From Essays in Philosophy, Per Bauhn (Kalmar): The End of Duty; and Eric Smaw (Rollins): From Chaos to Contractarianism: Hobbes, Pojman, and the Case for World Government; and a review of Inhuman Conditions: On Cosmopolitanism and Human Rights by Pheng Cheah. Paul Rogers on the latest SWISH Report: In light of Barack Obama's victory in the United States presidential election, the al-Qaida movement once more solicits advice from the renowned management consultancy. The US has power — what it needs is authority. A look at how the US can fix its damaged reputation abroad. More on The American Future: A History by Simon Schama. Jeffrey Sachs on how to rebuild America: The era of small government is dead — we need a strong, skillful Washington again to start rebuilding America from the ground up (and an interview). In search of answers to his country's financial crisis, Charles P. Pierce goes to a place where he, and only he, can control his gains and losses. Robert Hepple on the right to equality, then and now. Sinclair on James Bond, the genius of Ian Fleming's literary creation. From the Annals of Improbable Research, can punks grow old gracefully? Millions once moved to California for its boundless promise, but time has not been kind to the Golden State. Here are 5 ways to stop trolls from killing the Internet.
From NYRB, a review of Can't Remember What I Forgot: The Good News from the Front Lines of Memory Research by Sue Halpern; and a review of books on Iraq. Detroit's Big Three are a national disgrace — but we still need to save them. From Counterpunch, RIP: the Experts, 1929-2008. Ed Kilgore on the anatomy of conservative self-deception. Three conservatives plot the future of the GOP, and handicap the chances of Sarah Palin and other 2012 contenders. The green conservative: An interview with Jim DiPeso of Republicans for Environmental Protection. Are human beings hard-wired to ignore the threat of catastrophic climate change? Can science save the world? Martin Rees investigates. From Science News, an article on how to (really) trust a mathematical proof. What really drew Russia and Georgia into conflict this summer? James Rubin wants to know. Of Genital Thieves: Andrian Kreye on the exploration of economic irrationality. Michael Perelman on the hegemony of Internet porn. From TLS, longitude forged: How an eighteenth-century hoax has taken in Dava Sobel and other historians. Selective Testing: Does Big Pharma stand to gain the most from new genetic tests for drug therapy? When the deity knows you're dead: How do different religions define death? A review of The Language of Things by Deyan Sudjic.
From Blogging Heads, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Stephen Walt debate Foreign Policy: Year One. From Progressive to Liberal Internationalism: An article on Congressional liberals and the making of a postwar consensus. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (and three other administration veterans) discuss what President Obama will inherit — and what to look out for. Peter Singer on Obama’s global ethical challenges. Slavoj Zizek on why cynics are wrong: The sublime shock of Obama’s victory. A review of A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books by Alex Beam (and more and more and more). An innovative business model plus cross-platform software means that home-made books need never go out of print. A review of On the Side of the Angels: An Appreciation of Parties and Partisanship by Nancy Rosenblum. So what do you do, Dan Savage, alt-weekly editorial director/columnist? Racism is the wrong frame for understanding the passage of California's same-sex marriage ban. Zen and the Art of New York Times Headline Writing: There's nothing to it, except when there is. Ronald Bailey on the food miles mistake: Saving the planet by eating New Zealand apples. From JBooks, what do Jewish-American writers need (really need)? A look at how online games are solving uncomputable problems.
From Intelligent Life, an article on the rise of the journo-gurus. From The New Yorker, a better brew: An article on a the rise of extreme beer; Elizabeth Kolbert on how Bush is rewriting the rules; the perils of efficiency: James Surowiecki on how we created the food crisis; and are violins the last safe investment? Daniel Menaker wants to know. Here are three reasons why Monopoly is the perfect symbol of the financial crisis. The best book of 2008, a masterpiece?: A review of 2666 by Roberto Bolano (and more and more; and from Bookforum, an excerpt from Bolano’s Nazi Literature in the Americas and a review of The Savage Detectives). From New York, the “Bitch” and the “Ditz”: How the Year of the Woman reinforced the two most pernicious sexist stereotypes and actually set women back; building a new WPA: Great architects need a great canvas; New York needs infrastructure; and a lot of people need jobs — a proposal; and for junior capitalists fleeing the financial meltdown, is Dubai, the highly leveraged, hotly speculative Middle Eastern insta-metropolis the last, best place on Earth — or a mirage? A review of The Unprecedented Reach of the Global Citizen by Daniel Drache. Herbert Gintis reviews Jeffrey Alexander's The Civil Sphere and reviews The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt.
From New Scientist, a look at how warfare shaped human evolution. As a recession looms and junk profits boom, a study sheds new light on what makes us fat; the real enemy is corn. An interview with Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers: The Story of Success (and more and more and more and more and more and more and an interview and an excerpt on why Asian children are better at maths). Jacob Weisberg on why Obama should fill his Cabinet with geniuses. From pickin’ cotton to pickin’ presidents: Strange Maps on the same segment of the southern US at different times but with a similar pattern. A review of X-Rated!: The Power of Mythic Symbolism in Popular Culture by Marcel Danesi. Cynthia Crossen on a book in need of a good editor. A review of From the Kitchen to the Parlor: Language and Becoming in African American Women’s Hair Care by Lanita Jacobs-Huey. From Dissent, in Puntin's Russia, many intellectuals have turned toward a new emotionalism — one that has "rejected the worst aspects of postmodernism". From Salon, Walter Shapiro talks to Bill Ayers, the ex-Weather Underground member turned Republican talking point. A threat to its reputation for erudition: National Review faces the twin challenges of re-energizing the conservative movement while trying to stay relevant. Harold Meyerson writes to Roger Ailes: "I'm writing to apologize".
From African American Review, a special issue on theorizing the post-soul aesthetic, including Mario David McKnight (Florida): Afrofuturism and Post-Soul Possibility in Black Popular Music. From Music & Politics, “I compose the Party Rally”: An article on the role of music in Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will". A review of Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences; With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory by Roy Blount Jr. From HNN, Harold Holzer on why President-Elect Obama should follow the example of President-Elect Lincoln; an article on the suburban Sunbelt and the making and unmaking of the conservative Republican majority; and did Obama make the South irrelevant? James C. Cobb investigates. Change: Ron Suskind on how political eras end and begin; and the other winner: Howard Dean unleashed the new progressives — can Barack Obama deal with them? Maybe the meltdown’s a guy thing: A study finds raging male hormones pumping up the bull-bear cycle. A review of Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction by Susan Cheever. Enough with the sweet talk: Forget unfair negative reviews — the real problem is the unfair positive ones. Are cyberattacks warfare? It’s a lot more complicated than you think.
From TAP, Michael Lind reviews Constitutional Patriotism by Jan-Werner Muller; and Robert Borosage and Stanley Greenberg on the Emerging Center-Left Majority. Will the safety net catch the economy’s casualties? Programs to cushion and counter economic downturns have been sharply curtailed since the 1981-82 recession. Barack Obama has promised the most transparent administration ever — is that a good thing? The people's republic of sport: Why Karl Marx would love America's sports — and hate Europe's. From FP, here's Richard Perle’s advice for Barack Obama; and here are five short physics lessons for President-elect Obama from Richard Muller, the author of Physics for Future Presidents. A review of George, Being George: George Plimpton’s Life as Told, Admired, Deplored, and Envied by 200 Friends, Relatives, Lovers, Acquaintances, Rivals — and a Few Unappreciative Observers. Towards clarity: Language is so emotionally wrought that we sometimes forget it is just a tool for effective communication. A review of Can We Have Our Balls Back, Please? How the British Invented Sport and Then Almost Forgot How to Play It by Julian Norridge. What is art for? The poet, philosopher, translator and scholar Lewis Hyde has spent his life trying to figure that out — and became a literary cult figure in the process.
From National Journal, a cover story on the members of Congress who could serve as allies to the new president. From TNR, Jonathan Chait on how Obama can avoid the failures of Clinton's early presidency; and Robert Puentes on how Obama can be strategic about investments in transportation infrastructure. Tod Lindberg on a portrait of an electorate moving from center-right to center-left. Dangerous mind: Stephen Howe chases the storm of controversy surrounding the ideas of Edward Said. You can download Future Imperfect: Technology and Freedom in an Uncertain World by David D. Friedman. From Portfolio, the era that defined Wall Street is finally, officially over — Michael Lewis returns to his old haunt to figure out what went wrong. Eliot Spitzer on how to ground The Street. Depression 2009, what would it look like? Lines at the ER, a television boom, emptying suburbs — a catastrophic economic downturn would feel nothing like the last one. Kay Hymowitz on Love in the Time of Darwinism: A report from the chaotic postfeminist dating scene, where only the strong survive. Drugs uncovered: Here's a brief history of drugs in literature. Magic and the brain: A look at how magicians "trick" the mind. Invisible people: Forty-five tribes have populated Egypt's deserts for millennia and yet their existence remains a mystery to the country's urban masses.
From Der Spiegel, Nobel Prize winners Edmund Phelps, Robert Lucas, Reinhard Selten, Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Samuelson share their views on what the future global finance order should look like. Barry Nalebuff on how game theory can save your relationship and everything else. So when will a Muslim be president? A guide to which minority group has the best chance to win the White House next. From Slate, what we didn't overcome: Obama won a majority of votes — he didn't win a majority of white votes; and Christopher Hitchens on how Obama's victory didn't magically eliminate America's problems and enemies. James Pethokoukis on why Obama looks like a one termer (and a response) From Adbusters, what’s Left after Obama? Simon Critchley wants to know. Andrew Sullivan on why Palin still matters. From Suite 101, an article on the steps to become a politician, local to national. From the ocean floor to the forest canopy, some of the world’s strangest places to spend the night have been documented by explorer Steve Dobson, author of Unusual Hotels of the World; and all over America, cities are becoming vast playgrounds for practitioners of parkour. A look at how floating energy islands could power the future. The thrill of the bar hook-up: What exactly do people get out of cruising for inebriated strangers in bars? Trivial Pursuits: Game shows reach a deeper level of weirdness.
From Mother Jones, a special section on The New ECOnomy, including Al Gore on America's next moon shot: Can we save the planet and rescue the economy at the same time? (and more); and Joseph E. Stiglitz on the Seven Deadly Deficits: What the Bush years really cost us. From Cato Unbound, Roderick Long on corporations versus the market; or, whip conflation now. From Business Week, an article on how to fix financial reporting. Dear journalists, stop screwing up: The press should have reported every Sarah Palin refused to meet with credentialed members of the media. From CJR, drawing lines: Why do we let political operatives act like journalists? Are big political donors just looking for favors? Apparently not. Why Obama Can’t Win author Shelby Steele defends analysis. Many of the biggest battles of the 2008 campaign played out on YouTube, the most important political venue of the year. After eight years of President Bush, we should pause to remember just what we're leaving behind. From NYRB, a review of books on Frank Lloyd Wright. Novels are "better at explaining world's problems": People should read best-selling novels like The Kite Runner and The White Tiger rather than academic reports. Want to end patriarchal oppression? Don't burn your bra — just get one that fits. Hairy Times: St. Louis-based American Mustache Institute wants to put the 'stache back in style.