Christopher McCrudden (QUB): In Pursuit of Human Dignity: An Introduction to Current Debates. From Brown Alumni Magazine, to Thomas Perez government should act to make America a fairer place for the powerless — that’s why Republicans call him a radical ideologue and President Obama wants him to be his secretary of labor; and meet David Corn, the Mother Jones reporter who dug up Mitt Romney's infamous 47 percent video. Felix Salmon on the systemic plight of labor. Joel Kotkin on how there's nothing fundamentally unRepublican about class warfare. Rap battle: Is Lana Del Rey our new Daisy Buchanan? Why the diamond-loving hipster singer could have been Gatsby's girl. Why exert any energy trying to come up with a formal, all-encompassing definition of the word "hipster" when we can just look to the paper of record for guidance?
Thom Brooks (Durham): The Right to Be Punished: A Defense. Hamish Clift reviews Punishment by Thom Brooks. Do murderers deserve to have sex behind bars? Jeffrey Hartinger on a look at the evolution of conjugal visits. Smart on crime: Mark A.R. Kleiman on how being tough on criminals hasn’t worked, but neither has being lenient — here’s how to prevent and punish crime the right way. Eli Lehrer on the party of prison reform: Conservatives lead the way. Dylan Matthews on lead abatement, alcohol taxes and 10 other ways to reduce the crime rate without annoying the NRA. In a surveillance society, do prisons need walls? Mary Mitchell on the making of the "other" Chicago: The pandemic of violence on the city's streets is the legacy of decades of failed social policies. The criminal mind: Advances in genetics and neuroscience are revolutionizing our understanding of violent behavior — as well as ideas about how to prevent and punish crime. Is criminality genetic? Brian Palmer investigates.
Marjorie Cohn (Thomas Jefferson): Teaching Torture at the School of the Americas. From U.S. Intellectual History blog, between two Americas: Kahlil Chaar-Perez on Jose Marti as a Latin American/Latino intellectual (and part 2 and part 3); and what is “our canon”? Between Latina/o and U.S. Intellectual History (and more). Anglo-American media: Why so interested in Latin America’s human rights abuses? Ted Wilkinson reviews U.S. Ambassadors to Mexico: The Relationship Through Their Eyes by Dolia Estevez. As the United States grows more Latino, it won’t drift away from Canada. The U.S. may be heading toward European-style secularization — more surprisingly, several Latin American countries mirror conditions in the States. The next big thing: Barbara Kotschwar and Jeffrey J. Schott on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Latin America. Disputed finds put humans in South America 22,000 years ago: Brazilian site may have been home to people before the Clovis hunters.
From n+1, released, unprotected, into the dark fields of the republic, we would find new things to say and, with luck, new people to say them to. Is it crazy to think we can eradicate poverty? Annie Lowrey investigates. The return of the monopoly: More mergers, fewer players — is this the end of competitive capitalism? The tribunals judging crimes in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia were intended to deliver justice for victims of genocide — but several recent cases suggest that politics may be getting in the way, says Andrew Wallis. Intelligence Explosion Microeconomics is 40,000 words taking some initial steps toward tackling the key quantitative issue in the intelligence explosion, "reinvestable returns on cognitive investments". Archaeologists find evidence that refutes current theories on the origins of the Maya. James Kalb on stupidity, a malady of the cultural elite. Routledge to publish Porn Studies journal.
From Zocalo, a series on the Great Algebra Debate: Math mavens ask whether we all need to know that X + Y = Z (and more); and you’re not too dumb for algebra — so get ready for a lot more of it in school. Can there be an algorithm for every human desire? In The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the Impossible, Lance Fortnow finds deep implications for our future in an esoteric mathematical problem. Maths genius Mary Cartwright was a modest soul and one of the early founders of chaos theory — it's time we recognised her massive contribution, says Lisa Jardine. What did Turing establish about the limits of computers and the nature of mathematics? Marshall Poe interviews Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez, authors of Math on Trial: How Numbers Get Used and Abused in the Court Room. Is mathematics a criterion for truth in the natural world? William Grassie on mathematics and the Game of Thrones. Don’t listen to E.O. Wilson: Math can help you in almost any career.
Karen J. Alter (Northwestern): The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights. From The New Yorker, Steve Coll reviews The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth by Mark Mazzetti; and Kosovo’s leaders have been accused of grotesque war crimes — but can anyone prove it? Conversations with evil men: James Dawes’s interviews with people who committed acts of atrocity were like “a guided tour of hell.” Andrew Sullivan on the death of blogs — or of magazines? George Monbiot on the self-hating state: Devolving policy to “the market” doesn’t solve the problem of power — it makes it worse. Should robots be able to decide to kill you on their own? A U.N. report calls for a moratorium, but lethal autonomous robots could be a reality soon. Jew me up, Jew me down: Mike Levine on acceptable contexts for “Jew” as a verb.
Daniel Taghioff (SOAS): Red Green Politics and the Articulation of Progress. From LookLeft Forum, Erik Olin Wright on realising a Left alternative. Beyond capitalism: Luke Cooper and Simon Hardy on the future of radical politics. Did the Left win the twentieth century? Prominent thinkers, politicians and writers to take the long view. After neoliberalism: Stuart Hall, Doreen Massey and Michael Rustin on analysing the present. What is to be done with the actually existing Marxist left? An interview with Jodi Dean, author of The Communist Horizon. Walter Laqueur on the many faces of neo-Marxism. Mark Harvey and Norman Geras on Marx’s economy and beyond. For the Left, it will no longer do simply to be anti-austerity. What we need today is a Thatcher of the left: A leader who would repeat Thatcher’s gesture in the opposite direction, transforming the entire field of presuppositions shared by today’s political elite.