James Hollyer and B. Peter Rosendorff (NYU) and James Raymond Vreeland (Georgetown): Democracy and Transparency. Mark Fenster (Florida): Seeing the State: Transparency as Metaphor. Ilya Somin (GMU): Deliberative Democracy and Political Ignorance. Their own facts: How basic misunderstandings about government benefit the right. The stupidity of crowds: The trouble isn’t too many bad politicians, it’s too many voters. The first chapter from Cultivating Conscience: How Good Laws Make Good People by Lynn Stout. Mark Lilla on the nation we have, not the nation we wish for. Almost the worst thing anybody can call you today is an "elitist" — elites, it seems, are downright un-American. "We the people": Walter Benn Michaels on the tea parties, the GOP and the elites. A short history of the activists that started the groups that helped create the movement that became the Tea Party. Tea Party Hypocrites: Which states talk cuts, love federal spending. Is the tea party movement like a pyramid scheme? A review of The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party’s Revolution and the Battle over American History by Jill Lepore (and more and more and more and more and more). Conservatives are resurgent; is their conservatism authentic? Late for the tea party: Conservative pundits rush to catch up. Superficial observers for two decades have treated Rush Limbaugh as a cutup, a frat boy, a brawler with a barroom gift for getting people to listen — the facts are otherwise and have never been hidden. Why does the right hate George Soros? Just two years into his term, some 46 books demonizing the president have been published. Contrary to Gingrich and D’Souza, there is nothing foreign or exotic about the struggle to be free — anticolonialism is something Americans and Africans have in common.

Jan-Werner Muller (Princeton): Re-Imagining Leviathan: Schmitt and Oakeshott on Hobbes and Political Order. A review of Terrorism and the Ethics of War by Stephen Nathanson. A review of The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society by Frans de Waal. An article on 12 ancient landmarks on the verge of vanishing. Can negative publicity help? The research says yes — under the right circumstances. Lawless Courts: Immigration judges who flagrantly disregard the law are sheltered by a secretive system. Did scientist Marc Hauser get a raw deal? (and more) Unleash the dogs of capitalism: What should come after disarmament — how about tax policy? Optical illusions are more than just a bit of fun; Beau Lotto is finding out what tricking the brain reveals about how our minds work. Behold, the next media titans: Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Slate on the anniversary of Garry Trudeau's comic strip. An interview with Bill Bryson: “Have you ever seen Glenn Beck in operation? It’s terrifying”. First, it was gold, now, Glenn Beck is promoting another way to prep for disaster, freeze-dried food — is there a method to his endorsements? A review of The Peacock and the Buffalo: The Poetry of Nietzsche. A look at Debtors Anonymous and living a debt-free life. Should humanities programs be saved at public universities that are hard pressed to meet the needs of all sorts of students? Choosing a mate, selecting a chair: A design researcher suggests people look for the same qualities in products as they do in their partners. Leadership and Love: Do we really need to love the people we work with? Trial lawyers like Tony Buzbee got rich putting the screws to corporate America, but in the wave of gulf-spill litigation, they’re struggling to not get cut out of the action. What is a copy? An excerpt from In Praise of Copying by Marcus Boon.

From Flowtown, a chart of the evolution of the geek. The merchants of cool invade the Internet: Has geekdom officially jumped the shark? From Gizmodo, why do so many self-proclaimed geeks hold so much disdain for so-called hipsters? Hipster-hate blogs are multiplying, but who are these much-maligned trendies, and why do people find them so irritating? Being a hipster is an excellent and wonderful thing! Rob Horning on misguided hatred for the “hipster on food stamps”. Hasidim and Hipsters can’t be friends — but maybe they can eat together. Researchers tap the indie marketplace to learn more about hipsters, who don’t think of themselves as hipsters despite their obvious hipsterness. A review of Stuff Hipsters Hate: A Field Guide to the Passionate Opinions of the Indifferent by Brenna Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz. Substance over style: Hipster bible Vice magazine is making documentaries about war zones. A point system to get a handle on who the hippest hipster is: Who is the biggest celebrity hipster? Christian Lorentzen on the hipster that never was. What was the hipster? Mark Grief on a critical history of our era’s most controversial archetype (and more). Phoebe Connelly reviews What Was The Hipster? A Sociological Investigation. From Adbusters, Wayne Spencer on consumable youth rebellion: Teds, mods, rockers, hippies, skinheads, punks, hipsters, now what?; and the activist's dilemma: It’s time to start matching our sentiments to our actions. Avatar activism: Pop culture has now become the basis for a participatory approach to world activism — Harry Potter fans for gay rights in the US, Palestinians protesting with their traditional keffiyahs over skins painted blue after Na’vi people. Humanitarian activists' refusal of politics, combined with their willingness to identify with politics, elicits scorn from human-rights critics. Do volunteers make things worse? Volunteer programs often offer little social value — instead they're a form of poverty voyeurism.

From IHE, long road to open access: An effort by leading research universities to rethink the economics of scholarly journals has an underwhelming first year, and experts caution against expectations of quick change; and measuring scholarly influence by citations made sense once — Scott McLemee looks at the emerging alternatives. The new National Research Council (NRC) rankings of doctoral programs for 2005-06 is out — while some are excited about the data, many are pummeling the ratings (and more by Brian Leiter). Puff unto others: Felipe Fernandez-Armesto deplores scholarly reviewing's tarnished golden rule. Putting a price on professors: Should public universities care how much their faculty contribute to the bottom line? Honor among scholars: What is its place in academe in relation to wisdom and gain? Martha Nussbaum fears our critical culture is under attack, with democracy itself coming under threat; Matthew Reisz thinks her case is overstated (and more). Advancing the frontiers of knowledge is at the core of the academy, but the crossing of established disciplinary boundaries is often resisted — how does a band of pioneers stake its claim to novel territory, counter sceptics, win converts and establish itself? The Nutty Professor: What has become of the eccentrics in the ranks of our professors? In professor-dominatrix scandal, the University of New Mexico feels the pain (and more). The Ultimate Power Hobby: Bankers, lawyers, executives jockey to teach a university class, play professor. Who is the online you? Zoe Corbyn surveys the world of academics' personal websites. A cartoon criticizing college websites resonates more deeply than many designers might like. Many universities now offer substantial portions of their courses online, a sign of the direction in which the “open education” movement is headed. YouTube U. beats YouSnooze: Most students, sitting in those large halls, are lost or bored, or both — now, with on-demand course content, there's a better way.

Steven R. Ratner (Michigan): From Enlightened Positivism to Cosmopolitan Justice. Diego H. Rossello (Northwestern): Hobbes and the Wolf-Man: Melancholy and Animality in Modern Sovereignty ("Homo homini lupus, man is a wolf to man, remains one of the most well-known and often quoted dictums in the tradition of political theory... Contrary to conventional wisdom, I suggest that this brief passage directs our attention to lycanthropy: an acute melancholic syndrome which 17th century physiologists thought could turn humans into animals".) The Last Patrol: In the heart of Taliban country, the paratroopers of 2 Charlie begin their final mission, braving snipers, IEDs, and the unrelenting sun. From Philosophy.tv, Simon Keller and Valerie Tiberius debate well-being and social psychology. From Forbes, a special report on the most powerful people on Earth. From The Economist, a special report on smart systems. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee site had a list of 95 candidates, all Democrats, listed on netneutralityprotectors.com as pledged supporters of Net Neutrality — all of them lost. A review of books on French revolutions. Margaret Mead's bashers owe her an apology: A review of The Trashing of Margaret Mead: Anatomy of an Anthropological Controversy by Paul Shankman. Are religious believers and atheists doomed to angry arguments, or is it just the Internet? A review of The Way of the Panda: The Curious History of China’s Political Animal by Henry Nicholls. The Artificial Economy of Expat Living: The open secret of any foreign intervention — military, humanitarian, economic — is what happens when the expats swarm into a capital city; the result is a distortion of the local economy, and at worst a complete disaster. Jacques Ranciere on racism and a passion from above.

Anthony D'Amato (Northwestern): Israel's Air Strike Against the Osiraq Reactor: A Retrospective (1996). Robert A. Caplen: The "Charlie Brown Rain Cloud Effect" in International Law ("I apply the metaphor of Charlie Brown, the Charles Schulz comic strip character who seems to always travel with a rain cloud permanently hovering atop him, to a peculiar phenomenon in international law and foreign relations that affects only one nation: Israel".) Giovanni Distefano (Neuchatel): Some Remarks on the United Nations and Territorial Sovereignty in the Occupied Palestine Territories. Historical Fiction: Dore Gold on why Israel is not a colonialist state. From Dissent, Gadi Taub on settler anti-Zionism. Most of Israel’s Arab children attend poorly-performing segregated public schools — what can be done and what does it mean for Israel’s future? Despite the headlines, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has little impact on most Israelis' everyday lives. The Israeli-Palestinian peace talks: Can Israel now say boo to America? Inside the bubble: A review of When They Come for Us We'll be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry by Gal Beckerman (and more and more and more and more and more). Falling far from the family tree: Descendants of Trotsky and Begin share the passion, but not the politics, of their famous forebears. From Commentary, a review of The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa by Sasha Polakow-Suransky. A review of The Myths of Liberal Zionism by Yitzhak Laor. Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic? (and more). The introduction to How to Cure a Fanatic by Amos Oz. The Unconsoled: George Packer on David Grossman’s Israel trail. Pioneers: A mix of passion and tradition makes Israel a classical-musical superpower.

Thom Brooks (Newcastle): What Did the British Idealists Ever Do for Us? Fionnuala D. Ni Aolain (Minnesota): Masculinities and Child Soldiers in Post-Conflict Societies. Jurassic Ballot: When corporations ruled the Earth. From The National, an article on Sayyid Qutb, man of his era. A House that Murdoch Bought: Conrad Black reviews Sarah Ellison's War At The Wall Street Journal: Inside the Struggle to Control an American Business Empire, David Kindred's Morning Miracle: Inside the Washington Post; A Great Newspaper Fights for Its Life, and Gay Talese's The Kingdom and the Power: Behind the Scenes at The New York Times: The Institution That Influences the World. Effing the Ineffable: How do we express what cannot be said? The introduction to The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany by Susannah Heschel. A review of Utopia or Auschwitz? Germany's 1968 Generation and the Holocaust by Hans Kundnani. A review of Antimatter by Frank Close. The landmark 20th anniversary UN Human Development Index reveals global gains in development even in poorer nations (and more). 5 futurists on the single most significant technologic development of the next 20 years. "They all look the same" race effect seen in the brain. Lose your wimp, embrace your intellectual. Fat studies: A handful of colleges now offer classes entirely devoted to the overweight and obese, but are they intellectually topical or just feel-good, pro-fat propaganda? From Thought Catalog, basically a fucking asshole: An iChat interview with Gavin McInnes, founder of Vice Magazine; and a look at the emerging trend of using MS Paint and Paintbrush to express one’s emotions on the Internet. An interview with Richard Wolin on books on France in the 1960s. Start paying attention now: Hurricane Tomas is going to be a major, major disaster for Haiti.

From The Philosophers' Magazine, ideas of the century: interest in disagreement and experimental philosophy. From Prospect, interest in “trolleyology” — a way of studying moral quandaries — has taken off in recent years; some philosophers say it sheds useful light on human behaviour, others see it as a pointless pursuit of the unknowable. Evolution and the Trolley Problem: People save five over one unless the one is young, genetically related, or a romantic partner. An interview with Zack Lynch on how neuroscience will change the world. Peter Hacker tells James Garvey that neuroscientists are talking nonsense. Robert J. Sawyer is one of the best known sci-fi authors of today; Nick DiChario talks to him about the philosophical ideas embedded in his books. Thomas S. Hibbs on Stanley Cavell's philosophical improvisations. Steve Pyke has been photographing philosophers for more than two decades; in compiling his work for an upcoming book, Mr. Pyke asked his subjects why they had spent their lives in philosophy (and more). From Arts and Opinion, Robert J. Lewis on 1-800-PHILOSOPHY; and what philosophy is good for: If it's only a game, why play the hand we've been dealt? Socrates was condemned to death for telling the ancient Greeks things they didn't want to hear, but his views on consumerism and trial by media are just as relevant today. A review of The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life by Bettany Hughes. William B. Irvine, author of A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, on what it means to practice an ancient philosophy in the modern world (and part 2 and part 3). Malmesbury bids to become UK's first "philosophy town". Philosophers’ football rematch: Monty Python’s famous match is replayed in North London.

From Neiman Reports, a special issue on Reporting from Faraway Places: Who does it and how? From NeoAmericanist, Andrew O'Connor on infotainment’s appeals and consequences. TV news is driven, more and more, by the latest scoops on JonBenet, Caylee, and Natalee; the inside story of how tabloid-TV stories are made, bought, and paid for — and Larry Garrison, the man who's often behind it all. Arianna Huffington has created a media upstart valued at $100 million — what's it really worth? How the drive to attract massive numbers of visitors to their Web sites (and the advertisers that might follow them) is having a profound effect on news judgment at traditional news organizations. Who is Howard Kurtz and why shouldn't you care? A question of credibility: Journalism is more than thorough research and investigation — it also includes the open handling of sources. The rules say reporters shouldn’t get involved with the people they cover, but when faced with the aftermath of a devastating earthquake, some veterans realized there are times to abandon professional standards. From CJR, the hamster wheel: Why running as fast as we can is getting us nowhere; video journalism is dying — long live video journalism; and an interview with Mike Liebhold of The Institute For the Future. He bribed, he blackmailed, he extorted, he lied — was Jack Anderson a reporter or a spook? (and more) A report from the borderland between history and journalism: Writing in new genres involves learning new skills and sometimes jettisoning old habits. Hong Kong’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club was once the favoured watering hole of veteran reporters, inspiring classic novels and countless brawls. Death to the Generic News Story: If I've read that headline a hundred zillion times before, it can't possibly be news. What's the point of journalism school, anyway? The rally to restore journalism: In both our media and our politics, style over substance has become the status quo.

Rainer Forst (Frankfurt): Two Stories about Toleration. Georg Struver (DUI): Too Many Resources or Too Few? What Drives International Conflicts? The latest Analecta Hermeneutica is a special issue on "The Absolute Question" — i.e. God — which includes papers from a conference on the philosophy of religion hosted by the International Institute for Hermeneutics at Mount Allison University (New Brunswick) in August 2006. A review of The German Genius: Europe's Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution and the Twentieth Century by Peter Watson. Why do Americans have yards? A murder in Salem: In 1830, a brutal crime in Massachusetts riveted the nation — and inspired the writings of Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. A review of Bring on the Books for Everybody: How Literary Culture Became Popular Culture by Jim Collins. A review of Animalkind: What We Owe to Animals by Jean Kazez. Aaron David Miller on five myths about Middle East peace. From NYRB, a review essay on Oscar Wilde, classics scholar. A review of Science’s First Mistake: Delusions in Pursuit of Theory by Ian O. Angell and Dionysios S. Demetis. Dan Ariely on new economists worth knowing. The Heidelberg Thingstatte is a Nazi edifice built on a sacred mountain site used by various German cults. Why democracies don't get cholera: It's about a lot more than just clean water. A review of Taliban: The True Story of the World's Most Feared Fighting Force by James Fergusson. A review of Spinoza and the Specters of Modernity: The Hidden Enlightenment of Diversity from Spinoza to Freud by Michael Mack. A review of Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century by John B. Thompson.