A new issue of United Academics Magazine is out. J. David Velleman (NYU): Life Absurd? Don't Be Ridiculous. New Dominionists: Meet the Christian couple behind the Right’s most viral videos. Soft porn, hardening hearts: Jonathan Tayler on a magazine’s private story. From The Washington Diplomat, academic Tyler Cowen livens up economics with The Great Stagnation; and Argentina 2001 vs. Greece 2011:
 Patrick Corcoran on the parallels and pitfalls of comparison. Blank-of-the-Month Clubs: Jill Harness on 16 offbeat subscription services. The Best Predictions of 2011: Drawing from a variety of sources throughout the past year, the editors of The Futurist take a look at some of the best predictions for the world’s future. Modernity and its Discontents: Morten Hoi Jensen reviews George Scialabba’s The Modern Predicament. If it weren’t for Newt’s dreadful neocon policies, he would have self-declared misogynist Brandon Adamson’s vote hands down. Can anyone explain why this fool is allowed to ruin this blog? Mad Otto Rossler continues to take up space on the Lifeboat blog.

From TED, Paul Romer on the world's first charter city; and Geoffrey West on the surprising math of cities and corporations. Global cities: Andrew Robsinson on the rise and rise of capitalism’s behemoths (and part 2). The rise of the megacity: Jakarta, Lagos, and Sao Paolo, and other massive population centers are changing the way we think about cities. An interview with Austin Williams, author of The Lure of the City: From Slums to Suburbs. The city solution: Robert Kunzig on why cities are the best cure for our planet’s growing pains. "Cities are making us more human": An interview with Edward Glaeser. The evolution of great world cities: Christopher Kennedy explores the urban wealth and economic growth of great cities. A review of Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City by Andrew Ross (and more). Brahmin Dreams: Douglass Shand-Tucci is in search of the capital of the world. From Cracked, a look at the 6 most mind-blowing modern ghost towns; and an article on the 6 weirdest cities people actually live in.

Thomas Borstelmann on how equality begat inequality and other ways the 1970s shaped our world. A review of Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America by Adam Winkler. Ben Schreiner on a phrasebook guide to U.S. politics. Why we still can’t talk about slavery: On a trip through the South, Civil War culture is presented as "authentic" — they just leave out the slavery part. Is the U.S. getting older and whiter, or younger and more diverse? Yes. Amon Emeka and Jody Agius Vallejo look at why many people with Latin American ancestry are not identifying themselves as Hispanic on U.S. Census surveys. A review of Hell No: Your Right to Dissent in 21st-Century America by Michael Ratner and Margaret Ratner Kunstler. To save post offices, turn them into public banks. Michael Lind on his book Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States. Brad DeLong on America’s Financial Leviathan. Edward Glaeser on why finance shouldn’t be the only game in town. Seth Stevenson on the Greatest Paper Map of the United States You’ll Ever See — made by one guy in Oregon.

A new issue of Variant is out. From Seed, Steven Pinker on vocabulary and war. Free, white and twenty-one: Robert Paul Wolff on the real origin of the grievance that motivates so large a segment of the Republican electorate today. Quite contrary: The associates of the Institute of Ideas certainly have a talent for getting noticed, but is there more to them than hollow liberal-baiting? From Public Eye, a special issue on the 30th anniversary of Political Research Associates. From HBR, a look at the 50 Most Influential Management Gurus; and Des Dearlove and Stuart Crainer on why management ideas matter. From Jacobin, Peter Frase on four futures: Logical combinations of the two oppositions resource abundance vs. scarcity and egalitarianism vs. hierarchy. Here is the latest issue of World War 4 Report. Taxing the 1%: Why the top tax rate could be over 80%. Did Gingrich's win break the rules? His win in South Carolina alone is not enough to be paradigm-breaking, but if he follows it with a win in Florida, all bets are off. Tucker Max gives up the game: What happens when a bestselling player stops playing?

From Neiman Journalism Lab, a special section on what 2012 will bring for the future of journalism. The San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley’s own daily, was poised to ride the digital whirlwind — what happened? Longform journalism faces a stiff challenge: How do you hold the attention of an audience that is clicking rather than paging through a long article? An interview with Matt Carlson, author of On the Condition of Anonymity: Unnamed Sources and the Battle for Journalism. An interview with Jonathan M. Ladd, author of Why Americans Hate the Media and How It Matters (and more). From CJR, meet Chris Faraone, Occupy reporter for the Boston Phoenix; the reporter’s voice: Seven accomplished reporters and one great photographer talk about what they do, how they do it, and why; an interview with Juan Gonzalez, co-author of News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media; Dean Starkman on the limited vision of the news gurus; and founder James Boylan reflects on CJR’s roots. An article on the new, convoluted life cycle of a newspaper story.

From the Journal of World Christianity, a special issue (reg. req.) on the Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity. Across the globe, a new form of religiosity is transforming the spiritual and secular landscape — Evangelical Christianity, Islamic fundamentalism, and many other modern religions, Olivier Roy argues, are no longer tied to a particular culture or location. Nathan Schneider on why the world needs religious studies. From IHE, Gregory Kalscheur on a key task for Catholic higher ed: It's time to focus on revitalizing an important intellectual tradition, not just debating which speakers shouldn't appear on campuses; and Scott McLemee reviews The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age by Randall J. Stephens and Karl W. Giberson. Alan Jacobs on Christianity and the future of the book. The Book of Books: Marilynne Robinson on what literature owes the Bible. The most insanely violent cartoon ever is about the Bible. From TED, Alain De Bottom on Atheism 2.0 A review of The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions by Alex Rosenberg. Massimo Pigliucci on the goals of atheist activism. A look at 4 things both atheists and believers need to stop saying.

A new issue of Wild River Review is out. From the International Journal of Qualitative Methods, Amy Singer (Knox): A Novel Approach: The Sociology of Literature, Children’s Books, and Social Inequality; Jennifer Brady (Queens): Cooking as Inquiry: A Method to Stir Up Prevailing Ways of Knowing Food, Body, and Identity; and Janet Newbury (Victoria): A Place for Theoretical Inconsistency. There is no purpose in pretending that the international community will come to the rescue of the Syrian people — why? Because the Libya intervention was too much of a success. From 6 economists, 6 ways to face 2012. Sanjay Patel on a hipster’s guide to Hinduism. Julian Sanchez on Internet regulation and the economics of piracy. David Leonhardt on why Americans think the tax rate’s high, and why they’re wrong. From AOL Government, a special section on the Best of 2011. The new American divide: Charles Murray on what's cleaving America, and why. Stephen Walt on the Israel lobby's role in American politics. Can Plato's allegory of the cave shed light on the condition of addiction?

From RAND Review, a look at how demographic trends forecast next phases for China, India, and the United States; Stijn Hoorens on how all European Union countries face declining and aging populations; an infographic of the world in 2030 shows how different it will be from that of today; and a look at how demographic trends will change the world through 2050. From The Washington Quarterly, what should the world expect from this year’s transitions in China, Russia, and France? The introduction to The New World Order by Joel Kotkin. From Foreign Policy, how dangerous is the world? Paul Miller investigates. Richard Betts on possible future threats to the US. From Democracy Journal, a special section on America and the World: New principles to guide our foreign policy. A review of Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or Be Ruled by Others? by John Fonte (and more and more). As the world is undergoing a profound transformation, what role will the US play in a post-American century? As the US pivots toward Asia, Europe stumbles. Lionel Barber Asia's rise, the West's fall? Ira Straus on the optical illusion of Western decline (and part 2).

From The New Criterion, being a Southerner: Barton Swaim on the “habits of affection and behavior” in the American South. Like a pig to mud: Southern living ain’t half bad. Linton Weeks on the hipsterfication of America. From City Journal, Kay S. Hymowitz on how Brooklyn got its groove back: New York’s biggest borough has reinvented itself as a postindustrial hot spot. A review of Crude Awakening: Money, Mavericks, and Mayhem in Alaska by Amanda Coyne and Tony Hopfinger (and more). Abe Sauer on North Dakota and the rise of an American petrostate. Frank Jacobs on the Underwritten States of America. The "Age of Thirst" in the American West: Coming to a theatre near you — the greatest water crisis in the history of civilisation. Cape Fear: A small portion of the Massachusetts coastline is home to America’s biggest witch-hunt, a history of savage wife mobs, the occasional 400 percent increase of unlucky pregnancies, and the world’s largest deposits of black crystals. The first chapter from The Evolution of a Nation: How Geography and Law Shaped the American States by Daniel Berkowitz and Karen B. Clay.

Tsilly Dagan (Bar-Ilan): Dilemmas of Tax Policy in a Globalized World. Stuart Schoenfeld and Jonathan Rubin (York): Contrasting Regional Environmentalisms in the Eastern Mediterranean: A Social Constructionist Perspective. New Humanist goes inside the mind of Scientology's Messiah: Twenty-five years after his death, Michael Bywater revisits the sacred texts of the pulp science writer turned prophet L Ron Hubbard. When can the president order the execution without trial of an American citizen? How to argue about politics: What if the Democrats took a more philosophical approach to their opposition to Republican positions? In an age where easy prosperity will never return, the challenge is to “protect” against privatisation, oligarchs and rentier capitalists — William Davies reflects on life 20 years after the closure of Marxism Today. Playing God: Philip Ball looks at the timeless fascination, and consequences, of the monster myth. East Timor, the world's second youngest country, faces a unique challenge: few of its teachers speak the country's legal lingua franca, Portuguese — so what should schools teach?