From Carnegie Council, a panel on The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century by George Friedman. The Soul Mate Myth: When looking for the one, are we aiming too high? From pi to the Fibonacci sequence, poets' imaginations have been fired by the elegance of numbers — and mathematicians have returned the compliment. A review of The Autonomy of Morality by Charles Larmore. American film studios — including Warner Bros., Disney, and Fox — are making massive investments in the growing Arab movie market, but don’t expect an influx of subtitled art-house fare from the Fertile Crescent. A review of Moveable Feasts: From Ancient Rome to the 21st Century, the Incredible Journeys of the Food We Eat by Sarah Murray. A review of Amazing Grace: The Nine Principles of Living in Natural Magic by David Wolfe and Nick Goode. With a new Democratic administration and Democratic majorities in Congress, Limbaugh is right back where he wants to be — on the outside. Free trade's hidden cost: An excerpt from Matt Miller's The Tyranny of Dead Ideas: Letting Go of the Old Ways of Thinking To Unleash a New Prosperity. Cash on delivery: An article on the movement to give every American a trust fund at birth. Brave New Art World: Despite cooling sales, more art was produced in the last decade than at any other time in history.
From LRB, where is my mind? Jerry Fodor reviews Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action and Cognitive Extension by Andy Clark. From TLS, why we really do need to know the amazing truth about evolution, and the equally amazing intellectual dishonesty of its enemies: Richard Dawkins reviews Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True (and more); and a review of Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Life by Gerald Martin. From TED, Elizabeth Gilbert on a different way to think about creative genius. An episode highlights a great fear that the Internet, with its emphasis on minute-to-minute competition, is undermining the values of the print culture. Long live philosophers! As any good analyst would point out, that's not just a spirited apostrophe — it's a fact. From TPMtv, an interview with Joseph Stiglitz. From The Daily Beast, an interview with Dean Baker on the economic stimulus package; it doesn't matter what the GOP says about the stimulus package or how they vote on it — if the economy is better off in four years, they lose; and is there a stimulus package that can save our sex lives? From THES, a review of Passing the Plate: Why American Christians Don't Give Away More Money by Christian Smith, Michael O. Emerson and Patricia Snell; and a review of Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities by Bruce L.R. Smith, Jeremy D. Mayer and A. Lee Fritschler.
Sheri Berman (Barnard): Taming Extremist Parties: Lessons From Europe. An excerpt from The Israeli Secret Services and the Struggle Against Terrorism by Ami Pedahzur (and an interview). From The Big Money, an article on Michael Lewis as our money laureate. From Rome to Jerusalem: On the eve of a possible papal visit, Vatican-Israeli relations are challenged again. A review of Parallel Empires: The Vatican and The United States — Two Centuries of Alliance and Conflict by Massimo Franco. The Crowded Catholic Cafeteria: Pope Benedict XVI tries to heal the schism with Catholics who deny the Second Vatican Council. A look at how Google Earth is helping to save the real Earth. It's just garbage: What corporations throw away provides Darren Atkinson with profit and happiness. An interview with Sandra Hanson, author of Swimming Against the Tide: African American Girls and Science Education. People Movers: Seven factors that will change how we move around this year. An interview with Thomas G. Andrews, author of Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War. A review of A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir by Donald Worster. Everyone knows what a bubble is these days, but what about a think tank bubble? Daniel Gross on the GOP's nutso claim that government spending doesn't create jobs.
From PopMatters, a review of Dispatches from the Religious Left: The Future of Faith and Politics in America by Frederick Clarkson; and the personal life of 20th century America's Mother of Modern Social Work provides us with lessons during our 21st century debate on GLBT rights. A review of The Patron’s Payoff: Conspicuous Commissions in Italian Renaissance Art by Jonathan K. Nelson and Richard J. Zeckhauser. A review of Aristotelian Philosophy: Ethics and Politics from Aristotle to MacIntyre by Kelvin Knight. An interview with Tom Hodgkinson, author of How to Be Idle. A review of Best African American Essays: 2009 and Best African American Fiction: 2009. An interview with Steven Garber, director of The Washington Institute. What's the matter with teen sexting? Sex and predatory adults are not the biggest dangers teenagers face online — their main risk is garden-variety kid-on-kid meanness. Set to make millions with their YouTube-beating technology, the upstarts in Lifted Logic found a better market for their talents. The Origins of Good Taste: During the 17th century, Britain witnessed the birth of a consumer society; but, as the number of possessions grew, so did the concept of "taste", a subtle yardstick by which people advertised their social position and sensibilities. The myth of the "good" recession: A flat-lining economy doesn't make us better people.
From Human Rights & Human Welfare, a symposium on Confronting Global Terrorism and American Neo-Conservatism: The Framework of a Liberal Grand Strategy by Tom Farer; and a series of essays on human trafficking. In 2008, trafficking of the world’s 27 million slaves made up the third-most-profitable criminal enterprise; here’s what the $40-billion industry looks like. The introduction to Making Cities Work: Prospects and Policies for Urban America. From PopMatters, a review of I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto by Dave Thompson; the success or failure of The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema hinges greatly on what one thinks of Slavoj Zizek's free-range associations on desire, blood, human waste, castration, and social control in films; and has any other art, even literature or music, ever exceeded the visual arts in its ambition, its richness, and its sheer beauty? Brad DeLong on depression economics: Four options. Sometimes 100 cents feels like it's worth more than a dollar. The first chapter from The Mathematics of the Heavens and the Earth: The Early History of Trigonometry by Glen Van Brummelen. A review of The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir: Ambiguity, Conversion, Resistance by Penelope Deutscher. Testing the Test: English professor Michael Berube takes the GRE and questions its value.
From The New Criterion, Gertrude Himmelfarb revisits the lasting, provocative wisdom of Edmund Burke; a review of the career of Judge Robert H. Bork and his latest book, A Time to Speak: Selected Writings and Arguments; a review of The Triumph of Music: The Rise of Composers, Musicians and Their Art by Tim Blanning; and an article on the passings of Richard John Neuhaus and Samuel Huntington. An interview with Greg Anderson and David Harrison on chasing dying languages around the world. A review of Securing the City: Inside America’s Best Counterterror Force — the NYPD by Christopher Dickey (and more). Twin Peeks: Suzanne Menghraj on two daring acts of seeing in and around the wilds of New York City. The Youngest Congressman: Can Illinois's Aaron Schock help revitalize the GOP? From Dissent, is China a threat to or threatened by democracy? A review of The Well-Dressed Ape: A Natural History of Myself by Hannah Holmes. Ralph Waldo Emerson, writing instructor? Scott McLemee signs up for a workshop with the sage of Concord. Iraqi translators fear retribution: Private contractors say shift of power puts them, their families at grave risk. From 3 Quarks Daily, an essay on being liberal in a plural world. A review of The Legacy of John Rawls. The Pope’s denial problem: By reconciling with extremist bishops, Benedict embraces the far-right fringe.
From JBooks, an essay on the philosophical roots of secular Jewishness/Judaism; Paul Buhle on the Jewishness of Jews Without Money; a review of Plumes: Ostrich Feathers, Jews, and a Lost World of Global Commerce by Sarah Abrevay; and what does all this doom and gloom mean for the Jewish book business? An interview with Danny Levine, owner of J. Levine Books & Judaica. From Commentary, a review of Innocent Abroad: An Intimate History of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East by Martin Indyk; and an article on the Madoff scandal and the future of American Jewry. From The Nation, adventures in editing: An essay on Ted Solotaroff's Commentary days (and part 2). From FT, an article on the credit crunch according to Soros. Tyler Cowen on how a recession can change a way of life. From Good, a series on the State of the Planet; the United States of Coffee: The country’s top 10 small-batch coffee companies are brewing blends that do more than wake you up; and a look at the Anti-Consumers: Five groups that aren’t buying it. From PopMatters, a review of The Shadows of Consumption: Consequences for the Global Environment by Peter Dauvergne; and there can be no doubt that the summer of 2008 stands as a high-water mark for superheroes, but has the superhero genre evolved beyond the comics medium? (and more on cinema and comics).
The first chapter from A Necessary Engagement: Reinventing America's Relations with the Muslim World by Emile Nakhleh. An excerpt from Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century by P. W. Singer (and an interview; and a review at Bookforum). Life for March: In the age of Obama, the anti-abortion movement has nowhere left to go. The politics of ME, ME, ME: The shrillness and point-scoring of much internet-based discussion — on topics as diverse as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and chronic fatigue syndrome — is narrowing the space where a larger political dialogue should be. A review of Pieter Spierenburg's A History of Murder: Personal Violence in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present. A review of In the Shadow of Progress: Being Human in the Age of Technology by Eric Cohen. Reading Malcolm Gladwell’s books is like watching Frank Capra movies (and more and more and more on Outliers). The crippling fear of corriearklet: Pity the English — not only are they cursed with bad weather, and the habit of talking about it all the time, they also fear eye contact with strangers in long corridors. A look at 8 best non-human tool users. Here's Paul Weyrich's last article of advice to conservatives. Hawks home to roost: The liberal interventionists are back, and will have a pretty loud voice on Obama’s staff — will he listen to them?
From the EuroMemorandum Group, an essay on alternatives to finance-driven capitalism. We may become so good that we really reach a point where we have the "final plague", and where we are really capable of catching so many of these things that new pandemics become an oddity. A review of Voice of Hezbollah: The Statements of Sayed Hassan Nasrallah. A review of Teenagers: A Natural History by David Bainbridge. A review of So Damn Much Money: The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government by Robert G. Kaiser (and more). A review of Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us by Daniel Koretz. At 37, The Joy of Sex gets a major face-lift. From HNN, an article on Howard Zinn and the historian as Don Quixote. A look at why some people can't put two and two together. The End of Solitude: As everyone seeks more and broader connectivity, the still, small voice speaks only in silence. A review of The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability by James Gustave Speth. Fed Up: An article on the popular uprising against central banking. What's good for business? An article on the ethical legacy of Catholic business schools. What if globalization and geopolitics were not contradictory forces but complementary undercurrents in our stage of human history? (and part 2)
From PUP, the first chapter from Rational Decisions by Ken Binmore; and an excerpt from Reason and Rationality by Jon Elster. A review of The Soul of a Leader: Character, Conviction, and Ten Lessons in Political Greatness by Waller R. Newell and Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis by Mark K. Updegrove. A review of Madame Prosecutor: Confrontations with Humanity’s Worst Criminals and the Culture of Impunity by Carla Del Ponte and Chuck Sudetic. A review of The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America by Steven Johnson (and more). From Minding the Campus, shouldn't all students learn economics? An interview with Martti Ahtisaari, Nobel Peace Prize winner. A review of Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America by Russ Baker. Is France's First Lady Carla Bruni a traitor to Italy? Doubting altruism: New research casts a skeptical eye on the evolution of genuine altruism. The critical browser: Douglas Wolk on the language of the new WhiteHouse.gov. Dominick Dunne attends Sunny von Bulow's memorial service, speaks with her children, and remembers Claus von Bulow’s trials for attempted murder. Wise up, WWE offers lessons in political ideologies.