A new issue of the Journal of Religion, Identity, and Politics is out. Michael J. Ard reviews Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty by John M. Barry. An excerpt from The Rise of Liberal Religion: Book Culture and American Spirituality in the Twentieth Century by Matthew S. Hedstrom. Mickey Maudlin on why evangelicals have all the bestsellers. Why do evangelicals talk to journalists? They know they may be depicted unsympathetically, but any chance to spread the Word is worth taking. Christian worker Walter Slonopas quits over 666 on tax form. Jonathan Dudley on the not-so-lofty origins of the evangelical pro-life movement: “The religious right of the late twentieth century organized to perpetuate racial discrimination”. Rev. William E. Alberts on the Bible and the Other: When ethnic cleansing is next to Godliness.
Jane C. Ginsburg (Columbia): From Hypatia to Victor Hugo to Larry and Sergey: “All the World's Knowledge” and Universal Authors’ Rights. From Popular Science, brain damage has unleashed extraordinary talents in a small group of otherwise ordinary individuals — will science find a way for everyone to tap their inner virtuoso? A long-lost play about the Haitian slave revolt is out in a scholarly edition — Scott McLemee wants tickets. Why do some journalists keep predicting a major challenge to the two-party system? Brendan Nyhan on the third party fever dream. Have you ever wondered what a more fatuous and less focused version of Occupy would look like, but lacked the requisite brain power to actually imagine it? Well, wonder no more — Simon Childs on how people who think they can change the world with “free hugs” are fatuous dickheads.
Does the richness of the few benefit us all? Zygmunt Bauman investigates. From Too Much, to end extreme poverty, end extreme wealth. Economic recovery from below: Barry Finger on insufficiency of "taxing the rich". Can we fight poverty by ending extreme wealth? Olga Khazan wonders. Oxfam says the world's 100 richest people earned enough in 2012 to end global poverty four times over. Bill Gates on his plan to fix the world's biggest problems: From the fight against polio to fixing education, what's missing is often good measurement and a commitment to follow the data — we can do better. Patrick Meier on Big Data for development: From information to knowledge societies? Management consultants can save the world: Inventory controls, workplace efficiency, and more paperwork help countries and businesses more than you can imagine.
Narve Strand (NTNU): Why Is It Good to be Rational? Wittgenstein, Putnam, and the Way Through Universalism and Relativism. From Principia, Scott Stapleford (STU): Epistemic Duties and Failure to Understand One's Evidence; and Zoltan Vecsey (HAS): On the Epistemic Status of Borderline Cases. From Philosophy Now, David Fraser reviews Donald Davidson: A Short Introduction by Kathrin Gluer; Richard Baron reviews The Laws of Belief by Wolfgang Spohn; and Nikki Dekker reviews A User’s Guide to Thought and Meaning by Ray Jackendoff. Tim Bayne on his book Thought: A Very Short Introduction. Carrie Figdor interviews Herman Cappelen, author of Philosophy Without Intuitions. Hilary Kornblith is the jiving naturalising epistemologist who takes issue with both armchair and non-armchair philosophers because he thinks all they’re doing is fighting over how to do conceptual analysis.
From FiveThirtyEight, is Marco Rubio the electable conservative? Nate Silver investigates. Richard Viguerie offers $10K “Liberty Prize” to anyone who helps conservatives “take over the Republican Party”. Tea Party Patriots apologizes to Karl Rove for an "absolutely unacceptable" picture that showed him wearing an SS uniform. Missouri Republican Mike Leara wants to make it a felony for his fellow lawmakers to propose gun laws. Georgia's legislature has inched ahead on a resolution endorsing the repeal of the 17th Amendment. A bill considered by Oklahoma Representatives would prevent teachers from giving a student’s paper a failing grade if it tries to disprove biological evolution or anthropogenic climate change. Conspiracy O’ The Week: Obama will declare Christians insane, put them in asylums, feed on their souls. Taegan Goddard on how Republicans are committing political malpractice.
Christopher Rowe (Melbourne): The New Library of Babel? Borges, Digitisation and the Myth of a Universal Library. From JETWI, a special issue on Networked Digital Technologies. From Wired, a special series on the decades that invented the future, the trends and technologies that will shape the decade we’re living in now (in 12 parts). How to predict the future of technology? Gareth James and Gerard Tellis on how Moore's Law does not apply for most industries, including the PC industry. Jason Torchinsky on how information in America moves 33,480,000 times faster than it did 200 years ago. Supercomputers have gotten incredibly powerful — here are the most difficult engineering problems they are trying to crack. Research suggests any two pages on the web are connected by 19 clicks or less. When will the Internet reach its limit (and how do we stop that from happening)?
Thomas Kemple (UBC): The Spatial Sense of Empire: Encountering Strangers with Simmel, Tocqueville and Martineau. Anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon talks to Inside Higher Ed about his new book, Noble Savages, and his lengthy and exceptionally controversial career (and more and more). Jeremy Waldron remembers Ronald Dworkin (and more by Eric Posner). The virtues of stone age dental hygiene: A study of bacterial DNA from the calcified dental plaque on 34 skeletons in Northern Europe has shown that our ancient ancestors had much better teeth than we do today. New sexual revolution: Polyamory may be good for you. Unlike the period of mourning usually observed when an elite periodical dies, no eulogies were written for Policy Review in other publications. Here is a cheat sheet from Screenwriting for Dummies.
Noam Lubell and Nathan Derejko (Essex): A Global Battlefield? Drones and the Geographical Scope of Armed Conflict. Unmanned aircraft have proved their prowess against al Qaeda; now they’re poised to take off on the home front — patrolling borders, tracking perps, dusting crops, and maybe watching us all? Terrorists will attack us with drones — bet on it. William Saletan writes in defense of drones: They're the worst form of war, except for all the others. In written responses to questions submitted by the Senate, John Brennan refused to rule out drone assassinations of American citizens on US soil. Liberals are more likely to favor targeted killings once they know it’s Obama's policy. What the Obama administration isn’t telling you about drones — the standard rule is capture, not kill. Joe Pappalardo on everything you wanted to know about drones. From The State, Adam Rothstein on how to write drone fiction (and more).
Ryan Goodman (NYU): The Power to Kill or Capture Enemy Combatants. From World History Connected, a forum on Travelers and Traveler's Accounts in World History. From Wired, a look at 7 massive ideas that can change the world. Colin Lecher on what happens when researchers give people superpowers: Do they use them to do good or evil? From New York, Wesley Yang on the life and afterlife of Aaron Swartz: The precocious coder, hacker visionary, and “pirate” was already a tech legend by the time he’d turned 17, but in the weeks since his suicide last month, at 26, his friends and comrades have tried to turn him into something else — a martyr. Caribbean rum wars: Larry Luxner on how a brewing tax battle stirs frustration with the U.S. Are we intellectually lazy? Yes we are, but we do know when we take the easy way out, according to a new study.
Susanne Gratius and Miriam Gomes Saraiva (CEPS): Continental Regionalism: Brazil's Prominent Role in the Americas. Par Engstrom (UCL): Rising Brazil: What Role for Human Rights? Stuart Vincent Campbell (Minnesota): Brazil, Blasphemy, and Free Speech: Why the US Must Maintain Strong Freedom of Expression Protections in Spite of International Pressure to Punish Anti-Religious Hate Speech. Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice is now opening branches in Brazil. Pastor Benny Hinn's son detained for allegedly beating man at Brazilian crusade. From Boston Review, Leonardo Avritzer examines Brazil's experiments with direct democracy via the revival of national conferences; and F. Daniel Hidalgo looks at electronic voting in Brazil. Brazil’s indigenous affairs department (FUNAI) has announced that it will send a team of specialists to investigate the situation of uncontacted Awa, the “world’s most threatened tribe”. It’s raining spiders in Brazil.