A new issue of Chay Magazine: Sex and Sexuality Pakistan, South Asia and Abroad is out. From Himal Southasian, a cover story on God and the gospel of globalisation: The complex nexus of market, religion and the state behind secularism's failure in the region; the idea of Punjabiyat: Despite fragmentation for centuries, the Punjabi identity today is engaged in a remarkably active attempt at consolidation; beyond Indology: The 18th-century "discovery" by Western academics of Sanskrit allowed a whole new branch of science-minded researchers to delve into the mysteries of the Subcontinent; a review of books on Bhutan; and internationalising Lanka: The idea of Southasia after the war. The Afghanistan War is mainly about Pakistan and India — actually, it's about the whole region. Being forced to choose between supporting the Indian or Pakistani team is now a thing of the past for cricket-crazy Afghans. Nepal is waiting for a constitution and a proper democratic election, but the country’s squabbling political parties have been blocking progress, allowing human rights abuses to continue. From Tehelka, madrassas are the cornerpiece of Muslim community life; in a disturbing twist, some of them are being used as transit shelters for child trafficking — or worse, doubling up as sweatshops themselves; and Sansar Chand is India’s deadliest poacher — here is how he has escaped legal traps for 40 years.


From Cato Unbound, James C. Scott on the trouble with the view from above. From The Independent, Robert Fisk on the crimewave that shames the world: It's one of the last great taboos — the murder of at least 20,000 women a year in the name of 'honour'  — nor is the problem confined to the Middle East (and part 2). Do our brains think some people deserve to suffer? If at first you don't secede: Meet Michael Boldin, the legalization-loving, Iraq-War-hating Californian who's become a guru to the state sovereignty movement. More and more and more and more on Running Commentary by Benjamin Balint and Norman Podhoretz by Thomas Jeffers. From The Chronicle, will the book survive Generation Text? Carlin Romano investigates. Chilean miners: That far down, who decides what’s law? Even NASA sees it as a case study in isolation. Participatory culture and the assault on democracy: An excerpt from New Threats to Freedom by Lee Siegel (and more). Untangling the social web: From retailing to counterterrorism, the ability to analyse social connections is proving increasingly useful — but in a data-swamped world, connecting the dots is all too easy. Actor Kelsey Grammer is an investor and public face supporting RightNetwork, a new network with entertainment designed to appeal to political conservatives. A review of The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East by Mitchell Bard (and more).


Building the Brain: Nick Spitzer goes from simplicity to complexity. Reverse-engineering the human brain so we can simulate it using computers may be just two decades away. You are what you touch: How tool use changes the brain's representations of the body. What's so special about the human brain? It turns out that we're no better endowed between the ears than you would expect for a primate of our size. Thinking like a chimpanzee: Tetsuro Matsuzawa has spent 30 years studying our closest primate relative to better understand the human mind. Trouble in the Monkey House: Marc Hauser's disputed claims about primate minds pale next to the versions peddled in popular accounts (and more). A review of The Artificial Ape: How Technology Changed the Course of Human Evolution by Timothy Taylor (and more). Timothy Taylor on the outrageous fortune that made us the dominant ape. How technology created humans: Timothy Taylor explains how a long-vanished artefact explains human evolution and led to "survival of the weakest". The Neanderthal in the Mirror: Now confirmed as our blood relatives, what else might they have shared with us? E.O. Wilson proposes a new theory of social evolution: The dominant evolutionary theory for Earth’s most successful creatures, and a proposed influence on human altruism, is under attack (and more and more).


A new issue of Prelom magazine is out. From Spectrum, a special section on telepresence. The Long Shock: This recession ain't over until never? Joshua Green on how George W. Bush can redeem himself. Edge remembers George C. Williams (1926-2010). Pleasure on the Brain: David Linden explains why we seek pleasure, where we find it, and how it can steer us away from true contentment. John McQuaid on the legacy of the Gulf spill: What to expect for the future? A review of Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11 and Iraq by John Dower (and more). From Reviews in History, a review of A Brief History of Nakedness by Philip Carr-Gomm (and a response). The cultural damage of the war on terror: The baleful effects of the American "war on terror" have not been limited to the political realm — and the cultural damage has been even more grave. When reading the newspaper, Paul Bloom is constantly struck by the extent of human kindness. How can a democracy solve tough problems? Joe Klein investigates. From The Social Contract, a special issue on Southern Poverty Law Center, America’s Left-wing hate machine. A perennial wunderkind: Harold Bloom enters his ninth decade. The roots of pop culture: David Luhrssen explores variety shows and vaudeville. Rob Horning on how the more convenience we introduce to conversation, the more we winnowing away the difficulties that preserve the possibilities of discourse.


Stefan P. Dolgert (Toronto): In Praise of Ressentiment: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Glenn Beck (and more). Danny Duncan Collum on why Glenn Beck hates community organizers. David Weigel reviews The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters, and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama by Will Bunch (and more) and Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America by Kate Zernike. The Revisionaries: Bradford Plumer on the Tea Party’s goofy fetish for amending the Constitution. A Fashion Essentials Guide for the Tea Party Patriot: A movement that's rewriting the rules for politics is also rewriting new rules for fashion. From Forbes, Dinesh D'Souza on How Obama Thinks: The President isn't exactly a socialist — so what's driving his hostility to private enterprise? Look to his roots. David Thomas Smith (Michigan): The First Muslim President? Causes and Consequences of the Belief That Barack Obama is a Muslim. Bryan Adamson (Seattle): The Muslim Manchurian Candidate: Barack Obama, Rumors, and Quotidian Hermeneutics (2009). A review of The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and other Anti-American Extremists by Aaron Klein and Brenda Elliott. Muslims on Main Street: How a small town in America’s heartland fell in love with an Islamic revolutionary — twice. Susan Nance on her book How the Arabian Nights Inspired the American Dream, 1790-1835. Integration has always been the American body politic's best antibody against the virus of radical political ideology. The Ground Zero mosque controversy reveals important fault lines in Americans' thinking about religion. A review of Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race by Thomas Sugrue. A review of The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress by William Jelani Cobb.

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