A T. Kingsmith (York): Virtual Roadblocks: The Securitisation of the Information Superhighway. Archon Fung and Hollie Russon-Gilman (Harvard) and Jennifer Shkabatur (IDC): Six Models for the Internet and Politics. Five key questions — and answers — about how our social horizons may shrink as we use more technology: Henry Farrell interviews Ethan Zuckerman, author of Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection. Have scientists found a way to pop the filter bubble? They say the key to exposing us to opposing views is to get them from people with whom we share other interests. Scroll down your Facebook feed and see if you don’t find one ditto after another: So many people with “good” or “bad politics”, delivered with conviction to rage or applause; so little doubt, error, falsifiability — surely the criteria by which anything true, or democratic, could ever be found. The NSA-disclosures have destroyed the utopia of the internet as a medium of freedom and democracy; instead it more and more becomes apparent that the internet is ruled by big companies and secret services — according to Evgeny Morozov a reevaluation of the medium is necessary. Michael Meyer on Evgeny vs. the internet: Evgeny Morozov wants to convince us that digital technology can’t save the world, and he’s willing to burn every bridge from Cambridge to Silicon Valley to do it (and more by Joshua Cohen).
From Phantasma, Simina Ratiu (Babes-Bolyai): The Anti-Utopian Pessimism of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century; Olga Stefan (Babes-Bolyai): Creating Space in Modern Dystopia: Two Early Approaches; and Andrada Fatu-Tutoveanu (Babes-Bolyai): “America is Sad”: Images of Crisis and Media Construction of an American Anti-utopia in Early Cold War Communist Propaganda. Your family tree says you inherited 25 percent of your ancestry from each — genetics says you didn’t. Fans of basic human decency, rejoice: Hunter Moore, the founder of the now-defunct Is Anyone Up? and the so-called “king” of revenge porn, has officially been indicted. Alyssa Bernstein reviews Kant and the End of War: A Critique of Just War Theory by Howard Williams; and Kant and Cosmopolitanism: The Philosophical Ideal of World Citizenship by Pauline Kleingeld. Getting closer to the action: Why pension and sovereign funds are expanding geographically. Cat Ferguson on the future of biohacking in the age of patent trolls. Your subconscious knows if your marriage will last: Implicit gut feelings of newlyweds predict marital satisfaction. The tiny Pacific island of Palmerston is one of the most isolated island communities in the world, visited by a supply ship twice a year; what's more, most of its 62 inhabitants are descended from one man — an Englishman who settled there 150 years ago. You can download The Formation of National States in Western Europe, ed. Charles Tilly (1975).
Chris Lebron (Yale): Theory is Stranger than Fiction: Black Literature as Social Truth. Monique Liston (Wisconsin): Scandal, Twitter and Black Feminist Epistemology. Sanjay Sharma (Brunel): Black Twitter? Racial Hashtags, Networks and Contagion. Martine Powers on what we learned in 2013: Black Twitter gets results. Black Twitter finally gets recognized — so Twitter can sell ads. An interview with Christopher J. Smith, author of The Creolization of American Culture: William Sidney Mount and the Roots of Blackface Minstrelsy. Emancipating Hollywood: After the Trayvon Martin shooting, politicians called for a “national conversation” about race, to no effect — but a de facto discussion has been coming out of Hollywood, with a bravura bunch of movies about the struggle for equality. Slavery is having a Hollywood moment — what about the rest of black history in America? Conservatives can transport themselves for two hours into the hellish antebellum world of 12 Years a Slave and experience the same horror and grief that liberals feel; what they cannot do, almost uniformly, is walk out of the theater and detect the still-extant residue of that world all around them. No, 2013 was not the year of "The Black Movie": Hate to break it to you, but we’ve been here before. The Mandelas, hip-hop and Cliff Huxtable: Brittney Cooper on how black popular culture can politicize us. James Jordan on Kanye West, Gunnar Kaufman, postmodern black revolution. Greg Howard on Richard Sherman and the plight of the conquering negro. Joseph Flaherty on 13 toys from the era of casual racism.