From RAND Review, a special issue on politics and government in the United States. From The Atlantic Monthly, Mariah Blake on the Ballot Cops: A controversial new organization is building a nationwide army to root out voter fraud — or suppress voter turnout; Robert Draper on the League of Dangerous Mapmakers: How a few determined partisans rig Congress; and James Bennett on the new price of American politics: Citizens United has changed our democracy — will it lead to a populist awakening or a corporate recapturing of U.S. elections? Eric Patashnik on why government fails to adopt painless solutions to the nation’s problems. Alan Suderman on how the worst-kept secret in D.C. contracting is how easy it is to game the system. From TED, Clay Shirky on how the Internet will transform government (eventually). William Murchison reviews Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused, and Imprisoned by the Feds by Rand Paul. Because they can: Michael Levy on why politicians lie. Kevin Carson on the joke of democratic accountability. In a world that glorifies extroverts, let’s hear it for the quiet man.
A new issue of Enculturation is out. From Renewal (reg. req.), an interview with Robert Kuttner on Obama and the prospects for American progressives. Nathan Kelly on how there aren’t that many takers in America. From The New Atlantis, Lauren Weiner on the dark and starry eyes of Ray Bradbury. Matt Taibbi on why this presidential race should never have been this close. From GQ, a special section on “Cheers”, the best TV show that's ever been. From Doublethink, Gennady Stolyarov writes in defense of Ayn Rand’s non-atomistic individualism. The selfish meme: Frank Rose on Twitter, dopamine, and the evolutionary advantages of talking about oneself. From Quadrant, Mervyn F. Bendle on the end of history; and Ted Rule on the madness of crowds with too much money. Freedom of speech: Graham Peebles on insults, incitement and Islam. The Plot Against Occupy: Sabrina Rubin Erdely on how the government turned five stoner misfits into the world's most hapless terrorist cell. The rich haven’t always hated taxes: Once upon a time, the wealthy elite took pride in the fact that they paid higher rates than other Americans.
From Ameriquests, a special issue on the legacies and futures of the humanities in North America and beyond. AC Grayling on higher humanities education in the 21st century. Saving our universities? New Humanist interviews AC Grayling on New College of the Humanities (and more). Curiosity knows no bounds: Policymakers focusing on science's utility have consigned the humanities to a supporting role, but scholars in each of the “two cultures” understand that they share a love of discovery and capacity for wonder, says Martin Willis. Ruth Hibbert reviews Creating Consilience: Integrating the Sciences and the Humanities, ed. Edward Slingerland and Mark Collard. From The Weekly Standard, who killed the liberal arts? Joseph Epstein wants to know (and a response and more). How liberal arts colleges are failing America: It's not easy to balance the advantages of a college degree with the deficiencies of a liberal arts education, but at schools like Babson College, entrepreneurship is a core part of the curriculum. Pop culture has turned against the liberal arts: Remember when action heroes could be archaeology professors?
Neil Gershenfeld (MIT): How to Make Almost Anything: The Digital Fabrication Revolution. What do swing-state voters think? Michael Massing on why we don’t know. The disgrace of wunderkind writer Jonah Lehrer, outed for manufacturing quotes, reverberates worst in the city he calls home. How to make a book disappear: Jonah Lehrer's discredited Imagine has vanished from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and his publisher's website — why that's bad news for readers. Jonathan Chait on the poetic justice of Romney’s self-immolation. U-2 above all: Whether people recognize it by the Snoopy-like nose or by the flat black paint and red lettering on the tail, the U-2 has become an Air Force reconnaissance icon in its 50 years of military operations. Stop Leftsplaining: Rebecca Solnit on why the left should stop grousing, whining, Eeyoring, and parsing differences with your allies and get about the cheerful business of being heroes. From Highbrow magazine, the view from the Right: An interview with Tucker Carlson; and was Black Panther activist Richard Aoki an FBI informant? Travis Quezon investigates. Soren Bowie on why Obama is the least efficient Antichrist ever.
David-Jack Fletcher (Macquarie): Recalibrating the “Human”. Kate Darling (MIT): Extending Legal Rights to Social Robots. From the latest issue of Cryonics, James D. Miller on cryonics and the Singularity. From Spectrum, Emily Walts on the quantified self: Can self-measurement gadgets help us live healthier and better lives? (and more) Politics and transhumanism: An interview with Italian transhumanist MP Giuseppe Vatinno. Kris Notaro on how anarchism relates to transhumanism. Futurists set up charitable fund to help terminally ill Kim Suozzi get cryonically preserved. rom Vice, whoa, dude, are we inside a computer right now? NASA scientist Rich Terrile thinks we could be. Transhumanism needs an enhancement: David Pearce, Martine Rothblatt, and Ursula K. Le Guin are three favorite philosophers. Immediate Immortality: Frank Cronin on the death of death. Wake up, deathists, you do want to live 10,000 years: The future won’t be boring — it will accelerate in excitement. You want increased intelligence, transparency, life expectancy and personal freedom? Welcome, you’re H+. Scientists make monkeys smarter using brain implants — could you be next?