Tony Lawson (Cambridge): Mathematical Modelling and Ideology in the Economics Academy: Competing Explanations of the Failings of the Modern Discipline? From EJPE, Catherine Herfeld interviews Gary Becker; David Howden reviews Handbook on Contemporary Austrian Economics, ed. Peter J. Boettke; and Daniel Little reviews The End of Value-free Economics, ed. Hilary Putnam and Vivian Walsh. From Monthly Review, a special issue on the critique of economics. From Vox, what’s the use of economics? Diane Coyle begins a debate. Economics in denial: Four years into the worst financial crisis in 80 years, it is not at all clear that a majority of the economics profession has drawn relevant lessons for their models of markets and prices. Where free-market economists go wrong: Subsidies, stimulus, regulations, protectionism, trade restrictions, government-bank collusion, zoning, bailouts and more do not equal a "free" market. Empirics and psychology: Eight of the world’s top young economists discuss where their field is going. Steven Horowitz on the empirics of Austrian economics. Seth Kaplan on the problems with economists: they don’t understand development. Bernanke to economists: More philosophy, please. Can a comic book make economics — the “dismal science” — fun, and understandable?


Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann (Wilfrid Laurier): Reconsidering the Right to Own Property. Politicians love to talk about family — but maybe not yours. Mike Dash on the demonization of Empress Wu. From ProPublica, Kim Barker on how nonprofits spend millions on elections and call it public welfare. From Practical Ethics, Ole Martin Moen on why you shouldn’t give money to beggars. Ryan Shrugged: Chris Lehmann on how Paul Ryan has never “built” a thing in his life — except for constructing a career out of a long series of disingenuous arguments to cut federal entitlements. Power to the reader: Alberto Manguel reveals that words are dangerous creatures, with the ability to both hinder and help. A new study provides some of the first empirical evidence that island biodiversity really is different from that of the mainland. Does it matter who wins in November? Steven Mazie wonders. Cosmic Pessimism: Eugene Thacker, author of After Life, presents a series of aphorisms exploring pessimism's motility and its sessility (and more). Carnival to Commons: Claire Tancons on Pussy Riot Punk Protest and the exercise of democratic culture.


From Solidarity, Dianne Feeley on how the formality of democracy may be held sacred in the USA, but the substance is crumbling. David Rothkopf on how to solve all of America’s problems in a single step. From The Utopian, Ron Tabor on the nature of the period. George Scialabba reviews The Short American Century: A Postmortem, ed. Andrew Bacevich. Thomas H. Naylor, Kirkpatrick Sale, James Starkey, and Charles Keil offer up a Montpelier Manifesto: “Citizens, lend your name to this manifesto and join in the honorable task of rejecting the immoral, corrupt, decaying, dying, failing American Empire and seeking its rapid and peaceful dissolution before it takes us all down with it”. A review of Decline of the USA by Edward Fullbrook. In the twilight of empire: Jeff Faux on how America’s past performance is no guarantee of a future. Paul Pillar on why empires fail. America, the Insecure: Hey, America — you're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you. Thomas Jefferson defends America with a moose: Europeans said America was “degenerate” — Jefferson was obsessed with proving them wrong.


Nancy J. Knauer (Temple): Aging in the United States: Rethinking Justice, Equality, and Identity Across the Lifespan. From U.S. Intellectual History, James Livingston on the beautiful soul of Steve Almond, or, why The Baffler will never be funny. An interview with Sophia A. McClennen, author of Colbert’s America: Satire and Democracy. BuzzFeed's Jonah Peretti is the Stephen Hawking of radical skateboarding birds. It’s time to welcome our robot underlings, starting with Baxter. It’s usually conservatives like Mitt Romney you hear bemoaning the 47 percent who don’t pay income taxes — but liberals who admire Europe should bemoan that number too. Elizabeth Drew says Republican voter suppression is the "worst thing that has happened to our democratic election system since the late nineteenth century". Max Dunbar reviews The Sex Myth: Why Everything We’re Told Is Wrong by Brooke Magnanti. The more people rely on their intuitions, the more cooperative they become, new research shows. David Sloan Wilson on Ayn Rand and modern politics. David Corn on how to beat the fact-checkers: Politicians have figured it out — when caught in a lie, attack the truth cops.


A new issue of Digital Culture and Education is out. Kay Mathiesen (Arizona): Yes, Vinton, There is a Human Right to the Internet. Laurence Reynolds and Bronislaw Szerszynski (Lancaster): Neoliberalism and Technology: Perpetual Innovation or Perpetual Crisis? Generation Smartphone: The smartphone’s role as constant companion, helper, coach, and guardian has only just begun. Long-time Apple fanboy Thomas L. Knapp on why Apple is rotten to the core. Alexandria 2.0: Matt Simon on Brewster Kahle’s quest to build the biggest library on Earth. What is the future of computers? Natalie Wolchover investigates. From NYRB, are hackers heroes? A review essay by Sue Halpern. The internet is sapping the world’s energy, so let’s improve it. How Google builds its maps and what it means for the future of everything: Alexis Madrigal on a look inside Ground Truth, the secretive program to build the world's best accurate maps. From Wired’s Gadget Lab blog, Mat Honan profiles Cosmo, the hacker “god” who fell to earth. Steven Vherry on the computer that beat two million humans at fantasy football: An AI program is already in the 99th percentile — now can it win?

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