Taha Yasseri and Mark Graham (Oxford), Anselm Spoerri (Rutgers), and Janos Kertesz (BME): The Most Controversial Topics in Wikipedia: A Multilingual and Geographical Analysis. Leigh Ellen Gray (Charleston): Thumb War: The Facebook “Like” Button and Free Speech in the Era of Social Networking. Kurt Eichenwald pieces together the largely unnoticed shift in Facebook strategy: new content, new algorithms, and new alliances, combined to power a marketing model that could have the rest of the world scrambling to catch up. The great Facebook exodus has begun. Bringing back the Internet portal: Yahoo’s mission creep is a useful case study in why web companies like Google and Facebook continue to grow their functionality and why startups keep selling to the seemingly bloated leviathans. This ambitious nonprofit wants to fact check the web.
A new issue of Five Dials is out. Patrick E. Murray (UCLA): Friends with Benefits: A Guide to Detecting Corruption in Politics After Citizen's United. When does plastic surgery become racial transformation? Leo Jiang grew up in an English industrial town, emotionally scarred by bullies who taunted him about being Chinese — a few years and tens of thousands of dollars later, he’s not really Chinese anymore. The Equator once marked the edge of the civilised world; if we put it at the centre, we might see our place in the heavens. Super sleuth: Colleen Fitzpatrick solves historical mysteries, deciphering centuries-old records and spelunking through the past, near and distant, like a time-traveling gumshoe. Where Thomas Nagel went wrong: The philosopher's critique of evolution wasn't shocking — so why have his colleagues raked him over the coals?
Andre Douglas Pond Cummings (Indiana Tech): Derrick Bell: Godfather Provocateur. Joseph Amditis (Rutgers): White Men Can't Joke: Racial Hierarchy and Traditional Race Narratives in Humor and Comedy. Stephen Clowney (Kentucky): Doing Affirmative Action. From TNR, Stuart Taylor on why race-based affirmative action makes things worse, not better; and will the end of race-based affirmative action improve diversity? Blaine Greteman investigates. Race matters: Larry Alexander and Maimon Schwarzschild review Should Race Matter? Unusual Answers to the Usual Questions by David Boonin. Zalfa Feghali reviews Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S. by H. Samy Alim and Geneva Smitherman. The NAACP's Benjamin Jealous has become one of America's most forceful and influential progressive voices — so what does he want? (and when does he want it?)
From Liminalities, a special issue on studying ourselves and others, including Julie Cosenza (SIU): Once Upon A Time: Looking to the Ecstatic Past for Queer Futurity; and Robin M. Boylorn (Alabama): Blackgirl Blogs, Auto/ethnography, and Crunk Feminism. After catastrophe: Scholars who perceive the world as interconnected systems know that there are surely more disasters to come. When reading a review for a book with a title like How to Stay Sane, one ought to keep in mind that the proof is yet to come in. Ivar Paulo Hartmann, a journalist in Brazil, has been found guilty of discrimination against Indians, who he described as “ignorant” and “dirty”. Psychology is WEIRD: Western college students are not the best representatives of human emotion, behavior, and sexuality. The First New Atheist: 200 years after his birth, Kierkegaard’s philosophies are more relevant than ever (and more).
Daniele Conversi (Basque Country): Majoritarian Democracy and Globalization Versus Ethnic Diversity? Nicholas Sambanis (Yale) and Moses Shayo (HUJ): Social Identification and Ethnic Conflict. Patrick Giddy (Kwazulu-Natal): More Than Tolerance: Ethics for a Multicultural Society. From Living Reviews in Democracy, Antoinette Scherz (Zurich): The Legitimacy of the Demos: Who Should Be Included in the Demos and on What Grounds?; Marc Helbling (WZB): Nationalism and Democracy: Competing or Complementary Logics? David J. Arkush (Harvard): Direct Republicanism in the Administrative Process. Robert Talisse interviews Philip Pettit, author of On The People’s Terms: A Republican Theory and Model of Democracy. The introduction to The Importance of Being Civil: The Struggle for Political Decency by John A. Hall. Sibyl A Schwarzenbach is the funky philosopher of civic friendship.