From Homiletic and Pastoral Review, James V. Schall on the truth about God. From Commonweal, William Galston, Peter Steinfels, Michael P. Moreland, Mark Silk, Douglas Laycock and Cathleen Kaveny debate the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’s statement, “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty”. John L Allen Jr. on a real war on religion and a ticking Vatican PR bomb. Is the ban on contraception just an identity marker? From Marx to Maciel: R.J. Stove on what an ex-Communist can teach us about false Catholics. Why do Catholics leave, and what can be done about it? From First Things, modern but not liberal: David S. Yeago on how a confident Christian faith can absorb and sustain the achievements of modernity. Would a message from God pass these Catholic rules on revelation? A review of Medieval Anchoritisms: Gender, Space, and the Solitary Life by Liz Herbert McAvoy. Frank Moloney reflects that after the 16th century council of Trent, there was a tendency within Catholicism away from the Bible.
A new issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review is out. Jonathan S. Davies (De Montfort): Why Hierarchy Won't Go Away: Understanding the Limits of “Horizontalism”. Constitutionalism is in crisis, but Hegel’s Philosophy of Right might help us sort through our contemporary confusions. The Post Office is not an Other — the Post Office is us. Black Friday: Chris Parker on how the feds shut down online poker — a $2.5 billion industry cut off, taking livelihoods with it. Forget about the mythical lone inventor in the garage: Real innovations happen in big, well-funded labs. Gary Banham on Kant and the ethics of taxation. We like to believe that a few bad apples spoil the virtuous bunch, but research shows that everyone cheats a little — right up to the point where they lose their sense of integrity. Do you like health policy, lectures with tons of graphs, quizzes, even? Well, has Zeke Emanuel got an online education course for you! A look at the 5 unluckiest car accidents caught on video.
From Suite 101, Wales, although part of the UK, really is another country with its own language and history — what future has the Welsh language in the 21st century? From THES, the University of Wales was brought down by validation, its money-making machine — David Matthews asks how that happened (and more). Ever since the Welsh Development Agency perished in the flames of the "Bonfire of the Quangoes" in 2006, Wales has missed its business acumen and energy. Amy Hall reports on how Occupy Swansea has spawned a series of occupied social centres in the city. Tim Evans on the Great Unrest and a Welsh town. A new urban project has transformed a small town in Wales into the world’s first Wikipedia town. Atlas Obscura visits one family's environment-friendly hobbit-house in Wales. A reindeer engraved on the wall of a cave in South Wales has been found to date from at least 14,505 years ago, the oldest known rock art in the British Isles.
A new issue of the Journal of Social Inclusion is out. Larissa M. Katz (Queen's): “Governing Through Owners”: How and Why Formal Private Property Rights Enhance State Power. Peter Martinsson, Kristian Ove R. Myrseth and Conny Wollbrant (Gothenburg): Reconciling Pro-social vs. Selfish Behavior: On the Role of Self-control. From The National Interest, a special issue on the Crisis of the Old Order. From The New Yorker, Joan Acocella on the lure of the fairy tale. Republican intransigence on taxes is the principal source of America's fiscal deadlock — but as the Supreme Court ruling on health care demonstrates, Democrats' own allergy has consequences, too. From Arena, John Cash on obedience to authority and its discontents. The Library of Utopia: Google's ambitious book-scanning program is foundering in the courts; now a Harvard-led group is launching its own sweeping effort to put our literary heritage online — will the Ivy League succeed where Silicon Valley failed?
Liam Shields (Manchester): Mission Indispensable: The Point of Political Philosophy. Stephen R. Perry (Penn): Political Authority and Political Obligation. Leslie Green (Oxford): The Nature of Limited Government. Xavier Marquez (Victoria): The Irrelevance of Legitimacy. Bruce P. Frohnen (Ohio Northern): Is Constitutionalism Liberal? David A. Reidy (Tennessee): On the Human Right to Democracy: Searching for Sense Without Stilts. Jonathan Trejo-Mathys (BC): Epistemic Accounts of Democratic Authority and Legitimacy: Estlund versus Habermas. An interview with Albena Azmanova, author of The Scandal of Reason: A Critical Theory of Political Judgment (and more and more). From Books and Ideas, Louis Dumont is very well known for his anthropological work on India, but rather less for his political thought. Here are the audio files from an international conference on the work of Charles Taylor. From The Chronicle, Jeffrey J. Williams on Michael Walzer's politics, in theory and practice.
A new issue of HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory is out. The use of the Guy Fawkes mask suggests a movement with an infinitely reproducible identity. New research suggests that rather than describe how humans perform, the bell curve may actually be constraining how people perform. Heidegger Revisited: People aren’t even taking the time to chew their food anymore. Ezra Klein on 13 reasons why this is the worst Congress ever. Everything falls apart: The manner in which decay is preserved and renovated is imbedded with values about the past. A review of Eco-Republic: What the Ancients can Teach us about Ethics, Virtue, and Sustainable Living by Melissa Lane. Is it possible for every business to be profitable? The Blagger’s Guide to Philosophy and Literature will lead you through the swamp of pretentiousness like a light saber of truth slaying the many headed hydra of post-modernism.
From FDL, a book salon on Arthur Goldwag’s The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right. From Alternative Right, Derek Turner on greens, blues, and the extinction of distinction; and equality as an evil: Alex Kurtagic on the moral scourge of modernity. Years after the racism of The Turner Diaries inspired Timothy McVeigh, the Patriot Movement has embraced a new bestselling series. From VDare, is there any contradiction between, and John Derbyshire’s adherence to race realism and his being the loving husband of a nonwhite wife? The presence of big-box retailers, such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Target, may alter a community's social and economic fabric enough to promote the creation of hate groups. Paul Gottfried on human rights: The useless fiction. An interview with America’s first neo-Nazi lobbyist, a 55-year-old South Carolina paralegal named John Taylor Bowles. Patriot Games: How the FBI spent a decade hunting white supremacists and missed Timothy McVeigh.
A new issue of Postmodern Openings is out. Paul Bowman (Cardiff): “I know kung fu!” or: When Orientalism is a Good Thing. From The New Yorker, how much can the human body take? Burkhard Bilger on the strongest man in the world. From The Awl, how much more do taxi fares cost today? Joe Weisenthal interviews Paul Krugman: “Somebody has to spend more than their income, and, for the time being, that has to be the government” (and part 2 and part 3). In search of lost food: Kate Angus on how to enjoy a pasty when you're not in North Michigan. Nate Silver on the problems with forecasting and how to get better at it. His Man in Macau: Matt Isaacs goes inside the investigation into Sheldon Adelson’s empire. From The Progressive, an interview with Billy Bragg, British folksinger and activist. Asya Pereltsvaig on border disputes over Damansky Island and the troubled relations between Russia and China. What could go wrong? Yes, let's resuscitate super-old bacteria!
Jeffrey Scott Ray (SMC): Economics, Positive Science and the Quest for Predictive Performance. Felix Salmon on how economists get tripped up by statistics. In economics, you are what you model: An interview with Jonathan Schlefer, author of The Assumptions Economists Make (and more). Economics cannot claim to be absolutely objective — and this should be recognized by the profession to a greater degree. Have you ever thought economists were far more confident in their statements about the world than they had any right to be? Well, now there's proof. From The Browser, game theory is marketed as a system you can apply to any sphere of life, but what’s the reality? Ariel Rubinstein guides us through some classic studies; Neil Fligstein, author of The Architecture of Markets, says it’s important to understand social aspects of economic behaviour, particularly when times of crisis reveal shortcomings of traditional economic theory; and Simon Johnson on why economic history matters. It is extraordinary to sit here in the midst of the crisis and read the self-satisfied pronouncements of economists about the state of the discipline.