Corinne Hui Yun (Melbourne): Terms of Service on Social Media Sites. Ryan S. Ritter, Jesse Lee Preston, and Ivan Hernandez (Illinois): Happy Tweets: Christians are Happier, More Socially Connected, and Less Analytical Than Atheists on Twitter. Beware Twitter's civility police: Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig on how civility is for tea parties, not the public square — let's stay outraged. Instagram is getting so good at news, it should scare Twitter. Brian Lightbody (Brock): On FaceBook but Not of FaceBook: Using New Social Media Technologies to Promote the Virtues of Jacques Ellul. The Facebook Election: The social network may end TV’s long dominance of American politics — and open the door to a new kind of populism. Peter Kafka on why building a web business built on Facebook is so scary. Jay Rosen on Facebook’s phony claim that “you’re in charge”. Shirley Li on how numbers on Facebook change behavior: The Facebook Demetricator shows we like liking a little too much. Redesigning the social network: There's an artistic vision behind Ello, the latest Facebook competitor to trigger hype and backlash. Is Reddit's policy against self-promotion strangling the site's culture? Ben Branstetter on how Reddit ate the news media. Can Reddit grow up? Efforts by the freewheeling online community to monetize without driving away its 114 million monthly users will require appealing to advertisers without sacrificing values like personal data privacy. Is Reddit broken beyond repair? Aaron Sankin investigates. Timothy B. Lee goes inside the company that rebuilt Digg. The 36 people who run Wikipedia: Stephen Lurie on what the weirdest, wildest, most successful participatory project in history tells us about working together. Wikipedia is amazing — but it’s become a rancorous, sexist, elitist, stupidly bureaucratic mess. Who killed Wikipedia? Virginia Postrel on how a hardened corps of volunteer editors is the only force protecting Wikipedia — they might also be killing it. Ron Horning on how social media is not self-expression.
Baogang He (Deakin): Deliberative Culture and Politics: The Persistence of Authoritarian Deliberation in China. Reza Hasmath (Oxford): White Cat, Black Cat or Good Cat: The Beijing Consensus as an Alternative Philosophy for Policy Deliberation? The Case of China. Corruption and a changing China: The Chinese Communist Party is centralizing authority, broadcasting the self-criticisms of local officials and calling for a new morality in public life. Joseph Stiglitz on the Chinese Century: Without fanfare — indeed, with some misgivings about its new status — China has just overtaken the United States as the world’s largest economy; this is, and should be, a wake-up call, but not the kind most Americans might imagine. Is China the new indispensable nation? Steven Mufson wonders. From NYRB, will the Western democracies ever be able to accept China as it is, the better to deal with the host of new global problems that menace us all, like climate change, pandemics, terrorism, and nuclear proliferation? China's Island Factory: New islands are being made in the disputed South China Sea by the might of the Chinese state — but a group of marooned Filipinos on a rusting wreck is trying to stand in the way. China’s dangerous game: The country's intensifying efforts to redraw maritime borders have its neighbors, and the U.S., fearing war — but does the aggression reflect a government growing in power or one facing a crisis of legitimacy? Why China does not want to be the next Russia. From China to Jihad: Among the many recent stories concerning foreigners setting out to fight in Syria, the allegations about the Uighurs arrested in Songkhla stand out. Nick Holdstock on what we talk about when we talk about “the Uyghurs”. Ian Johnson on Remembrance, an unofficial journal published in Tiantongyuan, China’s brave underground journal.
William Mazzarella (Chicago): Totalitarian Tears: Does the Crowd Really Mean It? James Carney, Robin Dunbar, Anna Machin, Tamas David-Barrett, and Mauro Silva Junior (Oxford): Social Psychology and the Comic-Book Superhero: A Darwinian Approach. James Mark Mayer (Indiana) and Tae Hyun Baek (Kentucky): The Efficacy of Sexualized Female Models in Young Adult-Male Oriented Cigarette Advertising. Every which way but regulated: Llewellyn Hinkes-Jones on the “free market” trucking industry. Catherine Rampell on the familiar cycle of the taxi industry wars. Mike Konczal and Bryce Covert on socializing Uber: It’s easier than you think. Is the New Republic a public trust or a business? John Judis on how Chris Hughes turned a 100-year-old publication into a “product”. Jessica Luther on the wrestler and the rape victim: After being raped at a college party, Molly Morris had to endure our broken system for addressing campus sexual assault. Ann Friedman on 2014, the year everyone (finally) started talking about sexual assault. Questlove asked artists to get political — D'Angelo just responded. The Masters of the Universe, it turns out, are a bunch of whiners — but they’re whiners with war chests, and now they’ve bought themselves a Congress. Jonathan Chait on Dick Cheney’s 6-step torture denial. The idea that rapport-building is more effective than torture isn't a new one, but CIA and Bush administration leaders still wanted to torture suspects because they preferred torturing them — the idea of torturing "America's enemies" was pleasing to them. Erik Voeten on how the Lima Accord may nudge countries to do better on climate change — but won’t solve the problem (and more).
A new issue of the Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture is out. Wendi Bellar, Heidi A. Campbell, Kyong James Cho, Andrea Terry, Ruth Tsuria, Aya Yadlin-Segal and Jordan Ziemer (Texas A&M): Reading Religion in Internet Memes. For a religion that some experts estimate includes only 30,000 members worldwide, Scientology attracts an extraordinary amount of media attention. Paul Hedges (Winchester): Why are There Many Gods? Religious Diversity and its Challenges. If there is one God, why are there many religions? Douglas Groothuis wonders. Gabriela Rusu-Pasarin (Craiova): Religion and Folklore or About the Syncretism of Faith and Beliefs. Jessa Crispin reviews A Million and One Gods: The Persistence of Polytheism by Page duBois. Edwin Ng (Deakin): Of Intellectual Hospitality: Buddhism and Deconstruction. How might looking at Hinduism alter philosophical approaches to religion that take Christianity as their primary example? Gary Gutting interviews Jonardon Ganeri, author of The Lost Age of Reason: Philosophy in Early Modern India 1450–1700. Legions of faiths, girded for battle: Norton’s latest anthology explores world religion. Is religion to blame for history’s bloodiest wars? John Gray reviews Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence by Karen Armstrong. Lorenzo Zucca (KCL): A Secular Globe? The Place of Freedom of Religion in the Westphalian World Order. Vinicius Marinho (UFRJ): The Tension Between Normativity and Plurality in Religious Dogmas and in Constitutional Principles. From Cato Unbound, Kevin Vallier on a genuinely liberal approach to religion in politics. Must a scholar of religion be methodologically atheistic or agnostic? Michael A. Cantrell investigates. Morten Hoi Jensen reviews Atheists: Origin of the Species by Nick Spencer; and Culture and the Death of God by Terry Eagleton; and The Age of Atheists by Peter Watson. Jack Miles on why God will not die: Science keeps revealing how much we don't, perhaps can't, know — yet humans seek closure, which should make religious pluralists of us all.
From LRB, who will stop them? Owen Hatherley reviews The Establishment and How They Get Away with It by Owen Jones. John Kampfner reviews Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else by James Meek. No wonder landowners are scared — we are starting to learn who owns Britain. Why has social mobility in Britain gone into decline? For historian David Kynaston the answer begins with our elitist and divisive system of education. Andrew Millie (Edge Hill): The Aesthetics of Anti-social Behaviour. Tom Slater (Edinburgh): The Myth of “Broken Britain”: Welfare Reform and the Production of Ignorance. Robert Ford (Manchester) Matthew Goodwin (Nottingham): Understanding Ukip: Identity, Social Change and the Left Behind. Amanda Taub on the terrifying rise of the far right in the UK, explained in one chart. Lewis Young (Teesside): Still “Smashing the Fascists”? Understanding the Meaning of “Fascism” in Anti-fascist Rhetoric. An interview with Mark Hayes, author of The Ideology of Fascism and the Far Right in Britain. England, a nation apart? With constitutional change looming and Ukip on the rise, England’s identity and future has become a crucial, even disturbing political issue. William Cash on why we need English votes for English laws. David A. Gantz (Arizona): The Scottish Referendum: Another Major Step Toward Independence? Jonathan Freedland on what Scotland won. From New Left Review, Neil Davidson on a Scottish watershed. What's remarkable is how nearly perfectly the Smith/Jones divide lines up with the political boundary between England and Wales. The British diaspora: Some 5m Britons live abroad — the country could do far more to exploit its high-flying expats. Why does a Caliphate resonate with some British Muslims? When the violent jihadist group Isis declared a Caliphate taking in parts of Syria and Iraq, they reignited a debate over the role of an Islamic state.
Jeroen P. de Jong (EUR) and Petru L. Curseu and Roger Th. A. J. Leenders (Tilburg): When Do Bad Apples Not Spoil the Barrel? Negative Relationships in Teams, Team Performance, and Buffering Mechanisms. Michelle Kundmueller (Notre Dame): On the Political Import of Penelope: Gender-Neutral Virtue and the Marriage of Eros and Friendship. Who killed Cat Fancy? Abraham Riesman investigates. Jake Goldman on experiments in extreme luxury. In a world built on myth, we can’t ignore the reactionary politics at the heart of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Jennifer Hadden on how protests shape policy by shaping protesters: Activists are beginning to figure out that protests are important because they reshape protesters' identities and preferences. Rolling Stone’s discredited story on campus rape has been blamed on a tendency to believe assault accusations too quickly — really, the opposite may be true. Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, on why the CIA torturers should be prosecuted. Eric Posner on why Obama won’t prosecute torturers: They clearly violated the law. The New Republic dug its own grave: Alex Gourevitch and Corey Robin on how the magazine's centrist-neoliberal politics embraced forces that eventually destroyed it. The rise of the tea party against Obama may be, in part, a neurotic reaction — but it also signals the appropriate, full resumption of the major argument of American history. Chris Weigant interviews Joseph E. Uscinski and Joseph M. Parent, authors of American Conspiracy Theories. International negotiators at the Lima climate change talks have agreed on a plan to fight global warming that would for the first time commit all countries to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions.
Matthew Axtell (Princeton): Towards a New Legal History of Capitalism and Unfree Labor: Law, Slavery, and Emancipation in the American Marketplace. Capitalism’s newest critics offer a groundbreaking account of slavery, but does their economic history add up? A review essay by Timothy Shenk. Alex Gourevitch interviews Greg Grandin, author of Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World, on how our notions of freedom emerge from and depend on slavery. Richard Delgado (Alabama): Rodrigo's Equation: Race, Capitalism, and the Search for Reform. Kasey Henricks (Loyola) and Victoria Brockett (Valparaiso): The House Always Wins: How State Lotteries Displace American Tax Burdens by Class and Race. Stock market fraud is as old as the stock market: Chris Lehmann reviews Forging Capitalism: Rogues, Swindlers, Frauds, and the Rise of Modern Finance by Ian Klaus. Caroline Fohlin (Johns Hopkins): A Brief History of Investment Banking from Medieval Times to the Present. Gregg D. Polsky (UNC): A Compendium of Private Equity Tax Games. Edward Peter Stringham (Texas Tech): It's Not Me, It's You: The Functioning of Wall Street During the 2008 Economic Downturn. Mark Totten (Michigan State): The Enforcers and the Great Recession. America’s bank bailouts worked: Pepper Culpepper on how American voters think that they got a raw deal from the bailout of the financial sector; in fact they did well, thanks to U.S. regulators' ability to bully big U.S. banks into accepting help they didn't want. Malcolm S. Salter (HBS): Crony Capitalism, American Style: What are We Talking About Here? Everybody knows that the financial world is the purest example of pay accruing to winners solely by merit (and more). Bankers are cheating cheaters who cheat: Bankers aren’t like the rest of us — they are more dishonest. Apple borrowing billions to pay shareholders is everything wrong with capitalism today.
From the New York Times’ The Upshot, a special series on the decline of work, including Binyamin Appelbaum on the vanishing male worker: How America fell behind; Amanda Cox on the rise of men who don’t work, and what they do instead (and more); and Claire Cain Miller and Liz Alderman on why U.S. women are leaving jobs behind. From The Washington Post, a special series on the floundering of the American middle class, including Jim Tankersley on why America’s middle class is lost: The middle class took America to the moon — then something went horribly wrong; and on the devalued American worker: The past three recessions sparked a chain reaction of layoffs and lower pay. Matt Bruenig on how poor, non-working black and Latino men are nearly non-existent. This is what it feels like to be unemployed for years. The NAIRU, explained: Why economists don't want unemployment to drop too low. Brad DeLong on American wellbeing since 1979. Many feel the American Dream is out of reach, poll shows. Linda Tirado on why poor people stay poor: Saving money costs money, period. The poor used to have the most opportunity in America — now the rich do. Inequality is not the problem: Herbert Gintis reviews The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Joseph Stiglitz. New research reveals a startling truth about inequality: When the rich get richer, everyone else loses big. Robert Frank on another widening gap: The haves vs. the have-mores. Extreme wealth is bad for everyone — especially the wealthy: Michael Lewis reviews Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust by Darrell M. West. Fabian Kindermann and Dirk Krueger argue that high marginal tax rates on the top 1% of earners can make society as a whole better off. Sean McElwee on how to deal with Wall Street and income inequality in one fell swoop: If we want to curb the worst Wall Street abuses, and also make America a more equitable place, here's what to do. Capitalism was supposed to signal the end of poverty — what went wrong? David Aaronovitch reviews Hand to Mouth: The Truth about Being Poor in a Wealthy World by Linda Tirado; The Rich — from Slaves to Super-Yachts: A 2,000-Year History by John Kampfner; and Inequality and the 1% by Danny Dorling.
Jonathan Hopkin (LSE): The Politics of Piketty: What Political Science Can Learn from, and Contribute to, the Debate on Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Paul L. Caron (Pepperdine): Thomas Piketty and Inequality: Legal Causes and Tax Solutions. From the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School, a symposium on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Piketty IGM Forum: No, mainstream economists did not just reject Piketty’s big theory. Top economists say Piketty is wrong about wealth inequality — they misunderstood him. The best proof yet that nobody has actually read Piketty's book. Soak the Rich: David Graeber and Thomas Piketty discoursing on the deep shit we’re all in and what we might do about climbing out. Joseph Bankman (Stanford) and Daniel Shaviro (NYU): Piketty in America: A Tale of Two Literatures. When Piketty argued for income redistribution, he changed economics. Annie Lowrey on Bill Gates vs. Thomas Piketty. Hannes H. Gissurarson on Thomas Piketty, a latter-day Jacobin with a lot of data. Daniele Cuomo Coppola (Trento): Concentration of Wealth as an Intended Consequence of Green Revolution. Number of billionaires on Earth has more than doubled since the financial crisis, according to a new report from Oxfam. How the rich rule: Dani Rodrik says widening inequality drives economic elites toward sectarian politics; and on good and bad inequality. Tyler Cowen on how technology could help fight income inequality. How do we know Hillary’s approach to inequality won’t work? Brazil — there's no alternative to targeting the rich. The disparity between the rich and everyone else is larger than ever in the United States and increasing in much of Europe — why? Martin Wolf on why inequality is such a drag on economies: Big divides in wealth and power have hollowed out republics before and could do so again. Brad DeLong argues that it is time to call what is happening in Europe and the US by its true name: The Greater Depression. Obama says economic recoveries have to be slow — in a new paper, his former advisor Christina Romer argues otherwise. Matthew Yglesias on secular stagnation, the scary theory that's taking economics by storm. The myth of perpetual growth, how language shapes economic thought, and more: Lauren Kirchner interviews James K. Galbraith, author of The End of Normal: The Great Crisis and the Future of Growth. From the Cato Institute, a special online forum to explore possible avenues for pro-growth policy reforms. George Monbiot on growth, the destructive god that can never be appeased: The blind pursuit of economic expansion stokes a cycle of financial crisis, and is wrecking our world — time for an alternative.
Harro Van Asselt (SEI): Governing the Transition Away from Fossil Fuels: The Role of International Institutions. Michael P. Vandenbergh and Jonathan M. Gilligan (Vanderbilt): Beyond Gridlock. What does the prisoner’s dilemma have to do with greenhouse gases? Rebecca Pearse (UTS): Carbon Trading for Climate Justice? John H. Knox (Wake Forest): Human Rights Principles and Climate Change. When island nations drown, who owns their seas? As climate change jeopardizes the huge ocean claims of tiny nations, experts propose some bold legal solutions. Climate change is hurting poor countries right now — why won't rich countries act? At Lima talks, nations worst hit by global warming say climate aid isn’t charity, but reparations. While President Obama’s policy on global warming has infuriated many at home, the United States’ image abroad is soaring, as evident during climate negotiations in Peru. Are we missing the big picture on climate change? Rebecca Solnit on how stories about smaller environmental problems can distract us from the slow-motion calamity that will eventually threaten every living being. Jason Plautz on the climate-change solution no one will talk about: Studies have shown that improved access to birth control can be a valuable tool in slowing global warming. Stop pretending population doesn't matter for the environment. Zoltan Istvan on why it's time to consider restricting human breeding. The post-apocalyptic counterrevolution will not be televised: The earth is still populated by conscious, thinking, feeling, creative, imaginative and productive people; if we accept, even without voicing it, that our own survival can be bought at the expense of theirs, then our survival is an illusion, and we are truly doomed. From Public Books, John McNeill reviews several recent books by historians that have put climate change at the center of historical explanation.
Derek Fincham (South Texas): How Law Defines Art. Douglas Groothuis (Denver): A Critique of Ken Wilber. ISIS is trying to sell the body of U.S. hostage James Foley for $1 million. Adam Serwer on how the CIA torture report lets American leaders off the hook: The Senate’s long-awaited report on Bush-era torture techniques puts too much blame on the CIA, and not enough on the American political leadership. “Corrupt, toxic and sociopathic”: Elias Isquith interviews Glenn Greenwald on torture, CIA and Washington’s rotten soul. Torture is a culture — releasing the Senate report is a way of fighting it. We will never know whether torture works — that shouldn't matter. “Strip out the torture and terrorism” and statist meat inspections are also tyranny. Matthew Yglesias on why Elizabeth Warren is going to war with Obama over Antonio Weiss. Elizabeth Warren is risking a government shutdown to stop Wall Street — President Obama should join her. Democrats can win the South again — here's a simple strategy for Hillary 2016. Claire Groden on why the debate over sexual assault needs to move beyond the campus. Betsy Woodruff on the most-read conservative media you’ve never heard of: A new generation of conservative news sites are mixing clickbait with Obama bashing to rake in huge audiences. Philip Bump on why Matt Drudge and Lucianne Goldberg still rule the conservative media roost. Michel Foucault is usually thought of as an intellectual hero of the left — but it turns out he's far more useful for the right. Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro is this year's winner of China's Confucius Peace Prize, portrayed by organizers as an alternative to the Nobel Prize, which they see as biased against China.
From NYRB, why is American teaching so bad? Jonathan Zimmerman reviews The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession by Dana Goldstein (and more and more and more); Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone) by Elizabeth Green Norton (and more and more); and Getting Schooled: The Reeducation of an American Teacher by Garret Keizer. Teacher tenure has little to do with student achievement, economist Jesse Rothstein says. Dean Baker on the blame teachers game: Has anyone heard of the South? Peter Hart on the big problem with Time's teacher-bashing cover story. Education is at the centre of any national project — but are teachers agents of equality, or are they too often forced to be the opposite? S.E. Smith goes inside the real world of Teach for America. Teach for America has faced criticism for years; now it’s listening — and changing. This school paid teachers $125,000 a year — and test scores went up (and more). Teachers want you to know: We don't get summers off. Will computers ever replace teachers? Justin Reich wonders. Gunnar Wray on the wisdom of a cool substitute high school teacher. From Narratively, a special issue on Teachers vs. Students. Max Ehrenfreund on a surprising new argument against using kids’ test scores to grade their teachers. Amy Crawford on the poor neglected gifted child: Precocious kids do seem to become high-achieving adults — why that makes some educators worried about America’s future. Violent and legal: Heather Vogell on the shocking ways school kids are being pinned down, isolated against their will. Leyla Bravo-Willey on why teaching kids "grit" works: A teacher testifies.