From The New Yorker, Nicholas Lemann reviews The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst by Kenneth Whyte; Restless Genius: Barney Kilgore, The Wall Street Journal, and the Invention of Modern Journalism by Richard J. Tofel; and The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch by Michael Wolff; guy walks into a bar car: David Sedaris on lost loves and lost years; and Barack Obama has inherited a less visible crisis, which may, in time, trump the others: the deterioration of the global nuclear-nonproliferation regime (and more). "Spinal Tap" made mockumentaries the art form of our time; it also made life hell for every struggling hair-metal band — just ask Anvil. A review of The Philosophy of Literature by Peter Lamarque. Why is it that writers who can’t recall their Social Security numbers can recite a rival’s advance to the penny? How the Internet got its rules: Forty years ago, Requests for Comments were born; the humble documents shaped the Internet’s inner workings and played a significant role in its success. Many governments have stepped up their attacks on the Internet, harassing bloggers and making it harder to express dissenting opinions online. Missionaries from African churches are evangelizing around the globe — can a Nigerian Pentecostal movement take root in American soil?

From The Chronicle, David Barash on the Roar of the Crowd: Sports fans' primal behavior. A brief inquiry into the nature of sports fandom: Why the home team doesn't deserve your loyalty. From Vox, a look at how sports fans’ demand for “suspense” drives design of reward schemes for players; and an article on why globalisation promotes peace. Richly undeserved: The well off are not the wealthy, so why tax them as if they are? From The Science Creative Quarterly, an article on the evolution of gravity in the Mario video game series as video game hardware increases. How to predict what you'll like? Ask a stranger. The Taming of the Tween: Shakespeare and texters do have something in common. Introducing the Flat Earth Society: Climate skeptics, there is a club for you (and more). From Time, a profile of Arianna Huffington, the Web's new oracle; and what happens when a town loses its newspaper? After the Newspaper: As urban dailies die, a search for other sources of local information. It's a victory for political commentary in general if Ross Douthat becomes a more prominent conservative voice while at the Times. The internet has already profoundly changed British politics, with the left finally waking up to challenge the right. A review of Terminator and Philosophy: I'll Be Back, Therefore I Am. Eat, drink, and stage a new play: 10 things theaters must do to save themselves.

The inaugural issue of European Political Science Review is now free online. At the Oxford Literary Festival, George Orwell's son speaks for the first time about his father. A review of Explaining Altruism: A Simulation-Based Approach and its Limits by Eckhart Arnold. Was the banking crisis caused by unregulated emotions? Harriet Swain talks to Peter Totterdell. A review of House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street by William D. Cohan (and more and more and more and more and more and more and an excerpt). Dani Rodrik on blaming economists, not economics. From Salon, just how bad off is the Republican Party? A state-by-state look at the state of the Grand Old Party in the Age of Steele (and part 2). Forget the GOP; Obama's enemy is the angry public. Populism isn't the weasel — in fact, it's an entirely appropriate reaction to elite decisions that have run our economy into the ground. From Fri Tanke, Julian Baggini on why the New Atheist movement is destructive (and a reply). All God's children: The Quiverfull movement saddles women with a life of submission and near-constant pregnancies (and more). Stocks, homes, now triple-word scores: Scrabble and other games on boards, fields, courts and ice have overvalued points (and more). Gigi Anders has been waiting for Fidel Castro to die since one of his guerrillas tried to seize her beautiful new red trike on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 1960.

From The American Interest, an article on the imminent death of the United States Postal Service. From The Wilson Quarterly, can America Fail? Kishore Mahbubani issues a wake-up call for an America mired in groupthink and blind to its own shortcomings. Despite Barack Obama's best intentions, America the imperialist superpower will still be with us for some time. Is the "Washington Consensus" really gone? Not if you ask John Williamson, the soft-spoken British economist who coined the term. The Shah of Venezuela: Enrique Krauze on the ideas that keep Hugo Chavez in power, and their disastrous consequences. An excerpt from The Kingdom of Infinite Space: An Encounter with Your Head by Raymond Tallis. New Scientist is in search of the happiest place on earth. From The Nation, a review of Songbook: The Selected Poems of Umberto Saba; and a review of The Norman Maclean Reader. From FLYP, a new study says too much popular music and too much sex go hand in hand; and artists are going to have to take a new look at their work, their role and their society — what will they see? Jurassic Web: The Internet of 1996 is almost unrecognizable compared with what we have today. Hipsters die another death at n+1 panel: "People called hipsters just happened to be young, and, more often than not, funny-looking". A review of 1848: Year of Revolution by Mike Rapport. Comic Relief: David Roth on the Bush-impersonator recession.