Simon Chesterman (NUS): Responsibility to Protect, Responsibility to Whom? Nadia Banteka (Penn): Dangerous Liaisons: The Responsibility to Protect and a Reform of the U.N. Security Council. Mark Kersten on how the Responsibility to Protect doctrine is faltering. Patrick Emerton and Toby Handfield (Monash): Humanitarian Intervention and the Modern State System. Jonathan Whittall (MSF): Is Humanitarian Action Independent from Political Interests? Mohamed S. Helal (Harvard): Justifying War and the Limits of Humanitarianism. When the modern human rights movement began in the 1970s, no one expected it to become part of the antiwar camp — but it’s also true that no one expected the human rights industry to acquiesce so uncritically in Washington’s militarism. Can humanitarian intervention be saved from its friends? Heather Hurlburt on how a new generation of Democrats have pushed the language of liberal interventionism underground.
A new issue of Film-Philosophy is out. Mary Leary (CUA): “Modern Day Slavery”: Implications of a Label. 2015 is the year America finally went bonkers. Is cultural appropriation the bogeyman it’s made out to be? The effects of exposure to violence on aggressive behavior: The case of Arab and Jewish children in Israel. To attack cultural appropriation as offensive or insensitive is to attack culture itself, and just as absurd — everything from the food we eat to the Christmas many are about to celebrate is the result of cultural fusion. Jack Dunphy reviews Vigilance: My Life Serving America and Protecting Its Empire City by Ray Kelly. NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton invites former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly to “be a big man”. New research shows just how much presidents try to manipulate public opinion. Jeffrey Petts reviews Waste: A Philosophy of Things by William Viney. Who won 2015? Rembert Browne figures it out.
Dana Remus (UNC) and Frank S. Levy (MIT): Can Robots Be Lawyers? Computers, Lawyers, and the Practice of Law. Peter Frase on robot redux. “Homo sapiens will be split into a handful of gods and the rest of us”: A new report suggests that the marriage of AI and robotics could replace so many jobs that the era of mass employment could come to an end. Robots are coming for your job, but that might not be bad news — the problem with automation isn’t technology, the problem is capitalism. Do the Robot: Rob Horning on how the threat of automation can be used to extract more emotional labor and more competitive advantage from humans — after all, one of the few things a robot can’t supply is enthusiasm. Silly robots: Yes, they’re coming for our jobs — but we’ll have the last laugh. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee on the jobs that AI can’t replace. Cade Metz on how robots will steal our jobs, but they’ll give us new ones. Are the robots taking enough jobs? Preparing for the attack of the robots: The six-hour day sounds like a very intriguing idea, in addition to the fact that it will give people more time to do things they enjoy.
Kate Darling, Palash Nandy, and Cynthia Breazeal (MIT): Empathic Concern and the Effect of Stories in Human-Robot Interaction. John Wenz on the questions we’re not asking about sex robots: The future is going to force us to answer some uncomfortable questions about love and machines. Amitai Etzioni (GWU): The Ethics Bot: AI Needs Legal and Ethical Guidance. The Icelandic Institute for Intelligent Machines now has a unique ethics policy. Jason Millar (Queen’s): Technological Moral Proxies and the Ethical Limits of Automating Decision-Making In Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Vincent C. Muller (Anatolia): Risks of Artificial Intelligence. Cory Doctorow on the (real) hard problem of AI. Will Knight on how robots can now teach each other new tricks. Can this man make AI more human? Cognitive scientist Gary Marcus thinks the leading approach to machine learning can be improved by ideas gleaned from studying children. Jacob Brogan on how treating robots like children is changing A.I. Philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel argues that conscious machines would deserve special moral consideration akin to our own children.
David Berreby on on how artificial intelligence is already weirdly inhuman. Don’t worry, smart machines will take us with them: Stephen Hsu on why human intelligence and AI will co-evolve. Human life is short, and being a part-time, part-useful robot makes it ever so slightly more interesting. Yes, we will live with artificial intelligence — but it will be friend, not foe. Robots won’t own you — you’ll own the robot. Robert Burton: How I learned to stop worrying and love A.I. Jack Clark goes inside Google’s efforts to create a general-purpose robot. Tyler Cowen reviews Humans are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin. John Danaher on Polanyi’s paradox: Will humans maintain any advantage over machines? All too inhuman: Illah Reza Nourbakhsh on the coming robot dystopia. Steven Levy on how Elon Musk and Y Combinator plan to stop computers from taking over: They’re funding a new organization, OpenAI, to pursue the most advanced forms of artificial intelligence — and give the results to the public (and more).
John Danaher (NUI Galway): Why AI-Doomsayers are Like Sceptical Theists and Why it Matters. Raffi Khatchadourian on the Doomsday Invention: Will artificial intelligence bring us utopia or destruction? Wanted: Three boffins to save the world from the “AI apocalypse”.
Paula Gerber and Phoebe Irving Lindner (Monash): Birth Certificates for Children with Same-Sex Parents: A Reflection of Biology or Something More? Glenn Greenwald on spying on Congress and Israel: NSA cheerleaders discover value of privacy only when their own is violated. Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy summit in Nevada was a nonstop procession of extremism, conspiracism — and candidates. Despite the Trump disaster, the Republican Party is in great shape. Hamilton Nolan on how the Republican Party is a trick. Helaine Olen on how Elizabeth Warren wields power: Even without running she’s forcing the Democratic candidates to look out for consumers. Democrats, beware: Billionaires can still buy elections very easily. Can honest history allow for hope? Tim Tyson on how the obligations of scholarship diverge from the needs of activists.
From Antropologia, a special issue on Southeast Asia. Carbon emissions: Southeast Asia is in trouble. Myanmar’s bad blood: Following the country’s landmark election, can former political prisoners make nice with their military oppressors? Maya Tudor on four developments to watch after Burma’s historic elections. How will Aung San Suu Kyi govern Myanmar? After a landslide, worries that a beloved leader may be too much of a one-woman political movement. Democracy in Myanmar? Perhaps not yet. The war is over: In the Philippines, one of the world’s longest running communist insurgencies is being worn down by the passage of history. Vision and leadership: Adam Ross Pearlman reviews Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World, Interviews and Selections. Tyler Cowen on why Singapore is special (and more). It’s been 50 years since the biggest US-backed genocide you’ve never heard of (and more). Margaret Scott on the Indonesian massacre: What did the US know?
From Wonkblog, police chases kill more people each year than floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and lightning — combined. Inae Oh on how more police are killed in states with higher levels of gun ownership. James Lartey on how 2015 may be one of the safest years for law enforcement in a quarter century. Policing and the “Ferguson Effect”: Researchers and law enforcement officials say cops are afraid to do their jobs due to their portrayal on social media — recent events suggest otherwise. In the end, 2015 saw no “war on cops” and no “national crime wave”. No, protests against police brutality are not increasing crime. Why do American cops kill so many compared to European cops? Put more women on patrol to decrease police brutality, says Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Are we training cops to be hyper-aggressive “warriors”? Thanks in part to the Black Lives Matter movement, police training is coming under fresh scrutiny. Creating guardians, calming warriors: A new style of training for police recruits emphasizes techniques to better de-escalate conflict situations.
Ta-Nehisi Coates on the paranoid style of American policing: When officers take the lives of those they are sworn to protect and serve, they undermine their own legitimacy. Policing under review: Discord among Americans on the nature of policing has law enforcement officials, community leaders and lawmakers searching for solutions. Vann R. Newkirk on what we are getting wrong about police reform. The next fight for racial justice is police union reform: Deep in the weeds of union contract agreements lie provisions that protect cops from oversight. Kimberly Kindy and Julie Tate on how police withhold videos despite vows of transparency — but officers investigated in fatal shootings are routinely given access to body camera footage. Caren Morrison on how the justice system fails us after police shootings. The Tamir Rice case shows how prosecutors twist grand juries to protect police. Kate Levine (NYU): Police Suspects; and Who Shouldn’t Prosecute the Police. The Counted: The Guardian is tracking people killed by police in the United States (and more).
Greg Moorlock (Birmingham): Directed Altruistic Living Donation: What is Wrong with the Beauty Contest? Trump defended Clinton during Lewinsky scandal against “moralist” hypocrites in Congress: Trump also said in the late ’90s that Bill Clinton would be considered a hero if he cheated on Hillary with a supermodel. Why don’t rich people realize they’re rich? Jeff Spross wants to know. Obamacare supporters don't like talking about it, but the individual mandate is working. From Selina Meyer to Francis J. Underwood, who is best equipped for the White House? Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib on America’s most electable fictional presidents. A fantasy of whiteness: With the final season of Downton Abbey premiering next week, historian Mo Moulton considers the uses and misuses of British history in the United States.
From Political Science and Politics, a special issue on How to Better Communicate Political Science’s Public Value. From The Monkey Cage, political scientists are debating a new initiative to make research more trustworthy, but transparency seems good, until it isn't; and political scientists are debating how to make research more transparent — here’s a way forward. Henry Farrell on how the rediscovery of Renaissance writer Lucretius opened the way to the modern world (and, more important, the invention of political science). Paul Krugman on the regime change problem in American politics: “So far this cycle the political scientists aren’t doing too well”. What influences policy? Ask a political scientist, not an economist — this is why Paul Krugman is wrong about the Federal Reserve. Daniel Drezner on why political science can’t — and shouldn’t — be too much like economics. Yes, Benedict Anderson was a political scientist. The Weekly Standard makes a fact-free argument about political science.
Uzbek president Islam Karimov bans teaching of political science. Matthew Flinders on dangerous minds: “Public” political science or “punk” political science? Former political science professor Jeff William Justice forced students to pierce his chest with hooks, hang him from trees.
Lauren Ashwell (Bates): Gendered Slurs. Natasha Lennard interviews Brad Evans, co-author of Disposable Futures: The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle. Are humans truly unique, and how do we know? Jennifer A. Dunne and Marcus J. Hamilton wonder. There’s a theory going around that Donald Trump might be in an even better position than you think: Could Donald Trump be the 2016 version of a reverse “Bradley effect”? Emma Roller on Donald Trump’s unstoppable virality. Donald Trump isn’t a fascist; he’s a media-savvy know-nothing. On shit: Mark Edmundson on profanity as weltanschauung. Year in review: Was 2015 as bad as it seemed? 2015 was the best year in history for the average human being: Violence dominated the headlines this year — but by many measures, humanity is in better shape than it’s ever been.
What’s fair when it comes to taxes? Progressivity and non-avoidance — Jared Bernstein on the elusive goal of tax fairness. Jeff Spross on the case for more tax brackets. Ryan Cooper on why the middle class should want to pay higher taxes. Tax the (upper) middle class, please: Taxes aren’t punishment, they're part of our shared obligation — politicians, starting with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, should learn to speak that language. Mike Konczal and Bryce Covert on how the latest debate over taxing the rich misses one crucial fact: Progressives have forgotten that taxes do more than just raise money. Can taxing the rich reduce inequality? You bet it can. What could raising taxes on the 1% do? Surprising amounts. For the wealthiest, a private tax system that saves them billions: The very richest are able to quietly shape tax policy that will allow them to shield billions in income. Conservative media attack Democratic proposals as “free stuff”, laud Republican tax plans that are a giveaway to the rich. Martin Lobel on how the IRS is in crisis — and the tax community needs to help.
Stephen E. Shay (Harvard), J. Clifton Fleming (BYU), and Robert J. Peroni (Texas): Designing a 21st Century Corporate Tax: An Advance U.S. Minimum Tax on Foreign Income and Other Measures to Protect the Base. Kim Brooks (Dalhousie) and Richard Krever (Monash): The Troubling Role of Tax Treaties. Brooke Harrington goes inside the secretive world of tax-avoidance experts. Alfons J. Weichenrieder and Fangying Xu (Frankfurt): Are Tax Havens Good? Implications of the Crackdown on Secrecy. Inequality is the great concern of our age — so why do we tolerate rapacious, unjust tax havens? Parking the Big Money: Cass Sunstein reviews The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens by Gabriel Zucman (and more and more). The fall of Jersey: Oliver Bullough on how a tax haven goes bust.