From Aeon, we picture ancient Britain as a land of enchanted forests, but that’s a fantasy: axes have been ringing for a very long time. The Magna Carta is considered by many to represent the foundation of democracy, but has its importance been exaggerated? British universities have a lot to learn about philanthropy — not least how to restrain its academic influence. Jon Kelly on why British police don’t have guns. Cita Stelzer reviews Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household by Kate Hubbard. SJD Green reviews Our Church by Roger Scruton. More people may believe in an afterlife than believe in God. Penelope J. Corfield proposes a new and inclusive long-span history course — the Peopling of Britain — to stimulate a renewed interest in the subject among the nation’s secondary school students. Ross McKibbin writes in defence of British universities. Filled with treasures from around the globe and across the ages, England's university museums are as varied as their funding, but those of Oxford and Cambridge still take the lion's share of Hefce cash. Louis Fisher reviews Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire by Paul D. Halliday.
A new issue of the Journal of Conflictology is out. Abdolkarim Sadrieh and Marina Schroder (Magdeburg): The Desire to Influence Others. From Next Left Notes, Howard Machtinger on the impossibility of change and its other possibilities. Mattia Riccardi reviews The Soul of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil by Maudemarie Clark and David Dudrick. Igor Stramignoni reviews Anti-Nietzsche by Malcolm Bull. Scott F. Aikin and Robert B. Talisse on reading weird books in public. Tim Dickinson on the Obama campaign's real heroes: Meet 10 key operatives who got the president re-elected. David Warsh on understanding the history of technological change. Maxwell Woods interviews Thomas Friese on translating Ernst Junger's The Adventurous Heart: Figures and Capriccios. Rachel Sagner Buurma reviews The Art of the Epigraph: How Great Books Begin. Gavin McInnes on 10 facts about Brooklyn natives. Culture is not a crime: Paul M. Davis on 10 years of Creative Commons. Scott McLemee reviews Ulrich Beck’s Twenty Observations on a World in Turmoil. Why David beat Goliath: Malcolm Gladwell says underdogs should play to their strengths.
Linda C. McClain (BU): Nature, Culture, and Social Engineering: Reflections on Evolution and Equality. Olle Folke (Columbia) and Johanna Karin Rickne (IFN): Female Representation but Male Rule? Party Competition and the Political Glass Ceiling. From Transhumanity, Vladimir Frolov on feminism and beta male losers; and Hank Pellissier on ova-fusion and the elimination of the male. Unmaking a difference: Is gender neutrality the new stereotype? Robin Phillips wonders. Women, please stop having affairs with older, more powerful men. Let's give chivalry another chance: It's been unfairly maligned as sexist, but women and men alike would benefit from bringing it back. Rob Okun is mad as hell at conventional manhood. Kisses and hugs in the office: How the once-intimate sign-off is feminizing the workplace, for better or worse. Down and dirty: Do men and women perceive cleanliness differently? Kay S. Hymowitz on the plight of the alpha female: Women remain scarce in the most elite positions — and it’s by choice. Kathoey “in trend”: Dredge Byung'chu Kang on emergent genderscapes, national anxieties and the re-signification of male-bodied effeminacy in Thailand. Here are 5 reasons modern life is driving manliness to extinction.
Rachel Dedman (Oxford): The Importance of Being Ernst: A Reassessment of E. H. Gombrich’s Relationship with Psychoanalysis. David McGowan (USD): Making Law School More Useful. Will law school students have jobs after they graduate? Elizabeth Lesly Stevens investigates. How to fix legal education: David Fontana reviews Failing Law Schools by Brian Z. Tamanaha (and more). Heath Brown interviews Scott Melzer, author of Gun Crusaders: The NRA’s Culture War. Should civilians be allowed to carry tasers? From Wired, Quinn Norton on an eulogy for #Occupy. What a week it was in the world of corporate criminality and governmental spinelessness. Better a Pharaoh or a Tempest? They say democracies make good neighbors — for Israel these days, it doesn’t seem so straightforward. Bruce Bartlett on the alarming corruption of the think tanks. Rein in the rich: John B. Judis on how higher taxes could lift the economy. Robert Frank on why millionaires prefer dogs over cats. To celebrate Renewal’s twentieth birthday, a special on-line issue brings together some of the most important articles published in the journal since it first appeared in 1993.
Tracing humanity's African ancestry may mean rewriting “out of Africa” dates. Does survival of the sexiest explain civilization? Benjamin Phelan on the most spectacular mutation in recent human history: How did milk help found Western civilization? Unnatural selection: Salamanders, fish and perhaps even humans are evolving fast in response to toxic chemicals — is that bad? State of the species: Does success spell doom for Homo sapiens? Charles C. Mann wonders. Brandon Kein on how human evolution is entering an exciting new phase. Colin Farrelly on the duty to extend the “biological warranty period” (in 5 parts). The recipe for immortality: An expert in synthetic biology explains how people could soon live for centuries. Max More on superlongevity without overpopulation. Marios Kyriazis on the global brain and its role in human immortality. Gattaca alert: Should we welcome the new age of eugenics? The origin of intelligence and mental illness are linked to ancient genetic accident. David Pearce on humans and intelligent machines co-evolution: fusion or replacement? Dawn Morrow and J.F. Sargent on 5 weird directions human evolution could have taken.
A new issue of First Monday is out, including Ayelet Oz (Harvard): Legitimacy and Efficacy: The Blackout of Wikipedia. I really like that you like what I like: How did the Internet get so cozy? Nathan Heller wonders. The fine print: To get Internet access in his apartment Avi Kramer had to give up his legal rights — you probably did too. Cory Doctorow on the Internet of the dead. Fernando Alfonso on the lost art of GeoCities GIFs. Ryan Tate on how social media is eating our lives (and Pinterest is chewing fastest). The Internet’s best terrible person goes to jail: Can reviled master troll Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer become a geek hero? A new study suggests the Internet is not entirely assholes. When it comes to security, we’re back to feudalism. Tom Simonite on how Google plans to find the unGoogleable. The secret lives of supercutters: Seth Stevenson on why people spend so many hours stitching footage into YouTube collages. From The Awl, a roundtable of the rise and fall of the obscure music download blog. Ryan Tate on how Facebook’s top engineer Mike Vernal is trying to read your mind. You got a better idea? ICANN is the worst solution to Internet governance, except for all the alternatives.
Sarah B. Lawsky (UC-Irvine): How Tax Models Work. Marko Milanovic (Nottingham): The Spatial Dimension: Treaties and Territory. Political geographies of the object: Katharine Meehan, Ian Graham, Ronald Shaw, and Sallie A. Marston on the role of objects in the constitution and exercise of state power, drawing on a close reading of the acclaimed HBO television series The Wire. Glenn C. Altschuler reviews Boilerplate: The Fine Print, Vanishing Rights, and the Rule of Law by Margaret Jane Radin. Vanessa Barford and Gerry Holt on Google, Amazon, Starbucks and the rise of “tax shaming”. William Benzon on culture, plurality, and identity in the 21st century. An excerpt from The Sacred and the Profane: An Investigation of Hipsters by Jake Kinzey. If you are a Republican living in a "blue" state, or if you are a Democrat living in a "red" state, you are less alone than some people would like you to believe. A.S.P. Walden reviews Courage: the Politics of Life and Limb by Richard Avramenko. Operation Delirium: Decades after a risky Cold War experiment, a scientist lives with secrets. Max Dunbar reviews Loan Sharks: The Rise and Rise of Payday Lending by Carl Packman.
From International Viewpoint, Phil Hearse on Francis Fukuyama and the “absent left”. Daniel Sage reviews Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today’s Capitalism. David Marjoribanks reviews Marxism and Ethics: Freedom, Desire, and Revolution by Paul Blackledge. Malcolm Harris reviews Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play by James C. Scott (and more). Communism is the ruthless critique of all that exists: An interview with Michael Hardt, author of Commonwealth. From Social Europe Journal, George Irvin on why investment must be socialised; and Shayn McCallum on why social democrats should embrace a democratic mixed economy. Analytic Marxism and real utopias: Nicolas Duvoux interviews Erik Olin Wright. What comes after post-anarchism? Duane Rousselle reviews The Democracy of Objects by Levi R. Bryant. Bill Fletcher on Marxism, the 21st century and social transformation (and part 2 and part 3). John Nichols on reading Karl Marx with Abraham Lincoln, Utopian socialists, German communists, and other republicans. George Fish reviews The Accumulation of Freedom: Writings on Anarchist Economics. Would Karl Marx have been a banker today? Not likely.
Landon Bevier (Tennessee): Structured Atrocities: Ideology and Abu Ghraib. From The International Journal of Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace, a special issue on the Grand Challenges of Engineering. Psychoanalysis and comedy: Natalija Bonic on the (im)possibility of changing the socio-symbolic order. Notes on prison tourism: S.J. Culver escapes to Alcatraz. Does the GOP need a new William F. Buckley, Jr.? Jacob Heilbrun wonders. Anthony Paletta on the sublime sci-fi buildings that communism built. Being transgender is no longer a disorder: The American Psychiatric Association salutes the T in LGBT. Beware the anti-anti-war Left: Jean Bricmont on why humanitarian interventionism is a dead end. Fighting cultural extinction, traditional dances and crafts added to UN list of intangible heritage. When it comes to happiness, it seems that the young and the old have the secret. From Edge, an interview with Nassim Nicholas Taleb on how understanding is a poor substitute for convexity. David Luban examines the case for Palestine's entry into the International Criminal Court and what it means for Israel.
A new issue of Tehelka is out. Shanthie Mariet D'Souza (ISAS): What Does Obama’s Re-election Mean to South Asia? Malala Yousufzai and the Bonesetter’s alchemy: Humera Afridi on girls, shame, healing what’s broken, and why education is the path to creating an honorable Pakistan. The current ban of YouTube is symptomatic of a 20th-century government unwilling to embrace the 21st century, says Shahidul Alam, as he looks back at the struggle for a digital Bangladesh. Bruce Riedel on an India-Pakistan detente. Gerardo Serra reviews Utopia and the Village in South Asian Literatures by Anupama Mohan. John M. Fritz and George Michell on searching for a new approach to development, tourism, and local needs at the grand medieval city of Hampi. Gross national happiness in Bhutan: the big idea from a tiny state that could change the world. The alliance from hell: Dilip Hiro on how the U.S. and Pakistan became the dysfunctional nuclear family of international relations. Why can't India feed its people? Mehul Srivastava wants to know. The world's deadliest road: Seven years ago, the World Bank paid for a road in Bangladesh to be upgraded, but without demanding basic safety features — now people are dying by the score.