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.