From City Journal, Myron Magnet on how American press freedom began on Wall Street: A 1735 libel trial in New York’s City Hall proved revolutionary. Give Patch a Chance: Controversy swirls around AOL’s ambitious hyperlocal venture. From the fringe to the mainstream: How “scandals” of dubious validity or relevance end up attracting so much media attention. A matter of interpretation: Why an analytic approach is crucial for mainstream news outlets. Scientists map what factors influence the news agenda. Let us pay: John Lanchester on the future of the newspaper industry. From Neiman Reports, a special issue on "The Beat Goes On—Its Rhythm Changes", including Kate Galbraith on the capriciousness of beats; it’s scary out there in reporting land: David Cay Johnston on how beats are fundamental to journalism, but our foundation is crumbling; and Juanita Leon on the blog as beat. From OJR, why the death of syndication is great news for hyperlocal and niche sites. Can journalists call a lie a lie? The thing about news is that it has to be unusual, otherwise it's not news, it's just life — that's one theory at least, but it presents all sorts of problems. What will 2011 bring for journalism? Clay Shirky predicts widespread disruptions for syndication. Why the iPad is destroying the future of journalism. A planned IPO has exposed weaknesses in its business model and accounting methods — can Demand Media survive, let alone thrive? A review of The Deeds of My Fathers: How My Grandfather and Father Built New York and Created the Tabloid World of Today by Paul David Pope.


A new issue of Public History Review is out. From The Washington Monthly, a special series of articles on what Obama should say in the State of the Union. What do anarchists want from us? Steampunk as the new Goth: The retrofuturistic trend draws on a Jules Verne-like view of the world and Victorian-era technology. A review of Histories and Fallacies by Carl Trueman. Nicolas Baumard on the evolutionary and cognitive basis of the cultural success of garbage trucks among western toddlers. With the Air Force's Gorgon Drone, "we can see everything". From Improbable Research, a series on curing shyness in dogs. Barry Schwartz shares stories that illustrate the difference between following the rules and truly choosing wisely. Dan Ariely tells Matthew Taylor why it's only by understanding our weaknesses that we can learn to anticipate and avoid mistakes. What's the matter with Broadway? A record number of shows are closing, with producers millions in the hole. From Hilobrow, this was not even a test; if this had been a real data-war, the signal would have gone silent — and you might have, as well. Have you no shame? Ignore the recent excuses — Henry Kissinger's entire career was a series of massacres and outrages. Will this generation see an explosion of creativity, collaboration and art that could be called a renaissance? You know the idea that truth is stranger than fiction? This year, we wanted our truth heavily dusted with fiction.


From Philosophy TV, Don Marquis and Michael Tooley debate abortion and personhood. Abortion in Europe is a right that isn't: Ireland is only one of several European nations to take a restrictive approach to abortion (and more by Linda Greenhouse). Ross Douthat on the way abortion may have become much more of an identity-politics totem than, say, issues like divorce and premarital sex, or even personal habits like churchgoing; and on the unborn paradox: In America, there’s been tragic contrast between the burden of unwanted pregnancies and the burden of infertility. A review of The Fetal Position: A Rational Approach to the Abortion Issue by Chris Meyers. From Ms., an article on the anti-abortion clinic across the street. A book salon on Before Roe v. Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court’s Ruling by Linda Greenhouse and Reva Siegel. Why is the black abortion rate so high? It's puzzling when poll results show that blacks tend to view abortion through a conservative lens. A look at how terror attacks on abortion clinics do little to reduce abortion rates. A study published this fall in the leading journal Social Science and Medicine found little support for the “abortion-as-trauma” framework pushed by anti-choice advocates. From Spiked, Ann Furedi on a moral defence of late abortion. MTV's shockingly good abortion special: The network that brought us "Teen Mom" tackles one of television's trickiest taboos — amazingly, they nail it. A review of The Ethics of Abortion: Women's Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice by Christopher Kaczor. For “pro-life” Republicans, human life is cheap.


Beneath Oxford University, archaeologists have uncovered a medieval city that altered the course of English history. A review of The World Before Domesday: The English Aristocracy 900–1066 by Ann Williams. A review of Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey by Rachel Hewitt. A review of Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War, and the Arts in the British World, 1750-1850 by Holger Hoock. A review of Empire and Globalisation: Networks of People, Goods and Capital in the British World, c.1850-1914 by Gary Magee and Andrew Thompson. How many isles are there in the British isles? Putin’s World Cup victory over hapless Britain is another sign of Anglo-America’s decline. Why does America invest so much psychic energy, not to mention hard dollars, in professional football, a sport that on many levels combines the worst aspects of roller derby and professional wrestling? A review of American Freak Show: The Completely Fabricated Stories of Our New National Treasures by Willie Geist. Here is a map of North American English dialects, based on pronunciation patterns. True north strong and free? Canada is the capital of political correctness run rampant. A review of Local Government in a Global World: Australia and Canada in Comparative Perspective. Lisa Gorton considers a new edition of Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The True Story of Australian Writer P.L. Travers, Creator of the Quintessentially English Nanny by Valerie Lawson. Australia: Are you England in disguise? There are predictions that English must inevitably lose its global dominance; Robert McCrum is not convinced. A review of The English is Coming! How One Language is Sweeping the World by Leslie Dunton-Downer. A review of The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel by Nicholas Ostler (and more). From The New Criterion, a special issue on the Anglosphere and the future of liberty.


A new issue of Reartikulacija is out. Dylan Kissane (CEFAM): Mapping International Chaos. From Politics and Culture, a special issue on The Left at War by Michael Berube, including an introduction, and contributions by Nick Cohen, Russell Berman, and Michael Berube, among others. From Standpoint, Jamie Whyte on why Nassim Nicholas Taleb is overrated and Joseph Bottum on why Charles Taylor is underrated. A time-series delusion: Herbert Gintis reviews Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age by Larry Bartels. Reading by numbers: Science invades the humanities. Game Changer: Why Wikileaks will be the death of big business and big government. Mark Leon Goldberg on why Cote D’Ivoire matters (and more). Why do we need to predict the future? There's "Room for Debate". From Postcolonial Text, a review of The Legacy of Edward W. Said by William V. Spanos. From Soldiers, a series of articles on modernizing and equipping the force. On beings to whom things happen: One of the things about our existence that is seldom reflected upon is that we are simply here and things happen to us because of it. The culture of business: How will we respond to the ever-stronger pushes to envy, to discontent, to growth, to newness, to debt? Why we won't get along: Ed Kilgore on four reasons that bipartisanship is doomed in the next Congress. A new English-language al-Qaeda explosives manual is released online.


Climate Change 101: A trio of articles re-cover some global warming basics (and more on the top 10 global warming denier arguments). The Obama administration sparks a renewed interest in climate change policy. Bill McKibben on why Obama and Cancun miss the point. Game Theory: Bruce Bueno de Mesquita says climate talks are destined to fail. Can we harness intellectual property institutions for the purpose of innovating to save the world from the worst climate change scenarios? John Bellamy Foster opens a debate on "degrowth", climate crisis and capitalism. Capitalism and the curse of energy efficiency: John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, and Richard York on the return of the Jevons Paradox. Throwing money at today's clean-energy technologies could keep us from discovering tomorrow's. An interview with David Goldstein, author of Invisible Energy: Strategies to Rescue the Economy and Save the Planet. Can social science combat climate change? Scientists remove some of the guesswork about how individuals will use energy in 2050 by looking at past campaigns to induce personal change and their effectiveness. An energy sixth sense to fight global warming: If we could see the energy we use we wouldn't be so wasteful — technology can help. An economy run on slave labour has much in common with one run on fossil fuels, argues Jean-Francois Mouhot — ending suffering means we all need to become modern-day abolitionists.

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