A new issue of Army History is out. McKay M. Smith (George Mason): Occupy Wall Street and the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division: A Hypothetical Examination of the Slippery Slope of Military Intervention during Civil Disturbance. Lessons from a Demigod: Gilgamesh was a brutal tyrant who foolishly tried to defeat death. On designer babies: Is it ethical to select advantageous genes and select against disadvantageous genes when having babies? The introduction to In Our Name: The Ethics of Democracy by Eric Beerbohm. The first chapter from Irish Nationalists and the Making of the Irish Race by Bruce Nelson. A review of Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done About It by Mariko Lin Chang. From The Hedgehog Review, an interview with Wendell Berry. Future genetic therapy could be as simple as applying a topical lotion, with nanoscale compounds soaking through your epidermis to tweak your DNA. What would Ayn Rand do about the euro crisis? A look at six policies economists love (and politicians hate).
David Gilmartin (NCSU): Towards a Global History of Voting: Sovereignty, the Diffusion of Ideas, and the Enchanted Individual. Alessandro Lizzeri (NYU) and Leeat Yariv (Cal Tech): Collective Self-Control. As the US gears up for Obama-Romney 2012, Andrew Gelman uncovers the (often surprising) realities of how Americans of different backgrounds vote. The first chapter from Monitoring Democracy: When International Election Observation Works, and Why It Often Fails by Judith G. Kelley. Political scientists who have studied primary systems invariably find that top-two election systems do not elect more centrist candidates. A study finds political ads by independent groups are not only common — they are more effective. Nuke ’Em: Why negative advertisements are powerful, essential, and sometimes (see “Daisy”) even artistic. Ted Brader, author of Campaigning for Hearts and Minds: How Emotional Appeals in Political Ads Work, on five myths about campaign ads. The New York Review of Magazines reviews Campaigns and Elections. A review of Understanding the Fundamentals of the U.S. Presidential Election System by Alexander S. Belenky.
A new issue of Lapham’s Quarterly is out. From Dissent, David Plotke on Occupy Wall Street, flash movements, and American politics. A review of Alien Phenomenology, Or What It's Like to Be a Thing by Ian Bogost. From The Distributist Review, Thomas Storck on the chief question in economics. From New York, a special issue on sex. Here are 32 crowdsourced questions for the presidential debates. From Swans, Michael Barker on the roots of theosophy (and part 2). Paul Ryan and his fellow conservatives embrace only the economic aspects of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, forgetting the parts that don’t fit with their ideology. The first chapter from The Reputational Premium: A Theory of Party Identification and Policy Reasoning by Paul M. Sniderman and Edward H. Stiglitz. Leftist Planet: Why do so many travel guides make excuses for dictators? James Flynn, the man who charted our rising IQs, on how modern intelligence has changed — and why women and Asian Americans make better students.
From NYRB, Steven Weinberg on the Big Higgs Question. Alexis Madrigal on why the Higgs Boson discovery is disappointing, according to the smartest man in the world. A review of The Shape of Inner Space: String Theory and the Geometry of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions by Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis. A look at how the mathematics of eternity prove the universe must have had a beginning (and part 2). The Principal Uncertainty: Don’t be too sure of what popular physics books say — minus math, there’s no physics. Scientists are trying to get the first direct look at the black hole at the center of our galaxy — how close will they come to seeing the unseeable? From Plus, Marianne Freiberger on Schrodinger's equation: What is it, what does it mean, in action. In the deep, dark quantum sea known as the Intensity Frontier, particle physicists expect to find everything from exotic new particles to new insights into the evolution of our universe. Has the meaning of nothing changed? In his quest to understand the origins of the universe, Jim Holt stands up for the big 0.
Jeremy Lee Pennington (APU): Analytical Method for The Identification of Lone Wolf Terrorist. Steven R. Ratner (Michigan): Self-Defense Against Terrorists: The Meaning of Armed Attack. Binoy Kampmark (RMIT): Murder in the Simulacrum: Bin Laden, Unbelievable Deaths and Depictions of Legal Exceptionality. Steven H. Resnicoff (DePaul): Shooting Down Suicide Airplanes: What's Law Got to Do with It? Max Abrahms (JHU): Does Terrorism Really Work? Evolution in the Conventional Wisdom since 9/11; and The Political Effectiveness of Terrorism Revisited. From the Journal of Terrorism Research, a special issue on Assessing the Emergency Response to Terrorism. From Collegium, a special issue on social cohesion, securitization and counter-terrorism. The retired terrorist: Before Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, he was locked in a house for five months with three wives and over a dozen children. An exaggerated threat: Americans do not have much to fear from Muslim homegrown terrorism and should be skeptical of claims that the threat is increasing.
Pierre Schlag (Colorado): Four Conceptualizations of the Relations of Law to Economics (Tribulations of a Positivist Social Science). A review of Church, State, and the Crisis in American Secularism by Bruce Ledewitz. An interview with Agustin Fuentes, author of Race, Monogamy and Other Lies They Told You: Busting Myths About Human Nature (and part 2). Thomas A. James on the metaphysics of exceptionalism vs. bovine flatulence. The introduction to The Democracy Index: Why Our Election System Is Failing and How to Fix It by Heather K. Gerken. Mayotte joined the ranks of French departments in 2011; although it passed almost unnoticed, the event reflects an integration that began in the 1970s but that is likely to continue for many years to come. Bradley Strawser is a philosopher making the moral case for US drones: “There's no downside”.
David A. Shaw (Fitzwilliam): Telling the Story from the Bible? How Story Bibles Work. From TLS, a review of Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters by N. T. Wright. One historian’s quest for the historical Jesus uses Bayes’s theorem to establish reliable historical criteria and uncover the proper proportion between belief and evidence. Debating Calvinism: It's one of religion's hottest debates right now (and part 2). Why are there more Christians in the world? Robert J. Lewis on Christianity's unique insights into human nature. A review of Why We Should Call Ourselves Christians: The Religious Roots of Free Societies by Marcello Pera. From NLP, should Christians be anarchists? The tax battle turns Biblical: Those arguing for tax cuts are finding justification in the Old Testament. What is the chief political concern of the Bible? From Bill Gates to Thomas Aquinas: Logos Bible Software company spreads the Word. Digital bread and wine, anyone? Mark Howe is perplexed at how theologians and church leaders are so wary of the idea of online church. Upon this foundation: Are new church designs taking us backward?
The inaugural issue of Economic Thought is out. Mascots play a big role in the multibillion-dollar business of US university marketing — is it all just fun or have we gone too far in allowing corporatised Bobcats, Panthers, Eagles and Owls the run of campus? Jeff Bezos, a blonde, and a book walk into a bar (and part 2). When everybody loved Congress: Sen. Harry S. Truman gave wasteful war contractors hell — and made Congress admirable. A review of Ethics and the Acquisition of Organs by T. M. Wilkinson. No taxes, no female presidents, and no physical attraction: Simon van Zuylen-Wood on the ten strangest things about Objectivism. Tweeting the next election meltdown: If the next presidential election goes into overtime, heaven help us — it’s gonna get ugly. Tony Ortega on Scientology's concentration camp for its executives: The prisoners, past and present.
Richard Rousseau (Khazar): Strategic Perspectives: Clausewitz, Sun-tzu and Thucydides. Jan-Frederik Kremer and Andrej Pustovitovskij (Bonn): Towards a New Understading of Structural Power. Dibyesh Anand (Westminster): China and India: Postcolonial Informal Empires in the Emerging Global Order. Ali Wyne on China vs. India, the “contest of the century”. Changes in the Billionaire List, and the size and source of the fortunes, can provide a quick indicator of how well positioned emerging nations are to compete in the global economy. You can download Nationalism and Democracy: Dichotomies, Complementarities, Oppositions. John Mearsheimer on power as the currency of international relations, disciplining US foreign policy, and being an independent variable. History resumes: David Rieff on sectarianism’s unlearned lessons. The rise of phantom states suggests that formal sovereignty has lost some of its cache; what will happen to the foundations of international relations if you can get by just fine by living in a country that nobody believes really exists? A report finds the world is growing more peaceful, except for the Middle East.
Rachel G. Riskind, Charlotte J Patterson and Brian A. Nosek (Virginia): Childless Lesbian and Gay Adults’ Self-Efficacy About Achieving Parenthood. The slow-motion collapse of American entrepreneurship: The experts tell us new business start-ups will save the American economy — so how come there are fewer and fewer of them? A review of Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans by David Niose. Shepherd Bliss on Small Town Sebastopol: Frontline battle against Chase Bank, CVS Pharmacy, Armstrong Development. Can this election save the unions? Nelson Lichtenstein wonders. A review of The Basic Minimum: A Welfarist Approach by Dale Dorsey. Where is the middle of the ocean? From The Awl, a month-long series on terrible trips, great journeys and getting lost. Bush and Blair found guilty: What if all war criminals were treated equally?