P J Rey (Maryland): Alienation, Exploitation, and Social Media. Kirsty Young (UTS): Social Ties, Social Networks and the Facebook Experience. Rikard Harr (Umea), Mikael Wiberg (Uppsala), and Steve Whittaker (UC-Santa Cruz): Understanding Interaction Search Behavior in Professional Social Networks. Caren Myers Morrison (Georgia State): Passwords, Profiles, and the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination: Facebook and the Fifth Amendment. From the Graduate Journal of Social Science, a special issue on Methodological Approaches to the Study of Virtual Environments and Online Social Networks. For LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, relationships rule the world. Social media and us: Michael Albert on what's wrong with Facebook and Twitter. David Carr on hashtag activism and its limits: Online movements are probably not as effective as real world engagement, but occasionally they are powerful beyond the computer. From Details, a look at the most important social-media events in history. “Social-Media Blasphemy”: An application that allows Facebook users to "enemy" people is meant to make us think critically about social media.
From Enculturation, a special issue on McLuhan at 100: Picking Through the Rag and Bone Shop of a Career. Adventures in behavioral neurology: Vilayanur Ramachandran on what neurology can tell us about human nature. A review of Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War by Jonah Raskin. An interview with Ken Burns on Prohibition, pot, and PBS. Dogged by conspiracy theories, Freemasons insist theirs is a modern, open organisation — but can this male-dominated body cast off its secretive image and win over a sceptical public? Hashtags are the new lawn signs: Why Twitter won’t predict the 2012 cycle. A review of Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson’s Why Nations Fail (and more and more and more and more and more). Making up our minds: When are people individuals and when are they part of a group? The first chapter from Who's #1? The Science of Rating and Ranking by Amy N. Langville and Carl D. Meyer (and more). A new book series offers polemics against prominent figures — including an influential academic turned politician; Scott McLemee casts his vote. Glen Coco on five things that nobody is allowed to joke about ever again.
David Orentlicher (Indiana): Two Presidents are Better than One: The Case for a Bipartisan Executive Branch. From HPR, Jay Alver and Humza Bokhari on the making of the president, 1789-2012. How much does Obama's campaign know about you? A survey of Obama campaign emails reveals how politicians microtarget voters based on everything from their donation history to what religion they list on Facebook. Can redistricting ever be fair? Several states are setting up independent commissions in the hope of removing bias from the line-drawing process. Re-mapping American politics: David Stebenne on the redistricting revolution fifty years later. A new progressive federalism: Distrust of states’ rights exists for good historical reasons, but today, minorities and dissenters can rule at the local level. The myth of the greater good: Politicians must stop acting like the ends justify the means. Stephen P. Nicholson on how politicians, not parties, function as polarizing cues. Introducing iGov: Even people who support government dread having actual encounters with it — things don’t have to be that way.