Communicating across the academic divide: Universities must nurture interdisciplinary relationships, which can lead to creative ideas that could fuel the economy's long-term health. Are English departments killing the humanities? From Minding the Campus, Russell K. Nieli on why Caltech is in a class by itself. What does a relationship between the intuitive symbolic work of children and the design of contemporary technologies mean for the academic world? The man who financed Facebook is offering 20 two-year $100,000 fellowships to teenagers with big ideas — as long as they leave university. An article on the 7 most important classes to take in college. With a cross-disciplinary approach to education, we can train a new class of problem-solvers to address current global challenges, from poverty to climate change. No talking in class: Campus liberals sacrificed free expression on the altar of political correctness. What happens when college is oversold: Why are more and more college graduates not entering the class of professional, technical and managerial workers that has been considered the main avenue of employment? An interview with Ronald A. Smith, author of Pay for Play: A History of Big-Time College Athletic Reform. For-profit college companies are taking in enormous amounts of federal student aid money by recruiting and enrolling members of the military, veterans and their families, with questionable returns.
Understanding American liberalism in the twentieth century is the single most important issue facing U.S. intellectual historians today. EJ Dionne on why the progressive movement needs Wall Street CEOs. The progressive netroots settle in for the long haul: RootsCamp is one of those important yearly political meetings you may never have heard of. David Bromwich on the disappointment in Obama. Jeffrey C. Alexander on his book The Performance of Politics: Obama's Victory and the Democratic Struggle for Power. Richard Ben Cramer's What It Takes: The Way to the White House is the book that defined modern campaign reporting (and more). Power and the Presidency, from Kennedy to Obama: For the past 50 years, the commander in chief has steadily expanded presidential power, particularly in foreign policy. Peter Beinart on how Tea Party outrage over government spending ignores the fact that deficits are often caused by wars. We're headed for a major battle with the Tea Party crowd over the constitution itself. Strict Obstructionist: Mitch McConnell is poised to take down the president and win the Senate majority he covets — if he can fend off the Tea Party and keep his own caucus together. The politics of victimization: A review of America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag by Sarah Palin. A review of Leadership and Crisis by Bobby Jindal. All politics is local? Andrew Gelman on the debate and the graphs.
A new issue of the International Journal of Multicultural Education is out. From Judgment and Decision Making, Ross E. O’Hara (Dartmouth), Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke) and Nicholas A. Sinnott-Armstrong (Brown): Wording Effects in Moral Judgments; and Ro’i Zultan (UCL), Maya Bar-Hillel (HUJ) and Nitsan Guy: When Being Wasteful Appears Better than Feeling Wasteful: "Minimizing waste is economically and morally admirable, and not being a freier is good for the soul. What is remarkable is what people might sometimes prefer to endure rather than face up to occasional waste or the semblance thereof". Thomas J. Scheff on genuine romantic love: Attraction, attachment, and attunement. Sheena Iyengar on the culture and psychology of choice. From Vanity Fair, what do Arianna Huffington and Mark Zuckerberg have in common? William D. Cohan delves into a suit claiming that Huffington’s top-ranked Web site was two other people’s idea. From FP, unconventional wisdom: A special anniversary report challenging the world's most dangerous thinking. From Coca to Capital: The War on Drugs, together with unequal free trade legislation, have provided first world junkie-capitalism with the liquidity and "bio-tools" it needs to drive its delusional and unsustainable growth. Postmodernism's new typography: In an act of rebellion against the prevailing Sans serif aesthetic, designers looked to celebrate creativity in their digital fonts.
Michael Henry (St. John's): Biotechnology and the Reconstruction of Humanity. Evan Charney (Duke): Behavior Genetics and Post-Genomics. Susan M. Wolf and Jeffrey P. Kahn (Minnesota): Genetic Testing and the Future of Disability Insurance: Ethics, Law & Policy. Jennifer Hochschild and Maya Sen (Harvard): Public Reactions to Innovations in Science: Genomics, Race, and Identity. An interview with Sheldon Krimsky and Tania Simoncelli, authors of Genetic Justice: DNA Data Banks, Criminal Investigations, and Civil Liberties. A review of Here is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics by Misha Angrist. On the 10th anniversary of the Human Genome Project, we ask: where are the therapies? I’ll show you my genome — will you show me yours? Craig Venter as the new Henry Ford: His "synthetic life" is a cell with an entirely manufactured genome — and what it can become is the world's smallest production line. What does it mean to be human? The sequencing of the Neanderthal genome helps scientists answer the age-old question. The Denisovan Code: Researchers decipher DNA of mysterious human ancestor, not Neandertal, but a new, recently extinct human (and more and more). A fistful of teeth: Do the Qesem Cave fossils really change our understanding of human evolution? (and more) All change: Theories of human ancestry get an overhaul. Razib Khan on how classifying humanity is not that hard.
David Kolb (Bates): Universal and Particular Persons and Places. Padamvir Singh (LBSNAA): The Shaping of Identities in a Globalized World. Prabhakar Singh Jindal (JGLS): Is There Third World Approaches to International Law? Making good on the girl effect: Now that we've established that promoting the advancement of women is good policy, we have to stay vigilant as ideas turn into actions. Nations must be allowed to go bust, and the nineteenth century histories of Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria remind us that lenders will cope just fine. A review of No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations by Mark Mazower. Famished for credibility: A useful tale reminds us why everyone should drop their illusions about foreign aid. It’s time to abandon the idea of "human" rights: We need to find an alternative discourse to theorize and mobilize around vulnerabilities for “subhuman” humans. Greed is global: A world of corruption revealed by WikiLeaks. Development at gunpoint? Today, billions of dollars in aid is delivered by soldiers and private contractors at the behest of the political and military leadership — but this so-called "militarized aid" is ineffective, wasteful, and puts lives at risk. By 2045 global population is projected to reach nine billion — can the planet take the strain? A review of A Liberal Theory of International Justice by Andrew Altman and Christopher Heath Wellman.
A new issue of National Affairs is out. Randy T. Simmons, Diana W. Thomas and Ryan M. Yonk (Utah State): Bootleggers, Baptists, and Political Entrepreneurs: Key Players in the Rational Game and Morality Play of Regulatory Politics. From Lacan.com, Slavoj Zizek on Gotterdammerung, or the Reign of Human Love. Where do bad ideas come from, and why don't they go away? Stephen Walt wants to know. Joseph Carroll on Denis Dutton, universal connoisseur (and more). Whatever happened to the "ground zero mosque"? 2010 wasn't just the most dangerous year ever — it might've been the weirdest, too. 2011, the year you weren’t expecting: A calendar of the obscure and surprising in the year to come. What happens to people when their unemployment insurance runs out and they still can't find a job? The incredible shrinking sound bite: It's not just a modern problem — and may not be such a bad thing after all. Why criticism matters: Six accomplished critics explain the importance of their work. From The American Spectator, a special report: Is the U.S. government promoting homosexuality overseas? From The New Yorker, Peter Maass on how the media inflated a minor moment in a long war in Iraq. Literary tips for those who govern in prose: What political leaders read — or in some cases write — sometimes says a great deal about the character of the individual and the nature of their administrations.
From New Humanist, who gave the silliest sermon or pious pronouncement of the past year? Thousands of you voted and the results are in for the Bad Faith Awards 2010. A review of In the Name of God: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Ethics and Violence by John Teehan. A review of Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals and Meaning by Nancy Pearcey. Victor Stenger on the origins of religion. Simon Muwowo and Johan Buitendag on Anton Szandor LaVey’s Philosophy of Indulgence reflected in The Satanic Bible (1969) as a dogma based assault on Scripture. Concerns about the face of Christianity have led a former atheist to form a non-profit to address the perceived hypocrisy of the church. From Christian Century, do the Family Research Council and other antigay groups qualify as "hate groups"? The SPLC makes a persuasive case that they do. On their way out: What exit interviews could teach us about lapsed Catholics. Stephen F. Uhl on atheist ethics: Who decides what is good? The ruins of discontinuity: Looking for answers to the fragmentation of Catholic theology in America. Faith-based folly: Would religious studies classes create more problems than they would solve? A review of Dishonest to God: On Keeping Religion out of Politics by Mary Warnock. What did Jesus sing? For 2,000 years, we didn’t know the answer — but now, musicology and ethnomusicology have given us some clues.
From City Journal, Myron Magnet on how American press freedom began on Wall Street: A 1735 libel trial in New York’s City Hall proved revolutionary. Give Patch a Chance: Controversy swirls around AOL’s ambitious hyperlocal venture. From the fringe to the mainstream: How “scandals” of dubious validity or relevance end up attracting so much media attention. A matter of interpretation: Why an analytic approach is crucial for mainstream news outlets. Scientists map what factors influence the news agenda. Let us pay: John Lanchester on the future of the newspaper industry. From Neiman Reports, a special issue on "The Beat Goes On—Its Rhythm Changes", including Kate Galbraith on the capriciousness of beats; it’s scary out there in reporting land: David Cay Johnston on how beats are fundamental to journalism, but our foundation is crumbling; and Juanita Leon on the blog as beat. From OJR, why the death of syndication is great news for hyperlocal and niche sites. Can journalists call a lie a lie? The thing about news is that it has to be unusual, otherwise it's not news, it's just life — that's one theory at least, but it presents all sorts of problems. What will 2011 bring for journalism? Clay Shirky predicts widespread disruptions for syndication. Why the iPad is destroying the future of journalism. A planned IPO has exposed weaknesses in its business model and accounting methods — can Demand Media survive, let alone thrive? A review of The Deeds of My Fathers: How My Grandfather and Father Built New York and Created the Tabloid World of Today by Paul David Pope.
A new issue of Public History Review is out. From The Washington Monthly, a special series of articles on what Obama should say in the State of the Union. What do anarchists want from us? Steampunk as the new Goth: The retrofuturistic trend draws on a Jules Verne-like view of the world and Victorian-era technology. A review of Histories and Fallacies by Carl Trueman. Nicolas Baumard on the evolutionary and cognitive basis of the cultural success of garbage trucks among western toddlers. With the Air Force's Gorgon Drone, "we can see everything". From Improbable Research, a series on curing shyness in dogs. Barry Schwartz shares stories that illustrate the difference between following the rules and truly choosing wisely. Dan Ariely tells Matthew Taylor why it's only by understanding our weaknesses that we can learn to anticipate and avoid mistakes. What's the matter with Broadway? A record number of shows are closing, with producers millions in the hole. From Hilobrow, this was not even a test; if this had been a real data-war, the signal would have gone silent — and you might have, as well. Have you no shame? Ignore the recent excuses — Henry Kissinger's entire career was a series of massacres and outrages. Will this generation see an explosion of creativity, collaboration and art that could be called a renaissance? You know the idea that truth is stranger than fiction? This year, we wanted our truth heavily dusted with fiction.
From Philosophy TV, Don Marquis and Michael Tooley debate abortion and personhood. Abortion in Europe is a right that isn't: Ireland is only one of several European nations to take a restrictive approach to abortion (and more by Linda Greenhouse). Ross Douthat on the way abortion may have become much more of an identity-politics totem than, say, issues like divorce and premarital sex, or even personal habits like churchgoing; and on the unborn paradox: In America, there’s been tragic contrast between the burden of unwanted pregnancies and the burden of infertility. A review of The Fetal Position: A Rational Approach to the Abortion Issue by Chris Meyers. From Ms., an article on the anti-abortion clinic across the street. A book salon on Before Roe v. Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court’s Ruling by Linda Greenhouse and Reva Siegel. Why is the black abortion rate so high? It's puzzling when poll results show that blacks tend to view abortion through a conservative lens. A look at how terror attacks on abortion clinics do little to reduce abortion rates. A study published this fall in the leading journal Social Science and Medicine found little support for the “abortion-as-trauma” framework pushed by anti-choice advocates. From Spiked, Ann Furedi on a moral defence of late abortion. MTV's shockingly good abortion special: The network that brought us "Teen Mom" tackles one of television's trickiest taboos — amazingly, they nail it. A review of The Ethics of Abortion: Women's Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice by Christopher Kaczor. For “pro-life” Republicans, human life is cheap.