Jean-Louis Marin-Lamellet (Lyon): What’s the Matter with Benjamin O. Flower? Populism, Antimonopoly Politics and the “Paranoid Style” at the Turn of the Century. JFK conspiracy theories are alive and well, according to Gallup poll. Fifty years after JFK’s assassination, another wave of conspiracy theories has arrived — little-known professor John McAdams has spent his last 20 years fighting the skeptics. Fred Kaplan on why the best conspiracy theories about JFK’s assassination don’t stand up to scrutiny. Fifty years later after the JFK assassination, a complicit media still covers up for the security state — we need to reclaim our history. Who killed JFK? Fifty years on, slew of new books add fuel to conspiracy fire. Conspiracy theorists aren’t really skeptics: William Saletan on the fascinating psychology of people who know the real truth about JFK, UFOs, and 9/11 (and more). John Cassidy writes a word in favor of JFK conspiracy theories. Adam Gopnik on the assassination of JFK, fifty years later (and a response by Josh Ozersky on the big problem with calling people "conspiracy theorists"). Photos show Kennedy hatred in 1960s Dallas looks a lot like Obama hatred today. Skeptics gone wild: Saul Elbein on navigating America’s conspiracy theory culture. Benjamin Wallace-Wells on the truly paranoid style in American politics. Joe Coscarelli interviews Alex Jones, America’s leading (and proudest) conspiracy theorist. Five things they don’t want you to know: Jesse Walker on the myths about the paranoid tales we tell.
Arvind Magesan (Calgary) and Eik Leong Swee (Melbourne): Is Happiness Really a Warm Gun? The Political Consequences of US Weapons Sales. From Boston Review, what are radicals good for? Lindsey Gilbert interviews George Scialabba, author of For the Republic. Is ObamaCare actually too conservative for Americans? Peter Weber wonders. From TNR, a series of articles on JFK. The avalanche of books marking the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination is both too much and not enough. Jill Abramson on Kennedy, the elusive president (and more). Adam Clymer on how the President Kennedy students learn about today is not their grandparents’ JFK (and more). Here is a stabilized, interpolated, panoramic footage of JFK's assassination. Do you really remember where you were when JFK was shot? Jason Zengerle on the race that broke the Cheney family: What happened when a gay sister came between Liz Cheney and a Senate seat. Ezra Klein on nine reasons the filibuster change is a huge deal (and more and more). Sarah Binder on what the Senate will be like when the nuclear dust settles. Jonathan Chait on why Democrats partially nuked the filibuster. Imaginary Jews: Anthony Grafton on the strange history of antisemitism in Western culture. Tyler Malone interviews Simon Critchley, co-author (with Jamieson Webster) of Stay, Illusion!: The Hamlet Doctrine. Rob Horning on games of truth and Foucault.
From Buzzfeed, why Twitter just turned itself inside out: Clicking is dead, scrolling is king — John Herrman on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the fight for the ultimate feed. Two new books look at familiar, diverting facets of life online; Scott McLemee tries to garner them some attention. Atossa Araxia Abrahamian on A Small World, the socialite network. If you plug Twitter into a digital avatar, can you live forever? BJ Mendelson on how to get a Wikipedia page and make it stick. What did you used to do with all the time you're now spending online? The Thought Catalog revolution: Daniel D-Addarion on how trolling took over the Internet. Evan Williams, who helped create companies like Blogger and Twitter, is setting his sights on longer-form writing with a new blogging platform, Medium. Socialize social media: A manifesto, by Benjamin Kunkel. Where does your Wikipedia donation go? Outgoing chief Sue Gardner warns of potential corruption. JD Rucker on how the death of Digg still lingers for former power users. Jamie Bartlett on 4chan and the role of anonymity in the meme-generating cesspool of the web. Riding the hashtag in social media marketing: Gary Vaynerchuk, a social media marketer, pounces on any trend — tweeted or otherwise — in his quest to sell, sell, sell. Maria Konnikova on the psychology of online comments. A math genius with dementia took his own life, but he left behind this website. Eric Limer on 11 of the weirdest sites on the Internet.
Edward (Ted) A. Parson (UCLA): Climate Engineering in Global Climate Governance: Implications for Participation and Linkage. David E. Winickoff (UC-Berkeley) and Mark B. Brown (Cal State-Sacramento): Time for a Government Advisory Committee for Geoengineering Research. Obama asks federal agencies to “prepare” for climate change — here’s what that means. Is it too late to prepare for climate change? Elizabeth Kolbert wonders. Kevin J. Noone on problem solving in the Anthropocene. Ezra Klein on Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s lonely war against climate change. What happened after Congress passed a climate change law? Very little. Joshua Tucker on the fundamental political challenge of climate change: The inherent political difficulties in enacting climate change legislation, and why grandchildren may be part of the solution. Brad Plumer on how the world is failing at its climate goals, in one giant chart. Jennifer Jacquet on how delayed gratification hurts climate change cooperation. Eric Posner on how you can have either climate justice or a climate treaty — not both. Annie Lowrey on the inequality of climate change. Stephan Richter on climate change as terrorism against the people: In view of the typhoon in the Philippines, has the United States misplaced its global priorities? Poor countries walk out of UN climate talks as compensation row rumbles on. What is the Anthropocene, and are you living in it? Annalee Newitz investigates. Roy Scranton on learning how to die in the Anthropocene.
Christian Bjornskov (Aarhus) Jacob Mchangama (Freedom Rights Project): Do Social Rights Affect Social Outcomes? Nuno P. Monteiro (Yale) and Alexandre Debs (MIT): The Strategic Logic of Nuclear Proliferation. From The Christian Post, Noah Beck says Obama's Iran moves could start World War III. Did JFK really save the world from nuclear annihilation, and was he a liberal? Rick Perlstein investigates. From The Washington Post, a special issue on new books on John F. Kennedy. Lisa Larson-Walker on capturing present-day photos of the iconic scenes of JFK’s assassination. Obamacare, too small to succeed? Richard Kim on how the problems with the Affordable Care Act stem from government being too weak and underfunded, not too big to manage. Clay Shirky on healthcare.gov and the gulf between planning and reality. I just lost my insurance because of Obamacare — what do I do? Jonathan Cohn on a step-by-step guide to replacing your health insurance. Has BP hired internet "trolls" to threaten critics of its handling of the 2010 oil disaster? Dahr Jamail investigates. What happened at Manhattan's Zen Studies Society? Mark Oppenheimer on the Zen Buddhist who preyed on his Upper East Side students. From Vanity Fair, Josh Duboff on Miley vs. Katy vs. Gaga: A statistical breakdown of this fall’s pop star diva-off; and Hollywood feuds are having a moment, thanks to Clooney, DiCaprio, and Downey Jr.
From the Journal of Academic Freedom, a special issue on academic boycotts. Michael Bikard (LBS): Is Knowledge Trapped Inside the Ivory Tower? Technology Spawning and the Genesis of New Science-Based Inventions. Publish or perish: Bret McCabe on how academic publishing confronts its digital future. Jonathan Wai and Max Nisen on the complete ranking of America's 501 smartest colleges. Which bogus list of universities is the best? Mora Caplan-Bricker on the college rankings ranking. Glenn C. Altschuler reviews Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities by Craig Steven Wilder. Rob Asghar on the toughest leadership job of all — it's not what you think. William Vesterman on Rutgers, Inc., or how Thorstein Veblen explains today’s policies in higher education. Marko Milanovic on academic spam. David A. Hollinger on the wedge driving academe's two families apart: Can STEM and the human sciences get along? Anna Grzymala-Busse on how area-studies centers are vital but vulnerable. Where have all the geniuses gone? Darrin M. McMahon on how the term has become generic, and all but banished from academe. You can’t just end an era: Sangamithra Iyer on Cooper Union. What if colleges embraced affirmative action for class instead of race? Sophie Quinton investigates. Low-income students going to college is now set to become the latest thing that conservatives hate. Should public education be free? Or, perhaps, what should the phrase “free public education” mean? (and more)
From FT, a special section on the new physics, including Clive Cookson on how Britain’s “top scientist” Martin Rees says our brains may not yet have evolved sufficiently to unlock the secrets of the cosmos. Steven Weinberg on physics: What we do and don’t know. A digital copy of the universe, encrypted: As physics prepares for ambitious projects like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, the field is seeking new methods of data-driven discovery. Jonathan Ree reviews Newton and the Origin of Civilisation by Jed Buchwald and Mordechai Feingold. The cosmos is cracked: Clara Moskowitz on how a computer simulation of the universe shows that it may be filled with “defects in spacetime”. The Big Bang may not have spawned the universe after all: Our universe might actually be the result of the collapse of a four-dimensional star. Rhett Allain on a media guide for physics. The secret to the universe is at the bottom of a hole in South Dakota. Mark Jackson on how theoretical physics is like sex, but with no need to experiment. There could be 40 billion habitable Earthlike planets in our galaxy alone — this has been another semi-regular reminder of your insignificance. Adam Mann on the experiments most likely to shake up the future of physics. It’s a physics world: Philip Ballon how distinctions between “discoveries” and technological “spinoffs” are meaningless, even misleading.
Ciara Hackett (QUB): Responding to Crisis: When the Telephone Fails. Gillian K. Hadfield (USC) and Barry R. Weingast (Stanford): Microfoundations and the Rule of Law. The miraculousness of the commonplace: Morgan Meis on remembering Arthur Danto. Locked in the cabinet: Glenn Thrush on the worst job in Barack Obama’s Washington. Jason Fagone on how High Times magazine may be the most influential publication of our era. Kenneth Roth on the NSA’s global threat to free speech. From New York, the idea of starting a (non-digital) magazine in this day and age seems downright insane — and yet, for those keeping score at the newsstand, dozens upon dozens of them have sprung up in the past few years. Aya Lowe on how remote islands are coping with Typhoon Haiyan's devastation. From UN Dispatch, Mark Leon Goldberg on how the UN responds when a massive disaster strikes; and the UN thinks you should give a crap (and more on World Toilet Day). Barrett Brown is bored out of his mind in jail. Neil Irwin on everything you need to know about JPMorgan’s $13 billion settlement. Kate Wong on why the U.S. destroyed its ivory stockpile. Jonathan Zakarin on how to write an awesome movie, according to some of Hollywood's best writers. Who are the six greatest living artists? This provocative, perhaps unanswerable question is worth asking for what it reveals about a cultural arena in which money and fame often seem to be the paramount obsessions.
Obamacare enrollment seems to be recovering from its slow start and picking up in the last few weeks. In states where the website works, Obamacare works too. Jonathan Cohn on six things the media doesn't understand about Obamacare: People losing their insurance is a bigger story than people getting insurance for the first time. Michael Kinsey on how people complaining about Obamacare insurance cancellations want to get something for nothing — and Obama encouraged them to think they could. Igor Volsky and Adam Peck on the Obamacare cancellation notices you haven’t heard about. David Warsh on a simple step with which the president can begin to re-establish his authority. Matthew Yglesias on the broken system behind healthcare.gov: The lead contractor on the federal exchange is prospering like never before. Meet the bureaucrats now deciding Obamacare’s fate. Michael I. Niman on Obamacare and the Republican Party's long con. Joshua Green on Marco Rubio's devious new plan to kill Obamacare. "Repeal and replace," as the Republican slogan went, has effectively morphed into "repeal and then we'll consider doing something but we're not sure what". Tom Tomorrow on Republican alternatives to healthcare. Rightblogger rage that health plans could change turns to rage that health plans could stay the same. We're about to learn whether the anti-Obamacare crowd will control the narrative, or have to fold it up. All sorts of things will happen to Obamacare in the next few months — Obamacare hyperventilation to continue forever!
Haifeng Huang (UC-Merced): A War of (Mis)Information: The Political Effects of Rumors and Rumor Rebuttals in an Authoritarian Country. Roderic Broadhurst (ANU): The Legacy of the Bo Xilai Trial: How Corruption and Its Suppression Threaten China's Future. From n+1, Rebecca Liao on China’s constitutional crisis. From NYRB, a review essay on China by Ian Johnson. Gideon Rachman reviews The China Choice: Why We Should Share Power by Hugh White. Adam Minter explores China's central role in the world's vast global recycling trade. John Knight on five reasons why China has the most interesting economy in the world. A letter from a Chinese forced-labor camp is found in Kmart Hallowe'en decorations. Christopher Beam on his day in the world's biggest building — a Chinese mall you've never heard of. Hayes Brown on the relaxation of China’s infamous “one-child” policy. China's building cities so fast, people don't have time to move in. Why do international students go to China? Andrys Onsman investigates. Eliza Filby on teaching China's Anglophiles. Why are hundreds of Harvard students studying ancient Chinese philosophy? Christine Gross-Loh wonders. It’s OK if your kid isn’t fluent in Chinese yet. Forget prophecy and wisdom — using the I Ching is a weirdly useful way to open your mind to life’s unexpected twists. Andaleeb Akhand on explaining the longevity of the Chinese world order. Daniel Bell on why we must measure national harmony: The ideal is as universal as freedom, fairness, and happiness.