From Big Questions Online, against neurotrash: is human uniqueness really nothing more than a neurological phenomenon? The Evolved Apprentice: Kim Sterelny on two framing ideas about human evolution. A look at the 5 strangest things evolution left in your body. The next stage in evolution — a machine consciousness able to manipulate time and space — is just around the corner; the catch is humans will no longer be in charge (and more). From The Futurist, a review of How to Defeat Your Own Clone: And Other Tips for Surviving the Biotech Revolution by Kyle Kurpinski and Terry Johnson. A review of Biology Is Technology: The Promise, Peril, and New Business of Engineering Life by Robert H. Carlson. Neither models nor miracles: Ars Technica takes a look at synthetic biology. The obscure Enlightenment philosopher and doctor La Mettrie is the man who said we are machines. Can we be happy forever in robot bodies? Zombies, human sonar, and transhumanism: An interview with Katalin Balog. AIs, superflies, and the path to immortality: To thoroughly solve the “limited healthspan” problem will probably require generally intelligent Artificial Biologists, capable of deeply comprehending the structure and dynamics of biological networks in a way the human mind cannot. A review of Long for This World: The Strange Science of Immortality by Jonathan Weiner (and more and more) and The Youth Pill: Scientists at the Brink of an Anti-Aging Revolution by David Stipp (and more).


Ken M. Levy (LSU): Killing, Letting Die, and the Case for Mildly Punishing Bad Samaritanism. Daniel Solove (GWU): "I've Got Nothing to Hide" and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy. How hereditary can intelligence be? Studies show nurture at least as important as nature. New technologies make it possible to more effectively track shipping containers in real time, like an "internet of things"; Greg Smith and Jordan Hale explore the implications for ubiquitous computing and the fabric of urban life. From the National Book Critic Circle's Critical Mass blog, a series on the deciding what to read next and what you're looking forward to reading. Aung Zaw explores the legacy of Minn Latt Yekhaun, a Burmese scholar in Cold War-era Czechoslovakia. Insulin is not a cure: Thanks to their daily injections, diabetics are still alive — just barely. From Comment, David Koyzis on the "oppressiveness" of civil society: Is there something intrinsically oppressive in communities imposing standards on individual members? Gregory McNamee on World War II from the other side films. You are what you read: What better way to judge your fellow commuter than by the book in his hand. Joel Achenbach is not turning back: Among the milestones of midlife, one stands out. The twang of a New York accent is familiar to many around the world through Hollywood films, but with many believing it is now in decline, one woman is on a quest to record its full variety for posterity.


From International Viewpoint, Jean Nanga on Sub-Saharan Africa, after fifty years of “independence”. Sixteen African states are marking 50 years of independence in 2010 — following very different paths. Andre-Michel Essoungou on the historic retreat of African autocrats. From Geocurrents, an article on the self-declared Republic of Ambazonia (and more). Flower Power: In Kenya's Rift Valley, a global business is blooming. Sudan's president has been charged with genocide — so why aren't African nations confronting him? The fastest to die: A study reveals how deeply the wounds of conflict have cut the Central African Republic — and not where you would expect. A review of The Last Banana: Dancing with the Watu by Shelby Tucker. A review of Famine and Foreigners: Ethiopia Since Live Aid by Peter Gill. Ethiopia is not the voice of Africa: It gets a disproportionately large slice of Africa's aid, but the Ethiopian regime does not act in the best interests of its citizens or its neighbours. Ivory Coast united by greed: The north and the south have different rulers, but both the southern president and the northern military government exploit people and resources for their own profit. Lynne Hybels on the Democratic Republic of Congo, the worst place on Earth to be a woman. L. Muthoni Wanyeki on the "long walk" to equality for African women. Exporting homophobia: American far-right conservative churches establish influence on anti-gay policy in Africa.


Stefan Andreasson (QUB): Conservatism and Postcolonial Politics. Men who wish to attract women on the disco floor would be better advised to learn a few moves that answer the female mating drive rather than bother with the moonwalk — psychologists have identified the key male dance movements that most arouse female interest. From Forward, are corporations evil? The problem isn’t when corporations go wrong — the problem is when they go right. Do No Evil: Google’s philanthropy, dubbed DotOrg, launched in 2004 with bold ambitions and almost $1 billion in seed funding, but the corporate culture built by engineers proved challenging for the development experts brought in — six years later, the philanthropy’s leadership has been replaced and its ambitions have shrunk. MRI Lie Detectors: Can magnetic-resonance imaging show whether people are telling the truth? From Renewal, Diane Perrons on gender, work and "market" values; and a review of books on the new world of work. Beyond the Poverty Line: The way the United States determines who is poor and who is not — a measure based solely on the cost of food — is broken; a new approach is needed, one that measures poverty through multiple factors such as housing, transportation, and regional economic differences. ”Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”: Why would anyone hate a beautiful woman on a commercial?


A review of Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America by Eric Jay Dolin. A review of A Nation Rising: Untold Tales of Flawed Founders, Fallen Heroes, and Forgotten Fighters from America’s Hidden History by Kenneth C. Davis. From The Journal of American Culture, a review essay on antebellum American thought and politics. Were It a New-Made World: Hawthorne, Melville and the Unmasking of America. A review of Lost Intimacy in American Thought: Recovering Personal Philosophy from Thoreau to Cavell by Edward F. Mooney. A review of The Taming of the American Crowd by Al Sandine. An interview with Cameron C. Nickels, author of Civil War Humor. Thomas J. DiLorenzo on the culture of violence in the American West — myth versus reality. From Inkling, a three-part series on the history of U.S. anti-evolutionary sentiment. Pure Visionary: On the life and times of Anthony Comstock, moral crusader. Geocurrents takes a look at the convergence of drinking habits in the United States, 1970-2007 (and wine and beer). The 1970s were a decade of lost opportunities to reconstruct the New Deal order, when it all went wrong: Mark Schmitt reviews Right Star Rising: A New Politics, 1974-1980 by Laura Kalman; Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class by Jefferson Cowie (and more); and Pivotal Decade: How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the Seventies by Judith Stein.

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