Stefan P. Dolgert (Brock): Listening in Order Not to Hear? Darwin, Politics, and Sacrifice. America flirts with self-destruction: The fallout of a US government default, particularly one that lasts, is beyond prediction. Michael Slaby on how the Obama campaign helped create a new map of understanding — here's how others can use it. Uber alles: James Surowiecki on the economy of peer-to-peer apps. Chasing coincidences: Amir D. Aczel on statistics and why it’s hard to recognize the unlikely. James Nicholls reviews Alcohol in World History by Gina Hames. 10,000 years chiming: Christopher Heaney interviews Alexander Rose of the Long Now Foundation. Federal employee Mike Marsh’s mission: Getting himself fired, and his agency closed. A look at how the entire essential/nonessential breakdown is a fascinating semiotic window into national priorities. What is the purpose of Vajrolimudra? James Mallinson on yoga and sex. Sixth in a massive series on the media’s treatment of Hillary Rodham Clinton, and, in this case, her daughter Chelsea Clinton. Where the Silk Road ends: Feds arrest “Dread Pirate Roberts”, alleged founder of largest Bitcoin drug market. Weiner takes ll: A panel discussion of people named Weiner and Wiener. Rapper Phonte Coleman explains why Jay-Z is The Wire, Nas is Breaking Bad. You can download Material Law: A Jurisprudence of What's Real by John Brigham. Why is Albert Camus still a stranger in his native Algeria?
Republicans hate domestic spending, but their hatred is not completely indiscriminate — the general pattern is that social programs offend Republicans to the degree that they benefit the poor, sick, or otherwise unfortunate. Despite what conservatives want you to believe, this is not a fight about the role of government — conservatives have no trouble with government interventions they benefit from, but ask them to give up a dollar to help the less fortunate and it's another story. Atul Gawande on Obamacare rollout, Obamacare obstruction. You can't sabotage Obamacare and then whine about its glitches. This is what the Republicans were afraid of: Washington was shut down because Republicans don't want Obamacare — on the other hand, Obamacare was nearly shut down because so many Americans wanted Obamacare. Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff on everything you need to know about buying insurance under Obamacare (and more). From TNR, why Obamacare is not the cause of Republican insanity; Mark Schmitt on what we need to fix Congress: More partisanship; and how the Radical Right has taken over Washington — here's how we get it back. This madness will never end: So long as there's a Democrat in the White House, the fever will never break. Larry Bartels on how Americans are more conservative than they have been in decades (and more: “We're still living with the toxic political legacy of 9/11”).
From the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of the United States Constitution, Adrian Vermeule (Harvard): The Administrative State: Law, Democracy, and Knowledge. William H. Simon (Columbia): The Organizational Premises of Administrative Law. Archie Morris (Bowie State): On American Federalism: Opposite and Rival Interests. Mark Seidenfeld (FSU): The Role of Politics in a Deliberative Model of the Administrative State. Yasmin Dawood (Toronto): Democracy and the Problem of the Partisan State. Peter John (UCL): Agendas and Instability in American Politics. David Sterrett (UIC) and Dennis Chong (USC): Self-Interest in Contemporary Public Policy Disputes. Margo Schlanger (Michigan): Offices of Goodness: Influence without Authority in Federal Agencies. Joseph White (Case Western): The Purpose and Processes of Pork-Barrel Politics. Timothy M. LaPira (JMU), Herschel F. Thomas (Texas), Frank Baumgartner (UNC): Washington Lobbyists in the Core and on the Periphery. Hye Young You (Harvard): Ex Post Lobbying. We all want more of everything — except taxes: Alexandra Filindra and Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz on how opinion polling constrains Washington. Why does public conflict over societal risks persist in the face of compelling and widely accessible scientific evidence? A look at motivated numeracy and enlightened self-government. The first chapter from The Substance of Representation: Congress, American Political Development, and Lawmaking by John S. Lapinski.
Amitrajeet A. Batabyal (RIT) and Hamid Beladi (USTA): Setting the Dowry Optimally to Extract the Full Surplus: A Contract Theory Perspective. From New York, a special issue on lessons from the brand builders of the post-Lehman economy. From Distilled, royal festivities are heydays for republicans, but do their arguments against the monarchy hold? Bram De Ridder wants to know; and Brecht Savelkoul on what to do about royalty: Don't adore, don't oppose, just laugh. Many groups lack privilege, here in the discriminatory Babylon that is the USA, but who lacks privilege the most? Hamilton Nolan on the Forsaken Four. The vultures’ victory: Joseph Stiglitz on how a recent decision by a United States appeals court threatens to upend global sovereign-debt markets. What is a Fuhrer-figure in the early 21st century? Tony Waters wonders. The impact of a leaked terrorist plot by Al Qaeda in August has caused more immediate damage to American counterterrorism efforts than the thousands of classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden. Clicky Business Insider to double down on “long-form” with “hundreds of thousands” in investment (and more). Kevin Drum on how Republican farm policy makes perfect sense — as class warfare. How one magazine reinvigorated American intellectual life: A conversation with the people behind the New York-based literary magazine n+1, who have succeeded at a time when print is fighting for its life.
From Mother Jones, who is affected when the government doesn't show up for work? Poor people, people with immune systems — basically everyone. Ever wondered what government Twitter accounts are “essential” enough to keep tweeting through a government shutdown? A look at why essential services can't last forever (and more). Remember when Republicans were worried about “economic uncertainty”? Henry Farrell on how making like a lemming can be tactically smart. If you want to grasp why Republicans are careening toward provoking a sovereign debt crisis, you need to understand that this is the inevitable product of a conscious party strategy. No, Democrats never really held the debt limit hostage. Our Outlaw President: Henry Aaron on why Obama should ignore the debt ceiling. Don’t like the shutdown? Blame the Constitution: Both of America's political parties can veto must-pass legislation — this is a bad idea. How to depose John Boehner: Jonathan Chait on a centrist coup to save America. If a new, young Left is really on the rise, why aren't those new, millennial liberals protesting the shutdown? Chris Lehmann on the Beltway Media Shuck-Down. False balance in the media goes haywire: Rebecca Leber on six headlines about the government shutdown that will destroy your faith in journalism. Here is the first installment of “If It Happened There,” a regular feature in which American events are described using the tropes and tone normally employed by the American media to describe events in other countries.
Mikhail Antonov (HSE): The Philosophy of Sovereignty, Human Rights, and Democracy in Russia. Samuel A. Greene (King's College): Towards a Theory of Authoritarian Stalemate: Seeking Russia's “New Normal”. From the Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies, a special issue on war trauma in post-Soviet Russia. Breaking the ice of Russian repression: Justin Torres on what Russia’s queer past has to tell us about the future. What factor is most responsible for the rise of Fascist movements in post-Soviet Russia? Lyndon Mukasa investigates. Andrew S. Weiss on how the “reset” with Russia worked, until Putin sabotaged it, and now the relationship is in tatters — here’s how to save it, if we even want to bother. Why would Putin be happy with or without a U.S. war in Syria? Ahmed E. Souaiaia wonders. Maria Turovet on movements and protests in Russia. Garry Kasparov on why Putin may not finish term. Could Russia have been as successful as the United States? Alexei Bayer on how Russia botched an entire century. Ross Laurence Wolfe on Stalinism in art and architecture, or, the first postmodern style. Russia hopes to lure Jews to far east zone. Beauty was secondary: When it came to magazines, Soviet women didn't have much to choose from — it was either a "Working Woman", a "Country Woman", or a "Soviet Woman". Ban this filth: Is the oldest profession a traditional Russian relationship choice? Say it loud: I’m Siberian and proud!
A new issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review is out. Russell Arben Fox (Friends): James C. Scott and the Question of an Anarchist, Non-Sovereign Agrarianism. From The New Inquiry, the thing about You’re Not Pretty Enough, storyteller Jennifer Tress’s alternately hilarious and searing memoir, is that it’s not really about being pretty; and Alice Marwick on how the ideal of authenticity established a boundary between the self and a complete surrender to capitalism; fashion bloggers live on both sides of the border. Mission accomplished? Danny Postel on Syria, the antiwar movement, and the spirit of internationalism. Conventional wisdom says Malcolm Gladwell is a zany brainbox whose books challenge our assumptions and revolutionise our lives — but, asks Gaby Wood, is that another misconception? (and more: “If my books appear oversimplified, then you shouldn't read them”). Laura Agustin on prostitution law and the death of whores. How newly declassified documents show how the surveillance state was born. Nate Cohn on how there's something wrong with PPP, America's premier liberal pollster. The politics of apocalypse: Talk of the end times (recently toned down in Iran) often surfaces in bewildering moments. No nearer the Philosopher’s Stone: Nicholas Popper investigates the shadowy but often serious art of alchemy. Amanda Shaffer on the moral dilemmas of doctors during disaster.
Myunsoo Kim and Byungtae Lee (KAIST): Are There Too Many Superheroes? Analysis of the Social Distance in Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. From HiLobrow, a series of twenty-five posts, by 25 talented culture critics, each dedicated to the close analysis and eccentric appreciation of one specific old-school hip hop track. Meron Wondemaghen on Breaking Bad's Walter White: The psychopath we can all relate to? From Crime Library, “look at me when I talk to you”: Anthony Bruno on actor Steven Seagal and the Mob. In Shain Gandee, star of Buckwild, MTV struck the authenticity mother lode, until the show became a real-life tragedy. Gabe Bullard on redshirts in the coffee shop: This cosplay is pretty serious. Chris Kohler on Ico, the obscure cult game that’s secretly inspiring everything. The fanatical fantasies of pro wrestling fans: Crystle Martin studies what pro wrestling fans can teach us about storytelling, education, and community — what she found is like “fantasy football meets Dungeons and Dragons”. Paul Cantor on his new book The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture: Liberty vs. Authority in Film and TV. The psychology of superheroes (and villains): Travis Langley on what we learn about personality when we analyze good guys, bad guys — and ourselves. Luis Prada on 4 reasons being a pop culture nerd is harder than you think. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Is its thesis even truer in the age of the Internet?
Frank J. Thompson (Rutgers): The Administrative Presidency and Fractious Federalism: Lessons from Obamacare. Elizabeth Weeks Leonard (Georgia): Crafting a Narrative for the Red State Option. It’s really “Democratic Care”, not “Obamacare”: Obamacare is less about what Obama wanted, and more about what the Democratic Party wanted. Tom Miller on conservative health-care reform. Creating a new responsibility: David Warsh on the Affordable Care Act. Annie-Rose Strasser and Tara Culp-Ressler on 20 questions you have about Obamacare but are too afraid to ask. Megan McArdle on 11 pieces of Obamacare conventional wisdom that shouldn’t be so conventional. Rutgers student John Connelly says Sen. Ted Cruz misused his name to denounce the ACA. Igor Volsky has the complete guide to the GOP’s three-year campaign to shut down the government. Republicans need to compel Obama to accept their agenda, not in spite of the fact that the voters rejected it at the polls but precisely for that reason. Jonathan Rauch on rescuing compromise: A funny thing happened on the way to legislative gridlock and fiscal meltdown in the past few years. Your false-equivalence guide to the days ahead: James Fallows on a kind of politics we have not seen for more than 150 years. Steve Pearlstein on how Obama can win the debt standoff in 3 steps. Rebels without a clue: This may be the way the world ends — not with a bang but with a temper tantrum. Brad Plumer on everything you need to know about how a government shutdown works. Josh Marshall on broken windows, broken states. Kevin Drum on a quick one-sentence reminder of what this is all about.
A new issue of Behemoth is out. Mark Newman (Stockholm): An Anthropological Perspective on the Coca-Cola Company. Marja Schuster (RKH): Hermeneutics as Embodied Existence. We may be decades away from cloning Bigfoot, but two new books on cryptozoology show that the truth is out there — Scott McLemee wants to believe. On the second annual Golden Goose Awards: John Sides on how federal funding of scientific research produces unexpected successes. From Contemporary Sociology, Ronald Weitzer reviews nine important books on sex work published since 2000. Supercomputers help solve a 50-year homework assignment: Calculation related to question of why the universe is made of matter. Is there a word for that? We have long invented language to fill gaps in our vocabulary, but not all coinages are created equal. David Rosen reviews Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance by Heidi Boghosian. Watch more, know more: Tina Bettels on TV news and foreign affairs. Reviewers on Amazon and posters on martial arts bulletin boards have long suspected that Taming the Tiger, the dramatic Christian conversion story of Tony Anthony, who claims to be a kung fu world champion, is a fake — but now an inquiry led by the Evangelical Alliance has agreed with them. Skinny jeans and cocaine: Why cocaine users tend to be skinny and why it won’t last forever.