Anita Girvan (Victoria): Atmospheric Alienation, Carbon Tracking and Geo-Techno Agency. David L. Tubbs (King's): The Supreme Court of the United States Versus the American Family. From On the Human, Christopher Suhler and Patricia Churchland on control, conscious and otherwise. H.W. Fowler's voice in the reissued classic A Dictionary of Modern English Usage is a human one, not fettered to a slavish devotion to strict rules of grammar. From Gawker, here are a few rules for tourists visiting New York City this summer. From The Awl, Chris Lehmann on Arthur Brooks, Thomas Jefferson and the culture war on business. Gentrification and Its Discontents: A review of Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places by Sharon Zukin and Twenty Minutes in Manhattan by Michael Sorkin. From H-Net, a review of Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of History by Christian Emden; and a review of Nietzsche's Animal Philosophy: Culture, Politics, and the Animality of the Human Being by Vanessa Lemm. Francis Fukuyama reviews Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography by Julian Young. Blake Butler reviews About a Mountain by John D'Agata. A review of The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism by Pascal Bruckner (and more). An interview with Stan Cox, author of Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer). From PopMatters, a special section on the 35th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. Failure to communicate: The inability of many students to write clear, cogent sentences has costly implications for the digital age. Has the New Urbanism outlived its original purpose? The movement's charismatic founder, Andres Duany, seems to think so.
From the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Edward M. Fernandes (Barton): The Swinging Paradigm: An Evaluation of the Marital and Sexual Satisfaction of Swingers; David Knox (ECU) and Marty E. Zusman (Indiana): Sexuality in Black and White: Data from 783 Undergraduates; an article on research conducted with a group of “objectum sexuals” (OS) or “objectophiles,” people who experience emotional, romantic, affectionate and/or sexual relationships with objects; and a review of Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them by David J. Ley. From EnlightenNext, a special issue on sex: The good, the strange, and the sacred. Is anal sex fair to women? A rigorous appendix to Toni Bentley's The Surrender. A review of Moral Panics, Sex Panics: Fear and the Fight over Sexual Rights. A place where sex is never a dirty word: Where do porn stars and nude poets compete for prizes? From Forbes, how big is porn? Dan Ackman investigates. Rationalizing sexual tourism: How some countries benefit from selling sex. How many lovers are too many? Catherine Nixey ventures into the burgeoning world of polyamory to find out. Jessica Valenti on why we should get rid of virginity. From Commentary, a review of Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream by Steven Watts and Playboy and the Making of the Good Life in Modern America by Elizabeth Fraterrigo. Hard times: Laura Kipnis reviews Screening Sex by Linda Williams. Cindy Gallop on how hardcore pornography had distorted the way a generation of young men think about sex. Pop culture has condemned men who use sex dolls as icky weirdos — but do they get an unfair rap? We (rightly) worry and fight against visual pornography — but what about the dangers of pornography of the mind and heart?
From The New Yorker, how worried should we be about everyday chemicals? by Jerome Groopman wants to know; and the real cause of the Gulf disaster? Our insatiable appetite for oil — we must look for it in ever more remote places, and extract it in ever riskier ways. This is not a weed: Plants that spontaneously grow in the city are marvels of adaptation — what can we learn from them? From New York, Obama is from Mars, Wall Street is from Venus: John Heilemann psychoanalyzes one of America’s most dysfunctional relationships. A review of The Finger: A Handbook by Angus Trumble. Andrew Martin reviews The Gin Closet by Leslie Jamison. From The Chronicle, Nicolaus Mills on Richard Blumenthal, liberal guilt, and Vietnam: Obfuscation has only made the left less effective in remedying the inequalities of military service. The Last Pop Star: Lady Gaga is simultaneously embodying and eviscerating Pop. Do the archives of the Royal Navy include volume after gilt-edged volume detailing secret encounters between Her Majesty’s warships and horrifying sea creatures? From LRB, is this the end of the UK? David Runciman wants to know; and Eric Hobsbawm on his days as a Jazz critic. Wrestling with Death: The revival of August Wilson’s Fences looks at control and illusion. Alma Guillermoprieto on Father Maciel, John Paul II, and the Vatican Sex Crisis. An interview with Bruce Sterling, one of the original cyberpunks, blogger of Wired.com’s “Beyond the Beyond”. The war on gangs, now globalized, runs roughshod over the ordinary checks on the criminal justice system. History, not politics: Acclaimed historian Jonathan Spence delivers a Jefferson Lecture with an unusually narrow focus. A look at why global warming "skeptics" refuse to believe scientists. A review of The Dangerous Book of Heroes by Conn Iggulden.
Utopia is what? At this particularly anxious moment in our political and cultural lives, Bookforum sets out to explore this most placeless of places: Paul La Farge on how perfect worlds are games to be played by following the rules to the letter; and Keith Gessen asks, is it time for dystopian novelists to end the reign of the free-market idealists? From Colloquy, a special issue on utopia, dystopia and science-fiction, including Darren Jorgensen (UWA): On Failure and Revolution in Utopian Fiction and Science Fiction of the 1960s and 1970s; David Jack (Monash): Spectres of Orwell, or, The Impossible Demand of the Subject; Simon Sellars (Monash): “Extreme Possibilities”: Mapping “the Sea of Time and Space” in J G Ballard’s Pacific Fictions; and Alec Charles (Bedfordshire): The Flight from History: From H G Wells to Doctor Who — and Back Again. From the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies' Biopolitics of Popular Culture Seminar, Edward Miller on Beyond Utopia and Dystopia: A Critical Examination of the Ecology of Science Fiction; and Alex Lightman on The Future Engine: How Science Fiction Catalyzes Technology and Transforms Society. The visions of tomorrow inspire the actions we take today — science fiction is as much a reflection of society's deep fascination with science as it is an agent of change for its future course. Beam Me Up, Scotty: Is science fiction destroying science? From The Symptom, Slavoj Zizek on the future as sci fi: A new Cold War. A review of Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction (and more). In science fiction, there's dystopia and there's utopia: Kim Stanley Robinson maps the future's gray areas. A review of Science Fiction and Philosophy. Peter Y. Paik on his book From Utopia to Apocalypse: Science Fiction and the Politics of Catastrophe.
From Ephemera, a special issue on "the university of finance". From the Department of State's eJournal USA, a special issue on the global financial system. The global financial crisis: Why were some countries hit harder. From Asia Times, a series of the global sovereign debt crisis. From NYRB, Paul Krugman and Robin Wells on our giant banking crisis and what to expect: A review essay. Shaking the invisible hand: A review essay on the financial crisis. Bad risk management contributed to the current financial crisis; two economists believe the situation could be improved by gaining a deeper understanding of what is not known. From The Politic, an interview with Robert Shiller on behavior, bubbles, and reform; and an interview with Raghuram Rajanan on the financial crisis (and more). The New Sheriffs of Wall Street: The women who will regulate banking and finance for the next generation are not accustomed to taking no for an answer. The introduction to Banking on the Future: The Fall and Rise of Central Banking by Howard Davies and David Green. The first chapter from Balancing the Banks: Global Lessons from the Financial Crisis by Mathias Dewatripont, Jean-Charles Rochet and Jean Tirole. Money for Nothing: How the Fed, the investment elite, and mortgage scammers brought down the US economy. More and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more on The Big Short by Michael Lewis. More and more and more on This Time is Different by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. An interview with Nouriel Roubini, author of Crisis Economics (and more and more). What can the crisis of U.S. capitalism in the 1970s teach us about the current crisis and its possible outcomes? Left Business Observer Doug Henwood on how to learn nothing from crisis.
From Financial Times, historians will tell you there is often a time-lag between the onset of economic disaster and the accumulation of social fury, writes Simon Schama; there is still an incipient crisis in the air, but it is an international one; and Gordon Gekko, Wall Street’s best-loved anti-hero and the fictional embodiment of financial excess, has returned for a second act after serving 12 years. A review of Design and Truth by Robert Grudin. When AJ Jacobs learned multitasking was bad for you, he decided to kick his chronic addiction to mental juggling — get ready for Operation Focus. The Little Black Piezoelectric Dress: What happens when high tech meets haute couture. The Photographer and the Philosopher: Pico Iyer explores the lives and work of writers Jan Morris and V.S. Naipaul, two "master portraitists" of place. Mark Holcomb reviews The Room and the Chair by Lorraine Adams. Michael Shermer on living in denial: When a sceptic isn't a sceptic. A review of Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory by Ben Macintyre (and more and more). An interview with Christopher Hitchens: "I was right and they were wrong" (and more and more and more and more on Hitch-22: A Memoir). A review of Blood and Guts A History of Surgery by Richard Hollingham. Let us now praise breakdowns: It’s perfectly normal to delight in disruption. From New York, a cover story on an extraordinary TV season, and the rules that shaped it; and long-serving NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly is autocratic, dismissive of civil-liberties concerns and effective — is that a reasonable trade-off to keep the city safe? An interview with Melanie Phillips, author of The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power. Is TED making us stupid?
And man made life: Artificial life, the stuff of dreams and nightmares, has arrived. The world's first man-made life form: Be afraid? From Edge, a special issue on Craig Venter and the creation of synthetic life, with comments by Freeman Dyson, Kevin Kelly, George Dyson (and more at Popular Mechanics). Jamais Casio on what is and what isn't going on here. Let there be life: Five possible implications of Craig Venter's creation of synthetic organisms. How the extinction of the dinosaurs, Arctic methane leaks, and nuclear weaponry reveal the precarious thresholds of life on Earth. Procreative sex may soon be a quaint relic: With advances in laboratory-based reproduction, sex will be optional for humans. Research suggests male physical competition, not attraction, was central in winning mates among human ancestors. Breeding the perfect bull: A Texas cattleman used genetic science to breed his masterpiece, a near-perfect Red Angus bull — then nature took its course. Junk DNA was once thought to be little more than gibberish, evolutionary debris that puffed up our genomes — we're starting to realise that it is more important than anyone realised. A proposal to change the formal name of Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly, has significant implications for research in the life sciences (and more). From The Nation, a review of Nature's Ghosts: Confronting Extinction from the Age of Jefferson to the Age of Ecology by Mark V. Barrow Jr. and Rewilding the World: Dispatches From the Conservation Revolution by Caroline Fraser; and more on The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins and What Darwin Got Wrong by Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini (and more and more and more and more). The first chapter from Evolution for Dummies by Greg Krukonis and Tracy Barr.
From Tehran Review, the consolation of philosophy: Nima Emami on Hannah Arendt and the Green Movement. From The University Bookman, a review of Immigration and the American Future by Chilton Williamson, Jr.; and a review of Democratic Capitalism and Its Discontents by Brian C. Anderson. The introduction to The Symptom and the Subject: The Emergence of the Physical Body in Ancient Greece by Brooke Holmes. More on Elissa Stein and Susan Kim's Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation. Matthew Shaer reviews The Silver Hearted by David McConnell. From h+, an article on posthuman politics in the USA. An essay on the modernist project of post-humanism. Board Games: The gruff, boastful art of claiming Indonesia’s surf as your own. An article on Jesus in Britain: Did those feet walk to Stonehenge? The introduction to Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South by Andrew Zimmerman. Sculptures from Luxor prove the "Boy King" was the scourge of Egypt's foes. King Tut is only one in a growing list of ancient humans forced to reveal their secrets through high-tech prodding; by rushing into such studies, we may be opening a historical Pandora's Box. A review of Sapphistries: A Global History of Love Between Women by Leila J. Rupp. How can we ensure our MPs don’t abandon the freedoms won by Milton, Wilkes and Paine? Geoffrey Robertson reviews Bonfire of the Liberties: New Labour, Human Rights and the Rule of Law by K D Ewing. Rehab: Harold Pollack on how America's drug policies just got a whole lot better. Gutenberg 2.0: Harvard’s libraries deal with disruptive change. A review of The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace. A review of Engineers of the Soul: In the Footsteps of Stalin’s Writers by Frank Westerman.
A review of The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century by Alan Brinkley (and more and more and more and more). From n+1, what’s killing The New York Times? A review of War at the Wall Street Journal: Inside the Struggle To Control an American Business Empire by Sarah Ellison. As The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal bash each other, the Financial Times, led by its sharp, glamorous new U.S. editor, Gillian Tett, intends to become a status symbol of American business. In 1964, a new paper rolled off the presses: the Atlanta Times, a conservative, pro-segregationist alternative to the Journal and Constitution; fifteen months later, it was gone for good. W. Joseph Campbell on his book Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism. Another newspaper myth fades away: Romantic journalists used to swear by the idea that taxi drivers were unimpeachable sources — not true, but never give up riding in cabs. The reporter who time forgot: Michael Shapiro on how Cornelius Ryan’s The Longest Day changed journalism. An excerpt from What Is Happening to News: The Information Explosion and the Crisis in Journalism by Jack Fuller. An interview with Peter Stothard on books on editing newspapers. An interview with Lee C. Bollinger, author of Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A Free Press for a New Century (and more). Who owns the First Amendment?: Journalists think they do — they’re wrong. Why not pay sources? Objections should be practical, not ethical. The changing face of network television news: Network news anchors and correspondents are a far more diverse group than they were two decades ago. Look at Me: A writer’s search for journalism in the age of branding, by Maureen Tkacik.
From World Socialist Web Site, Ann Talbot on the ghost of Thomas Hobbes; and David North on Marxism, History and Socialist Consciousness, which "defends the foundations of scientific socialism against pseudo-Marxist conceptions influenced by the Frankfurt School and contemporary neo-utopianism". Richard Levins on how to visit a socialist country. From Boston Review, a review of The Year That Changed the World by Michael Meyer, The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 by Peter Siani-Davies, and Romania and the European Union: How the Weak Vanquished the Strong by Tom Gallagher. A review of The Red Flag: A History of Communism by David Priestland, The Rise and Fall of Communism by Archie Brown, and Zhivago’s Children: The Last Intelligentsia by Vladislav Zubok. An obituary for the Third Way: Magnus Ryner on the financial crisis and social democracy in Europe. A review of The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey (and more and more). “History is made up of those events that couldn’t have been predicted before they happened”: An interview with David Graeber. Political activist Mickey Z versus apolitical quietist Tom Bradley. A review of Get Opinionated: A Progressive’s Guide to Finding Your Voice by Amanda Marcotte (and more and more). Those beliefs look good on you: When it comes to attracting disengaged young people to political movements, let's face it — appearances matter. From the Department of State's eJournal USA, a special issue on nonviolent paths to social change. Peter Gelderloos on how nonviolence protects the State. After years as a star of the atheist Left, Tariq Ali has spent two decades crafting historical novels about Islam (and more). A review of The Lacanian Left: Psychoanalysis, Theory, Politics by Yannis Stavrakakis.