An excerpt from The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet by Daniel J. Solove. Privacy Inc.: An article on the pros and cons of Google's empire of customer data. From Slate, an article on Google's Evil Eye: Does the Big G know too much about us? Fighting for members, MySpace tries to outcool Facebook. Talk of a brewing showdown between social networks MySpace and Facebook masks fundamental distinctions between the sites' leadership, culture, and ability to make a buck. Is Facebook the next frontier for online news? From The Economist, social graph-iti: There's less to Facebook and other social networks than meets the eye. Friend Spam: Founder of Friendster Jonathan Abrams looks at the revolution he started. From Flak, a look at How to Win Friends and Influence YouTube. From LRB, Jenny Diski on Internet misfit MetaFilter. Editing tactics known as "white-washing" may compromise Wikipedia's future as a democratic source of reliable information. The shield for tender minds: Online stupidity, like spam, threatens to choke the internet and destroy any discussion it infests. Thank goodness for Stupidfilter.
From The Weekly Standard, a cover story on Roger Stone, political animal: "Above all, attack, attack, attack—never defend". Mitt Romney spent much of his political career courting gay conservatives, only to do an about-face on gay rights in advance of his presidential run—for the Log Cabin Republicans, it's payback time. Run, Lazy, Run: In praise of Fred Thompson's laziness. Rudy Awakening: As president, Giuliani would grab even more executive power than Bush and Cheney—his mayoralty tells the story. Meet the (other) candidates: These lesser-known presidential hopefuls left a few things off their resumes. First Mates: Introducing a new Slate series about the marriages of the presidential candidates. An article on pink diplomacy and first spouses. How Obama can win: The Obama campaign needs to start hoping that a desperate Edwards will begin to turn up the heat on Hillary. Haunted by the Hippie: Despite the fact that Hillary Clinton is the most conservative Democrat running for president, the right makes her out to be a radical. Perhaps this is because the right still fears the social change hippies represented. Michael Tomasky asks Hillary Clinton about Iraq, the legacy of the Cold War, Mukasey and ceding executive powers. How long before Hillary becomes a libertarian?
A new issue of The New American City is out. From Monthly Review, here are conceptual notes on a design for cities of socialism. Up, up, and away: A new transit system would convert old airplanes into speedy, eco-friendly trains. We paved paradise: So why can't we find any place to park? Because parking is one of the biggest boondoggles — and environmental disasters — in our country. An interview with Iain Carson and Vijay Vaitheeswaran, authors of Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future. The roundabout idea comes full circle: Invented long ago to reduce friction between cars, circular intersections are back in vogue. Who really owns the roads? Companies are buying leases of public highways, bridges and tunnels from states desperate to improve infrastructure. From Popular Mechanics, here are 5 disasters coming soon if we don’t rebuild U.S. infrastructure. From Slate, walking on air: A slide show on the joy of footbridges.
From Cafe Babel, the modern male, classified as metro- or "uber-sexual", seems lost around the femi-fascist heiresses a la seventies. Be it militant feminism or a refuge in pornography, men are desperately seeking a new identity. A review of The Myth of Mars and Venus: Do Men and Women Really Speak Different Languages? by Deborah Cameron. Feminism is a gift to men, if we are smart enough to accept it: An excerpt from Robert Jensen's Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity. You can't win with women's health issues: People claim that either not enough attention is paid, not enough money spent, or that there is too much of both. Crafty Bitches: Portland’s antidote to the mythical Soccer Mom. A review of What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters by Anne Kreamer. A review of The Female Thing by Laura Kipnis. A review of Learning to Drive: And Other Life Stories by Katha Pollitt (and more and more and more and more and more). An interview with Susan Faludi: Towers fell, and attitudes were rebuilt. The 9/11 backlash against women: Terror swept women back into the kitchen and tore open the worst scar in American history—but it's Bruce Springsteen who makes the fear so real. From Salvo, an interview with Carrie Lukas, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism. Two women, two histories: An article on feminist Pauli Murray and antifeminist Phyllis Schlafly and their exercise of power.
From Axess, a special issue on Anti-Americanism, including Paul Hollander on the American scapegoat: Anti-Americanism serves the psychological need to blame failure and frustration on a potent, common enemy. But this is not to say that embittered anti-Americans are all wrong; Per Landin on Old-World Resentment: Traditionally it was the right rather than the left that represented anti-Americanism; Avishai Margalit on the West by the Rest: Occidentalism, like Orientalism, is a stereotyped and dehumanised image of a vast array of different peoples; Nathan Shachar on hating America: While the crimes of other nations are ignored or forgiven, the US is demonised for lesser misdeeds—or even ones it has not committed. Francis Fukuyama on a self-defeating hegemony: Four key mistakes made by the Bush administration have made anti-Americanism one of the chief fault lines of global politics.
John L. Castiand (SFI): Why We See the Events We Do and Not Something Else. From Vision, a special report on Ideas That Shaped Modern Thought. From Discover, are we trapped in God's video game? Probably not. And no, he's not looking at your underwear. A review of The Situated Self by J. T. Ismael. A review of The Secrets of Happiness: Three Thousand Years of Searching for the Good Life by Richard Schoch; The Science of Happiness: How Our Brains Make Us Happy—and What We Can Do to Get Happier by Stefan Klein; and Making Happy People: The Nature of Happiness and Its Origins in Childhood by Paul Martin. A review of The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder by Allan V. Horwitz and Jerome C. Wakefield. From The Simon, life may not be worth living, but there's no reason to feel bad about it. From Commonweal, Charles Taylor on the sting of death: Why we yearn for eternity. Is it distressing to experience consciousness slipping away or something people can accept with equanimity? How does it feel to die? When your number's up, your number's up. But some people's numbers come up in a most unusual way. Here are some notable bizarre deaths.
From The Economist, a look at the difficulty of reconciling traditional freedoms of expression with the new demands of national security. A review of Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House by Valerie Plame Wilson (and more and more). Charles Fried on the limits of law: Bush, through a combination of bad judgment, bad advice, and bad luck, had made the case for discretion and reasonableness disreputable. An interview with Michael Otterman, author of American Torture: From the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and Beyond. Naming names at Gitmo: Navy Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Diaz put himself in the middle of the prisoner-detention issue — and went to jail for it. A review of Nation of Secrets: The Threat to Democracy and the American Way of Life by Ted Gup; and Top Secret: When Our Government Keeps Us in the Dark by Geoffrey R. Stone. Acting like a usual suspect: There’s an art to behavioral profiling. An interview with Ames Holbrook, author of The Deporter: One Agent's Struggle Against the U.S. Government's Refusal to Expel Criminal Aliens. When it comes to immigration law enforcement, the Constitution is noticeably silent on the rights of noncitizens, legal or not. An article on Bush's legacy on voting rights: A story from Ohio. Citizen participation through influential assemblies such as Citizen Congresses would address three critical failings of the political system.
Sometimes bric-a-brac has meaning: An interview with Joshua Glenn, co-editor of Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects With Unexpected Significance. Weirdonomics and Quirkology: A look at how the curious science of the oddities of everyday life yields new insights. A look at how daylight savings time disrupts humans' natural circadian rhythm, but we experience more darkness than necessary: We should turn the clocks forward, not back. From LA Weekly, an internet love mystery: The Life and Death of Jesse James. From Cracked, a look at the 5 creepiest urban legends (that happen to be true). Historically rooted in Celtic tradition, the Americanised version of Halloween has captured the market in monstrous fashion. Is the modern celebration, then, purely a retail phenomenon? Here are 6 reasons the 70s should have killed us all. Being Juan Valdez: A "Colombian idol"-style search transformed a humble farmer into the 21st century version of TV's coffee icon. Meet the man behind the mule. From Stars & Stripes, go ahead and cuss like a sailor: It’s good for morale. Swamp Ghosts: In Papua New Guinea, a journalist investigates the controversy over a World War II bomber. From Forbes, an article on how lawyers don't make enough. Sports and music halls have a built-in fan base, but the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, filled with presidents, authors and engineers, has faded into obscurity. The Curiosity of Cats: When the musical opened on Broadway, 25 years ago, few predicted its amazing success—or what it would mean for composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
From Rolling Stone, James Lovelock says that global warming is irreversible — and that more than 6 billion people will perish by the end of the century. A look at how the history of mass extinction is a grim lesson on climate change. The world has a narrow window of opportunity to save coral reefs from the destruction caused by extreme climate change. The future is drying up: The West is the fastest-growing part of the country. It’s also the driest. And climate change could be making matters much, much worse. Which is the more environmentally sensitive thing to do: let the Greenland ice sheet collapse, or throw a little sulfate in the stratosphere? From Fair, an article on Rachel Carson, mass murderer? The creation of an anti-environmental myth. From Counterpunch, an article on transsexuals and the death of the Earth First!, or where have all the rednecks gone? Vegans vs. Vegetarians: What kind of diet is best for the environment?
From American Sexuality, what are the connections between shame, sex, and South Park farts? An interview with Janice Irvine. People, don't let shame over sexual sin destroy you. Porn stars speak: HBO’s documentary “Thinking XXX” takes an unconventional look at the porn industry. More on Girls Gone Mild by Wendy Shalit. More on Virgins: A Cultural History by Anke Bernau. Female genital mutilation: An attempt to restore sexual sensation to women whose genitals have been cut. A review of Rape: A History From 1860 to the Present by Joanna Bourke (and more). Are some men predisposed to pedophilia? Lower average height of pedophiles reinforces theory of a biological cause. The research subject that dare not speak its name: Public morality has long dictated that science stay away from pedophilia. That's beginning to change.