From ProPublica, what effect, if any, did voter ID laws have on the election? Suevon Lee investigates. From National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru on the Republican Party’s problem. Denialists, whiners, and wackjobs: Paul Begala on how there’s more than one way to be a Republican. Martin W. Lewis on the Republican postmodern turn, Silicon Valley, and California’s political transformation (and more on the 2012 election). Adam Hefty on a review of progressive third parties in U.S. elections. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Joe R. Feagin, Enid Logan, and Josh Pacewicz on the social significance of Barack Obama, revisited. When the nerds go marching in: Alexis Madrigal on how a dream team of engineers from Facebook, Twitter, and Google built the software that drove Barack Obama's reelection. Unlike Ike, Obama is a Hofstadterish intellectual who takes ideas very seriously as a person if not necessarily in his day job. Welcome to the Obama Haters Book Club — a parallel universe of fear mongering for fun and profit. The search for serious literary fiction for Republicans — what else is there, beyond Atlas Shrugged? After the 2012 election, what's next for Ayn Rand? Assume joke dead: Why is the political class so obsessed with being funny? Alex Pareene wants to know.
Hernando Zuleta (Rosario) and Maria Draganova (AUBG): The Sadness of Bulgaria. James Michael Goodwin (Maryland): The Anal Voice. From The Awl, Jane Hu on a complete history of gerbiling so far. From TNR, Jed Perl on the curse of Warholism. Elizabeth Day on Thomas Quick, the Swedish serial killer who never was. A review of Think-Tanks, Social Democracy and Social Policy by Hartwig Pautz. Matt Taibbi on one interesting thing about Paula Broadwell's Petraeus biography. Sheelah Kolhatkar and Diane Brady on Jack Welch's unretirement. Disconnected port: Britta Soderqvist on recycling Gothenburg's maritime heritage. Sweden's waste-fueled power grid is so efficient it's run out of fuel; there's cash to be made importing rubbish — and a chance for organised crime to muscle in. Learning to love volatility: In a world that constantly throws big, unexpected events our way, we must learn to benefit from disorder, writes Nassim Nicholas Taleb. David Runciman reviews Antifragile: How to Live in a World We Don't Understand by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Ah yes, another Bigfoot story — and they get picked up by mainstream media.
From The Philosophical Forum, some people feel threatened by the thought that life might have arisen by chance — what is it about “chance” that some people find so threatening? Brooke Alan Trisel on intended and unintended life. From Scientific American, scientists probe human nature — and discover we are good, after all; and shine on you crazy diamond: S.E. Gould on why humans are carbon-based lifeforms. ENCODE: Ed Yong on a rough guide to the human genome. A scientific team sequences 1,092 human genomes to determine standard range of human genetic variation. Malicia Rogue on the genetic fatality of what you are. Not be so identical after all: Even though identical twins supposedly share all of their DNA, they acquire hundreds of genetic changes early in development that could set them on different paths. Do we want “genetically modified children”? Yes, of course! David Wood on the future of human enhancement. Suppose you think that reducing the risk of human extinction is the highest-value thing you can do, and suppose also that you think AI is the most pressing x-risk, in that case, what should you do?
Raphael Cohen-Almagor (Hull): The Failed Palestinian–Israeli Peace Process 1993-2011: An Israeli Perspective. From the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Political Ideologies, the entry on republicanism by Cecile Laborde. From Jacobin, Seth Ackerman on the Twinkie defense, or what does “uncompetitive” mean? The introduction to Beyond Pure Reason: Ferdinand de Saussure’s Philosophy of Language and Its Early Romantic Antecedents by Boris Gasparov. Don’t isolate Ukraine, and watch those neo-fascists. From The Weekly Standard, Sam Schulman on the world’s dumbest conservatives: How to turn a successful majority coalition into a perpetual election-losing machine. Susan F. Martin reviews Foreign Relations: American Immigration in Global Perspective by Donna R Gabaccia. Frank Jacobs on maps as war by other means. A lot of people take their college ball very seriously; one long-standing rivalry was even the subject of two controversial map bunnies. Sarah Kliff on how millions will qualify for new options under the health care law — and most have no idea. Who would win in a rap battle, Adolf Hitler or Darth Vader?
Sohail Inayatullah (Tamkang): Using Macrohistory to Analyze the Alternative Futures of the Arab Spring. Anita Breuer (GDI): The Role of Social Media in Mobilizing Political Protest: Evidence from the Tunisian Revolution. Ahmed Abdel Azim ElShiekh (Alexandria): Between the Signifier and the Signified Falls the Signification: Reflections on the Use of Political Terms in the Egyptian 2011 Events. Ozan O. Varol (Lewis and Clark): The Military as the Guardian of Constitutional Democracy. Younes Abouyoub reviews Food, Farming and Freedom: Sowing the Arab Spring by Rami Zurayk. Power without responsibility: Mokhtar Benabdallaoui on why monarchies weathered the Arab Spring. Patrick Cockburn reviews The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East by Marc Lynch. How a Salafi preacher came for my soul: Graeme Wood on the far-reaching ambitions of Egypt’s rising Islamists. Beware the tyranny of the mob: The growing insecurity of religious and ethnic minorities is one of the biggest problems arising from the Arab Spring — but much can be done to protect them. Luke McDonagh reviews After the Spring: Economic Transitions in the Arab World.
Primavera De Filippi (CERSA/CNRS) and Smari McCarthy (IMMI): Cloud Computing: Centralization and Data Sovereignty. Boldizsar Bencsath, Gabor Pek, Levente Buttyan, and Mark Felegyhazi (BME): The Cousins of Stuxnet: Duqu, Flame, and Gauss. From Wired, are data centers the new global landfill? Ron Bianchini investigates. Dexter Johnson on nanotechnology as socio-political project. Can nanotechnology create utopia? There are some big ideas in the philosophy of technology that are very helpful in understanding what's going on in the world of machines today — one of those ideas is a concept known as "technological momentum". From Technology Review, Jason Pontin on why we can't solve big problems. From TPM, Carl Franzen on the new cartographers: OpenStreetMap’s world takeover, why OpenStreetMap worries tech companies, and on “Mappy Hour”, sex clubs and diversity. Chris Vaughan reviews iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us by Larry D. Rosen. Why we need new rights to privacy: Because of technological advances, we must spell out what used to be taken for granted.
From Avant: The Journal of the Philosophical-Interdisciplinary Vanguard, a special section on musical practice. A group of experts on nonviolence from around the world gathered in New York to consider how those outside a country subject to dictatorship or repression might help those within it fighting for democracy; the result was The Outsider's Guide to Supporting Nonviolent Resistance to Dictatorship. Ghengis Khan, Mongolia’s most famous citizen, built a vast empire spanning from Korea to Eastern Europe; though ruthless in conquest, it was the largest empire in human history, and its impact, both cultural and political, has been much greater than many think. The Third Coast: From Brownsville to Tampa Bay, an economic powerhouse emerges. Jaime Menchen on how most European languages are “doomed to digital extinction”. An interview with U.S. Global Strike Commander Lt. Gen. James M. Kowalski on the state of nuclear deterrence. Examining the dark side of a feel-good industry: Jason Zasky interviews Hugh Sinclair, author of Confessions of a Microfinance Heretic: How Microlending Lost Its Way and Betrayed the Poor.
Tamara Francita Lawson (St. Thomas): A Fresh Cut in an Old Wound — A Critical Analysis of the Trayvon Martin Killing: The Public Outcry, the Prosecutors’ Discretion, and the Stand Your Ground Law. John M. Kang (St. Thomas): Martin v. Malcolm: Democracy, Nonviolence, Manhood. Sherry Johnson interviews Michele Elam, author of The Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics, and Aesthetics in the New Millenium. Post-racial America?: Judith Weisenfeld on the tangle of race, religion, and citizenship. Tom Davies reviews Not in Our Lifetimes: The Future of Black Politics by Michael Dawson. Tim Buckner reviews Whiting Up: Whiteface Minstrels and Stage Europeans in African American Performance by Marvin McAllister. How Dave Chappelle got bamboozled: An excerpt from Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy from Slavery to Hip-Hop by Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen (and more and more). Richard Morgan on "post-racial" comedy in the age of Obama. Why don't we hear about interracial dating much in GQ or Vogue, and other non-African-American media? Kevin Noble Maillard on interracial relationships in a post-racial world. Henry Louis Gates Jr. tells of his boyhood in the West Virginia town of Piedmont, where African Americans were second-class citizens but family pride ran deep.
From The Bulletin, as the plausible military rationales for nuclear weapons continue to deteriorate in the aftermath of the Cold War, political and psychological rationales for nuclear weapons — like providing reassurance to US allies — are increasingly viewed to be just as important as deterrence. Report Card: Can the International Atomic Energy Agency stop a war with Iran? Last Call: Tim Heffernan on how industry giants are threatening to swallow up America's carefully regulated alcohol industry, and remake America in the image of booze-soaked Britain. Prosperity isn't just a matter of wealth: Man does not live by GDP alone — an introduction to the Legatum Institute's latest Prosperity Index. The growing distance between Catalonia and the rest of Spain is becoming problematic, and could now be considered one of the most important tail risks facing the euro. Where does language come from? New science suggests we make meaning by creating mental simulations. Brittany A. Baumann reviews Odd Couple: International Trade and Labor Standards in History by Michael Huberman.
John Esposito (Chukyo): Sustainable Development: Straddling the Divide Between Two Worldviews. Alan Boyle (Edinburgh): Human Rights and the Environment: Where Next? Lenny Moss reviews Return to Nature? An Ecological Counterhistory by Fred Dallmayr. What’s wrong with putting a price on nature? Richard Conniff wants to know. Emily Badger on mapping the potential for solar power on every roof. With efforts to halt climate change on life support, scientists are looking at some radical options to save our planet — but could the cure be worse than the disease? Remember when environmental protection was a bipartisan effort? Erik M. Conway and Naomi Oreskes on why conservatives turned against science. Hawks vs. scolds: David Roberts on how “reverse tribalism” affects climate communication. It is quite likely that climate change is one of the secondary factors affecting history, but a prime mover? Peter Turchin wonders. Roger Harrabin reviews The Carbon Crunch: How We’re Getting Climate Change Wrong — and How to Fix It by Dieter Helm. Stop climate change: Move to the city, start walking.