From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on what was, is and will be popular. You can download Contemporary Culture: New Directions in Art and Humanities Research, ed. Judith Thissen, Robert Zwijnenberg, and Kitty Zijlmans. From The Conversation, a look at Australia’s 2013 election results and the future: Experts respond. Did the NSA secretly make a major math breakthrough? Joe Kloc wonders. Matt Buchanan on how the N.S.A. cracked the Web. Kevin Drum on how the Snowden disclosures finally hit 12 on a scale of 1 to 10 (and more). Everything Snowden knows about following the rules he learned from the NSA; somebody, somewhere in the agency must be perversely proud of what he’s done. What happened to the Onion? Two words: The Internet. Jamil Zaki on how psychological studies are not about you. Slavoj Zizek on why Syria is a pseudo-struggle: The ongoing struggle we see is a false one, lacking the kind of radical-emancipatory opposition clearly perceptible in Egypt. Rebecca Greenfield on why we can’t help ourselves from caring about things that don’t matter. Istvan Aranyosi on Dawkins's accusers and the new "Oriental". Roxane gay on why we read New York Times wealth porn. Jonathan Chait on how John Boehner may save America after all: “Usually we associate cashing in on K Street with selling out your principles. In this case, selling out would actually allow Boehner to fulfill his principles”.