Mathias Clasen (Aarhus): Amusing Ourselves to Death, Almost: An Evolutionary Approach to Horror Media. Molly Brown on how self-driving cars could reduce accidents by 90 percent, become greatest health achievement of the century. Amelia Friedman on America’s lacking language skills: Budget cuts, low enrollments, and teacher shortages mean the country is falling behind the rest of the world. Benjamin Wallace-Wells on Rand Paul and the fizzling of America’s libertarian moment. Jeb Bush keeps repeating a phrase that’s central to a liberal economic theory. Daniel Garza on how Jeb Bush’s “multicultural” comment was not a gaffe. Jamil Smith on how Jeb Bush doesn’t care about black voters. Jeb Bush suggests black voters get “free stuff” — so does he. The DOJ claims it wants to root out individuals responsible for corporate crime — the Volkswagen emissions scandal is a perfect test. My body, my bank: I. Glenn Cohen reviews Banking on the Body: The Market in Blood, Milk, and Sperm in Modern America by Kara Swanson.
From The American Interest, humiliation as a tool of blackmail: Lilia Shevtsova on an analysis of the Kremlin’s “Weimar syndrome”, and why so many Western elites believe in it. Daniel Drezner on how the Russian government doesn’t really believe its own propaganda, and on why Russia and the United States are both comfortable with the current uneasy state of bilateral relations. Casey Michel on Putin’s plot to get Texas to secede: For Moscow’s right-wingers, payback means teaming up with a band of Texas secessionists. A look at how the U.S. is poised to put heavy weaponry in Eastern Europe. The perils of Putin’s grim trigger: The Russian president has a strategy to resuscitate his country's great power status — it involves nuclear weapons. Max Fisher on how World War III became possible: A nuclear conflict with Russia is likelier than you think (and more). What if Putin were nice? In truth, there would be very little difference in Russia’s anti-Western policies. Think of Russia as an ordinary petrostate, not an extraordinary superpower.
From NYRB, Ahmed Rashid on Russia: Twenty feet from war. Max Fisher on a chart that should terrify Russia’s neighbors. Timothy Snyder on the real reason Russia is “helping” Syria (and more). Putin has a big problem in Syria that no one is talking about. On Putin, the GOP presidential candidates’ tough talk is empty rhetoric.
Bastian Friborg (Webster): Refugees and Thoughts on What Should be Done. Seth Frantzman (HUJI): Exodus to Europe. A record-breaking 522,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean to get to Europe this year. Can the EU be hospitable? Jasmine Gani wonders. With some opposition, European leaders establish refugee quotas. Mapped: What each EU country impacted by new quota plan thinks about refugees. Some Eastern European countries are welcoming refugees, some aren’t — here’s why. Why is cosmopolitan Italy so anti-immigrant? The non-existence of Norway: Slavoj Zizek on the refugee crisis (and Peter Ramsey on open borders as the only realistic policy). Dimitris Skleparis (ELIAMEP): The Islamist Threat amidst the Refugee Crisis: Background and Policy Proposals. Turkey and Jordan to EU: Our refugee problem is bigger than yours. Srecko Horvat on how the roots of this refugee crisis go back even further than the Arab spring. Zack Beauchamp on the Syrian refugee crisis, explained in one map.
From The Global Observatory, can mass migration be a good thing? Jimena Leiva Roesch and Jill Stoddard wonder. Don’t blame the smugglers: Hein de Haas on the real migration industry. Let refugees fly to Europe: To stop needless deaths, screen them outside Europe, and allow legitimate asylum seekers to travel legally. Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Susan Fratzke on Europe’s migration crisis in context: Why now and what next? Sink or Swim: Michael Soussan on the case for passports for the world’s refugees.
Gordon Pennycook, Jonathan A. Fugelsang, and Derek J. Koehler (Waterloo): Everyday Consequences of Analytic Thinking. Saifedean Ammous (LAU): Economics beyond Financial Intermediation: Digital Currencies’ Possibilities for Growth, Poverty Alleviation, and International Development. It’s 2015 — you’d think we’d have figured out how to measure web traffic by now. Marketers thought the Web would allow perfectly targeted ads — hasn’t worked out that way. Farhad Manjoo on ad blockers and the nuisance at the heart of the modern web (and more and more). From New York, guess what? Americans love Planned Parenthood; and Ann Friedman: “The assault on Planned Parenthood is getting personal for me”. Ron Stodghill on what Dr. Dre and the Koch Brothers have in common. Jeff Spross on why Carly Fiorina’s business experience doesn't matter. David Corn on Ben Carson’s love affair with “nutjob” conspiracy theorist W. Cleon Skousen. Jeffrey Beall on article spinning, a plagiarism technique for the 21st century.
J. Patrick Dobel (Washington): What Athletic Achievement Can Teach About Ethics. Martin Hardie (Deakin): A is for Armstrong. Let athletes dope: Torbjorn Tannsjo on a moral case. From the Journal of Sport Behavior, a look at the relationship of young adults’ health and their sports participation; and an article explores the shame coping experiences of youth sport parents. Jon Bois on how participation trophies are great. Dan Markel (Florida State), Michael McCann (New Hampshire), and Howard M. Wasserman (FIU): Catalyzing Fans. Drew Harwell on the rise of daily fantasy sports, online betting’s newest empire. The hot new form of fantasy sports is probably addictive, potentially illegal and completely unregulated. John T. Holden and Ryan M. Rodenberg (Florida State) and Anastasios Kaburakis (SLU): Occam’s Razor and Sports Wagering Law. Michael Powell on how sports owners dip into the public’s purse, despite their billions in the bank. The impossible fight against America’s stadiums: Chris Heller on the shady money and politics behind the country’s biggest, most expensive sports arenas.
Daniel Vedia-Jerez and Julie Le Gallo (CRESE): Factors of Income Inequality Over the Last Half Century: The Case of South America. Jeffery R Webber (Queen Mary): Dual Powers, Class Compositions, and the Venezuelan People. Venezuelans should stop laughing at their misfortunes and actually do something about them. Joel Gillin on how America keeps disgracing itself in Colombia. Samuele Mazzolini (Essex): Left-wing Populism in Ecuador: Preliminary Notes on the Potentialities and Risks of Constructing a “People”. William Finnegan on the brutal quest for gold in the ice-capped Peruvian Andes. Robert F. Hamilton (Mississippi) and Miguel Centellas (Jackson State): Reconsidering Chilean Exceptionalism: Politics in the Early Twentieth-Century Southern Cone. Fernando Leiva (UC-Santa Cruz): Chile's Grupo Luksic, the Center-Left and the “New Spirit” of Capital in Latin America (and more). Aaron Tauss (UNALMED): Revisiting Argentina’s Recuperated Factories: Reflections on Over a Decade of Workers’ Control. Fabian Bosoer and Federico Finchelstein on Latin America, the populists vs the people.
Yaroslav Shramko (KNU): Is Time Reversible? Ezra Klein on a theory of how American politics is changing. Sarah Mirk on four things the government should defund instead of Planned Parenthood. Elaine Kamarck on why Speaker Boehner can't govern: Primaries, parties, privacy, and pork. Paul Krugman on the Blackmail Caucus, a.k.a. the Republican Party. Carly Fiorina abuses the truth just like a teenage conservative hoaxer. Jeb’s donors are losing patience with his flagging performance. Ryan Cooper on why the GOP is the true party of “free stuff”. Our George Wallace: Donald Trump is a scaremonger — and he’s bringing the most hateful strains of American politics back to life. When America was “great”, taxes were high, unions were strong, and government was big: Ester Bloom on how the bygone nation Donald Trump’s supporters yearn for looks awfully liberal, at least in terms of economic policy. Why are you reading Keats but not Barry Cornwall, Austen but not Mary Brunton? Carlin Romano on how literary fame happens.
From Buzzfeed, this is what it’s like to fall in love with a woman who doesn’t exist: Leah Palmer was a high-flying fashionista with a jet-setting lifestyle and a host of admirers on social media — but her entire existence was a fraud, a multi-year hoax that depended on stealing someone else’s life. Lucas Matney on how Hipster Barbie shows us how plastic we all really are on social media. From The Morning News, when the media talks about social media, it’s always about young, white Americans; Sam Stecklow speaks to a wider sample — including a sex worker, a pastor’s wife, a rapper — to see why people do what they do online; and social media makes it easy to virtually tour our neighbors’ homes and really, their entire lives; the hard part is finding the clear divide between entertainment and cyberstalking. Robin Tran writes in defense of outrage culture: “Social media gave me a voice and saved my life after years of being silenced”. Jacob Silverman on an attempt to build a more empathic Facebook beyond the click of a button. A look at how the Internet causes depression.
Charles P. Kindregan (Suffolk): Dead Soldiers and Their Posthumously Conceived Children. Women in the military are not a social experiment: Scott Beauchamp on how America’s armed forces should reflect the country’s diversity, not a bygone era. Justin Salhani on how the military’s outdated gender standards are finally breaking down. E.J. Graff goes inside the fight to end trans discrimination in the military. Though transgender people are still barred from openly serving in the military, a small but increasingly visible population of veterans are demanding health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs — and getting it. Give troops the pay and benefits they deserve. Long in retreat in the US, the welfare state found a haven in an unlikely place — the military, where it thrived for decades.
From New Left Review, the costs of America’s imperial project are registered in the emotional damage inflicted on its soldiers, and multiplier effects on those around them: JoAnn Wypijewski reviews Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel. Moral injury: Amanda Taub on the quiet epidemic of soldiers haunted by what they did during wartime. John Waters interviews Nancy Sherman, author Afterwar: Healing the Moral Wounds of Our Soldiers. The Department of Defense wants to use science to make soldiers literally fearless. Engineering humans for war: Annie Jacobsen goes inside the Pentagon’s efforts to create a super-soldier — and change the future of the battlefield. William M. Arkin on how the Army is developing killer robots.
Bent Flyvbjerg (Oxford) and Cass Sunstein (Harvard): The Principle of the Malevolent Hiding Hand; or, the Planning Fallacy Writ Large. The many resurrections of Sherlock Holmes: Amy Sturgis on why the Great Detective is always in fashion. Michael Tomasky reviews Time to Get Tough: Make America Great Again! by Donald J. Trump. Ben Carson appears to mean what he says, and there is a consistent market for his brand of exonerating racism. Why I still think Fiorina was a terrible CEO: She can diss Jeffrey Sonnenfeld all she wants on live TV, but personal attacks won’t take her from colossal business failure to leader of the free world (and more). Steven Rattner on how Carly Fiorina really was that bad (and more and more and more). John Boehner may have been the only thing standing between America and madness (and more and more). Kashmir Hill created a fake business and bought it an amazing online reputation. Sasha Abramsky on how the atheist son of a Jewish rabbi created one of the greatest libraries of socialist literature.