movement. It is hard to believe that a phrase as dry as “epistemic closure” could get anyone excited. The real problem with politics today is not the divide between left and right, he says, but the divide between those who are politically engaged and those who are not. The American Anti-Revolution: Revolutionary violence is as American as an apple pie we threw away. From TPM, Jillian Rayfield looks at crazy legislation from across the nation; and Crazy Arizona: How a state went from swinging in '08 to out on a limb in 2010. Ron Rosenbaum on the Tea Party's toxic take on history: Ignore it at your peril. Christopher Deis on 7 tricks teabaggers will use to conceal their extreme Right-wing beliefs. Please tread on us: Thomas Frank on how the tea partiers’ policies would empower Wall Street. Where are the tea party protests about Wall Street? Momentum, not numbers: Why the Tea Party has become a news obsession. The Bush Restoration Project: Jeffrey Scott Shapiro is on a mission to rehabilitate the former president's reputation. What kind of socialist is Barack Obama? Jonah Goldberg investigates. All the Obama 20-Somethings: What happens when a bunch of 20-somethings are picked to work in the Obama White House, to live together and to (more or less) have their lives taped? From Swans, Michael Barker on Mother Jones and the defence of liberal elites; and Michael Doliner on the collected stupidities of Alexander Cockburn and Christopher Hitchens.


A new issue of Open Letters Monthly is out. From Journal of Democracy, Nathan Glazer (Harvard): Democracy and Deep Divides; Charles Kurzman and Ijlal Naqvi (UNC):Do Muslims Vote Islamic?; and Lisa Anderson (AUC): The Ex-Presidents. The star who didn't care: Of all the movie stars created by the Hollywood studio system whose films continue to be viewed, Robert Mitchum is the one whose artistic legacy is most problematic. From The American Interest, C. Raja Mohan on the return of the Raj. From Time, a look at the 100 Most Influential People (and more on the world's least influential people). The new $100 bill is the most sophisticated attempt yet to combat forgery; since colonial times, the U.S. has engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with criminals eager to pass off brilliant fakes. A review of From Faith to Fun: The Secularisation of Humour by Russell Heddendorf. Matt Miller on Goldman Sachs and the revolt of the lower upper class. Matt Taibbi on the Feds vs. Goldman: The government's case against Goldman Sachs barely begins to target the depths of Wall Street's criminal sleaze. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are long gone — Fox News Channel is Jon Stewart’s new enemy No. 1. Minority Report: Human Rights Watch fights a civil war over Israel. Attention Whole Foods Shoppers: Stop obsessing about arugula; your "sustainable" mantra — organic, local, and slow — is no recipe for saving the world's hungry millions. Oppressed Nannies: The State Department orders embassies to clean up their act. How to save newspapers: Print your own. From Red Pepper, an article on the future of the British Left: Red, green and republican? Joe McCulloch reviews The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa. Art of the Author Interview: A conversation with Robert Birnbaum, editor of The Morning News.


When Wallace Stevens died, few of his insurance colleagues even knew he was a poet; Ryan Ruby revisits a man who proved that to be a great poet, no great experience is necessary. Here are confessions of a poet laureate by Charles Simic. Tim Griffin reviews Versed by Rae Armantrout, 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner (and an interview). Louis Bury on conceptual poetry: While skipping the following books (and instead merely contemplating their conceits) may be in the conceptual spirit, careful reading of each offers many distinctive pleasures. Is Elizabeth Bishop a Canadian poet? In almost any conversation on the topic of poetry reviews, one question comes up: what’s the point? Dead Poets' Society: Relationships among poets are about much more than anxiety. A review of Poetry in Person: Twenty-five Years of Conversation with America's Poets. Was Robert Frost a Modernist? Robert Pinsky investigates. The new math of poetry: The amount of published poetry is growing rapidly, but masterpieces may be getting lost in the jungle of verse. Despite the fact that spring is springing, poetry and April have an ambivalent relationship. An interview with Sanford Budick, author of Kant and Milton. David Womersley on why Carol Ann Duffy is overrated and Eric Ormsby on why Geoffrey Hill is underrated. Joyce Carol Oates reviews The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson by Jerome Charyn. Brian Spears on the idea that the poet is always the best person to perform the work. A review of American Experimental Poetry and Democratic Thought by Alan Marshall. Can the toughest bacterium in the world learn how to write poetry? A review of Seamus Heaney and Medieval Poetry by Conor McCarthy. How to overcome poetry phobia: A rehabilitation plan for those averse to verse. Poetry keeping flame alive despite the dark.


Amartya Sen (Harvard): Adam Smith and the contemporary world (and more at New Statesman). From The American Scholar, William Deresiewicz on Solitude and Leadership: If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts. A review of Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities by Martha Nussbaum. Neanderthals may have interbred with humans: Genetic data points to ancient liaisons between species. Jeff Weintraub on how cynical inside-dopesterism masquerades as political journalism. The perils of meeting your favourite writers: You've been tremendously intimate with them long before you first say hello — this is a recipe for a disturbing experience. A review of Democracy Kills: What's So Good About the Vote? by Humphrey Hawksley. New Digital Tools: Readability and Evernote are two applications will make the time you spend online more efficient; Scott McLemee catches up with the pace of innovation. No one knows how to prevent the next crisis, but a bank tax is akin to an insurance policy for Wall Street. Andrew Bacevich reviews Hope in a Scattering Time: A Life of Christopher Lasch by Eric Miller. Anthony Juluis on human rights as the new secular religion: The collapse of the socialist project means the new militant is not the party sectarian but the NGO activist. The pirates of Somalia aren't just after cargo anymore — they're targeting tourists, far from home. A review of American Counterinsurgency: Human Science and the Human Terrain by Roberto J. Gonzalez. Matthew Shaer reviews Floodmarkers by Nic Brown. From Life Extension, an interview with Sanjay Gupta on Cheating Death (and more; and a profile of Gupta at Emory Magazine). The U of Chicago Press offers Mark Monmonier's No Dig, No Fly, No Go: How Maps Restrict and Control as a free download


From TED, Stephen Wolfram on computing a theory of everything; and Kevin Kelly muses on what technology means in our lives — from its impact at the personal level to its place in the cosmos. Geek Power: Steven Levy revisits tech titans, hackers, idealists. From n+1, an article on the Internet as Social Movement: A brief history of webism. From Fibreculture, a special issue on Web 2.0: Before, during and after the event. The internet’s power to take down tyranny lies beyond Twitter; Jon Evans on the high-tech programs every despot should fear. Authoritarianism vs. the Internet: Daniel Calingaert on the race between freedom and repression. They told us the Internet would usher in a new era of freedom, political activism, and perpetual peace — they were wrong. The Internet’s Last Hope: How the Federal Communications Commission can save the world (wide web). An excerpt from Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet by Joseph Menn. The world's most ingenious thief: With his encyclopedic knowledge of surveillance and electronics, Gerald Blanchard could hack any bank, swipe any jewel — there was no security system the career criminal couldn't beat. What is the Internet if not a clearinghouse for all manner of off-topic, anal-related comments? Backstage with the Wikipedians: The inner workings of the global encyclopedia are "better than a soap opera". When Twitter attacks celebrities: Jim Carrey, Aimee Mann and other famous tweeters finally learn what we all know — the Internet's a bitch, and pretty much as mean as all of us. I'm quitting the Internet — will I be liberated or left behind? On the Web, it seems I can live virtually forever — that won’t get old, will it? Clive Thompson reviews You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier.

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