A new issue of the Journal of Terrorism Research is out. Thomas Hegghammer (FFI): Should I Stay or Should I Go? Explaining Variation in Western Jihadists' Choice between Domestic and Foreign Fighting. Peter J. Phillips (USQ): The Theory of the Rise of the Lone Wolf Terrorist: Diseconomies to Scale and Terrorism at the Smallest Scale of Production. Dawinder S. Sidhu (New Mexico): Lessons on Terrorism and “Mistaken Identity” from Oak Creek, with a Coda on the Boston Marathon Bombings. Nationalism, madness, and terrorism: Liah Greenfeld on how a key to the Tsarnaevs’ behavior may perhaps be found in developments in England 500 years ago. Preventive measures: Hendrik Hertzberg on the costs of counterterrorism. Liane Hartnett reviews Liberal Terror by Brad Evans. Is the war on terrorism over? David S. Maxwell on unconventional warfare. Peter Bergen on how Bush's war on terror is over.
Roland Paris (Ottawa): Afghanistan: What Went Wrong? Ian Murphy on Bill Maher and the Evangelical Left: The Left has become the Right, and the Right has gone totally insane. From Sydney Review of Books, will any of us be read in fifty years? Brian Castro on literature and fashion. Congressmen propose the mother of all voting rights protections. This is how the NRA ends: A bigger, richer, meaner gun-control movement has arrived. From California Literary Review, a list of the 100 Greatest Gangster Films. Neuroscientist Susan Greenﬁeld talks about her quest to cure Alzheimer’s, how the internet is rewiring our minds and her knack for attracting heat. From Standpoint, Roger Kimball on why Maureen Dowd is overrated and Robert Low on why Melanie Phillips is underrated; and have you heard the one about Auschwitz? Far more than an exercise in oy-veying and kvetching, the Jewish joke is a vital strategy for survival in a bleak and hostile world.
Owen M. Fiss (Yale): The Democratic Mission of the University. Rebecca Gould (Yale-NUS): Open-Sourcing the Global Academy: Aaron Swartz’s Legacy. From Minding the Campus, David Wilezol on how elite colleges drive income inequality; and what happened to the great state universities? James Piereson wants to know. Can venture capital deliver on the promise of the public university? Bob Meister writes an open letter to Daphne Koller, co-founder and co-president of Coursera. Aaron Bady on the MOOC Moment and the end of reform. There’s nothing more boring or conventional than a textbook, but two hundred years ago they were as cutting-edge as a MOOC, and augured a revolution in the way we think about knowledge. Daniel Luzer reviews College (Un)bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students by Jeffrey J. Selingo.
From 4strugglemag, a special issue on resisting sexism, homophobia and transphobia. From The Umlaut, J Arthur Bloom on paleo against the world (and a response and more). Obstruct this: After four years of Senate obstruction, Obama finally makes his move. Where does identity come from? A fascinating new neuroscience experiment probes an ancient philosophical question and hints that you might want to get out more. This summer is looking like it might bring the British far-right and those who oppose them into contact on a regular basis. The conservative plan to starve government has paid off with the IRS scandal: The more we learn about the IRS vetting of conservative groups, the less it looks like an abuse of power than something much more mundane — a beleaguered agency with too few resources to handle its work-load. Eric Horowitz on how your social status influences the way you’re judged.
A new issue of Common-place is out. Aaron Robert Gott (FSU): Due Process, Neutrality, and Booze. The hard facts collected by “a numbers man” over the course of his career yield an irrefutable conclusion: More guns equals more dead people. The world once dreamt American dreams — who or what will rise up to fill the imagination void? Is your state's highest-paid employee a coach? (Probably) Jed Kolko on where Americans look for vacation homes. Still the Redeemer Nation: The ceaseless quest for redemption in politics and culture is one of the chronic infirmities of American national life — but God forbid we should ever give it up. For all the legacies that American politics has bequeathed to the world, one that rarely gets acclaim is its linguistic legacy. An excerpt from The Jet Sex: Airline Stewardesses and the Making of an American Icon by Victoria Vantoch. Steve Shapiro on 6 sacred icons of American culture that aren't even American.
From Pambazuka News, a special issue on AU/OAU at 50, celebration and reflection. Morten Jerven (Simon Fraser): Africa's Accidental Advancement: How New Statistics Are Boosting the Continent's GDP. Rosa Brooks (Georgetown): Reflections on Kony 2012. Ogunrotifa Ayodeji (Edinburgh): Democratic Deficit: The Dark Side of Weberian Bureaucracy in Nigeria. How can Ghana avoid an oil curse? Michael Yamoah on lessons from Nigeria. East Africa is the world's latest hotspot for oil and gas exploration — will this be a boon or a curse in arid Turkana? Michael Pesek on regime change in African history. The African Century: The unlucky continent finally seems to be on a real path to growth, but is democracy essential to sustain Africa’s rise? Josh Kron on Mahmood Mamdani, an intellectual leader in African higher education. In a time of crisis, why are academics so quiet? Isaie Dougnon wants to know.
A new issue of Hoover Digest is out. Keith E. Schnakenberg (WUSTL): Group Identity and Symbolic Political Behavior. Thirst for knowledge: Robert J. Bliwise on tapping into drinking water, a substance that’s been variously treated, distributed, regulated, consumed, and — unfortunately — taken for granted. All for one and one for all: Gillian Gillison responds to Marshall Sahlins. From n+1, the uncertainty of risk: Nick Werle reviews Nate Silver’s The Signal and The Noise, Nicholas Taleb’s Antifragile and James Owen Weatherall’s The Physics of Wall Street. Christy Wampole on the essayification of everything: Why has the form invented by Montaigne — searching, sampling, notoriously noncommittal — become a talisman of our times? Lawrence Klepp reviews Extraordinary Beliefs: A Historical Approach to a Psychological Problem by Peter Lamont.
Neil M. Richards and William Smart (WASTL): How Should the Law Think About Robots? Stop killer robots: Simon Makin on how autonomous weapons systems could lead to disaster. How will a mass influx of robots affect human employment? Illah Nourbakhsh on how it’s time to talk about the burgeoning robot middle class. Hi, I’m a robot and I’m here to take your job. Computers could take some tough choices out of our hands, if we let them — is there still a place for human judgement? Thought experiment: Jonathon Keats on building a supercomputer replica of the human brain. David Pearce on the Biointelligence Explosion: How recursively self-improving organic robots will modify their own source code and bootstrap our way to full-spectrum superintelligence. Luke Muehlhauser on how predicting AI is more difficult than many people think. The robot revolution is for the birds.
Brett Michael Carmouche (Manchester): The Personifying of the Narrative: How Barack Obama Used Rhetoric to His Advantage in the 2008 US Election Campaign. From Distilled magazine, Bram De Ridder on the flawed modernity of foreign policies; and Christopher Edelman on a roadmap to an arms trade treaty. Eliot’s politics in context: Benjamin G. Lockerd reviews Dreams of a Totalitarian Utopia: Literary Modernism and Politics by Leon Surette. Consciousness; it's a science thing: Jon Butterworth never expected a talk by a philosopher to be the most memorable TEDxCERN talk — but John Searle made it so. Jonathan Turley on the rise of the fourth branch of government. Sean Beaudoin breaks down the characters of St. Elmo’s Fire, making it clear how each is, in fact, an unerring reflector of Reaganology. What’s wrong with MSNBC? Alex Pareene wonders.
From Secular Web, Ryan Stringer on Mavrodes' moral argument for adopting religious belief. Michael Blume on four paths to atheism. An interview with Sikivu Hutchinson, author of Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels. In search of the ungodly: A review of The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism by A.C. Grayling and The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates by Frans de Waal. Jonathan Ree on the rationalist way of death: Given that it has historically been annexed by religion, how should the non-believer mark death? The Death-Positive Movement: Meet three young women who want to teach our repressed society how to explore its relationship with death. Atheists are still going to Hell, says Vatican spokesman. Even for committed non-believers, it’s difficult to totally erase the idea of God from one’s psyche. Here’s a surprising map of where the world’s atheists live.