From Humanities, what Samuel Johnson really did: He made dictionaries matter; an article on Webster’s Third, the most controversial dictionary in the English language; and the Dictionary of Old English explores the brutality and elegance of our ancestral tongue. An excerpt from A Sensitive Liberal's Guide to Life: How to Banter with Your Barista, Hug Mindfully, and Relate to Friends Who Choose Kids Over Dogs by The Uptight Seattleite. An excerpt from Martin Anderson and Annelise Anderson’s Reagan’s Secret War. A review of Eternity Soup: Inside the Quest to End Aging by Greg Critser. The calorie-restriction experiment: Eating much, much less helped rats live longer — will it work on humans? Radical life extension and the problem of Malthusian hells: Is living longer in an overcrowded world better than the alternative? A review of Yemen: Dancing on the Heads of Snakes by Victoria Clark. Graeme Wood reviews The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today by Ted Conover (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Adios, Amigos: How Latin America stopped caring what the United States thinks. Does suffering really offer spiritual dividends, or is the emphasis on it in Christianity (and many other traditions) something equivalent to a psychological flaw writ large? From Ctheory, Michael Betancourt on The State of Information. Now that men are starting to take over the kitchen, German publisher Gruner and Jahr dishes up a new magazine, called BEEF! Michael Scherer on how the White House scrambles to tame the news cyclone. From Vermont Commons, Bill Miller on why Lincoln was wrong on secession. Ron Holland on secession, a solution to the Washington debt threat.
Nicholas Swails (CSU): America’s Introduction to Global Terrorism: The Labor Day Hijackings, Black September, and their Challenges to the Era of Detente. From The New York Times Magazine, a cover story on Obama’s War Over Terror. A review of The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege and How We Can Be Safe Again by Tom Ridge. A professor in the US takes up the cause of a terror detainee of Pakistani origin who, she says, is guilty only of being a Muslim and a critic of US policies. Aziz Huq on three reasons racial profiling won’t end terrorism. A review of The Rhetoric of Terror: Reflections on 9/11 and the War on Terror by Marc Redfield. A review of Talking to Terrorists: Why America Must Engage with its Enemies by Mark Perry. Flagg Miller of UC-Davis, has listened to hundreds of audio tapes that once belonged to Osama bin Laden — it's the everyday conversations among jihadis that he finds the most interesting. The Holy War Pitch: We're only doing al-Qaeda recruiters a favor by casting its young men as invincible warriors. From Foreign Policy, is that scary man with a gun a full-fledged member of al Qaeda or just a wannabe? Here's a guide to the people who make up the organization's core and its periphery (and more); and meet the next generation of jihadi pundits (and more on the jihadi pundits who are making waves on al Qaeda's Web forums today). We should be treating the media outlets of terrorist groups as terrorists themselves. A review of Radical, Religious, and Violent: The New Economics of Terrorism by Eli Berman. By focusing on planes, terrorists take a calculated risk. A look at the world’s most bizarre terror threats: Underpants may be the least of our worries. From Cato Unbound, what is terrorism? Paddy Hillyard investigates.
From The Critical Flame, a review of Reading Geoffrey Hill’s Collected Critical Writings; a review of The Essays of Leonard Michaels by Ted Striphas; a review of Close Calls with Nonsense by Stephen Burt; a review of The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing by Mark McGurl (and more at Bookforum); and a review of The Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction. A review of What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought by Keith E. Stanovich. For a world seeking clarification on America's current stance on space weaponization, no answers have been forthcoming. An interview with Andy Serwer, Managing Editor of Fortune Magazine. The first chapter from Securing the Peace: The Durable Settlement of Civil Wars by Monica Duffy Toft. An interview with Philip Zimbardo on the Stanford prison experiment and its implications for ethics, responsibility, free will, and social policy. The crash of Air France flight 447 from Rio to Paris last year is one of the most mysterious accidents in the history of aviation; the reconstruction of the horrific final four minutes reveal continuing safety problems in civil aviation. Does arts criticism have a future? An exclusive essay to mark the launch of New Statesman's search for young music critics. Depression’s Upside: Is there an evolutionary purpose to feeling really sad? (and a response) An interview with Steve Lance on books on the future of advertising. Altruism is something of a novelty these days, and most people have little time to partake — but altruism is the whole idea behind the new charity, called the Secret Society for Creative Philanthropy. A debate on the pros and cons of commercializing the cosmos; valuing asteroids at $20 trillion each — Peter Diamandis makes a case for private space.
David Pickus (ASU): Did Somebody Evade Totalitarianism? On the Intellectual Escapism of Slavoj Zizek. Mark S. Dolson (UWO): On Benjamin’s Temporality of Crisis, Foucault’s Subjugated Knowledges and their Import in Theorising Revitalisation Movements: A Critical Theoretical Examination. Simon Cooper (Monash): Regulating Hybrid Monsters? The Limits of Latour and Actor Network Theory. Michael Marder (Saskatchewan): Reclaiming the Lifeworld: Toward an Ontology of Political Will. From the inaugural issue of Decalages, Filippo Del Lucchese (Occidental): On the Emptiness of an Encounter: Althusser’s Reading of Machiavelli; and a review of Louis Althusser and the Traditions of French Marxism by William S. Lewis. A review of After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency by Quentin Meillassoux. From TPM, a review of Derrida, An Egyptian: On the Problem of the Jewish Pyramid, God’s Zeal: The Battle of the Three Monotheisms, and Terror from the Air by Peter Sloterdijk. More on Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy by Emmanuel Faye. The bread of justice must be baked by the people: An essay on Slavoj Zizek’s failed encounter with Leninism. Neil Turnbull (NTU): On Left Spinozism: "The New Spinozism is itself radically insufficient and at best only supplements existing modes of theoretical critique". Nicolas Bourriaud reacts to Jacques Ranciere’s claim that his "esthetique relationelle" is little more than a moral revival in the arts. A review of Jacques Ranciere: History, Politics, Aesthetics. From Naked Punch, an interview with Jacques Ranciere on the politics of aesthetics; an essay on Franz Fanon; and why should Badiou, Zizek et al feel the need to be encumber themselves with theosophy? Meet Alan Sokal, the man who dropped a bomb on postmodernism.
A review of Valkyrie: German Resistance to Hitler by Danny Orbach. From Air Force Magazine, a look at how Imperial Japan committed a startling number of airpower stupidities. A review of books on West Indians in the Second World War. Musicology and mass execution: During World War II, the famous German musicologist Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht belonged to the Feldgendarmerie division 683, which committed horrific murders on the Crimean peninsular. From the Catholic Social Science Review, a special section on the Catholic response during World War II. From TNR, a review of Churchill by Paul Johnson. An article on why the West should have sided with Hitler against Stalin. Nazi loyalist and Adolf Hitler's devoted aide: The true story of Eva Braun. A look at the 5 most widely believed WWII facts (that are bullshit). On the anti-fascist front: A review of Dr. Seuss & Co. Go to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of America’s Leading Comic Artists by Andre Schiffrin. A review of D-Day: The Battle for Normandy by Antony Beevor. A review of Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and its Aftermath by Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman. Urban bombing might have been Britain's only way of fighting back against Nazi Germany in the middle years of the war but, by 1945, Bomber Command's strategy had descended into gruesome futility. A review of After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation by Giles MacDonogh. A review of Operation Last Chance: One Man's Quest to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice by Efraim Zuroff. Looking through the mists of obligatory sentimentalism that enveloped the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII, James Heartfield remembers the pitiless subordination of people to production on all sides of that crisis.
Why NYC's new dedicated crosstown bus lane owes a debt to Colombia: How one brilliant idea has traveled from Bogota all the way to New York City. What happened to New York's moxie? James Traub wants to know. COIN and selection effects: Henry Farrell on the most important lesson that the social sciences have to offer to policy makers. The Doctor Is In: At 88, Aaron Beck is now revered for an approach to psychotherapy that pushed Freudian analysis aside. Julian Baggini on how suicide can be a rational choice. Does the devil really wear Prada? An article on the psychology of anthropomorphism and dehumanization. One Strange Fish Tale: A review of An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World by Anders Halverson. The Cold War’s Organization Man: How Philip Mosely helped Soviet Studies moderate American policy. An interview with Amanda Craig on books that changed the world. You could easily say that high fashion is androg’ because, well, gay dudes and women basically run the fashion industry. From the recruiting game that started it all to the commercial juggernaut that outsold all but the biggest Hollywood blockbusters, P. W. Singer on a snapshot of militainment in action (and Seth Hettena reviews Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century). An interview with Marcus du Sautoy on books on the beauty of maths. An interview with Gene M. Heyman, author of Addiction: a Disorder of Choice (and a review). Iran Contrarians: Michael Crowley on Flynt and Hillary Leverett, Ahmadinejad’s Washington power couple. A study finds intelligent people have values novel in human evolutionary history. A review of Peace: A World History by Antony Adolf (and more).
Like George Wallace and his supporters 40 years ago, today's conservative populists are long on anger and short on coherence. An interview with Michael Kazin on populism in America. Populism With Brains: History shows that populists sometimes rouse the rabble with very good ideas. A look at why populism is not as popular as you think. Right-wing populist fads catch our attention — but they burn out quickly. The trick in conservative circles today is to get just furious enough about Washington’s encroachment onto states rights without quite falling over the edge into Fort Sumter. Is the GOP the party of no or just plain ignorance? The GOP understands that in Washington, there are no constraints — just what you can get away with. American Taliban: More on Republican Gomorrah by Max Blumenthal. John Avlon on the creepy, growing political force known as Tenthers. Glenn Greenwald on libertarianism and the GOP's "small government" tea party fraud. With the unruly tea-party movement suddenly the hottest show in American politics, everyone on the right wants to get in on the act. David Von Drehle on why the Tea Party movement matters (and more and more). Most tea party followers are baby boomers reliving the '60s: A poll debunks assumptions about the movement, showing that it's largely middle-class, college-educated, white and male. Tea Party, Canada-Style: America's battle over health care reform started in Saskatchewan. A prairie echo of the tea party: Now the Progressive Conservatives face a rebellion — in Canada. Why is there no British Tea Party movement? Tea Parties are contagious: A bit of global solidarity was forged this weekend among conservatives with the launching of a British movement inspired by our very own anti-tax Tea Partyism.
The inaugural issue of Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science is out, including Leyre Castro and Edward A. Wasserman (Iowa): Animal Learning; Phil Johnson-Laird (Princeton): Deductive reasoning; Michael C. Corballis (Auckland): The gestural origins of language; Elizabeth E. Price and Andrew Whiten (St. Andrews) and Christine A. Caldwell (Stirling): Comparative cultural cognition; Greg J. Norman and Gary G. Bernston (OSU) and John T. Cacioppo (Chicago): Social neuroscience; and Annabelle Belcher (NIH) and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke): Neurolaw. Brian T. Edwards in Watching Shrek in Tehran: The seen and the unseen in Iranian cinema. "Econo-Jihad": Jihadist terror organizations have set economic terrorism as their new target, intending to harm and paralyze Western economies, the United States in particular. Warning: Your reality is out of date: Samuel Arbesman introduces the mesofact. Jami Attenberg reviews Reality Hunger: A Manifesto by David Shields (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). How locavores could save the world: The latest yuppie craze could do more than just cut emissions — it might also help feed the poor. From Fast Company, how much longer can shopping malls survive? A look at how health care is no stranger to the reconciliation process (and more). Dress Code: Tony Perrottet goes behind the rumor that Hoover wore women's clothing. The Tribe That Bites: Allison Gaudet Yarrow on the unlikely rise of the Jewish vampire. Modernizing the idea of the great French salons — elegant gatherings of intelligentsia — a Toronto businessman's soirees are provoking thought about how city and country can be run.
From Edge, Charles Leadbeater on cloud culture: The promise and the threat. What’s more dangerous on the Web, hackers or hacks? Here are 20 things you didn't know about computer hacking. From Monty Python to mass-mailing misery, New Scientist charts the unstoppable rise of spam (and more). A look at the world’s top 10 spammers. Simon Cox on how he helped nail the "manhood" spammer. David Bollier on protecting and enlarging the Digital Republic. A review of Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet by Joseph Menn. While we are building identity in social networks, our online behavior generates a plenitude of information, meanings and content that constitutes a "cognitive surplus" generated by the "hive mind". Our digitally undying memories: The Internet never forgets, and that's not necessarily good for us. Google Buzz raised hackles over privacy concerns, but it should also make us consider how omnipresent Google is becoming. From Wired, a look at how Google’s algorithm rules the Web. An article on the (good and bad) future of the Internet — and will the Internet make us stupider? Two futures of the internet: Will the future be cyber-attacks and an uneasy balance of terror or cultural collaboration hosted by Google's servers? How dictators watch us on the web: The internet is meant to help activists, enable democratic protest and weaken the grip of authoritarian regimes, but it doesn’t — in fact, the web is a boon for bullies. Will the real Chinese Internet please stand up? It's fashionable to hold up the Internet as the road to democracy and liberty in countries like Iran, but it can also be a very effective tool for quashing freedom. Making the Web safe for democracy: Daniel Calingaert on what the United States can and should do to spread Internet freedom.
In India, where 4,000 year-old stories still inspire death threats, historians, mathematicians and nationalists are going to battle over an ancient civilisation’s script. A review of The God Market: How Globalization Is Making India More Hindu by Meera Nanda. The rise of Hindu nationalism is a major threat to intellectual freedom, but it's also time to confront a climate of implicit censorship that leads to its own pathology. In the name of the people: The politics of an imagined "people" is anti-democratic because it can so easily slide into direct fascist action against perceived "enemies". A review of India's Foreign Policy: The Democracy Dimension by SD Muni. A look at India's controversial new war doctrine — preparing for a "two-front" war with Pakistan and China. Can Bollywood heal the India-Pakistan relationship? An ordinary man and a nobody: An excerpt from The Great Divide: India and Pakistan. The pluralism and diversity that has defined spiritual life on the Indian subcontinent for centuries continues to transcend the divisive politics of religion. Meet Shireen Mazari, the Ann Coulter of Pakistan. Waziristan, headquarters of Islamist terror, has repelled outsiders for centuries; now the Pakistani government is making a determined effort to control the place. Why does Pakistan hate the US? Because it is dependent on it. Will there always be a Pakistan?: Fissures within the military could tear not just the army but the entire country apart — it's coming sooner than you think. An interview with Syed Ashfaqul Haque on books about Bangladesh. The first few weeks of the year may finally witness the execution, 35 years after the fact, of the killers of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founder of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. From Dissent, Sumedha Senanayake on Sri Lanka's post-war crisis (and more).