From Doublethink, what college bubble? Andrianes Pinantoan on whether students forgo college out of fear of being caught in the same kind of economic crunch caused by the sub-prime mortgage bubble. A buyer’s guide to American colleges: Rare is the college graduate who’s attended more than one school — but when you’ve attended four very different types of university, it’s incumbent upon you to share what you’ve learned. Miami University is a sick, sick campus in desperate need of the largest group therapy session ever recorded. Academics, on average, lean to the left; a survey being released today suggests that they are moving even more in that direction. Who knows what: For decades the sciences and the humanities have fought for knowledge supremacy — both sides are wrong-headed. Fearless symmetries: Sciences and the arts are re-entering each other's orbits in a burst of boundary-blurring creativity, Arthur I. Miller observes. How to avoid a bonfire of the humanities: “English majors are exactly the people I'm looking for”, one successful Silicon-Valley entrepreneur recently said. My norm is more normal than yours: Aaron Bady on academic tweeting and loose fish.
Antonios E. Platsas (Derby): The Enigmatic But Unique Nature of the Israeli Legal System. Top 10 books with maps: From Winnie the Pooh to Grayson Perry, Simon Garfield charts the best writing about the indispensable tools for reading the world. The visitor: Solitude is enlightening but if it does not lead us back to society, it can become a spiritual dead end. Sarah Burton reviews The Invention of Heterosexual Culture by Louis-Georges Tin. Should we be as dumb as trees? Jag Bhalla on what competition in nature should teach us about markets. Robert Capps on why things fail: From tires to helicopter blades, everything breaks eventually. Is the rise of secularism behind the general malaise in the fine arts? Why Camille Paglia is alarmed about the future of art. Busy and busier: Productivity expert David Allen talks with James Fallows about the future of getting things done. From GQ, Vanessa Veselka returns to the scenes of her fugitive youth looking for clues to the Truck Stop Killer terror — and the girls who lost their lives to it. How does identity affect ideas (and what to do if it doesn't)? Lauren Kientz Anderson investigates.
Nele Noesselt (DUI): Is There a “Chinese School” of IR? From the inaugural issue of Bridges: Conversations in Global Politics, a special section on Conversations in International Relations, including Felix Grenier (Ottawa): Conversations in and on IR: Labeling, Framing and Delimiting IR Discipline; and Philippe Fournier (UQAM): Michel Foucault's Considerable Sway on International Relations Theory. From the Yale Journal of International Affairs, a special issue: “From the Ivory Tower to Washington: What can IR scholarship teach us about policy-making?”, including Robert Jervis on psychology and security; Stephen Walt on theory and policy in international relations; Francis Gavin on international affairs of the heart; John Owen on the ideas-power nexus; Marc Trachtenberg on how history teaches; and an interview with Alexander Evans on bridging the gap between policy-making and academia. Mika Luoma-aho on his book God and International Relations: Christian Theology and World Politics. From FPRI, Walter A. McDougall on nightmares of an I.R. professor. Is modern media — the Internet, YouTube, Twitter, and all that other stuff — making realism obsolete? Stephen Walt wonders.
Amnon Lehavi (Radzyner): Why Philosophers, Social Scientists, and Lawyers Think Differently about Property Rights. Beatriz Revelles Benavente (UOC): The Creation of Epistemological-Empirical Knowledge, with Hillary Clinton's Political Speech as an Example. Andrew J. Martin reviews Winning: Reflections on an American Obsession by Francesco Duina. From Vice’s “Question of the Day”, would you rather live in a fascist nation or complete anarchy?; and would you stay with your partner if they could never have sex again? My 6,128 favorite books: Joe Queenan on how a harmless juvenile pastime turned into a lifelong personality disorder. Martha Newman reviews The Cistercians in the Middle Ages by Janet Burton and Julie Kerr. From TLS, Neil Forsyth reviews Milton and the Post-Secular Present: Ethics, Politics, Terrorism by Feisal G. Mohamed. From Swans, Manuel Garcia, Jr. on the esoteric J. Robert Oppenheimer. Don’t like your body? Don’t blame the models. Earth's last unexplored wilderness: Biologists are starting to explore the woolly ecosystems in our homes and hospitals, and figuring out how they can make us sick or keep us healthy.
From M/C Journal, Gerard Michael Goggin (Sydney): List Media: The Telephone Directory and the Arranging of Names; and Jean Burgess and Axel Bruns (QUT): Twitter Archives and the Challenges of "Big Social Data" for Media and Communication Research. Gil Press on 10 Big Data sites to watch: The websites that are changing the way we understand everything from higher education to climate patterns. PJ Ray on how the fetishization of low-tech is about the illusion of agency; it provides affirmation for the hipster whose identity is defined by the post-Modern imperative to be an individual, to be unique (and a response). Could someone really destroy the whole Internet? George Dvorsky wants to know. Evgeny Morozov discusses the relationship between technology and authoritarianism — and says "philosophers of technology completely missed the train on the internet". Jaron Lanier on unmasking the Great and Powerful Oz of Technology. Google’s data centers: On Where the Internet Lives, a new site featuring beautiful photographs by Connie Zhou, you’ll get a never-before-seen look at the technology, the people and the places that keep Google running.
Scott Beyer (Wisconsin), Luis Garcia-Feijoo (FAU), Gerald R. Jensen (HIU), and Robert R. Johnson (CFA): What to Expect When You're Electing. From ProPublica, Lois Beckett on how companies have assembled political profiles for millions of Internet users. Can we trust voting machines? Trade-secret law makes it impossible to independently verify that the devices are working properly. Mike Orcutt on the states with the riskiest voting technology. Six fixes for American democracy: Voter suppression, endless fundraising, dysfunctional debates — the need for reform has never been stronger. If ballots were bullets: If Americans cared as much about their voting rights as their gun rights, they'd be up in arms right now. Simon Liem on the democratic argument for compulsory voting. If you don’t vote, you’re a loser: There is no single issue more frustrating to the cause of progress than the relative struggle the left has organizing voters and getting them to the polls. If you succumb to cynicism, the regressives win it all. Mat Staver: “I’m not an alarmist” but this election will “literally” determine the “survival of Western civilization”.
Roberta Rosenthal Kwall (DePaul): Is the Jewish Tradition Intellectual Property? Your call is important to us: Since we know it's not, what can be done about it? Neuroscientists as mercenaries in the courtroom: David DiSalvo on how using brain imaging to select jurors and more could have disastrous results. Alireza Hejazi's on the real worth of a professional futurist. What’s the difference between life and death?: Druin Burch on why we’re fretting too much about the distinction. David A. Bell on Francois Hollande’s apology tour — and what Americans should learn from it. J. Bradford DeLong on our debt to Stalingrad. Philosophers, disciples, and even Bob Dylan agree: Money is bad, right? One word is notably absent from Henry Kissinger’s prescription for statesmanship and, it follows, decision-making and diplomacy: principles, which allow neither nuance nor ambiguity and which cannot be altered by recalibration. Cass Sunstein reviews Seduction by Contract: Law, Economics, and Psychology in Consumer Markets by Oren Bar-Gill. Mmmm, brains: Matt Soniak on everything you wanted to know about cannibalism but were afraid to ask.
Edward (Ted) A. Parson (UCLA) and Lia N. Ernst (Michigan): International Governance of Climate Engineering. Rene Lefeber (Amsterdam): Polar Warming: An Opportune Inconvenience. 50 months to avoid climate disaster and a change is in the air: At the halfway point to a climate gamble, 50 contributor ideas give just a taste of the creativity and innovation available to us. An interview with Katharine Wilkinson, author of Between God and Green: How Evangelicals Are Cultivating a Middle Ground on Climate Change. Why aren't politicians listening to Joe Romm about climate change? From Frontline, a look at how Al Gore galvanized the climate change movement — on both sides. Will a fishy geoengineering experiment raise the stakes of global environmental law? It may have taken someone dumping iron into the ocean to make the world take notice. Amelia Sharman reviews Climate Change and Society by John Urry. Is U.S. climate policy better off without cap-and-trade? Yes, Hurricane Sandy is a good reason to worry about climate change. Christian Williams on the silver lining of the Anthropocene.
Courtney M. Cahill (FSU): Abortion and Disgust. No Exception: Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock aren’t outliers — banning abortion for rape victims is the new Republican mainstream. Ethicist Peter Singer critiques Roe v. Wade, Obamacare, Romney. Nate Silver, artist of uncertainty: In the campaign’s last days, a leading political scientist says all hail to the polling guru’s sobering new book about predicting outcomes. Nate Silver and Intrade are vastly different touchstones in our new predictive era — one is democratic, the other technocratic — and yet their success springs from the same well: a human desire to forecast the unknown, and a modern desire to do it with data. Gerardo Serra reviews Cognitive Capitalism by Yann Moulier Boutang. Republicans to cities: Drop Dead. Those who laugh are defenseless: A look at how humor breaks resistance to influence. Imagine yourself decades from now: Cass R. Sunstein on how philosophers and social scientists have been keenly interested in learning exactly why some people fail to give a lot of weight to their own futures, even when that failure produces real hardship.
From Significance Magazine, Steve Berman, Leandro DalleMule, Michael Greene, John Lucker on Simpson’s Paradox: A cautionary tale in advanced analytics. A review of Circles Disturbed: The Interplay of Mathematics and Narrative. Why the answer to any sum is 10: No matter how high your mathematical knowledge reaches you must never lose sight of your foundations, no matter how basic they may seem. What is mathematical thinking? Keith Devlin explains. As easy as ABC: If it’s true, a Japanese mathematician’s solution to a conjecture about whole numbers would be an “astounding achievement” (and more). Me, Myself and Math, a six-part series by Steven Strogatz, looks at us through the lens of math. An interview with Steven Strogatz, author of The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity. Massimo Pigliucci on mathematical Platonism. Michele Osherow and Manil Suri on mathematics and what it means to be human (and part 2 and part 3). Dana Mackenzie on the natural beauty of math: The Geometrization Theorem may not sound the sexiest, but it reveals geometry’s innate splendor. Adam Kirsch reviews Benoit Mandelbrot’s The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick.