Arthur Saniotis (Adelaide): Remaking Homo: Ethical Issues on Future Human Enhancement. Gavin Rae (AUC Egypt): Heidegger’s Influence on Posthumanism: The Destruction of Metaphysics, Technology and the Overcoming of Anthropocentrism. Brave New World, Plato’s Republic, and our scientific regime: Matthew J. Franck compares the utopian visions of Huxley and Plato. Andy Miah reviews Better Humans? Understanding the Enhancement Project by Michael Hauskeller (and more). New era of fast genetic engineering: A simple, very powerful method is making genome editing much easier and faster — prepare for a revolution in biology and medicine. Biotechnology and other life sciences promise to transform our health, identity, even our brains — should we be worried? Life as we grow it: Breanna Draxler on the promises and perils of synthetic biology. Thomas Damberger on transhumanism and the being of man. George Dvorsky on why you should upload yourself to a supercomputer. Kamil Muzyka on how immortals and posthumans will require regular maintenance. Are we too close to making Gattaca a reality? Ferris Jabr wonders. Atheist voices and their writings have paved the way for us, and now the 21st Century will bring the age of transhumanism to the forefront of society. Russell Blackford on his book Humanity Enhanced: Genetic Choice and the Challenge for Liberal Democracies. Anyone calling for an end to politics, whether via secession or technocracy or singularity, either has no understanding of how human societies work (the generous interpretation) or has an authoritarian streak itching to show itself (the less-generous version).
Toby Handfield (Monash): Genealogical Explanations of Chance and Morals. Martin J. O'Malley (Jena): Value Ethics: A Meta-Ethical Framework for Emerging Sciences in Pluralistic Contexts. Kate Manne (Cornell): On Being Social in Metaethics. Kelly McCormick (Washington and Jefferson): Anchoring a Revisionist Account of Moral Responsibility. David S. Oderberg (Reading): The Morality of Reputation and the Judgment of Others. Kevin Patrick Tobia (Oxford) and Gretchen B. Chapman and Stephen Stich (Rutgers): The Effects of Cleanliness and Disgust on Moral Judgment; and Cleanliness is Next to Morality, Even for Philosophers. Kevin Kimble (CCU): Moral Dilemmas that Matter. Ezio Di Nucci (Duisburg-Essen): Trolleys and Double Effect in Experimental Ethics. The first chapter from Would You Kill the Fat Man? The Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong by David Edmonds (and more and more). From the latest issue of Revue d’etudes benthamiennes, a symposium on David Phillips's Sidgwickian Ethics. Teemu Toppinen reviews Meaning and Normativity by Allan Gibbard. Is morality ethical? Wayne Schroeder wonders. The introduction to How We Hope: A Moral Psychology by Adrienne M. Martin. This column will change your life: why are ethicists so unethical? Giving 101: Christine Gross-Loh on Peter Singer’s Princeton practical ethics course that teaches students to be less selfish. Robert W. Wallace reviews The Limits of Altruism in Democratic Athens by Matthew R. Christ.
Aaron Winter (Abertay): Anti-Abortion Extremism and Violence in the United States. From the inaugural issue of the Indonesian Journal of International and Comparative Law, Robert W. McGee (Fayetteville State) and Wendy Gelman and Thomas J. Tarangelo (FIU): How Serious is Tax Evasion? An Empirical Legal Answer. From Analise Social, a special issue on the work of Michael Mann. From NYRB, Jeffrey D. Sachs on our dangerous budget and what to do about it. Kristallnuts: Rightbloggers accuse liberals of conspiracies against the rich and Right-wing. McKenzie Wark on A Tale of Zero Cities: “The Bay Area has the problems a lot of other cities wish they could have”. The United Nations' highest court drew a new maritime boundary between Peru and Chile, awarding Peru parts of the Pacific Ocean but keeping rich coastal fishing grounds in Chilean hands. Giedrius Subacius on the death of a language: It is often said that every two weeks a language dies — but the statement belies a complex reality, in which languages are transformed, replaced or simply vanish along with their users. James Delbourgo on the Triumph of the Strange: What, then, is the power of curiosity, both past and present? Beautiful daughters and rich tournaments: Karoline Doring on the pleasures of the East in correspondences between Ottoman sultans and Christian princes in the 14th and 15th century.
Paolo Bellini (Insubria): Evil, Surveillance and Dystopia. Bryce Clayton Newell and Joseph T. Tennis (Washington): Me, My Metadata, and the NSA: Privacy and Government Metadata Surveillance Programs. John Mueller (OSU) and Mark G. Stewart (Newcastle): Secret without Reason and Costly without Accomplishment: Questioning the National Security Agency’s Metadata Program. Michael J. Glennon (Tufts): National Security and Double Government. David Pozen (Columbia): The Leaky Leviathan: Why the Government Condemns and Condones Unlawful Disclosures of Information (and two responses). Geoff Lightfoot and Tomasz Piotr Wisniewski (Leicester): Information Asymmetry and Power in a Surveillance Society. Surveillance without borders: Anne Peters on the unlawfulness of the NSA Panopticon (and part 2). David P. Hadley on America's "Big Brother": A century of U.S. domestic surveillance. From World Affairs Journal, Michelle Van Cleave writes in defense of the NSA; and Michael V. Hayden on how Edward Snowden’s leaks have fixated the media and the public on privacy and espionage, but the larger and more complex debate on protecting American security in the 21st century has been wanting. It remains far from clear that collecting metadata is a better means of protecting national security than searches based on individual suspicion. From Current Intelligence, sovereign data in international relations: Tim Stevens reminds us that the basics of international relations have been in flux for some time; and Josef Ansorge discusses the sovereign's appetite for data and the tools used to "identify and sort" human populations. Steven Levy spent two hourstalking with the NSA’s bigwigs — here’s what has them mad. On children’s website, N.S.A. puts a furry, smiley face on its mission. Reiner Stach on how Kafka’s The Trial prefigured the nightmare of the modern surveillance state.
Peter Edward (Newcastle) and Andy Sumner (King's College): The Geography of Inequality: Where and by How Much Has Income Distribution Changed Since 1990? Markus Jantti (Abo Akademi) and Stephen P. Jenkins (LSE): Income Mobility. From New Left Review, the emergence of a global “dangerous class”? Jan Breman reviews The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class by Guy Standing. Carlo Bordoni on why the concept of class is an invention of the modern spirit. Marx is back: The global working class is starting to unite — and that's a good thing. Kathleen Geier on ten facts you should know about global economic inequality. From Wonblog, American inequality is on the rise — but global inequality is falling; and Ezra Klein on 10 startling facts about global wealth inequality. Richer nations' citizens work less than they did in 1990 on average. Uber-warehouses for the ultra-rich: Ever more wealth is being parked in fancy storage facilities — for some customers, they are an attractive new breed of tax haven. Seven dozen rich people have as much money as 3.5 billion poor people. Even as workers in the US and other countries have seen their incomes plummet, the combined net worth of the world’s billionaires has doubled since 2009. Ben Blatt and Nicholas Duchesne on the most exclusive circles: Sorting the world’s top 50 billionaires by age, location, how they got their moolah, and more. Jack Santa Barbara reviews The Trouble with Billionaires: How the Super-Rich Hijacked the World (and How We Can Take It Back) by Linda McQuaig and Neil Brooks. Kevin Roose on what Oxfam should have told the billionaires of Davos. Christopher Dickey on how income inequality was quickly forgotten at Davos.
The inaugural issue of Glocalism is out, on hybridity, including Zygmunt Bauman (Leeds): Glocalization and Hybridity. Steven L. Schwarcz (Duke): Bypassing Congress on Federal Debt: Executive Branch Options to Avoid Default. Michael Plaxton (Saskatchewan): Nussbaum on Sexual Instrumentalization. From The Point, Anton Barba-Kay on the world of Coca Cola. We live in a golden age of information — but what exactly is information? Thinking through the savage machinery: Dan Monaco on Peter Temin and economic crises. Tom Gallagher on how those still going on about Ralph Nader electing Bush in 2000 should desist. Pareto humanity: The 19th-century Italian's musings on political and economics hold surprising insights into what it is to be human. Guy Lancaster reviews Theatres of Violence: Massacre, Mass Killing and Atrocity throughout History. From TPM, a brief history of GOPers saying crazy things about women, birth control and the holy terror of the female orgasm. Going postal goes abroad: From 2011, knowing the history of the phrase “going postal” helps us understand how America exports killing sprees to angry young men worldwide. Kyle Gervais reviews The Lure of the Arena: Social Psychology and the Crowd at the Roman Games by Garrett G. Fagan. Do white NBA players suffer from reverse discrimination? Let your head shine no longer: Istanbul is on its way to becoming the world capital of hair and beard transplants.
Richard Bankoff (Penn State): The Current State of Evolutionary Theory: A Historical Perspective. From the new Princeton Guide to Evolution, here are samples entries “What is Evolution”, “Human Evolution”, “Evolutionary Limits and Constraints”, and “Ancient DNA”. DNA from a 400,000-year-old fossil in Spain most closely matches another extinct human lineage, Denisovans, whose remains have been found thousands of miles away in Siberia. This skull may have just rewritten the book on human evolution. Razib Khan on the long First Age of mankind. Light skin in Europeans stems from one 10,000-year-old ancestor who lived between India and the Middle East, claims study. Research suggests natural selection can favor “irrational” behavior. Does modern life make us less rational? Isolated hunter-gatherers act more rational than western consumer. Annalee Newitz on how evolution is steered by aggressive competition between females. A new study finds Finnish men who suffered long periods of unemployment were more likely to possess a genetic marker indicating premature aging. Are we still evolving? Yep, but there's a catch: Our identities might be too fluid for any advantageous mutations to take hold. There’s a gene for that: Pankaj Mehta on how history is littered with horrifying examples of the misuse of evolutionary theory to justify power and inequality — welcome to a new age of biological determinism. Kristi McGuire interviews Henry Gee, author of The Accidental Species: Misunderstandings of Human Evolution. Karl W. Gibers on how 2013 was a terrible year for evolution.
A T. Kingsmith (York): Virtual Roadblocks: The Securitisation of the Information Superhighway. Archon Fung and Hollie Russon-Gilman (Harvard) and Jennifer Shkabatur (IDC): Six Models for the Internet and Politics. Five key questions — and answers — about how our social horizons may shrink as we use more technology: Henry Farrell interviews Ethan Zuckerman, author of Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection. Have scientists found a way to pop the filter bubble? They say the key to exposing us to opposing views is to get them from people with whom we share other interests. Scroll down your Facebook feed and see if you don’t find one ditto after another: So many people with “good” or “bad politics”, delivered with conviction to rage or applause; so little doubt, error, falsifiability — surely the criteria by which anything true, or democratic, could ever be found. The NSA-disclosures have destroyed the utopia of the internet as a medium of freedom and democracy; instead it more and more becomes apparent that the internet is ruled by big companies and secret services — according to Evgeny Morozov a reevaluation of the medium is necessary. Michael Meyer on Evgeny vs. the internet: Evgeny Morozov wants to convince us that digital technology can’t save the world, and he’s willing to burn every bridge from Cambridge to Silicon Valley to do it (and more by Joshua Cohen).
From Phantasma, Simina Ratiu (Babes-Bolyai): The Anti-Utopian Pessimism of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century; Olga Stefan (Babes-Bolyai): Creating Space in Modern Dystopia: Two Early Approaches; and Andrada Fatu-Tutoveanu (Babes-Bolyai): “America is Sad”: Images of Crisis and Media Construction of an American Anti-utopia in Early Cold War Communist Propaganda. Your family tree says you inherited 25 percent of your ancestry from each — genetics says you didn’t. Fans of basic human decency, rejoice: Hunter Moore, the founder of the now-defunct Is Anyone Up? and the so-called “king” of revenge porn, has officially been indicted. Alyssa Bernstein reviews Kant and the End of War: A Critique of Just War Theory by Howard Williams; and Kant and Cosmopolitanism: The Philosophical Ideal of World Citizenship by Pauline Kleingeld. Getting closer to the action: Why pension and sovereign funds are expanding geographically. Cat Ferguson on the future of biohacking in the age of patent trolls. Your subconscious knows if your marriage will last: Implicit gut feelings of newlyweds predict marital satisfaction. The tiny Pacific island of Palmerston is one of the most isolated island communities in the world, visited by a supply ship twice a year; what's more, most of its 62 inhabitants are descended from one man — an Englishman who settled there 150 years ago. You can download The Formation of National States in Western Europe, ed. Charles Tilly (1975).
Chris Lebron (Yale): Theory is Stranger than Fiction: Black Literature as Social Truth. Monique Liston (Wisconsin): Scandal, Twitter and Black Feminist Epistemology. Sanjay Sharma (Brunel): Black Twitter? Racial Hashtags, Networks and Contagion. Martine Powers on what we learned in 2013: Black Twitter gets results. Black Twitter finally gets recognized — so Twitter can sell ads. An interview with Christopher J. Smith, author of The Creolization of American Culture: William Sidney Mount and the Roots of Blackface Minstrelsy. Emancipating Hollywood: After the Trayvon Martin shooting, politicians called for a “national conversation” about race, to no effect — but a de facto discussion has been coming out of Hollywood, with a bravura bunch of movies about the struggle for equality. Slavery is having a Hollywood moment — what about the rest of black history in America? Conservatives can transport themselves for two hours into the hellish antebellum world of 12 Years a Slave and experience the same horror and grief that liberals feel; what they cannot do, almost uniformly, is walk out of the theater and detect the still-extant residue of that world all around them. No, 2013 was not the year of "The Black Movie": Hate to break it to you, but we’ve been here before. The Mandelas, hip-hop and Cliff Huxtable: Brittney Cooper on how black popular culture can politicize us. James Jordan on Kanye West, Gunnar Kaufman, postmodern black revolution. Greg Howard on Richard Sherman and the plight of the conquering negro. Joseph Flaherty on 13 toys from the era of casual racism.