Renee Hobbs (Rhode Island) and Silke Grafe (Wurzburg): YouTube Pranking Across Cultures. Are cat videos mindless distraction or a radical form of pure entertainment? Jillian Steinhauer visits the Internet Cat Video Festival at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Meet the website where start-up dreams go to die: These are the Kickstarter projects that literally nobody would invest in. Laura Bennett on the First-Person Industrial Complex: The Internet prizes the harrowing personal essay — but sometimes telling your story comes with a price. Alice Newell-Hanson on an anti-TED Talk for New York’s coolest nerds: The founders of IRL Club, a real-life forum for NYC’s biggest internet fans, talk Sad YouTube, Chatroulette and 4chan. Troll Detective: Katie J.M. Baker on how random strangers online became obsessed with figuring out who killed Jessica Chambers. Luke Winkie: “I was a teenage 4chan troll — until I learned to change my ways”. The Internet is eating your memory, but something better is taking its place.
M. Alexander Pearl (Texas Tech): The Tragedy of the Vital Commons. Paul Kelleher (Wisconsin): Pure Discounting in Climate Change Economics. What is nature worth to you? Paul Glimcher and Michael A. Livermore want to know. Hans-Werner Sinn (CESifo): The Green Paradox: A Supply-Side View of the Climate Problem. Daniel A. Farber (UC-Berkeley): Coping with Uncertainty: Cost-Benefit Analysis, the Precautionary Principle, and Climate Change. Alex Nussbaum on how even coal-mining giants now want a climate-change deal this year. Sara Jerving, Katie Jennings, Masako Melissa Hirsch and Susanne Rust on what Exxon knew about the Earth’s melting Arctic. Why has the right become so hostile to technologies that look more and more like the wave of the future? While politicians on the right may talk about encouraging innovation and promoting an energy revolution, they’re actually defenders of the energy status quo. David Roberts on how a solar future isn’t just likely — it's inevitable.
Anne-Maree Farrell (Monash): Addressing Organ Shortage: Are Nudges the Way Forward? Indonesia is burning — so why is the world looking away? 50% female cabinet lead to 5000% increase in guys who suddenly care about merit in cabinet. Quit it with the secret KKK rumors: Modern-day racism doesn’t come in a hood (and more). From Full-Stop, Marshall Yarbrough on the misery of the general reader: Fukuyama and Graeber. Can WorldStarHipHop, a website known for its fight videos and uncompromising approach to hip-hop culture, expand without losing its edge? Creator Lee O’Denat aims to find out. Libby C. Watson on why it’s time to reclaim trolling. Northwestern philosophy professor Peter Ludlow, accused of sexually harassing 2 students, resigns. City Journal enlists John Tierney. Is there any point in non-fiction books when you can look everything up online? Feel guilty — you’ll help society: When we are remorseful about missing opportunities to benefit others, we are often more likely to do the right thing.
Jeremy Diamond on the 5 things you need to know about Donald Trump's new book, Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again (and more). Trump gets literary in New York, draws legions of fans (and more and more). Elspeth Reeve on how Donald Trump evolved from a joke to an almost serious candidate. Marc Fisher on seeking America’s “lost” greatness and finding Trump most appealing. Sahil Kapur on why Donald Trump could win the Republican nomination: The far Right isn’t what’s buoying the populist plutocrat. Inside the white supremacists’ Halloween bash: Two blocks from the White House, members of America’s white nationalist movement gathered over the weekend to debate whether Jews are white, how the country could be divided along racial lines — and whether Trump is a savior. The Center for Public Democracy Action and Make the Road Action Fund publish “Backers of Hate in the Empire State,” a report on New York elites who fund nativist groups.
Michael Gerson on why Trump and Carson want to bring about America’s apocalypse. Donald Trump says Ben Carson “doesn’t have the experience” to be president — what about his? Ben Carson on Americans: “Many of them are stupid”. Is Ben Carson running for president or is he running a clever marketing scam? Helaine Olen on the get-rich-quick schemers who love the GOP: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Jeb Bush have something in common — “multilevel marketing” companies that prey upon the desperate and broke. “Your little brother is not the ultimate authority”: Heather Parton on how Jeb Bush cheated America and helped deliver the presidency to W. Charles C. W. Cooke on Jeb’s graceless decline. Stanley B. Greenberg on why Jeb Bush’s slide shouldn’t surprise anyone. The only way Jeb Bush can “fix” his campaign is to fix the GOP: Bush’s campaign woes all stem from the same source — a party adrift from reality. Paul Ryan lands at the center of a rivalry for the soul of the GOP.
James W. Houck (Penn State) and Nicole M. Anderson (Marine Corps): The United States, China, and Freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea. How will China respond in the South China Sea? Ask the Soviet Union. Is China the new Spanish Empire? The Chinese crisis has important echoes of the Soviet Union and 16th-century Europe — and history tells us the outlook isn’t pretty. The Eurasian Big Bang: Pepe Escobar on how China and Russia are running rings around Washington. Robert Skidelsky on the Sino-Russian marriage. Zachary Keck on why China and India want Russia’s new Armata battle tank. Mishi Saran on Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping’s parallel power parade. Kiran Nair on India-China military space cooperation. China and India are sitting out refugee crisis. Watch out, China: Why the “Asian Century” might just belong to India. Roy C. Smith (NYU): Is China the New Japan? Kyle Mizokami on China’s ultimate nightmare: Japan armed with nuclear weapons. You can download the Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia.
A new issue of Multicultural Shakespeare is out. Larissa M. Katz (Toronto): Property’s Sovereignty. Rodrigo Cordero (Diego Portales): Critique, Power and History: On Reinhart Koselleck’s Contributions to Critical Theory. Kaya Genc on why Turkey stuck with Erdogan: In June, it looked like his party’s hold on power was slipping — then everything changed. Is Justin Trudeau too sexy? His critics have made much of his looks — but it’s his sexually liberal policies that may bother them more. Me Inc.: Ann Friedman on her paradoxical quest to build a personal brand. Toby Young on the fall of the meritocracy: The left loathes the concept of IQ — especially the claim that it helps to determine socio-economic status, rather than vice versa — because of a near-religious attachment to the idea that man is a piece of clay that can be moulded into any shape by society. Have microaggression complaints really launched a whole new sort of “victimhood culture”? (and more)
Thomas Clement Mercier (KCL): Violence and Resistance beyond Polemos: Foucault and Derrida between Power and Unpower. Mitchell Dean (CBS): Foucault Must Not Be Defended. The afterlife of the mind: Scott McLemee on the publication of Language, Madness, and Desire: On Literature, a volume of short texts by Foucault. Delphine Merx (END): The Butlerian Parody: A Political Liberation of Bodies? Astrida Neimanis (Sydney): No Representation without Colonisation? (Or, Nature Represents Itself) Leanne Waters (UCD): Making the Monster: Gothic Marxism and the Death of the Bourgeois Subject in the Works of Walter Benjamin and Slavoj Zizek. Geoff Pfeifer (WPI): Zizek and a Reader of Marx, Marx as a Reader of Zizek. David Cunningham (Westminster): A Marxist Heresy? Accelerationism and its Discontents. You can download Contemporary Marxist Theory: A Reader, ed. Andrew Pendakis, Jeff Diamanti, Nicholas Brown, Josh Robinson, Imre Szeman (2014).
Nicholas Stephanopoulos (Chicago): Political Powerlessness. Adam J. Hoffer (Wisconsin) and George R. Crowley (Troy): Did You Say that Voting is Ridiculous? Using South Park to Teach Public Choice. The case for universal voting: William A. Galston and E. J. Dionne on why making voting a duty would enhance our elections and improve our government. Lauren Williams on how Americans only pretend to care about government transparency — but that’s because they don't really trust the government. Can members of Congress change your mind? Yes, they just have to talk to you. How Washington bribes the states: Carl T. Bogus reviews Saving Congress from Itself: Emancipating the States and Empowering Their People by James L. Buckley. Heather K. Gerken and James T. Dawson on living under someone else’s law: From gay marriage to gun control, states pass laws that go against their neighbors’ preferences — but “spillovers” are an essential part of democracy. Lydia DePillis on why lawmakers introduce bills that are doomed to fail.
A new issue of Camping magazine is out. Ishaan Tharoor on why Turkey’s election is a very big deal. Secular publisher Faisal Abedin Deepan hacked to death in Bangladesh, on same day as attacks on publisher Ahmed Rahim Tutul and two other writers (and more). A loss for the Left in Canada: Adam Rasmi on how the New Democratic Party lost steam. Many authors have been tempted into writing revisionist histories of Richard Nixon, but these counterintuitive takes often do not hold up under closer scrutiny. This land is our land: America’s visionaries left us a wilderness where egalitarianism thrives. Rand Paul wants to sell off America’s public lands. Jim Edwards goes inside the “conspiracy” that forced Dov Charney out of American Apparel. Sex, drugs, and V-neck tees: Alden Wicker goes inside the cult of American Apparel. The first chapter from Think Again: Contrarian Reflections on Life, Culture, Politics, Religion, Law, and Education by Stanley Fish.
Howard Stein (Chicago): How Does Physics Bear Upon Metaphysics; and Why Did Plato Hold That Philosophy Cannot Be Written Down? Roger Trigg on why science needs metaphysics. Lawrence Krauss on the trouble with theories of everything: There is no known physics theory that is true at every scale — there may never be. Is our universe one of many? Here’s how we can find out. George Dvorsky on the 9 weirdest implications of the many worlds interpretation. Are the laws of physics really universal? Kate Becker investigates. How dark matter may have indirectly paved the way for humanity and killed the dinosaurs: An excerpt from Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe by Lisa Randall. Black hole hunters: Aiming to make the first portrait of the hungry monster at the center of our galaxy, astronomers built “a telescope as big as the world”. “The Universe is slowly dying”, a study shows. Why is physics beautiful? Frank Wilczek wonders.
From Scientific GOD Journal, Contzen Pereira on the metaphysical link between religion and science; and on the metaphysics of the Holy Trinity. Babette Babich (Fordham): Nietzsche’s Antichrist: The Birth of Modern Science out of the Spirit of Religion. Natalja Deng (Cambridge): Religion for Naturalists. James K. A. Smith reviews The Territories of Science and Religion by Peter Harrison. Herbert Gintis reviews Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible by Jerry Coyne (and more and more). Is God necessary? Marcelo Gleiser reviews A God That Could Be Real: Spirituality, Science, and the Future of Our Planet by Nancy Ellen Abrams. Atop a sacred mountain, a skirmish between pure science and religion: Thomas Levenson on how the battle over Mauna Kea in Hawaii stems from the same emotional impulse. Richard Marshall interviews Philip Kitcher, author of Life After Faith: The Case for Secular Humanism. Lawrence Krauss on why all scientists should be militant atheists.
Steven Shapin reviews Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science by Richard Dawkins. Ken Alder reviews Hawking Incorporated: Stephen Hawking and the Anthropology of the Knowing Subject by Helene Mialet. Scientist, spy, genius: Freeman Dyson reviews Half-Life: The Divided Life of Bruno Pontecorvo, Physicist or Spy by Frank Close. Leonard Mlodinow’s Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos says a lot of what you know about scientists like Newton and Darwin is wrong. Gopal P. Sarma (Emory): Should We Train Scientific Generalists? These 25 schools are responsible for the greatest advances in science. Remco Heesen (Carnegie Mellon): Three Ways to Become an Academic Superstar; and Communism and the Incentive to Share in Science. Janet Napolitano on why we need more scientists in the public square. Elon Musk’s remarkable career reminds us that individuals matter: Roger Kimball reviews Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance.