Angela Stuesse (OSU): What's "Justice and Dignity" Got to Do with It?: Migrant Vulnerability, Corporate Complicity, and the State. From Globality Studies, Alyaksandr Sychov on Human Trafficking: A Call for Global Action. A review of Trafficking in Human Beings: Modern Slavery by Silvia Scarpa. Although most people think of slavery as a matter of racial oppression, new research has suggested that, between 1500 and 1800, human bondage was often based on religion rather than on race. A review of Rethinking Asylum: History, Purpose, and Limits by Matthew Price. An interview with David Bacon, author Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants. A review of Uncertain Identity: International Migration since 1945 by William Spellmann. A review of The International Law of Economic Migration: Toward the Fourth Freedom by Joel Trachtman. A review of Migration, Work and Citizenship in the Enlarged European Union by Samantha Currie. New research indicates that labor migration benefits the developing world, and not just through remittances that are sent home. Does the astonishing volume of global remittances redeem the moral ambiguities of migrant labour? Defining a right to move: James Farrer and Devin Stewart on the ethics of migration (and more on a conference on the right to move). An interview with Rob Kroes, author of Them and Us: Questions of Citizenship in a Globalizing World. From ResetDOC, a special issue on the right to citizenship, including an interview with Seyla Benhabib on migrations and human rights. The UN’s point man on refugees, Antonio Guterres, says the world’s conflicts are getting “more worrisome and more difficult to solve”. A review of Peoplequake: Mass Migration, Ageing Nations and the Coming Population Crash by Fred Pearce (and more).
A new issue of Words Without Borders is out. Lila Garnett reviews The Culture of Defeat: On Trauma, Mourning, and Recovery by Wolfgang Schivelbusch. From Mute, by taking everything as possible material for improvisation (not just sounds, but ideas, affects, power relations, hidden structures contained within the room) it is possible to develop a practice of "extreme site-specificity"; and when film soundtracks take the form of an iPod on shuffle or a non-stop brass crescendo, do they make alienating cinema more human or alienated lives more cinematic? The supposed sham of advertising: One pernicious idea radiating throughout political circles is that advertising is a waste of resources. From The Nation, an interview with Tony Judt. Marci Hamilton on religious organizations' prohibitions on scandal, and the way in which such rules block investigations of clergy child abuse. From Turbulence, an interview with Tadzio Mueller on green capitalism, the bio-crisis and zombie liberalism. A review of The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal Is Bringing Science and Spirit Together by Charles T. Tart. Matthew Shaer reviews The Magicians by Lev Grossman. From TED, Daniel Kahneman on the riddle of experience vs. memory; and Derek Sivers on how to start a movement. Abraham Lincoln knew it and many of us have lived it: Prayer works, and a nation that punts on prayer has disarmed itself for no good reason. Getting down to business: Laura Biron and Dominic Scott reason with Mammon. From temperate England to tropical India, the cycle of the seasons is fundamental to life, but lately they seem to have changed their patterns, with profound consequences. Walking on burning coals and broken glass, spoon-bending, blindfolding — corporate team-building is a universe in itself.
A review of No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admission and Campus Life by Thomas Espenshade and Alexandria Walton Radford. What has Barack Obama done for black America? Tavis Smiley gathers prominent black leaders, intellectuals and activists to take the president to task. Our world has changed so much, but not completely: We are post-black, and simultaneously we’re not. An interview with Donna Jones, author of The Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy: Negritude, Vitalism, and Modernity. Thabiti Lewis on the modern athlete, hip-hop and popular perceptions of black masculinity. Beyond the Skin Trade: How does black nationalism stay relevant in the age of Obama? Black children in the United States face longer stays in foster care than white children; is money the way to change this? Accents trump skin color: Kids prefer friends whose speech sounds similar to their own, regardless of race. A review of The Myth of Racist Kids by Adrian Hart. Williams syndrome children show no racial stereotypes or social fear. An interview with Ishmael Reed, author of Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media: The Return of the Nigger Breakers. An interview with Lee Baker, author of Anthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture. An interview with Claude Steele, author of Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us. A review of Freedom is Not Enough: The Moynihan Report and America's Struggle over Black Family Life by James Patterson. More and more and more on The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter. Treasure Hunter: Howard Dodson, Jr., a curator of African-American history, looks back. An interview with Robert Burns Stepto, author of A Home Elsewhere: Reading African American Classics in the Age of Obama.
A new issue of Brevity is out. From Studies in Social Justice, Rebecca Mason on Reorienting Deliberation: Identity Politics in Multicultural Societies; Shari Stone-Mediatore (OWU): Epistemologies of Discomfort: What Military-Family Anti-War Activists Can Teach Us About Knoweldge of Violence; Ada S. Jaarsma (SSU): Rethinking the Secular in Feminist Marriage Debates; Clara Fischer (TCD): Consciousness and Conscience: Feminism, Pragmatism, and the Potential for Radical Change; and a review of Child Soldiers: From Violence to Protection by Michael Wessells. From Swans, Gilles d'Aymery on the scourge of plagiarism and scrubbing: A reflection of our societal rot? Imperfect Creation: Marcelo Gleiser on a new vision for humanity. The world's strangest: These odd, eye-popping structures and weird destinations are worth a detour. John Gray reviews Ideas that Matter: The Concepts that Shape the 21st Century by AC Grayling. From PopMatters, Rob Horning on neurocriticism and neurocapitalism. Do some Americans pay no taxes? Neil Buchanan on the contrived claims that everyone must help pay for the government (and more: "All Americans pay taxes"). The scandal of paedophile priests threatens to become the gravest crisis in the modern history of the Church; as Pope Benedict XVI prepares to visit Britain to beatify Cardinal Newman, a look at the life of this humane Catholic convert. A review of The End of Empires: African Americans and India by Gerald Horne. From the Scoop Review of Books, a look at why The Sun is afraid of poetry. Quinn Latimer reviews Lucky Hans and Other Merz Fairy Tales by Kurt Schwitters. Is male circumcision a humanitarian act? Horse people: Ben Yaster is among the silvery breeders, swollen frat boys, and other endangered species of Baltimore’s Preakness Stakes.
From The Economist, an article on Iraq, Iran and the politics of oil. How Iraqi oil is changing the world: OPEC could be in for a serious shake-up. The political hydraulics of OPEC: Iraq and Iran vie to best Saudi as the world's leading producer of oil and it's China that looms as final arbiter. A review of Oil, Islam, and Conflict: Central Asia since 1945 by Rob Johnson. A review of The Squeeze: Oil, Money and Greed in the 21st Century by Tom Bower (and more) and Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil by Peter Maass (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). From New Scientist, an article on extreme oil: Scraping the bottom of Earth's barrel. From TED, Rob Hopkins on a transition to a world without oil. A review essay on the excesses of today's quest for crude. An animated investigation by Oxfam follows the gas money from the pump, through the corporate profits, to the government coffers and bribes. An article on Edward Burtynsky's obsession with oil. Business leaders warn that peak oil is a far more urgent matter than we think. An excerpt from Power Hungry: The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future by Robert Bryce. Thomas Beamish on the Gulf spill and the Hobson's choice of oil production — by the numbers, the facts are chilling. Here's a debate on what the spill means for offshore drilling. A spill of our own: Oil comes with risks, and the only way to reduce them is use less of it (and an interview). The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is bad — no one would dispute it, but just how bad? Johannes Urpelainen on the Gulf spill and clean energy politics. What we do know is that unfettered oil drilling was to Dick Cheney’s domestic concerns what the invasion of Iraq was to his foreign policy. Paying for the oil spill: A guide to who's on the hook.
A review of How to Find a Habitable Planet by James Kasting. The problem of representing the heterotic superstring: Sean Miller explores the necessary role of an imaginary in string theorists' search for a coherent "theory of everything". Non-stop cosmos, non-stop career: An interview with Roger Penrose. From Big Think, an interview with Michio Kaku. Every black hole contains another universe? Like cosmic Russian dolls, our universe may be nested inside a black hole in another universe, a new study suggests. More and more and more and more and more on The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems by Henry Petroski. More on The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes. A review of Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information by Vlatko Vedral (and more). Physicists are unsatisfied with the supreme ability of quantum theory to predict how stuff behaves at very small scales, and are following the lead of its original architects, such as Bohr, Heisenberg and Einstein, in demanding to know what it means. How long is a day, or how long does it take the Earth to spin once on its axis? A new study finds some sciences really are better than others. With the Large Hadron Collider up and running, expectations are high: Shouldn’t discoveries start pouring in? The force is weak with this one: Scientists measure a few yoctonewtons for the first time. A review of The Tunguska Mystery by Vladimir Rubtsov. A review of In Praise of Science: Curiosity, Understanding, and Progress by Sander Bais. Science warriors' ego trips: The champions of empiricism show an unattractive hubris when they go after what they see as pseudoscience. A review of Our Undiscovered Universe: Introducing Null Physics by Terence Witt. Here are excerpts from Physics For Dummies by Steve Holzner.
From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on the science of living a healthy life. Barca Lounging: Meet Lionel Messi, the best soccer player in the world (thanks to the ineffable genius of his teammates). The first chapter from Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India by Pranab Bardhan. Jennifer McDonald on the war on cliche (that’s such a cliche). The Joy of -ext: Sexting, chexting, drexting and the rise of a salacious suffix. From The Guardian, a series on the great dynasties of the world. Sorry Google, but Facebook is the Web's most important company now. The Rise of Decline: Experts say things are collapsing — maybe they’re not collapsing fast enough. A review of The Oxford Book of Parodies. Ministry of Silly Wars: Lawrence Osborne on Britain in Central Asia. Maurice Manning reviews Coal Mountain Elementary by Mark Nowak, with photographs by Ian Teh and Mark Nowak. A review of Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee (and more and more and more). From Critical Mass, a new series on websites dedicated to book reviewing online. When it comes to the slave trade, all guilt is not equal: Michael Gomez challenges the argument by Henry Louis Gates Jr. that Africans were equally responsible for the trade in humans, therefore complicating reparations. Two radically different environmental messages are taking shape in the world today — does it matter which one we choose? It's not just greater affluence that leads to freedom and happiness, but the combination of greater wealth with relative economic equality; freer, happier societies reflect the old adage of a rising tide that lifts all boats. From Telos, Alexander I. Stingl on the virtualization of health and illness in the age of biological citizenship.
From the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Howard Hsueh-Hao Chiang (Princeton): Homosexual Behavior in the United States, 1988-2004: Quantitative Empirical Support for the Social Construction Theory of Sexuality; Gwendolin Altenhoefer on Friend hoppers, pleasure activism, the Schlampagne and the Octopus: Non-monogamous activism in the German lesbian-feminist subculture; and a review of The World We Have Won by Jeffrey Weeks. From Curve, an interview with Sarah Schulman, author of Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences; and an interview with Julie Abraham, author of Metropolitan Lovers: The Homosexuality of Cities. From The Gay and Lesbian Review, a review of James Baldwin’s Turkish Decade: Erotics of Exile by Magdalena Zaborowska; an interview with Edmund White, author of City Boy (and more and more on White); get to know Bruno Vogel: A German soldier’s WWI novel was a herald of gayer tomorrows; and the last Englishman: E. M. Forster was also one of the last fully closeted writers (and more on Maurice). Dale Peck on how homosexuality is the key to E. M. Forster's personal life, but not to his work. From Hipster Book Club, is literature post-queer? Musings on the GLBT Genre. Like their straight counterparts, LGBT comics offer a wide range of world-views. The gay media jump the page: On-line sites now reign, but can they survive without hard copy? Penn will use admissions data about sexual orientation to recruit gay students — does that open the door for true diversity? A review of Heroes and Exiles: Gay Icons Through the Ages by Tom Ambrose. There goes the gayborhood: A straight man’s lament for the demise of gay neighborhoods. The Gay Option: Same-sex love is a choice — and it’s time LGBT activists start saying so.
From Judgment and Decision Making, Gideon Keren (Tilburg) and Karl H. Teigen (Oslo): Decisions by coin toss: Inappropriate but fair; Leah Borovoi and Nira Liberman (Tel Aviv) and Yaacov Trope (NYU): The effects of attractive but unattainable alternatives on the attractiveness of near and distant future menus; Yanlong Sun and Hongbin Wang (Texas): Gambler’s fallacy, hot hand belief, and the time of patterns; and Eli Tsukayama and Angela Lee Duckworth (Penn): Domain-specific temporal discounting and temptation. As he limbers up for the philosophers' football rematch, Julian Baggini analyses the existential importance of Monty Python's classic sketch. World War II's Operation Mincemeat was a dazzling feat of wartime espionage, but does it argue for or against spying? Malcolm Gladwell investigates. From The Economist, a special report on innovation in emerging markets. He who casts the first stone: For over a year, a small group of militant Christians calling themselves Repent Amarillo have terrorized Amarillo's underground swingers community. A review of The Arts of Industry in the Age of Enlightenment by Celina Fox. The Gray Zone: Barry Gewen on defining torture. "We need citizens without frontiers": An interview with Benjamin Barber. From Big Think, an interview with Louis Menand. Why the hell is Rupert Murdoch launching a "Greater New York" section in The Wall Street Journal? From In These Times, why do they want to do us harm? Helen Thomas asked the question, the White House stonewalled, here are answers (and part 2 and part 3). Kate Zambreno reviews The Illustrated Version of Things by Affinity Konar. John Mearsheimer on the future of Palestine: Righteous Jews vs. New Afrikaners. Aaron David Miller on the false religion of Mideast peace, and why he's no longer a believer.
A crisis in trans-Atlantic relations: Why Obama is ignoring Europe. A conference in Brussels was dominated by European efforts to get Washington’s attention with promises of new, concerted action. From its social model to its eco-policies, Europe has much to teach the US – but it must recognise that Obama cannot deliver what it hoped he would. Why the United States needs Europe more than ever. Suicide of the West: Will America follow Europe into anomie and atheism? America and Europe meet midway: There are many different Europes — what if America should converge on the wrong one? If the US Europeanizes, Europe is in trouble. US versus Europe, which has the superior model? Both flavors of Western capitalism — unfettered American-style and European social democracy — are in trouble. An excerpt from The Narcissism of Minor Differences: How Europe and America are Alike by Peter Baldwin (and more). John Kay on how political ideology found a new world. Which planet is America on (and which Europe)? Joel Kotkin on America's European dream. A report finds climbing the economic ladder is harder in the US than in most European countries. Steven Hill on his book Europe’s Promise: Why the European Way is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age. Some are smiling at Europe's comeuppance, but schadenfreude would be unwarranted, especially coming from Americans. An interview with Jurgen Habermas on democracy, Europe and Twitter. Europe, know thyself: An article on social science solutions to the biggest problems. Is Europe imploding? Redrawing the map: The European map is outdated and illogical — here's how it should look (or perhaps as Marge Simpson). Having daughters makes you more left-wing (in Britain and Germany) or more right-wing (in the US).