From Sojourners, which side are you on? Wes Howard-Brook on a study on the Bible's "two religions". From Touchstone, Barry Hankins on how the culture war of the Roaring Twenties set the stage for today’s Catholic and Evangelical alliance; why fight same-sex marriage? Douglas Farrow investigates; Gillis Harp on the tyranny of modern freedom versus the freedom of Jesus; what is man? Anthony Esolen on what Raskolnikov knew and translators have lost; and Marilyn Prever on the truth we don’t know about fairies, leprechauns, UFOs, ETs and other entities. From Ship of Fools, da Jesus Book, fo real: Mark Howe on how getting the Bible onto digital devices such as smartphones and tablets has become a publishing phenomenon; a look at how the Virgin Mary is always played by the good, the pretty and teacher's pets; and they're handy and holy: Here are the 12 brightest and newest Gadgets for God. From The Guardian, can it be rational for the religious to be non-rational? From The Philosopher, Zenon Stavrinides on taking an empirical approach to religious belief.
From Berfrois, Junko Kitanaka on psychiatry and Japan’s “national disease”. The first chapter from Depression in Japan: Psychiatric Cures for a Society in Distress by Junko Kitanaka. The myth of Japan’s failure: Instead of feeling sorry for Japan, the United States should look to it as a model for economic recovery. Alex Hoban is hoping no one dies at the North Korean Fun Fair. The Phantom Massacre: A faceless and motiveless threat ravages southern Thailand. A review of Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia by Thant Myint-U. A well-developed yet illegal internet pornography industry, DIY pornography and sex activist movements have emerged that are in constant counter-dialogue with the PRC’s “Propaganda of Impotence”. A review of Beneath Blossom Rain: Discovering Bhutan on the Toughest Trek in the World by Kevin Grange. A look at why Singapore has the cleanest government money can buy. The impossible Asian Union: An interview with Francois Godement. The Asia Pacific chessboard: The Sino-American competition for allies within Asia Pacific could be an opportunity.
From the latest issue of Policy Review, Mark P. Lagon and William F. Schulz on conservatives, liberals, and human rights; and Ronald W. Dworkin on retirement and the social contract. From National Affairs, Tevi Troy on Devaluing the Think Tank. From Revolution, Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA , has some "tips for Tim Tebow" (and more); an open letter to Angelina Jolie on her The Land of Blood and Honey; Raymond Lotta on the sham and shame of Slavoj Zizek's "honest pessimism"; and should a woman feel sad about her abortion? Sunsara Taylor says fuck no. The next president, whoever he is, will enjoy a “recovery presidency,” and so too will his party — and that makes the 2012 election really, really important. What if Obama loses? A series on imagining the consequences of a GOP victory. Ramon Glazov on Papua New Guinea through the eye of a pig. Why teen pot smoking could be a good thing (and what we can learn from teens who choose weed over beer). Anne E. Lester on her book Creating Cistercian Nuns: The Women’s Religious Movement and Its Reform in Thirteenth-Century Champagne.
Michal B. Paradowski (Warsaw): The Embodied Language: Why Language Should Not Be Conceived of in Abstraction from the Brain and Body, and the Consequences for Robotics. This Blog is Not a Fungus: Technology’s effect on culture is not just about the production and distribution of the media — technology becomes part of the plot, it enables new kinds of narratives, and produces new art forms all-together. From Transformations, a special issue on Slow Media, including Tero Karppi (Turku): Digital Suicide and the Biopolitics of Leaving Facebook. Jason Silva’s captivating videos deliver a dose of "techno-optimism". Our successors, the next stage of Homo sapiens, have ascended to the level of effortlessly geolocating tweets and viewing many more of their friends' updates on their iPads all while listening to iTunes — could evolution possibly reach any higher? Mike Thomsen on the search for posthumanism: The idea that we can run out of time is peculiar — it’s a product of how we organize our memories. In the Year 9595: Why the singularity is not near, but hope springs eternal.
From New Left Project, an interview with Erik Olin Wright on Occupy Wall Street and transformational strategy. Eric Johnson on how right-wing libertarians, John Birchers and conspiracy freaks are trying to hijack the Occupy Movement. Smack in the middle of the holidays, on a Wednesday night in very late December, about 150 people — philosophy professors and graduate students — gathered in a hotel conference room in Washington, DC, for a panel called, “Thinking Occupation: Philosophers Respond to Occupy Wall Street”. The forgotten prophets of the Occupiers: A fascinating Canadian book urges "political action for the 99%" — it was written in 1943. C. S. Herrman on social contract theory for Occupiers: what law, culture and history tell us. Reza Fiyouzat submits to the Occupy movement the idea of "Direct Representation for Taxation". From Socialist Viewpoint, two issues on Occupy Wall Street. From Ship of Fools, what would Jesus occupy? A look at what lies behind the Occupy phenomenon, what may lie ahead, and what the recent spate of protests across the political spectrum portends for the republic.
Jeffrey Andrew Barash (Jules Verne): At the Threshold of Memory: Collective Memory between Personal Experience and Political Identity. Robert Cailliau's career at CERN spanned almost four decades, during which time he helped build the World Wide Web. Matthew C. Nisbet on online news and the demise of political disagreement. An interview with McKenzie Wark, author of The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International. A review of The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life by Robert Trivers (and more and more). From SSIR, Kavita Ramdas provides a critique of philanthrocapitalism, and Matthew Bishop and Michael Green argue its continuing merits. Don’t blame me, I didn’t want anything to do with this book: Jeremy Stangroom on amusing Prefaces. From Smithsonian, Mike Dash on the mystery of the five wounds. All those security measures accomplish nothing, at enormous cost — that’s the conclusion of Charles C. Mann, who put the T.S.A. to the test with the help of one of America’s top security experts.
Irfan Habib (AMU): The Philosophy of History. The Journal of Contemporary History is at the crossroads of past and present: A special issue on "contemporary" history and the historical discipline. The new dangers of politicization: With the past ceasing to be a body of knowledge and becoming a public issue, a new form of political influence has exerted itself upon historians. Scott McLemee reviews The Terror of History: On the Uncertainties of Life in Western Civilization by Teofilo R. Ruiz. The persistence of the past: The triumph of liberal democracy was supposed to herald an end to history — but it has returned with a vengeance. A review of Deep History: The Architecture of Past and Present by Andrew Shryock and Daniel Lord Smail. History Heroes: Smithsonian profiles Marc Bloch. Mysteries and Masterpieces: Adam Kirsch on the latest stage in the “American conquest of the Middle Ages”. From Perspectives on History, William Cronon on the public practice of history in and for a digital age; and Anthony T. Grafton on historians at work — public history. Reflections on writing history: A review of Political Concepts and Time.
Jessica Christine Lai (Luzern): The Protection of Maori Cultural Heritage: Post-Endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Maori Culture in the Modern World: Its Creation, Appropriation and Trade. DNA sequencing of a 100-year-old lock of hair has established Aboriginal Australians have had a longer continuous association with the land than any other race of people. Australia’s aborigines and occupied land: More moves towards restitution for native Australians. A review of Seeds of Empire: The Environmental Transformation of New Zealand by Tom Brooking and Eric Pawson. Last month saw the death of the Australian Literary Review, the monthly literary and intellectual supplement to The Australian. Want to know what global warming has in store for us? Just go to Australia, where rivers are drying up, reefs are dying, and fires and floods are ravaging the continent. A review of Looking for the Light on the Hill: Modern Labor’s Challenges by Troy Bramston. Eddie Walsh on why Oceania matters. Is New Zealand too orderly, tidy and tame? There was, as there always is in Fondlelandia, a happy if somewhat moist ending.
Russell K. Robinson (UC-Berkeley): Masculinity as Prison: Sexual Identity, Race, and Incarceration. Navigating knowledge: Is "creative nonfiction" a contradiction in terms? From the Phyllis Schlafly Report, a look at how the UN is scheming to tax Americans; and a look at what's coming up in 2012. At what point did it begin to matter what you wore? Ulinka Rublack looks at why the Renaissance was a turning point in people’s attitudes to clothes and their appearance. A review of Democratic Enlightenment: Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights, 1750-1790 by Jonathan Israel. At Davos, leaders are debating whether corporations are more powerful than governments. How many Stephen Colberts are there? Jesse David Fox on the rise and fall and fall and fall of hipster bashing. Here are 119 amazing facts for National Trivia Day. From Owni, a look at 12 great visualizations that made history. Gay Talese on the double life of literati: There is no such thing as absolute truth — every sentence, every article is an editorial choice. A brief history of Big Think: Celebrating 4 years. That hideous strength: Satan is a Democrat, it is the blue states that are red, and the Evil Empire strikes back.
From The Philosopher, the history of science is often depicted as a series of progressive triumphs - but is that view a myth or a reality? Roger Highfield argues that the modern scientific method, an unending dialogue between theory and experiment, is the greatest of all inventions. Trials and errors: Jonah Lehrer on why science is failing us. Just-if-ication: Raam Gokhale on a discussion of scientific reasoning. Collaborators from national laboratories, universities, and international organizations are using the National Ignition Facility to probe key fundamental science questions. Rereading Darwin: Science now takes for granted the importance of forces and time spans we can’t perceive directly. If, in some cataclysm, all scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? King of the Cosmos: Carl Zimmer profiles Neil deGrasse Tyson. Disgrace: Charles Gross on Marc Hauser and a case of scientific misconduct at Harvard. A review of Physics on the Fringe: Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything by Margaret Wertheim.