From Social Theory and Practice, Eamonn Callan (Stanford): Love, Idolatry, and Patriotism. From Philosophy and Public Affairs, Samuel Scheffler (UC-Berkeley): Immigration and the Significance of Culture. The Second Vermont Republic is seeking to build a separatist movement, but many have been shocked by its ties to racist Southern secessionists. Samuel Bowles on the economics of nice folks. A new discovery proves "selfish gene" exists. It’s mine, I tell you: Mankind’s inner chimpanzee refuses to let go; this matters to everything from economics to law. What does it mean to be human, and can science illuminate the answers? A star-studded panel of scientists gathered to discuss those heady themes. From Utne, a series of articles on creativity. Face it, it's not about talent: In Hollywood, beauty has become its own reward. When did talking go out of style? Obama's professed willingness for diplomacy should be to his credit. Wii all you can be? Why the military needs the gaming industry. A review of John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand by Richard Reeves. A review of Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Left by Nikolas Kozloff. Are you married? Then do not read this column. An article on the Internet and its Discontents: "The unexamined online life is not worth living". From Cracked, here are 7 innocent gestures that can get you killed overseas.

From TAP, a bad Supreme Court decision overturning race-based integration programs in Louisville, KY, and Seattle, WA, has produced a positive result. How a progressive idea ended up reinforcing inequality: A review of School Lunch Politics: The Surprising History of America’s Favorite Welfare Program by Susan Levine. The Malthus blues: Cheering thoughts about population. From Psychology Today, your personality isn't necessarily set in stone; with a little experimentation, the ornery and bleak can reshape their temperaments and inject pluck and passion into their lives; and whether coincidences are meaningful is a mystery, but our talent for noticing and manipulating them is increasingly clear. A review of books on the politics of oil. An interview with Paul Roberts, author of The End of Oil. A review of Cecil B. DeMille: A Life in Art by Simon Louvish. The GOP's nursing home dilemma: How a prominent abortion foe has pushed his fellow Republicans into a corner, forcing them to choose "life" or profits. Does this new edition of A Death in the Family right an injustice done to James Agee’s masterpiece by a previous editor? The misfits: The genetic legacy of nomadism may be an inability to settle. Get shorty: A sly political gesture enlivens an awards ceremony dedicated to the celebration of English. More and more on Adam Thirlwell's The Delighted States.

From TED, artist Chris Jordan shows us an arresting view of what Western culture looks like; Robert Full on how engineers learn from evolution; and George Dyson tells stories from the birth of the modern computer — from its 16th-century origins to the hilarious notebooks of some early computer engineers. Who'll unplug Big Media? The media reform movement has made a few inroads, but there's still a long way to go. An interview with Kerwin Swint, author of Dark Genius: The Influential Career of Legendary Political Operative and Fox News Founder Roger Ailes. See? The Web is changing politics. From The Journal of Democracy, the paradox of East-Central Europe is that the rise of populism is an outcome not of the failures but of the successes of postcommunist liberalism. From National Journal, a cover story on how the market for food may not be the same as for other products (and an article on an Africa like Iowa). Color of an Awkward Conversation: Life can be strange for Africans discovering blackness in America. From Eurozine, a series of articles on renowned Hungarian-French intellectual Ferenc Fejto (1908-2008). How so America's super-rich get away with acting like "just folks"? The lion who didn't roar: Why hasn't Nelson Mandela spoken out against Robert Mugabe? Research finds older voters are not always wiser voters.

From Critique and Humanism, populist movements are a threat not because they raise the issue of direct democracy, but because they advocate nationalist mobilisation based on xenophobia; is populism identical to the crisis of democracy or rather a symptom of it? Populism vs Democracy: The idea of the referendum as an instrument of the people's will rests on pre-democratic foundations (and a response). Dahlia Lithwick on why the Supreme Court matters next election — seriously. From TNR, Jed Pearl on nihilism and capitalism in the art world: US museums are now fully-owned subsidiaries of the market. A review of Cosmic Anger: Abdus Salam, the first Muslim Nobel Scientist by Gordon Fraser. Gus Russo reviews The Road to Dallas: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by David Kaiser. From Salon, an article on why Obama should pick Hillary Clinton as Veep (and why not). From Plenty, free public transit for all? Bill McKibben explores an alternative congestion pricing plan; and a look at why carbon is the next gold. Anywhere, USA: It seems to me that people in the US are actually craving not change, as we're hearing in current campaign rhetoric, but rather sameness — and more than ever. Jonathan Chait on the Zell Millerization of Joe Lieberman. An interview with Lifeboat International's Philippe Van Nedervelde on safeguarding humanity. Who goes to a Gallagher show in 2008?

From Knowledge Politics Quarterly, Robert Hassan (Melbourne): Temporalized Democracy and a Future Politics; Michel Bauwens (P2P): The Political Implications of the Peer to Peer Revolution; and an essay on the academic library and the commons. From New English Review, an article on the neglect of geography and its perils; and a look at what some best-sellers have to say about space, place, and territory. From The New York Review of Magazines, an article The Oscars & The Grouches: Film critics, prepare to be judged; last call for The Washington Monthly? 39 years on the Beltway beat; and this article is 1, 689 words long — that's 689 words too many for the web, some say. A longstanding puzzle in Earth’s climate record has just been solved: An abrupt change in how scientists measured temperatures above the ocean, not the climate itself. From The Common Review, a review of books on Woody Allen; and Daniel Born on the memoirs we need. Truly, madly, deeply depressing: Survivors’ memoirs chronicle vivid, day-by-day snapshots of suffering, medication and recovery. From The Village Voice's "Queer Issue", an article on the end of public sex: Why isn't anyone fucking anymore? More and more and more and more on Nudge by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler. From n+1, a forum on the politics of fear. An article on how to live with just 100 things.

From The Atlantic Monthly, the fruits of the feminist revolution: A review of Get to Work And Get a Life, Before It's Too Late by Linda R. Hirshman; and A Mother’s Work: How Feminism, the Market and Policy Shape Family Life by Neil Gilbert; and infectious exuberance: Financial bubbles are like epidemics—and we should treat them both the same way. From The Nation, Bugliosi v. Bush: The famed prosecutor wants to see the President tried for murder in an American courtroom; Corey Robin reviews books on conservatism; and Dilberts of the World, Unite! Can a populist uprising flourish in a sector traditionally hostile to collective action? From The Philosophers' Magazine, has philosophy responded adequately to big events? Ten leading thinkers respond. From Freakonomics blog, who is the greatest modern-day thinker? From The Economist, a special report on the future of energy. Scott McLemee reviews French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States by Francois Cusset. The lessons of Gloucester, or it's about gender, stupid: A "pregnancy pact" among high school sophomores suggests conventional sex education has some explaining to do. Make a mistake in America and you may pay a heavy price for decades. Searching for Ron Paul: Witnessing the tragicomic demise of the Libertarian Party.

From Popular Science, a special report on the future of the environment, including 10 audacious ideas to save the planet; and here's how scientists are bracing themselves for the moment aliens make contact and what form it might take (and Christian theologians also prepare for extraterrestrial life). It doesn't take an Einstein: The problem with using scientists' words to support religious beliefs. Sexual reorientation: Get ready for a world where you can choose your kid's sexual orientation. Study shows male homosexuality can be explained through a specific model of Darwinian evolution. Get ready for Darwin hats, t-shirts, action figures, naturally selected fireworks and evolving chocolates, but does he deserve all this? From The Washington Post, a three-part series on the U.S. housing bust. Bailing-out the banks while leaving defaulters to rot is just the latest in a 30 year campaign of ripping off the American working class. Why is crime rising in so many American cities? The answer implicates one of the most celebrated antipoverty programs of recent decades. A review of When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. Imagine what would need to happen for university presses to return to what was once, long ago, their virtually exclusive mission. The Battle for Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg launched an online empire from his dorm room at Harvard; now four fellow students say he stole their idea.

From Foreign Affairs, Condoleezza Rice on Rethinking the National Interest: American Realism for a New World; David G. Victor (Stanford) and Sarah Eskreis-Winkler (CFR): In the Tank: Making the Most of Strategic Oil Reserves; Walter Russell Mead (CFR): The New Israel and the Old: Why Gentile Americans Back the Jewish State; a review of A Choice of Enemies: America Confronts the Middle East by Lawrence Freedman (and more); a review of Freedom's Unsteady March: America's Role in Building Arab Democracy by Tamara Cofman Wittes; and a review of Law and the Long War: The Future of Justice in the Age of Terror by Benjamin Wittes. From the Journal of Political Philosophy, David Estlund (Brown): On Following Orders in an Unjust War. James Risen on the return of the neocons: Bush hawks aggressively working to rewrite accepted Iraq war history. From Rolling Stone, haunted by the ghosts of Vietnam, the one-time maverick has transformed himself into just another liberal-bashing fearmonger. General Wesley Clark drew fire recently for saying the obvious about McCain’s tortured logic (and more from NPQ). It was top down, stupid: The Bush administration's "bad apples" theory goes sour. The US won't prosecute the torture policymakers for war crimes, but other countries probably will. Here are medieval torture's 10 biggest myths.

From Sign & Sight, Jurgen Habermas on why both religious and secular mentalities must be open to a complementary learning process if we are to balance shared citizenship and cultural difference. From Kritika & Kontext, a look at how Nietzsche's deconstruction of authoritarian subjectivity shares much with Jacques Derrida's post-modern critique of the subject as a privileged centre of discourse. A review of Philosophical Knowledge: Its Possibility and Scope. From The Root, what black people call white people, and it ain't "whitey". Can Lil Wayne save hip-hop? He insists he's "the best rapper alive", but can his smash-hit new album really redeem a flagging genre? A review of All About the Beat: Why Hip-Hop Can't Save Black America by John McWhorter. An interview with John Hope Franklin on an Obama presidency. The Hugh Hefner of Politics: From porno to the primaries, the long, strange life of pro-Hillary blogger Taylor Marsh. An interview with Jhumpa Lahiri: "Writing makes me so vulnerable" (and more from Bookforum). Loving chick-lit: People sneer at these books, but wittily told romantic fiction is as hard to write as it is fun to read.  How to pick up girls with the new Roth: Carrying Bolano’s 2666 is like driving an open-top Porsche (and an excerpt from Nazi Literature in the Americas). Nice guys knew it, now studies have confirmed it: bad boys get the most girls.

From The IPT Beacon, Mark Rigstad (Oakland): Jus Ad Bellum After 9/11: A State of the Art Report. From Cabinet, here's a minor history of giant spheres; the best way to understand Pinoncelli's acts is in Duchamp's terms: as part of the natural history of the readymade;an interview with Robert Macfarlane, author of Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination; an essay on Utopia on the roof of the world: The search for Shambhala; an article on vasectomania, and other cures for sloth: Better living through monkey glands; a look at the origins of cybex space: Gustav Zander’s amazing gymnastic devices; and the ladies seem to like it: Mauve, the color of opportunity. From Cosmos, within a few decades, we might reasonably expect to have extended life to 150 years or more – the first human to live to 1,000 may have already been born. But, does death give meaning to our lives? Finally, it is all about you: Why parental death for adults is the new psychic freedom. Cities for Living: Antimodernist Leon Krier designs urban environments to human scale. If we look at trends of the last 20 years, we have every reason to believe that the modern era of free trade is just getting started. A review of Chester E. Finn Jr.’s Troublemaker: A Personal History of School Reform Since Sputnik. Mark Schmitt on the battle of the budget slideshows. Andrea Walker reviews Harry, Revised by Mark Sarvas.