From PUP, the first chapter from Welcome to the Universe: The Problem Book by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss and J. Richard Gott. Ryan F. Mandelbaum on the scientists who look for nothing to understand everything. Scientists want to update these four fundamental constants. CERN declares war on the Standard Model. Physicists are trying to rewrite the axioms of quantum theory from scratch in an effort to understand what it all means — the problem? They’ve been almost too successful. Basic assumptions of physics might require the future to influence the past. Ethan Siegel on how the universe itself may be unnatural. Universe shouldn’t exist, CERN physicists conclude.

Creating a universe in the lab? The idea is no joke. Controversial new theory suggests life wasn’t a fluke of biology — it was physics. Evil triumphs in these multiverses, and God is powerless: How scientific cosmology puts a new twist on the problem of evil. String theory’s weirdest ideas finally make sense — thanks to VR.


The retaliatory state: How Trump is turning government into a weapon of revenge. Jillian S. Ambroz on how Trump and Congress are erasing the last 20 years using an obscure 1990s law to wipe out regulations protecting citizens and the environment. Pay attention to the Kansas disaster: It’s what Republicans want for the whole country. Trump World express an alarming interest in “welfare reform”. How Trump is slowly destroying America's national security agencies. While eyes are on Russia, Sessions dramatically reshapes the Justice Department. Diplomats sound the alarm as they are pushed out in droves. Should you work for the Trump administration even if you disagree with the president?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was designed to stop Donald Trump. Crisis at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Matthew Yglesias on why Republicans hate the agency. Stymied on many fronts, Trump chips away at Obama’s legacy wherever possible. Dan Balz on how Trump is really changing things.


Martha Grace Duncan (Emory): What Not to Do When Your Roommate Is Murdered in Italy: Amanda Knox, Her “Strange” Behavior, and the Italian Legal System. Julia Azari on how depicting Nazis as ordinary gives them power. From “Footnotes to Plato”, Gary Cox on Jean-Paul Sartre and the demands of freedom. A woman approached The Washington Post with dramatic — and false — tale about Roy Moore — she appears to be part of undercover sting operation. Brooks E. Hefner on his book The Word on the Streets: The American Language of Vernacular Modernism. Yochi Dreazen on why Meghan Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry is controversial. “Authoritarian government in Egypt now following Trump’s cue to attack CNN. When the President of the United States demonizes the press, despots listen—and celebrate”.


Deirdre Coyle reviews Ready Player Two: Women Gamers and Designed Identity by Shira Chess. Ellen Pao: This is how sexism works in Silicon Valley — my lawsuit failed, others won’t. Ellen Pao’s story in Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change is messier than the book makes it sound. The tech industry’s gender-discrimination problem: The dramatic imbalance in pay and power has created the conditions for abuse — more and more, women are pushing for change. How to attract more women to the tech industry (and more and more). Nitasha Tiku on why tech leadership may have a bigger race than gender problem.

For tech’s deepest problems, women are the canary in the data mine. Women cracked wartime codes — they can fix tech today, too. Female code warriors: Joseph Peschel reviews The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies by Jason Fagone; and Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy.


Anna Luhrmann (Gothenburg) et al.: V-Dem Annual Report 2017: Democracy at Dusk? Shaen Corbet (Dublin City) and Constantin Gurdgiev (Trinity): Millennials’ Support for Liberal Democracy is Failing: A Deep Uncertainty Perspective. James Mensch (Charles): The Crisis of Legitimacy. Is there a crisis of liberal democracy? We have entered a new era in which two great-power adversaries are threatening our democratic way of life with great subtlety and sophistication. When democracies are under attack, it’s time to rein in executive power. Will global populism continue to erode democracies? Joshua Tucker interviews Anna Grzymala-Busse, president of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

The world is in economic, political and environmental gridlock — here’s why. Europeans have lost faith in their governments and institutions. From NYRB, is democracy in Europe doomed? No, the populist surge does not mean European democracy is collapsing. Is democracy in a worldwide decline? Nope. Should we trust democracy ratings? New research finds hidden biases.

Benjamin A.T. Graham (USC), Michael K. Miller (GWU), and Kaare W. Strom (UCSD): Safeguarding Democracy: Powersharing and Democratic Survival. Samuel Issacharoff (NYU): Democracy’s Deficits. Erica Benner on 8 delusions of western democracy we could do without.


The sealed train: A century later, historians still disagree about what caused the Russian Revolution. Siddhartha Deb on what the Bolsheviks saw: The revolutionary imagination of 1917. How the Bolsheviks won: Alexander Rabinowitch on the Bolsheviks’ rise to power, one hundred years ago today, revisited. Patrick Iber reviews Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party by A. James McAdams (and more) and Red Hangover: Legacies of Twentieth-Century Communism by Kristen Ghodsee. Max Holleran reviews The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution by Yuri Slezkine (and more).

Mitchell Cohen on what Lenin’s critics got right. David Sessions reviews The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism, War, Empire, Love, Revolution by Tariq Ali. Martin Amis on Lenin’s deadly revolution. The lies we tell about Lenin: Lenin and the debates that shaped the Russian Revolution have been misunderstood by friends and foes alike. The radical experiment crushed by Stalin: An excerpt from The Experiment: Georgia’s Forgotten Revolution 1918-1921 by Eric Lee. How Stalin became Stalinist: Keith Gessen reviews Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 by Stephen Kotkin; and reviews Gorbachev: His Life and Times by William Taubman. Tom Gallagher reviews The New Russia by Mikhail Gorbachev.

100 years later, Bolshevism is back — and we should be worried.


No Moore pretense: Republicans offer a sham defense of Roy Moore. Why Trump stands by Roy Moore, even as it fractures his party. Olivia Nuzzi goes inside the Breitbart Embassy, where Steve Bannon entertains elites and plots his populist takeover. Karl Rove has seen the enemy and he is Steve Bannon. Is Tom Cotton the future of Trumpism? The junior senator from Arkansas is a hybrid of insurgent and old guard. Wackadoodles, establishment hacks, and the big, ugly, local battle for the heart of the GOP: The “whiteopia” of North Idaho has become one of the most desirable places in the West for conservatives to relocate — so why is the local Republican party tearing itself apart and who’s responsible?

Conservatives reap the whirlwind of their war on the media. Republicans’ beliefs are bending to Trump — here’s why they might not even notice. Republican governors’ 2018 dilemma: What to do about Trump? Julian Zelizer on why we can’t stop watching Donald Trump. For some conservatives, one identity trumps all others. Republicans can blow raspberries at honest wonks all they want, but this is the result: For anything complex, they’re incapable of passing legislation that’s worthwhile even from their own point of view. “I want this for George”: Iraq, a family dynasty and George H.W. Bush’s secret pain over his son’s complicated legacy. Beware the Bush family image-rehab machine.

D.R. Tucker on the melting of Republican snowflakes. We’re with stupid: The problem is not the Russians, it’s us — a huge percentage of the population can’t tell fact from fiction. Ben Shapiro, a provocative “gladiator”, battles to win young conservatives. Alex Nichols on the lame nonprofit that’s trying to make young conservatives cool: Turning Point USA’s overtures to the youth are embarrassing. “Oh. My. Fucking. God.

Women exit the party of Trump: After laboring for years to close the gender gap, GOP strategists are suddenly facing a gender chasm. Democrats are always in disarray, but Republicans are doomed. Martin Longman on how the Republican Party will die.


Lloyd Strickland (MMU): How Leibniz Would Have Responded to the Lisbon Earthquake. From CNN, Nima Elbagir, Raja Razek, Alex Platt and Bryony Jones on people for sale: Where lives are auctioned for $400 (and more). Libya is the world’s new hub for human trafficking, terrorism, and torture. Gutting net neutrality is a death knell for the resistance. A #TrumpRussia confession in plain sight. Donald Trump’s obsession with Time Magazine makes almost too much sense. Clinton accuser Juanita Broaddrick not sure she believes women about Trump, though. Let’s all stop saying bless you. Here is a letter of concern and support regarding the cluster of excellence “Normative Ordnungen” of the University of Frankfurt.


Alyssa Ney (UC-Davis): Are the Questions of Metaphysics More Fundamental Than Those of Science? Seungbae Park (UNIST): The Unificatory Power of Scientific Realism. How things hang together: George Scialabba reviews Convergence: The Idea at the Heart of Science: How the Different Disciplines are Coming Together to Tell One Coherent, Interlocking Story, and Making Science the Basis for Other Forms of Knowledge by Peter Watson. Moti Mizrahi (FIT): What’s So Bad About Scientism? Rik Peels (VU Amsterdam): Ten Reasons to Embrace Scientism. Stephen Wolfram on A New Kind of Science: A 15-year view.

From HumanaMente, a special issue on Beyond Toleration? Inconsistency and Pluralism in the Empirical Sciences. Carl F. Craver and Mark Povich (WUSTL): The Directionality of Distinctively Mathematical Explanations. Kun Wu (XJTU) and Joseph Brenner (CIRET): Philosophy of Information: Revolution in Philosophy: Towards an Informational Metaphilosophy of Science. Why philosophy is so important in science education.


From National Affairs, Ramon Lopez on answering the alt-Right. John Jackson on how not to write about white supremacy. The alt-Right doesn’t know what to do with white women. These wealthy institutions are quietly financing white nationalism: Organizations that claim to serve the public good are enriching Robert Mercer. YouTube Trumpkin and former Milo intern Lane Davis kills his own dad for calling him a Nazi. Racist, violent, unpunished: A.C. Thompson on a white hate group’s campaign of menace. White supremacists share bomb-making materials in online chats. Peter Moskowitz on a year in the violent rise of white supremacy.

Carlos Lozada reviews Making Sense of the Alt-Right by George Hawley (and more); Kill All Normies by Angela Nagle; and Alt-America by David Neiwert. What to do when racists try to hijack your religion: White supremacists are coopting Norse heathen symbols. Andrew Boyer on what we really learned in Charlottesville. The making of an American Nazi: How did Andrew Anglin go from being an antiracist vegan to the alt-Right’s most vicious troll and propagandist — and how might he be stopped? The rise of the “westernists”: The “alt-right” shares something important with Islamists — they both owe much of their recent success to quickly grasping the fact that politics is no longer just about policies.

White nationalist Richard Spencer banned from 26 European nations. Post-traumatic whiteness: Joseph Darda on how Vietnam veterans became the basis for a new white identity politics. Political correctness isn’t the problem: The “real” bigotry is not suppression of speech, but white nationalism. Adam Hochschild reviews The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition by Linda Gordon and Ku Klux Kulture: America and the Klan in the 1920s by Felix Harcourt.

A voice of hate in America’s heartland: Tony Hovater, a 29-year-old welder, helped form a pro-Nazi group — now he is hoping his bigotry and fascist ideals will go mainstream (and more and more and more and more). Nazis are just like you and me, except they’re Nazis.

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