Steve Dawe (London Metropolitan): Full Employment in a Green Society. From Aeon, British society is still deeply damaged by class differences — why won't policy makers act on the evidence? Not only do multinationals avoid tax — they also help write the tax code: Jonathan Ford reviews The Great Tax Robbery: How Britain Became a Tax Haven for Fat Cats and Big Business by Richard Brooks. Baristas of the world, unite: Can a left-wing cafe fight capitalism? The new British Empire: Chris Oates on the politics of BBC's Doctor Who. Rules Britannia: As the UK makes changes to its citizenship tests, Matthew Engel argues that such hurdles are necessary. From TLS, the history lessons outlined in the draft National Curriculum are too prescriptive, Anglocentric and narrow — the only way to make the subject better, David Cannadine argues, is to give it more time in the classroom. An interview with Mark Dery, author of England My England: Anglophilia Explained.
Solon Barocas, Sophie Hood, and Malte Ziewitz (NYU): Governing Algorithms: A Provocation Piece. Lucy Maddox on the myth of the teenager: Does the stroppy adolescent exist? The Public Domain Review highlights On the Writing of the Insane, with illustrations by G. Mackenzie Bacon, M.D. (1870). Trudy Lieberman on the enduring myth of the Greedy Geezer: The press too easily accepts the young vs. old frame on the Social Security debate. Holly Case reviews The Young Turks' Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire by Taner Akcam. How could you possibly convince a community to accept nuclear waste in its back yard? Hints: Deal with them honestly, don’t cram it down their throats, and certainly don’t pay them. Travis Waldron on how the U.S. collects less in taxes than all but two industrialized countries.
Luke M. Herrington (Kansas): Globalization and Religion in Historical Perspective: A Paradoxical Relationship. Richard Greydanus (McGill): Religion in Early Modern Utopian Literature. Jerome Gellman reviews The Significance of Religious Experience by Howard Wettstein. Why does God, who truly wants to be known, seem so incomprehensible? Andrew Byers reviews "Spiritual but Not Religious" Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church by Lillian Daniel. An excerpt from The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates by Howard Bloom. Do atheists really believe in God? From Immortal Life, Franco Cortese on how belief in Heaven is the biggest obstacle impeding radical life extension; and will religions promising “Heaven” just vanish, when superlongevity on Earth is attained? The main reason for the survival of religion is not a desire to live a better life, but our fear of death, says Susan Jacoby.
From Foreign Affairs, Peter Andreas (Brown): Gangster’s Paradise: The Untold History of the United States and International Crime. Cass Sunstein on why paternalism is your friend: Various forms of paternalism are all around you, and at least some of them aren’t so bad. Why do people hate deficits? Dylan Matthews investigates. “Fine print,” or “boilerplate,” contracts have been interwoven into the fabric of our modern commercial society for decades; in recent years, however, they become more and more deliberately obfuscating — and, thanks to business-friendly court decisions more and more aggressive in their intent to deprive customers of all sorts of rights of redress (and part 2). Is the personal essay hipper than thou? Janet Steen wants to know. Michael Marder on his book Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life (and more). Sex in Samoa: Margaret Mead not so wrong after all?
From New York, no one who works in old media feels secure, but it’s high time to stop sobbing: Journalism should be about finding the next story, rather than mourning how they used to be told, which was often flawed anyway; and does BuzzFeed know the secret? Speaking of the future of journalism (and advertising), Jonah Peretti, head of viral-content factory BuzzFeed, purports to have an algorithmic bead on it. Gordon Macmillan on how Twitter won the social media battle for journalism. Laura Bennett on journalism as extreme sport: HBO's "Vice" goes from Brooklyn to Afghanistan, ironic distance intact. Goodbye, anecdotes: The Age of Big Data demands real criticism. Does the political press focus too much on inside baseball? An excerpt from Roger Ailes: Off Camera by Zev Chafets (and more and more and more). John C. Chalberg reviews Cronkite by Douglas Brinkley.