Right-wing billionaires and business propaganda: An excerpt from Joshua Holland's The Fifteen Biggest Lies about the Economy (And Everything Else the Right Doesn't Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs, and Corporate America). Whose media bias? Progressives' attempt to reshape the media has had some successes, but the failures may be more instructive. Chasing Fox: Gabriel Sherman on the loud, cartoonish blood sport that’s engorged MSNBC, exhausted CNN — and is making our body politic delirious. Why politics sucks: Political debate is so shallow and devoid of nuance that it is stifling the momentous decisions we may need to make this century. Why I love partisanship: Political feuding dominates our land — and in the eyes of one European, that’s exactly how it should be. How can Americans talk to one another — let alone engage in political debate — when the Web allows every side to invent its own facts? The Myth of Consensus Politics: For most of the past century, consensus in American politics has been more phantom than fact. In a sign of political junkies' further-diminishing free time, there's a service that will, essentially, read political books so you don't have to. D.W. MacKenzie on the impossibility of an informed electorate. Increasing numbers of ordinary Americans believe the U.S. political system is “fixed” against them — they’re not wrong. Why do our leaders disappoint us? It might have something to do with us. Michael Kazin on the myopia of anti-Washingtonitis. A "Government Doesn't Suck" march is planned. What normal person would put up with the inane indignities of the electoral process? New research looks at the importance of looks in running for office. A look at how D.C. became Hollywood for semi-attractive people. How GOP insurgents borrow from the left to move America right. Throw the Bums In: Americans distrust the GOP, so why are they voting for it? (and a response) Eight false things the public “knows” prior to Election Day.
Keith Swisher (Phoenix): Lawyers as Johns: The Professional Responsibility to Pay Lady Justice. From Vice, a special issue on comedy. Morals without God? Frans de Waal on how primate behavior sheds light on the origins of our sense of right and wrong. A review of The Shadow Market: How a Group of Wealthy Nations and Powerful Investors Secretly Dominate the World by Eric J. Weiner. A look at 6 bullshit facts about psychology that everyone believes. From California Law Review, a symposium on Martha Nussbaum's view on same-sex marriage and the constitution. Why commercial fishing is the deadliest job in America (and more). Riding the edge: For a moment, skaters, punk bands and artists had a secret place to call home. Research discovers how the deaf have super vision. When will obscenely rich aholes stop crying about taxes? Bill Maher wants to know. From New Statesman, an interview with Paul Johnson: “I suspect the sex abuse scandal has been greatly exaggerated”. The Nerd Report remains to this day one of the most extensive and far-reaching nerdological investigations ever undertaken. From Fortune, meet Josh Kaufman, the enemy of the MBA (and more). Private Security: Amitai Etzioni writes in defense of the "virtual strip-search". From Wired, Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson debate where ideas come from. Why are the effects of marijuana so unpredictable? Joseph Epstein has finished writing a book — now comes the anxiety. What will happen when the Earth's magnetism reversal occurs? For more than 40 years, social scientists investigating the causes of poverty have tended to treat cultural explanations like Lord Voldemort: That Which Must Not Be Named. An interview with Paul Thagard on books about the meaning of life. A look at 5 simple things you won't believe are recent inventions.
Jennifer Ritterhouse (GMU): Dixie Destinations: Rereading Jonathan Daniels' A Southerner Discovers the South. As home to America’s id, New Jersey’s pop-culture landscape has mutated, peaking with The Sopranos, then regressing into the Reality TV mud of Real Housewives and Jersey Shore; with Boardwalk Empire, HBO reaches further back, into the state’s proud, bullet-laced past. Size Matters: An article on small towns with big things. New England’s hidden history: More than we like to think, the North was built on slavery (and more). From Main Street News, an article on Bonaparte, Iowa: The Little Town That Could. Gangs of LA: All conflict tends towards binarity, be it on the chess board, in the political arena or on the mean streets of Los Angeles. Detroit’s decades-long collapse has left wide-open spaces for all sorts of possibility to flourish; it’s not exactly anarchy, but the place doesn’t operate by the rules of a normal American city. The small Nevada town of Battle Mountain has embraced its designation as the "Armpit of America" with an Old Spice-sponsored festival. The United States of Star Wars assigns a planet from the Star Wars universe to each state, which then illustrated appropriately. From Texas Monthly, a look at the history of Texas (according to Wikipedia). A review of Banktown: The Rise and Struggles of Charlotte's Big Banks by Rick Rothacker. How can the United States of America pretend to lead the fight against global money laundering given the "business" of Delaware? There’s a strange phenomenon in Los Angeles: the Betty Boop phenomenon. Worlds away from what we see on Jersey Shore, HBO's Boardwalk Empire has reignited interest in New Jersey history and culture: An interview with Bryant Simon, author of Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America. A look at some real world superheroes of the South. Rhode Island will vote on whether to drop "Plantations" from its name. Choire Sicha on America's top ten least pageview-garnering cities.
Jonathan Cohn (UCLA): The Virtual Aesthetics of Cosmetic Surgery: The Pleasure in Imagining the Body Morphed. A look at the 5 most mind-blowing coincidences of all time. From Philosophy TV, Jason Brennan and Neil Sinhababu debate political liberties and hedonism. How long has the "dumb blonde" meme been around? A review of The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Moral Values by Sam Harris (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). How the couple behind the Idiots books really collaborate. Creepypasta: From the files of the /B/tards. The power of realistic thinking: How can we avoid the pitfalls of too much optimism and too much pessimism? Humanoid Rights: The ACLU looks to science fiction to prepare for future threats to civil liberties. Friends with benefits: When you can't dress, eat, or go to the bathroom on your own, privacy takes a back seat to trust. A review of Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson (and more). Lonnie Johnson, the inventor of the Super Soaker, is trying to create a radical new solar-powered engine — he has the Air Force’s attention. "Lord of war" and "Merchant of death" Viktor Bout has had his fingers in many bloody conflicts over the years; the Russian arms dealer, who has been in a Thai prison since 2008, is now likely to be extradited to the United States — will he reveal the names of his backers? Regular exercise can help us live longer — but what exercises are the most effective, and how much do we need? New research suggests that more is better, and variety is best. From Britannica blog, a forum on Proposition 19 and the legalization of marijuana. A review of Bob Woodward's Obama's Wars (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more).
Here is the latest issue of Techne. From Transformations, a special issue on Bernard Stiegler and the Question of Technics. Joseph Isenbergh (Chicago): Last Apps Standing. Future shock, postmodern nostalgia, and uncanny technologies: A review of Obsolete: An Encyclopedia of Once-Common Things Passing Us By by Anna Jane Grossman. A review of Nanoethics: Big Ethical Issues with Small Technology by Donald P. O'Mathuna. Being a behemoth: how Microsoft (and 9 others) make their billions. The iPhone4 STILL doesn't have Dvorak? Kill QWERTY! From Wired, Clive Thompson on the death of the phone call. An article on 11 technologies in danger of going extinct. PCs built for the Apocalypse: There are plenty of nearly indestructible computers. From American Scientist, an article on the Great Principles of Computing: Computing may be the fourth great domain of science along with the physical, life and social sciences; and a review of The Cultural Logic of Computation by David Golumbia. What will happen when technology no longer augments our reality, but overthrows it? An interview with William Gibson on his relationship with technology. Peter Kirwan on why TV will outlive newspapers. Techno-porn: How the sex industry drives mainstream technology. A review of A Culture of Improvement: Technology and the Western Millennium by Robert Friedel. A code for chaos: Just how dangerous has a computer worm and cyberwarfare become? In defense of the Taliban: As poverty’s historical enemy, technology will always defeat extremism. A review of The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics by Luciano Floridi. Computers can auto-generate processes, so can we really use them for scientific research if we can't control them? A review of Kevin Kelly's What Technology Wants (and more). A review of Between Reason and Experience: Essays in Technology and Modernity by Andrew Feenberg. A review of I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works by Nick Bilton. An interview with Clifford Nass, an expert on how people respond to technology.