Anca Croitoru (UAIC): The Informal Side of Mathematics. In a top-secret program, talented, young female mathematicians calculated the artillery and bomb trajectories that American GIs used to win World War II. A review of Math for Life: Crucial Ideas You Didn't Learn in School by Jeffrey Bennett. David McConnell recoiled from maths as a child, but came to love its beauty — as did prisoners in one of America’s toughest jails. A review of Taking Sudoku Seriously: The Math behind the World's Most Popular Pencil Puzzle by Jason Rosenhouse and Laura Taalman. An “irregular mind” is what has won this year’s Abel Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in mathematics, for Endre Szemeredi. A straightforward problem in mathematics remains unsolved, even with a $1 million prize for whoever solves it. The introduction to Circles Disturbed: The Interplay of Mathematics and Narrative. Is math still relevant? The queen of the sciences may someday lose its royal status. The Aperiodical is a new maths magazine/blog aimed at people interested in mathematics who want to read stuff. Here are 20 things you didn't know about math.
From Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture, Jeffrey K. Johnson (JBPHH): Terrified Protectors: The Early Twenty-First Century Fear Narrative in Comic Book Superhero Stories. How reliable are the social sciences? The physical sciences produce detailed and precise predictions, but social sciences do not — policy makers should take heed. Playboy goes west: Is the Midwest’s only great magazine heading into the sunset? Ezra Klein on how the Facebook IPO and U2’s Bono explain income inequality. Facebook's success has the unintended consequence of leading to the demise of Silicon Valley as a place where investors take big risks on advanced science and tech that helps the world. Jacqueline Stevens on citizenship to go: People everywhere should be free to move across borders, as they are in the European Union. Hard pressed for a semiological deciphering of the Romney laugh, Gary Wills turns to Milan Kundera’s aetiology and taxonomy of senseless laughter. A look at why the $60,000 per year housekeeper is a right-wing nightmare. Is Elizabeth Warren Native American or what?
From Rabble, do today’s young people share a zeitgeist, a “spirit”? This is Generation Flux: Meet the pioneers of the new (and chaotic) frontier of business. Thirty more years if hell: The Boomers are ready for us to assert Millennial hegemony and put them out of their collective misery. What does it mean to be a grown-up? The Shrink and The Sage offer guidance on another modern dilemma. Adulthood, delayed: What has the recession done to Millennials? A review of Middle Age: A Natural History by David Bainbridge (and more). Homeward bound: An article on the rise of multigenerational and one-person households. The war against youth: The recession didn't gut the prospects of American young people — the Baby Boomers took care of that (and a response). Coming of age: Growing up, Leigh Stein found solace in these books, the same way she found solace in online communities — as a remedy for adolescent isolation. Are millennials the greatest generation or the most narcissistic? Popular books have argued that today's 20-somethings are more service-oriented than any generation since World War II, but new research suggests the opposite.
Anupam Chander (UC-Davis): Facebookistan. Zsolt Kelemen (Szeged): Becoming the New Socialite? Facebook, Transmedia and Storytelling in the Age of New Media. From Cyberpsychology, Stephan Winter, Nina Haferkamp and Yvonne Stock (Duisburg-Essen) and Nicole C. Kramer (Dresden): The Digital Quest for Love: The Role of Relationship Status in Self-Presentation on Social Networking Sites. Laurie Johnson (USQ): Between Form and Function: History and Identity in the Blogosphere. From Wired, Brian Christian on the A/B Test: Inside the technology that's changing the rules of business. Ryan Tate on Twitter’s secret history as the world’s worst tech or media business. Dmitry Orlov on making the Internet safe for anarchy. The sound of the Internet: If the Internet makes a sound (and it does), are you listening? From Buzzfeed, John Herrman on a human's guide to the tech bubble. Are LOLCats making us smart? Academics are starting to take a hard look at Internet memes and the cultural sensibilities they reflect. Tumblr released statistics that prove what most people could have only guessed: There are a shit ton of “Fuck Yeah” blogs.
Mihaela Morariu (TUIASI): Public and Private in the Anthropology of Hannah Arendt. From feminists@law, a special section on Feminist Engagements with the Return to the Commons. Social criticism in the age of the normalized intellectual: Contrary to repeated claims of the disappearance of the intellectuals, their participation in public discussion has never been livelier than in today’s advanced democracies, Axel Honneth argues. What comes after the hipster? Flavorwire asks the experts. People in Economics: A compilation of interviews published in Finance and Development magazine of Nobel prize winners, policymakers, and intellectual leaders around the world in the fields of finance and economics. Marc Ambinder on ten things he learned during a decade in D.C. Is the filibuster unconstitutional? Ezra Klein wants to know. From Against the Current, Paul Ortiz on C.L.R. James' visionary legacy. The great legal paradox of our time: Jack Goldsmith on how civil libertarians strengthened the National Security State. The business of war: Shane Smith on SOFEX: Experiencing the military-industrial complex trade show.
Stefania Codruta Jucan (UCDC) and Calin-Stefan Georgia Calin (UBBCLUJ): Great Britain’s “Shari’a” Courts: Between Religion and Secularism. Has the OSCE succumbed to shariah? An interview with Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff. From National Review, Andrew C. McCarthy on western Sharia: Muslim supremacists partner with the Lawyer Left. From Azure, Islamotopia: Uriya Shavit on why liberty can't withstand the political rule of the Koran. From New English Review, Jerry Gordon on how dialogue with radical Muslims is dangerous for American Jews, and on how American Jews who support Shariah imperil us all. From Moment, Marshall Breger on why Jews can’t criticize sharia law. From First Things, Robert K. Vischer on the dangers of anti-Sharia laws. With his new book, Stefan Weidner would like to straighten out our simplified, cliche-ridden perception of Islam by looking at phenomena such as Sharia from an unusual perspective. From Guernica, an interview with Sadakat Kadri on Muslim and Western ignorance of what Sharia law really means — and the real concerns that should be targeted.
Eli Meyerhoff (Minnesota), Elizabeth Johnson (Wisconsin), and Bruce Braun (Minnesota): Time and the University. Robert Rhoads (UCLA): The U.S. Research University as a Global Model: Some Fundamental Problems to Consider. Study abroad? Why American students head north. What country has the best higher education system? A World Bank study titled The Road to Academic Excellence: The Making of World Class Research Universities finds that new universities can grow into top quality research institutions within two or three decades when academic talent, financial resources and governance — particularly autonomy and academic freedom — are present from the start. From The Guardian, it was meant to bring rigour to the tricky question of who deserves a grant or a post, but is the h-index's numerical score simplistic? From LRB, when what is real, in relation to university education, is student demand and jobs in the future — a pair of premises about as fictional as you can get — what are we to say in favour of the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake? A review of What Are Universities For? by Stefan Collini (and more).
A new issue of Roman Legal Tradition is out. Sean McQueen (Monash): Fearful Symmetry: Technophilia and the Science Fiction Cyborg in J. G. Ballard’s and David Cronenberg’s Crash. From The New York Times Magazine, Binyamin Appelbaum on Joe Weisenthal vs. the 24-Hour News Cycle. From St. Austin Review’s Ink Desk blog, is Uncle Sam a Christian, a small town American man, a family man?: Joseph Pearce on patriotism and nationalism — “the opposite of nationalism is imperialism. The European Union is an imperialist institution, as is the Federal Government, which systematically subsumes the rights of individual states and the rights of individual families.” Richard Kreitner on the Stoics and the Epicureans on friendship, sex, and love. UNESCO’s World Heritage convention was adopted to recognise and protect humanity’s most valuable monuments and landscapes — but, approaching its 40th year, can it still achieve its original ambitions? Frank Jacobs takes a look at the world’s largest atlas. Women really have developed “gaydar” which allows them to tell someone's sexuality “in the blink of an eye”, researchers say.
A new issue the New School Psychology Bulletin is out. The latest issue of the Annual Review of Critical Psychology (ARCP) explores issues that emerge at the intersection of Marxist scholarship and psychological practice. The meaning of feeling: Joshua Soffer on banishing the homunculus from psychology. In his latest research Roy F. Baumeister has discovered surprising ways to improve willpower, including sipping lemonade. Joshua Greene studies the scientific basis for moral decision-making. Here is a psycho-historical analysis of Adolf Hitler and the role of personality, psychopathology, and development. Psychologists now believe fledgling psychopaths can be identified as early as kindergarten — the hope is to teach these children empathy before it’s too late. Improving disorder classification, worldwide: With the help of psychologists, the next version of the International Classification of Diseases will have a more behavioral perspective. Psychiatry's "Bible" Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders gets an overhaul. The time has come for us to admit that psychiatric diagnosis is too important to be left exclusively in the hands of psychiatrists.
From Atlantis, Carmen Portero Munoz (Cordoba): Noun-noun Euphemisms in the Language of the Global Financial Crisis. Paul Krugman on how Ben Bernanke has the power, and the obligation, to end the slump and the human misery that comes with it — so what’s stopping him? No end in sight: James Surowiecki on why long-term unemployment hurts us all. From the Russell Sage Foundation, a forum on social class in America. The purpose of spectacular wealth, according to a spectacularly wealthy guy: Edward Conard, once a partner of Mitt Romney at Bain Capital, argues that more income inequality is good for the economy. How economists have misunderstood inequality: An interview with James Galbraith. Market thinking so permeates our lives that we barely notice it anymore; Michael Sandel sums up the hidden costs of a price-tag society. An interview with philosophers Keith Wyma and Tobin Senefeld, authors of Streetsmart Ethics: Connecting What's Right with What's Smart on Wall Street. Wall Street is capitalism in its purest form, and capitalism is predicated on bad behavior — this should hardly be news.