Govind Persad (Stanford): What Marriage Law Can Learn from Citizenship Law (and Vice Versa). Wes Vernon reviews The ObamaCare Survival Guide: The Affordable Care Act and What It Means for You and Your Healthcare by Nicholas J. Tate. Katherine Stewart on the rightwing donors who fuel America's culture wars: In general, US public opinion is trending liberal — not that you'd know it from state legislatures bought by conservative dollars. Is revolution coming to the U.S.? They tend to come in waves, triggered by wars and anti-system protests — it can happen here. There's no such thing as the liberal war on science: Michael Shermer argues that when it comes to not believing in science, Dems and Republicans are created equal — here's why he's wrong. You might call them the Billionaire Doomsday Preppers: Preparing for an economic or political collapse of the world as we know it is no longer reserved for paranoids living in flyover states who stockpile canned goods.
Joanni L. Sailor (Cameron): A Phenomenological Study of Falling Out of Romantic Love. Mike Konczal on thinking Utopian: How about a universal basic income? Judith Shulevitz on the lethality of loneliness: For the first time in history, we understand how isolation can ravage the body and brain — now, what should we do about it? The Great Language Change Hoax: Deniers of global warming, the big bang, and evolution have a new target: language change. From The Jury Expert, are there glasses that make you look more competent and trustworthy? Luke McDonagh reviews The Constitutionalization of the Global Corporate Sphere? by Grahame F. Thompson. An apostrophe catastrophe: Paul Lukas on how the rise of the "smart quote" heralded typographic doom for the humble apostrophe. Ollie Cussen reviews The Enlightenment, and Why It Still Matters by Anthony Pagden.
From TNR, Jonathan Cohn on the hell of American day care: An investigation into the barely regulated, unsafe business of looking after our children (and more on the the national day-care law that wasn't); and raising children requires outsourcing: All parents do it, whether they realize it or not. Young children — even toddlers — are spending more and more time with digital technology; what will it mean for their development? Selling creativity to America’s kids: Why did we become obsessed with fostering childhood play? Look to the Cold War, says Amy Ogata. Marshall Poe interviews Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life. Science can now forecast the health risks of children before they are born — are we ready for that knowledge? "Tiger Mom” study shows the parenting method doesn’t work. Why should a discussion of children end up as a discussion of property rights? Noah Berlatsky wants to know.
From Slate’s “Superman” series, David Plotz on building a better you: How you'll become stronger, faster, smarter; Will Oremus on the age of enhancement: Technology is starting to give us superpowers once reserved for comic-book heroes; if science gives people superpowers, will they use them for good or evil?; and the ethics of enhancement: We can make ourselves stronger, faster, smarter — should we?; and you are already enhanced: Everyday technologies give us superpowers that would make our ancestors wonder if we’re entirely human. When did the transhuman era begin; indeed, has it begun or is it an event that is yet to occur? Extropia DaSilva investigates. Steven Levy on how Ray Kurzweil will help Google make the ultimate AI brain. Science fiction authors decide: Is artificial intelligence a threat to humanity? Kevin Drum on how smart machines probably won't kill us all — but they'll definitely take our jobs, and sooner than you think.
From New York, Obama might actually be the environmental president: His climate-change policy has been an abject failure, says Al Gore and just about everyone else — they’re wrong, and here’s why (and a response). A new study finds the economic benefits of EPA regulations massively outweigh the costs. What would “wartime mobilization” to fight climate change look like? David Roberts wants to know. Bill McKibben on the case for fossil-fuel divestment: On the road with the new generation of college activists fighting for the environment. Will fossil fuels be able to maintain economic growth? An interview with Charles Hall, the inventor of the energy return on investment (EROI) metric. Entering a resource-shock world: Michael Klare on how resource scarcity and climate change could produce a global explosion. A differing shade of green: Allan Stoekl reviews The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics by Adrian Parr.
Mike Ovey (Oak Hill): Colonial Atheism: A Very British Vice. So why exactly does England have an established church? As Church of England attendances continue to fall, Paul Sims considers the nation's love of anachronisms. From LRB, Donald MacKenzie on how the big banks get away with it; and Ross McKibbin on the remodelling of the welfare state. Ian Cawood on Liberal-Conservative coalitions: “A farce and a fraud”? The rise of UKIP and the Right: Alastair Paynter wonders whether UKIP is now the real conservative party. One opinion of Margaret Thatcher that definitely comes backed by a lifetime of worship is that of Jack Buckby, founder of the National Culturists. Eric Kaufmann on many different Englands. Tibor Fischer reviews The British Dream: Successes and Failures of Post-War Immigration by David Goodhart. Varun Uberoi and Tariq Modood on how multiculturalism continues to flourish in Britain.
The inaugural issue of the Journal of World-Historical Information is out. Gregory S. Alexander (Cornell): Unborn Communities. Rick Warren imports American-style evangelism — and the gospel of adoption — to Rwanda: An excerpt from The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking and the New Gospel of Adoption by Kathryn Joyce. Emmet Scott on Orwell, Huxley and the emerging totalitarianism. Mike Konczal on how liberal wonk blogging could be your life (and more by Paul Krugman). Tristram Hunt on how history is where the great battles of public life are now being fought. That monkey don't swim: Frank Jacobs on maps, sex and violence. “Democracy may have had its day”: Donald Kagan, Yale's great classicist, gives his final lecture, fighting as ever for Western civilization. Megan O’Branski reviews Fat Lives: A Feminist Psychological Exploration by Irmgard Tischner.
Justin Levitt (LLS): The Partisanship Spectrum. Seth E. Masket (Denver) and Boris Shor (Chicago): Primary Electorates vs. Party Elites: Who are the Polarizers? Going to extremes: The middle ground vanishes as America goes to the poles — and that’s a dangerous thing. Tod Lindberg writes in defense of polarizing politicians: What Margaret Thatcher could teach Obama-era pundits. Do partisans believe what they say? Markus Prior investigates. Yes, Labels: No Labels’ goal of arguing less and getting more things done is not simply wrong but dangerous too; instead, this country needs to vigorously debate how a free society is supposed to function, with the people ultimately deciding the victor. Conor Friedersdorf in why everything is politicized even though most Americans hate it. While partisanship and ideology can each create conflicts of interest for think tank scholars, the two pressures are distinct, and they often conflict with each other.
A new issue of Toska is out. Michael C. Dorf (Cornell): Could the Occupy Movement Become the Realization of Democratic Experimentalism’s Aspiration for Pragmatic Politics? Brooke Williams and Ken Silverstein on the D.C. lobbyists who are also think-tank scholars: Yes, it's a problem when the person delivering the policy paper is also a paid lobbyist. Fact of fiction: Jimmy Stamp on the legend of the QWERTY keyboard. No more fake news: Luke O’Neil on an earnest argument against satire. How to think more (but not better): Lisa Levy on Alain de Botton’s school of life. Scott McLemee reviews Why Hell Stinks of Sulfur: Mythology and Geology of the Underworld by Salomon Kroonenberg. From Boston Review, can global brands create just supply chains? Richard M. Locke investigates (and a series of responses). A review of Foucault, Power and Education by Stephen J. Ball.
From Cultural Studies Review, a special issue on Food Cultures and Amateur Economies. Jennifer Clapp reviews Consumed: Sustainable Food for a Finite Planet by Sarah Elton. A history of fraudulent food: Farm fakes are an eternal problem but given new wrinkles in the global economy. Is it possible to recreate accurately historical dishes? Perhaps, but when it comes to food, beware all claims to authenticity. The moral bankruptcy of foodie-ism: L.V. Anderson reviews Smart Casual: The Transformation of Gourmet Restaurant Style in America by Alison Pearlman. Sasha Chapman reviews Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan (and more and more and more). How to stock your disaster pantry: A guide to a sensible backup food supply that will sustain a family for a month. Adam Tod Brown on the 5 worst things you see while working in fast food.