Naomi Cahn (GWU): The New Kinship. Michele Goodwin and Naomi Duke (Minnesota): Baby Cooperatives: Rethinking the Nature of Family. Susan Frelich Appleton (WUSTL): Illegitimacy and Sex, Old and New. Melissa E. Murray (UC-California): What's so New About the New Illegitimacy? We call it “family planning,” even though much of what happens in starting and cultivating a family could rightly be called a surprise, pleasant or otherwise. Are childless people freeloading on the world's parents? From NYRB, a review essay on motherhood. Do we secretly envy the childfree, or is childlessness still a taboo? Basques capture Mothers Cup: Meet the perfect moms who have your back — but aren’t overbearing. A review of Philosophical Inquiries into Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Mothering: Maternal Subjects. Why are teen moms poor? Surprising new research shows it’s not because they have babies — they have babies because they’re poor. A review of Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment by Janet Heimlich.
Michael Hauskeller (Exeter): Utopia in Trans- and Posthumanism and Reinventing Cockaigne: Utopian Themes in Transhumanist Thought. Toine Spapens (Tilburg): Do Mafias Control the Criminal World? A Network Perspective. Ciara Torres-Spelliscy (Stetson): How Much is an Ambassadorship? And the Tale of How Watergate Led to a Strong Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and a Weak Federal Election Campaign Act. From The National Interest, Jay Zawatsky on A New Energy Era (in 3 parts). Brian Ingrassia on what the intellectual history of college coaching can tell us about Penn State. The Chronicle Review brings together some key thinkers to discuss what science can and cannot tell us about free will, and where our conclusions might take us. Economists find evidence for famous hypothesis of “comparative advantage”. Why is everyone on the Internet so angry?
With Voyager poised to leave our solar system, Timothy Ferris, the writer who helped compile the time capsules they carry, reflects on our deepest foray into outer space. Plans to mine minerals on celestial bodies could violate many aspects of international space law. A review of Extreme Cosmos: A Guided Tour of the Fastest, Brightest, Hottest, Heaviest, Oldest, and Most Amazing Aspects of Our Universe by Bryan Gaensler. Deflecting asteroids: A solar sail could use light to nudge an earthbound rock into an orbit we could live with. Space anthropology: An interview with Kathryn Denning in the very human way that scientists, engineers and members of the public think about the search for alien life. Why has humanity's expansion into space gone so slowly, if it's even going forward at all? Alone in the void: Like it or not, we are probably trapped in the solar system for a long, long time. Keith Hanson on transhumanism and the human expansion into space. Battleship Earth: Does the Pentagon have the right weapons to fight off an alien invasion? Seth Shostak offers five points about aliens that don't cut it in Hollywood: “2. If aliens come, we’re probably toast”.
Jolan Bogdan (Goldsmiths): Sovereignty and the Death of Communism. Mark Harrison (Warwick): Communism and Economic Modernization. Two communist states, two different worlds: When comparing their lot with that of the North Koreans, Soviet Russians saw themselves as free and prosperous — and, one must admit, with good reasons. Though the Soviet system’s ambitions were initially universalistic, the system of social protection that it established quickly proved discriminatory and insufficiently generous. A Tale of Two Trials: Ronald Radosh on Soviet propaganda at home and abroad. From Links: International Journal of Socialist Renewal, Doug Enaa Greene on how anarchists, syndicalists, socialists and IWW militants were drawn to Bolshevism: Four case studies. 1873–1973, the century of Marxism: Chris Cutrone on the death of Marxism and the emergence of neo-liberalism and neo-anarchism. The New Communism: Alan Johnson on resurrecting the utopian delusion. Central Asia brings back the sugary taste of communism.
From Analecta Hermeneutica, a special issue on Transcendence and Immanence. Herbert J. Hovenkamp (Iowa): The Classical American State and the Regulation of Morals. Justin Desautels-Stein (Colorado): The Market as a Legal Concept. Steve Thorngate on the wrong debate: It’s not about the size of government. From the New York Review of Magazines, new editor Hugo Lindgren shakes things up at the New York Times Magazine; and as Ed Koren celebrates fifty years of cartooning for the New Yorker, he tells Alex Contratto how he got his start, why a cartoonist should keep his day job and what makes a drawing endure. Barrier Methods: Rob Boston on the Church’s ceaseless opposition to birth control. Banking on the poor: How one man’s efforts to help his village neighbors evolved into a global corporate market — with unintended consequences.
A new issue of Strategic Studies Quarterly is out. Ciprian-Beniamin Benea (Oradea): The Atom and Civilization. The civil use of nuclear power cannot be divorced from the history of the atomic bomb — we cannot continue to export reactor technology for civil use without undermining attempts to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons. A review of The Doomsday Machine: The High Price of Nuclear Energy, the World's Most Dangerous Fuel by Martin Cohen and Andrew McKillop. Do nuclear weapons really deter aggression? The Nuclear weapons industry's money bombs: How millions in campaign cash and revolving-door lobbying have kept America's atomic arsenal off the chopping block. A review of The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors and Their Quest to Ban the Bomb by Philip Taubman. How did we forget about mutually assured destruction? The case for a world republic: A reflection on Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement by Lawrence Wittner. Chernobyl Now: Are nuclear disasters the new normal? A look at 7 nuclear weapon screw-ups you won't believe we survived.
Jason Sorens (Buffalo) and Willaim Ruger (TSU): Does Foreign Investment Really Reduce Repression? Or Bassok (Yale): The Two Countermajoritarian Difficulties. The world's fastest growing economy: Mongolia is part of a new class of countries that, like the Middle Eastern states that got rich selling oil to the West, have hitched their economies to resource-hungry China. Rosecrans Baldwin embarks on a two-week journey across the United States — passing through a handful of small towns named Paris — to find out what Americans really think about the French these days. A review of The Cambridge Companion to Existentialism. Facebook has added you as an informant. The next wave of standardized testing is here, measuring your kids in art, music, and phys ed — is that even possible? An interview with Roger Scruton, author of A Plea for Beauty: A Manifesto for a New Urbanism.
Ugo Pagano (Siena): Love, War and Cultures: An Institutional Approach to Human Evolution. Accepting our status as a particular, highly reflective species of animal may be an entry point to understanding the ripples of natural patterns that define our many cultures’ proclivities to compete and cooperate. Robert Kurzban on evolutionary explanations for altruism and morality: Some key distinctions. Biology for Liberals: Ruy Teixeira reviews A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution by Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis. Paul Seabright on evolution and human cooperation: Think of Darwinian natural selection and you may think of selfish or competitive behaviour, but this is far from the whole story. Clash of Paradigms: David Sloan Wilson on why proponents of multilevel selection theory and inclusive fitness theory sometimes (but not always) misunderstand each other. Why are we so clever? In evolutionary terms this isn't obvious: evolution tends to favour cheap solutions and the human brain is expensive. Julian Savulescu and Ingmar Persson argue that artificial moral enhancement is now essential if humanity is to avoid catastrophe.
A new issue of Contents magazine is out. Sarah Waldeck and Timothy P. Glynn (Seton Hall): Penalizing Diversity: How School Rankings Mislead the Market. Nick Bostrom (Oxford): The Superintelligent Will: Motivation and Instrumental Rationality in Advanced Artificial Agents. From io9, George Dvorsky on how autism is changing the world for everybody. An interview with John Fox, author of The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game. From State of Nature, is it our fault we get sick? Ben Goertzel on how the technological elimination of pain is both feasible and possible. The Great American Novel: We’ve been looking for one since the 1860s — why? Leading from behind at the UN: Who says the United States doesn't wield influence in the world? From Vanity Fair, how Microsoft lost its mojo: Kurt Eichenwald on Steve Ballmer and Corporate America’s most spectacular decline.
Kenneth L. Marcus (Brandeis Center): Three Conceptions of Religious Freedom. Michael Stokes Paulsen (St. Thomas): The Priority of God (A Theory of Religious Liberty). David R. Upham (Dallas): Pierce v. Society of Sisters, Natural Law, and the Pope’s Extraordinary — But Undeserved — Praise of the American Republic. Caroline Mala Corbin (Miami): Expanding the Bob Jones Compromise. An interview with TM Luhrmann, author of When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God. A review of The Bible, the School, and the Constitution: The Clash that Shaped Modern Church-State Doctrine by Steven Green. Peter Steinfels reviews Bad Religion by Ross Douthat. Ed Kilgore on the widening political divide between Catholicism and mainline Protestantism. Daniel Cox on American attitudes toward religious minorities. From Businessweek, Caroline Winter on how the Mormons make money. The Mormon excommunication of Fawn Brodie: James Reston Jr. on why banishing the biographer reverberates 65 years later. A review of The Myth of American Religious Freedom by David Sehat.