From Wired, the investment arms of the CIA and Google are both backing a company that monitors the web in real time — and says it uses that information to predict the future. From New Scientist, Google may know your desires before you do: In the future, search engines could know what you want before you do — if you're willing to trust them with the details of your private life; your online traces are helping fuel a revolution in the understanding of human behaviour, one that's revealing the mathematical laws of our lives; and tired of status updates from people you hardly know? Pay attention and you might find those weak ties more useful than you think. Researcher Danah Boyd argues that Facebook's success is due in part to "white flight" from MySpace. Despite its giant population, Facebook is not quite a sovereign state, but it is beginning to look and act like one (and more and more). Ryan Singel on five things that could topple Facebook’s empire. Amazon.com's first sale was fifteen years ago, and while the pioneering online retailer eventually found success, many of its peers weren't so lucky — a look at great sites of the Web 1.0 era that never made it. Goofy pictures of cats, Hitler screaming about Kanye West, Sad Keanu Reeves — these are the products of vast Internet collaboration, and we should take them seriously. The end of forgetting: The digital age is facing its first existential crisis — the impossibility of erasing your posted past and moving on.


A review of The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire by Linda Himelstein. An interview with David Stipp, author of The Youth Pill: Scientists at the Brink of an Anti-Aging Revolution (and more and more and more). As ethnic and sectarian solidarities and conflicts sharpen in this part of the world, it may be worth reminding ourselves of another way of being — "new Ottoman" cosmopolitanism, with its complex relationship to colonialism. Arab photographers' view of the "Orient": Frequently criticized as they are, images that "orientalize" Middle Eastern subjects are widespread and well known — the Arab Image Foundation, however, presents other views of this part of the world. Enlightened Views: The Book That Changed Europe: Picart and Bernard's Religious Ceremonies of the World by Lynn Hunt, Margaret C. Jacob, and Wijnand Mijnhardt shows how a set of 18th-century etchings helped change the way Europe thought about religion. A review of Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water by Peter H. Gleick. How prepared are we for the next great flu breakout? Why we’re losing the War Against Influenza. David Johnson on the difference between winning and losing: Baudrillardian reversibility and chance versus the world as stake. A review of A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West by Ian Johnson (and more).


From The Potomac, ars poetica: Gregg Mosson on a case for American political poetry and on Janus-faced optimism: America’s inaugural poetry. From TPM, examples of anti-mosque protests in all corners of the country: it's not just new mosque construction that angers the right — even the idea of Muslims reusing existing, non-mosque-looking buildings seems to be a step too far for many Americans. A review of American Christians and Islam by Thomas S. Kidd. Nick Rosen on his book Off The Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America. From Ralph, a review of U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth by Joan Waugh; and a review of Early Stone Houses of Kentucky by Carolyn Murray-Wooley. A review of Capture the Flag: A Political History of American Patriotism by Woden Teachout. Culture club: Does the nation’s culture need federal protection? An interview with Eric Jay Dolin, author of Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America (and more and more and more). The Reds and the Blues, it's time for a divorce: An expanded proposal to divide America into two countries. From Preservation, an article on America's eleven most endangered historic places; and Biltmore behind the scenes: How many caretakers does it take to keep one of America’s grandest houses humming? From Paste, Josh Jackson on 50 new state songs for the 21st century.


From Reconstruction, Kenza Oumlil (Concordia): Discourses of the Veil in Al-Jazeera English; Brian Winkenweder (Linfield): The Homometrics of eInterviews; and Rhonda Dass (MSU): Avoiding the Peep Show: Talking from within the Tattoo Community. A handy little chart will tell you everything you need to know to survive a zombie attack as well as many other attacks such as werewolves and vampires. New research acknowledges that money doesn’t buy happiness all on its own purchasing power, but rather happiness comes indirectly from the higher status money provides. Michael Washburn reviews Dark Harbor: The War for the New York Waterfront by Nathan Ward. It's hard out here for a snitch: Despite a host of whistleblower-protection laws, the feds rarely punish bosses who retaliate. From Alternative Right, Srdja Trifkovic on the meaning of the myth: Srbrenica, Islam, and Western Decadence (and a response and a reply and a response). Two weeks before the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, the huge, trouble-plagued BP refinery in the coastal town of Texas City spewed tens of thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals into the skies. To most people, typefaces are pretty insignificant — yet to their devotees, they are the most important feature of text, giving subliminal messages that can either entice or revolt readers. A look at 6 completely legal ways the cops can screw you.


From Z magazine, Jack Rasmus on an economic crisis balance sheet. It could have been a lot worse: An interview with Henry Paulson. Conventional economic models failed to foresee the financial crisis — could agent-based modelling do better? From National Affairs, N. Gregory Mankiw on crisis economics; and why should "real" unemployment be considered a more useful economic barometer than the standard unemployment rate? We would benefit from a better understanding of what the seemingly familiar statistics actually tell us. "Happiness economics" in reverse: Does happiness affect productivity? Un-Freakonomics: Alvin Roth uses economics to save lives, assign doctors and get kids into the right high school. Profiting from non-profits: Charities are often told they should learn from business — the reverse is also true. Schumpeter 2.0: A great thinker’s contribution not only appears in his or her finished works and arguments, but also within the rich intuitions or core ideas that underlie the arguments. Capitalism as a cultural system: A review of Joyce Appleby's The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism. Voodoo economics: What vampire and zombie movies can tell us about the future of capitalism. A review of Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem by Jay W. Richards. Blame Games: Could bad feeling between Wall Street and the White House be harming the recovery?

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