From India’s Hardnews, it’s time for the Indus Valley to re-adopt its Persian socio-religious legacy; and why are we becoming so intolerant? The collective willingness to ban and burn books, intimidate authors, denounce this slight to that icon’s honour, is part of a creeping culture of political exchange in which public authority is all too ready to be coercive towards those it finds politically inconvenient (and more). The enigma of Bhutan: Two decades ago, nearly one-sixth of the population was forcibly expelled — how did King Wangchuck escape any real censure? How the surging popularity of “Himalayan Viagra” is causing murder and violence in Nepal. Three years after a debilitating civil war in Sri Lanka, people continue to disappear. From Bangladesh's Forum, Kazi Ataul-al-Osman on the politics of religion and distortion of ideologies; and Ziauddin Choudhury on the politics of intolerance and our future. From Naked Punch, Peter Tatchell on Pakistan’s neo-colonial rule in Balochistan. Dangerous place: Pakistan’s remote and poorly understood tribal region has emerged as key to the future of both Pakistan and Afghanistan. How to leave Afghanistan: America can’t let India dictate South Asia’s map.
A new issue of the New Criterion is out, including an essay by Henry Kissinger on Burkean conservatism and the limits of universalism. Mystical anarchism: Simon Critchley on invisibility, opacity, resonance. Roger Berkowitz on the euro-crisis, Seyla Benhabib’s cosmopolitanism, and Arendt’s defense of politics. From The Nation, a special section on Amazon and the conquest of publishing. You are not a curator, you are actually just a filthy blogger. Labor journalism today: Corporate lackeys accost, detain eXiled contributor Mike Elk for daring to question Honeywell CEO’s union-busting policies. Jamelle Bouie on the insane scenario unfolding before our eyes. Stuxnet was a monster computer virus; Flame is 20 times larger — and it's been out there, listening, for years. The Association for Political Theory Virtual Reading Group for 2012 will discuss Samuel Moyn's The Last Utopia. Digital Disquiet: How 8- and 16-bit games taught Jesse Miksic the power of dread. Jeremy Lin reportedly caught partying, drinking — could this hurt his Christian influence? Good news: People eat other people on a pretty regular basis.
From Triple C: Cognition, Communication, Co-operation, a special section on critical theory and political economy of the Internet. Facebook, Google, Zynga — they think they're saints of American capitalism, but they're really the successors to the Big Money magnates of the Gilded Age. From The Ethical Spectacle, Peter Bearse on Facebook and Google: Turning private information into corporate profit. Is it time to tax the Internet? How our communities can stop losing out on business and tax revenue. If the Internet is a global phenomenon, it's because there are tubes at the bottom of the ocean — a look at the undersea cables that connect us (and more and more and more and more and more and more on Tubes by Andrew Blum). The Internet Age was meant to change everything — internationalism, commerce, journalism, government — so why has the Internet changed so little? From Cato Unbound, Berin Szoka on a greater understanding of Internet activism. Cory Doctorow on the problem with nerd politics: If we don't operate within the realm of traditional power and politics, then we will lose.
From Colloquy, a special section on changing the climate: Utopia, Dystopia and Catastrophe. An interview with Michael Klare, author of The Race for What's Left: The Global Scramble for the World's Last Resource. The Climate Fixers: Can geoengineering curb global warming? Jonathan H. Adler on a conservative's approach to combating climate change. Worldwatch Institute’s Vital Signs 2012 showcases the planet’s growing demand for food and energy, its shrinking resources, and the implications of this dilemma. An interview with Michael Mann, author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches From the Front Lines. David Roberts on what it means for media to take climate seriously. From Conservation, safe-deposit box: Carl Safina travels to the seed vault on top of the world; John Carey on the efficiency Catch-22: Some experts say that energy efficiency can slash carbon emissions at bargain prices, others say, not so fast — the more energy we save, the more we use; everything old is green again: The most energy-efficient building may be the one already built; and Adelheid Fischer on the ecology of make-believe: Does it matter when novelists muddle facts about nature?
Thomas Ryba (Purdue): Eugenics, the Girardian Theory of Sacrifice, and the New Darwinian Ethics. From Spectrum, a special issue on the beginning of the end of cash, including James Surowiecki on a brief history of money, or, how we learned to stop worrying and embrace the abstraction; and Morgen E. Peck on Bitcoin, the cryptoanarchists’ answer to cash. From New York, a cover story on why Obama’s senior strategists think he’ll beat Mitt Romney; and Jonathan Chait on how Republicans are planning to spend more money than God. Music legend Mick Jagger has been drawn into a bitter row over an “illegal gas grab” in the Peruvian Amazon. While one of the most famous people in the world, T. E. Lawrence enlisted under a pseudonym in the RAF — twice. From Quarterly Review, Peter B. Gemma reviews Pat Buchanan’s Suicide of a Superpower. Do you really want to live forever? Ronald Bailey reviews Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization by Stephen Cave. Hey voters, the kill list is what matters, but reporters — and political partisans — focus on Romney's wealth and Obama's youthful pot smoking.
Learry Gagne (Alberta): A Modern Interpretation of Machiavelli's Political Cycle. Anca Costina Gherghe (Craiova): Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Freedom as Foundation of Social Contract. Tara Myketiak (Concordia): Nondiscrimination and the Human Right to Democracy. Meir Dan-Cohen (UC-Berkeley): Law, Loyalty and Citizenship. Santiago Lopez Petit (Barcelona): What If We Refuse to Be Citizens? A Manifesto for Vacating Civic Order. Ekow N. Yankah (Yeshiva): When Justice Can't Be Done: The Obligation to Govern and Rights in the State of Terror. The introduction to Trust and Violence: An Essay on a Modern Relationship by Jan Philipp Reemtsma. The introduction to A Written Republic: Cicero's Philosophical Politics by Yelena Baraz. From Political Theology, a series of book reviews. Here is a series of podcasts with Seyla Benhabib on cosmopolitanism. From the American Liberal Arts Blog, an article on the four last things and political philosophy. Underdogs are always the winners at Reddit's r/justiceporn, a subreddit that showcases videos of swift, often physical, instances of justice being done to people who unmistakably deserve it.
Dudley A. Schreiber (South Africa): On the Epistemology of Postmodern Spirituality. From Anthropology of this Century, Chris Hann (Max Planck): Personhood, Christianity, Modernity; and facing religion, from anthropology: Michael Lambek on the making of distinctions between the religious and the secular. From Christianity Today, Jenell Williams Paris responds to Mark Noll: Why it's good that evangelicals have not, and likely will not, develop an "evangelical mind"; Carolyn Arends on defending Scripture — literally: Not everything the Bible has to say should be literally interpreted, but that doesn't make it less powerful; an interview with Eric J. Bargerhuff, author of The Most Misused Verses in the Bible: Surprising Ways God's Word Is Misunderstood; and an interview with Alvin Plantinga, author of Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism. From New Scientist, a special issue on God and the new science of religion. A review of Born Believers: The Science of Children’s Religious Belief by Justin Barrett. Analytical thinking erodes belief in God: Our intuitive thought processes, which underpin supernatural beliefs, can be overcome by thinking analytically.
A new issue of Business and Economic History On-Line is out. From Public Knowledge Journal, a special issue on Ecological Inequalities and Interventions. Pack it up, pack it in, it’s over — political polling has reached its end point: Public Policy Polling asks voters in Michigan if they agreed with Mitt Romney’s claim that the state has trees that are the right height. Living in the margins: In medieval marginalia, you might find complaining monks, a nun breastfeeding a monkey, and sexual wordplay — oh, and doodles, lots of doodles. In defense of George Zimmerman: How the gun lobby, conservatives, and right-wing media have rallied to defend the man who killed Trayvon Martin. Wishful mapping: A half-baked Alaska, and the passage that wasn't there. Blue Man Coup: Susan Zakin on how Gadhafi’s mercenaries broke Mali (and part 2). Democracy journal founder and wunderkind Democrat Andrei Cherny, “Clinton’s heir”, is focusing on the Jewish state in his race for Congress. From Design Observer, Rolf Potts on tourist snapshots. Mark Weisbrot on how Europeans' economic future has been hijacked by dangerous ideologues.
From New York, Xanax is to 2012 what Prozac was to the nineties: a much-used, much-craved pill that has come to define our national mood — but are we really in love with anti-anxiety drugs or with anxiety itself? The disconnect: Why are so many Americans living by themselves? Abraham Maslow and the all-American self: Algis Valiunas on why the prophet of self-actualization was more than just a New Age icon. How to make it in America: Thomas Dunne Books editor Peter Joseph dishes on what it takes to make a celebrity memoir memorable. Unhappy camper: Kurt Vonnegut and the dyspeptic tradition in American letters. From Democracy, a forum on Reclaiming Citizenship, including James T. Kloppenberg on restoring the language of obligation. From The Nation, can Americans trust government again? A special issue. A review of Warfare State: World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government by James T. Sparrow. A review of War and the American Difference: Theological Reflections on Violence and National Identity by Stanley Hauerwas. A review of A Decade of Dark Humor: How Comedy, Irony and Satire Shaped Post 9/11 America.
Sylvie Maurer (Savoy): Former British Colony: Mauritians in the Face of Globalisation. From Island Studies Journal, Elaine Stratford (Tasmania), Godfrey Baldacchino (UPEI), Elizabeth McMahon (UNSW), Carol Farbotko (Wollongong), and Andrew Harwood (Tasmania): Envisioning the Archipelago; and Owe Ronstrom (Gotland): In or On? Island Words, Island Worlds. Martin W. Lewis on divided islands, large and small. Who bit my border? You probably don’t think much about the border between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Sara Morrison's dream vacation spot is an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but this island is not tropical and gorgeous — it's called Tristan da Cunha, and it's the most isolated inhabited place in the world. From World Island Information, here is a list of misinformation about islands; and an article on starting your own island country: “[It] requires an island, and citizens, and there difficulties begin”. Although many utopian societies seem doomed from the outset, the Republic of Minerva was up against a unique challenge: creating a libertarian micro-nation on reclaimed reefs in the Pacific Ocean, when the land already had an owner.