From the inaugural issue of Future Internet, Martin Ebner and Hermann Maurer (Graz): Can Weblogs and Microblogs Change Traditional Scientific Writing? The Web would make a dandy blackboard if only we could scribble an equation. An Almanac of Internet Emotion: Computer scientist Sep Kamvar discusses the ways researchers are beginning to tap the blogosphere for psychological insights. Why do bloggers blog? A study of top political bloggers finds their motivations evolve over time. Could it be that blogs have become online fodder for the — gasp! —  more mature reader? From The Baffler, what does the Internet look like? Meaghan Morris (Lingnan): Grizzling about Facebook. A look at the 10 craziest Facebook groups. From NYRB, a review of The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich and Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America by Julia Angwin. From The Economist, a special report on social networking and a world of connections. Caitlin Kealey (Ottawa): Does Twitter Create a Daily Me or a Daily We? Microblogging, Awareness Systems and the Future of Newspapers. "Every time I hear about Twitter I want to yell Stop": George Packer on how Twitter sounds less like sipping than drowning (and more and a response). A look at how the proliferation of Internet memes makes it difficult to stay current. From Frontline, an episode on Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier. Everyone’s betting on the Internet’s next big thing; Michael Wolff provides a tip sheet on competing theories — it’s the platform (Google, Facebook); it’s the machine (iWhatever); it’s digital behavior (Twitter); it’s porn (Skype sex!); etc. — along with his own hunch about the year to come.


Frida Berrigan on America’s global weapons monopoly: Don’t call it “the Global Arms Trade”. Reality is broken and can only be fixed if we make the real world work like massive, multiplayer games. Peter Singer on Haiti and the rules of generosity. The Spy and the Silk Baron: David Mekelburg on the liberation of losing one’s identity in Asia. A review of The Whistleblower: Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman by Peter Rost. Bush's teen pregnancy bump: Did George W. Bush's focus on abstinence-only programs cause a rise in teen pregnancy rates? A review of Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals by Christopher Payne. The introduction to Critical Terms for Media Studies. On the predictable American response to translated literature: A review of Best European Fiction 2010 (and more and more and more and more and more). The Godfather paradox: From Sicily to the boardrooms of modern-day corporations, some insights into the mind of a socially enabled psychopath. Why — despite projections of huge American deficits — the debt of the United States remains the gold standard of creditworthiness by which all nations are compared. A review of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement by Jean Twenge and W. Keith Campbell. Tznius 2.0: As preteen pop stars play sexy, it’s time to rethink modesty. From New Left Project, an interview with Robin Hahnel, author of Economic Justice and Democracy; and an interview with Michael Albert on complementary holism and Participatory Economics. The Rise of the Ironic Class: What still matters to a generation for whom nothing matters? The voice answering the phone at one California convent responded to the invitation of a lifetime with some perplexity: “Who’s Oprah?”

Acclaimed authors Mary Gaitskill, Hari Kunzru, and Ed Park appear in a reading presented by Bookforum @ Housing Works' Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012, this Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 7:00 PM.


From TNR, Leon Wieseltier on the grotesque elitism of Sarah Palin. Future histories about How Sarah Palin Became President trace back to the anti-Disco riot at Chicago’s Comiskey Park on July 2, 1979. Night of the Living Dead: The US is in the process of falling into the hands of cannibals, the party of Palin. Trouble down south for US Republicans: The party's core constituency is disgruntled conservatives — as the opposition struggles back into national relevance, will it need to look elsewhere to win in 2010? From The Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes on the Rebels on the Right: The GOP establishment feels the heat; and Mary Katherine Ham on the Grand Old Tea Party: The insurgents meet the insiders. Welcome to the Tea Party: Who are these people, and what do they want? (and more and more and more on teabaggers). Unearthing the foundations of the Tea Party from wingnut e-mails: Was a bohemian hipster the first conservative talk-show host? From Texas Monthly, Alex Jones’s wild conspiracy theories have already earned him dedicated fans across the country, but as the tea parties and Obama hatred go mainstream, he may be ready to give Glenn Beck a run for his money. A look at how Glenn Beck helped turn the Invisible Committee's The Coming Insurrection (Semiotext(e)) into a bestseller (and more). Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph Cappella on how the conservative media establishment harms democracy. From The John Birch Society's The New American, Jack Kenny on 1960, a year that changed America; an article on CPAC, the JBS and conservatism's real fringe; and a conversation with Rachel Maddow. From Telos, we find ourselves in an almost Beckettian situation: "It is precisely this understanding — the knowledge that power rests in forms — that Barack Obama possesses".


Patrick McKinley Brennan (Villanova): Are Catholics Unreliable from a Democratic Point of View? From Anthropoetics, Matthew Taylor (Kinjo Gakuin): Traipsing into the Forest: Landscapes and Rivalry in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. From The Guardian, here is a pamphlet on Citizen Ethics in a Time of Crisis, with contributions from Michael Sandel, Mary Midgley, and more. The Google Alphabet: The search engine’s suggestions turn the Web into the Home Shopping Network. British actor Bill Nighy performs in support of the Tobin tax, also known as the “Robin Hood Tax”. From 3:AM, Darran Anderson on the Minotaur & the Maze: A Cultural History of Night #1; and a review of On Roads: A Hidden History by Joe Moran. Conscription, Again: "Draft" is still a dirty word these days, but our country is definitely in need of one. A review of IOU: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay by John Lanchester (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Lo, the poor telephone book! Consider how its prestige has dimmed. Christopher Fairman on the case against banning the word "retard". Why do we humans invest winning with so much more meaning and importance, strive to reach the podium at sometimes terrible cost? The rise of "non-private person": Openness is becoming the default social norm. A review of Tormented Hope: Nine Hypochondriac Lives by Brian Dillon (and more). "Attention must be paid": Lee Harris on understanding Joe Stack, anger, and ideology. A look at how Toyota's troubles are an example of consumer safety power. A review of Nations Have the Right to Kill: Hitler, the Holocaust and War by Richard A. Koenigsberg.


From New York, a cover story on the rise of Dog Identity Politics: Dogs are increasingly rootless souls, country bumpkins in city apartments — but is a vegan pup still an animal? Maltese terrier Malty writes to the New York Times on "debarking". As models strutted in Bryant Park, the divas across town at the Westminster dog show bore their fangs and got just as fierce (and more). The Vermont Supreme Court considers "loss of companionship" damages for a dog's death. Dogs may have been man’s best friend for thousands of years longer than we realized. Looking for the roots of human morality in the animal kingdom? Focus on canines, who know how to play fair. Why the saga of a shipwrecked dog tugs our hearts more than a distressed nation of millions. From The Bark, Kathryn Shevelow on the roots and shoots of the American humane movement; do male and female dogs learn differently?; an article on pup trusts and providing for your pup after you’re gone; BBC’s "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" strikes a chord; a review of Dogs: History, Myth, Art by Catherine Johns; and an interview with Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know (and more). Do dogs go to heaven? Well, it wouldn't be paradise without them. Moscow's 35,000 street canines, which wander around in markets and metro stations adapting to the ways of humans, have begun their journey back to the wild. In China, canines live in every imaginable situation, from the lap of luxury to dire straits (and more). There's nothing rational in the view that it's weird of the Chinese to eat dog. Match the Olympic stars to the canines they resemble most. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto is sceptical about claims cat-owners are smarter than dog owners. Before Oscar the Cat, there was Baxter, “the guru of therapy dogs”.


From Guernica, is Happy Valley, PA, an exuberant college town named for defying the trends of the Great Depression, a clue into American violence, grief, and longing? Trying to revitalize a dying small town: In a corner of Illinois with a turbulent history and a grim future, a punk-rock impresario is trying to make a difference, bringing a town back to life, one cup of coffee at a time. Taking pictures of things that are almost gone: A review of Michael Eastman’s Vanishing America: The End of Main Street Diners, Drive-Ins, Donut Shops, and Other Everyday Monuments. A review of Those Who Work, Those Who Don't: Poverty, Morality, and Family in Rural America by Jennifer Sherman. How a new jobless era will transform America: Increasing depression, dissolving marriages, collapsing expectations — why the Great Recession will cut deeper and endure longer than you think. Forever be relegated to the dustbin of Americana: Where have all the Boy Scouts gone? (and more and more) “Nostalgia” is literally a longing for the places of one’s past — and lately, it has become harder and harder to find things to miss about America’s places. From Time, an article on the secessionist campaign for the Republic of Vermont. A review of The Cracked Bell: America and the Afflictions of Liberty by Tristram Riley-Smith. From Esquire, S.T. VanAirsdale on how to stop Survivor from becoming America's reality. Kevin Hartnett on how there is ample reason America is ruined, one good reason it’s not. Autumn of the Republic: Three books suggest America has slipped into a polarized state of undermined self-government. A review of This Country Must Change: Essays on the Necessity of Revolution in the USA.


From Egypt's Al-Ahram, the real cause of Tutankhamun's death has finally been discovered; and Sayed Mahmoud celebrates the reissuing of the Nineties' foremost avant garde journal, Al-Kitabah Al-Ukhra. A review of Morning Star: Surrealism, Marxism, Anarchism, Situationism, Utopian by Michael Lowy. Club DJ-ing can’t be that hard, can it? Will Smith takes a class with DJ Daredevil. Public financing of campaigns vs. the abolition of the IRS: These seems a helpful pair of dueling icons, reducing the Left-Right struggle to its basic components (and more on minimal secessionism). Why should investors care more about a stock market rise from 9900 to 10000 than one from 9800 to 9900? (and more) Peter Lennox keeps chickens, and they have taught him a great deal about behaviour, ethics, evolution and the psychopathic nature of modern "efficiency". A review of The Fourth Part of the World by Toby Lester. Social Scientists Under Fire: How anthropology and other social sciences are transforming the American way of war in Afghanistan. Toward a bland, functional conservatism: When online clothing “fora” stop being nice and start getting real. Latins have the ALMAs, African-Americans the NAACP Image Awards, Christians the Dove Awards, so why isn't there a serious awards show given by the LGBT community for LGBT artists? The Next Glenn Beck: Samuel P. Jacobs looks at the rightful heirs to Limbaugh, Maddow and Beck. Charles Simic reviews Stripping Bare the Body: Politics Violence War by Mark Danner (and more by Spencer Ackerman at Bookforum). From Economic Principals, rebuilding Haiti’s housing stock and physical infrastructure is important; building its human capital is even more important. An article on ChatRoulette and the perils of video chats with strangers (and more and more and more).


From The Guardian, a special report on "Climate wars: The story of the hacked emails". The UN's top climate panel has withdrawn a mistaken prediction that the Himalayan glaciers might not exist in 2035, but that doesn't mean the whole world isn't in hot water — the scientific evidence for climate change remains as strong as ever. Currently, a few errors in the last IPCC report (“AR4″) are making the media rounds, together with a lot of distortion and professional spin — but which of these putative errors are real, and which not? A look at how global-warming deniers are running circles around the UN's top climate body. David Brin on how the real struggle behind climate change is a war on expertise. Warm with a chance of denial: Despite the weight of scientific evidence, many TV meteorologists are global warming skeptics. As major storms cover the northeast, the classic canard of conflating climate with weather takes on ridiculous new forms — but is it better to fight or ignore them? Joshua Frank on how to answer the dumb things climate deniers say. From American Diplomacy, an article on the best of a bargain in Copenhagen: Diplomacy, power contest and global governance. Post-Copenhagen, as climate groups in the US regroup, some are arguing it's time for a new set of priorities and strategies. An interview with Jamais Cascio on global warming ("Egad, it's depressing") and more on geoengineering. The Earth Trials: Can we test our geoengineering schemes before we have to use them? (and more) A review of Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity by James Hansen (and more). NASA research finds the last decade was the warmest on record, and 2009 one of warmest years.


The defence minister's new philosophy: In the emergent "panspectric" order, human society is seen in terms of "information traffic"; it is not the actions of individuals that are observed, as in the Foulcauldian panopticon, rather those of the mass. From Esquire, it has been nearly four years since Roger Ebert lost his lower jaw and his ability to speak — now television's most famous movie critic is rarely seen and never heard, but his words have never stopped. In many prosperous democracies, a crisis-driven backlash against the political right failed to materialise — why so? A review of Pure Pleasure: Why Do Christians Feel So Bad About Feeling Good? by Gary Thomas. From Time, an article on Reality TV at 10 and how it's changed television and us. Michael Ruse on Isaiah Berlin and his groupies. In 2009, crime went down; in fact it's been going down for a decade, but more and more Americans believe it's getting worse — why do we refuse to believe the good news? The Dead Magazine Club is an Utne Reader project — how can you help? Travel Sites or Guidebooks: Why not dip into both? Royal Tea Party Rebels: Mark Ames on the heroic billionaires’ struggle to overthrow the tyranny of democracy. A review of Falling in Love with Statues: Artificial Humans from Pygmalion to the Present by George Hersey. When the times are as confusing as they are just now, David Warsh reads David Rogers. Who do we think we're kidding? A family goes native, seeking authenticity, but decides they'd rather have air conditioning. The Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson’s latest venture will not be televised — thank goodness.


One God, Three Faiths: The first chapter from Comparative Religion for Dummies by William P. Lazarus and Mark Sullivan. From Geez, Jesus was an end-times preacher who offered up some radical, compelling shit — beyond that, it gets pretty hazy; and a look at how God’s son has been adapted to a great variety of human-created roles. A review of Is Jesus the Only Savior? by James R. Edwards. The first chapter from The Historical Jesus For Dummies by Catherine M. Murphy. Is the Pope capitalist? Stuart Reid wants to know. From Expositions, a symposium on Augustine and anti-Semitism. A review of It's Really All About God: Reflections of a Muslim Atheist Jewish Christian by Samir Selmanovic (and more) and Everything Is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism by Jay Michaelson. From JBooks, not a guide, but an example: Jay Michaelson on paradoxes of spiritual writing (and two responses). A review of How to Do Good & Avoid Evil: A Global Ethic from the Sources of Judaism by Hans Kung and Walter Homolka. An excerpt from Shalom Goldman's Zeal for Zion: Christians, Jews, and the Idea of the Promised Land. A review of Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Jerusalem’s Sacred Esplanade (and more). The Prophet's promise to Christians: Those who seek to foster discord between Islam and Christianity ignore the decrees of the one to whom Islam was divinely revealed. Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: Tariq Ramadan argues for a new understanding of what it means to be a “moderate” Muslim. Sharia’s Dominion: A review of Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law by Nonie Darwish (and more). Who's afraid of Shari'a? The key to interreligious harmony and world peace: Philosopher Andrew Pessin explains how a simple thought experiment regarding certainty and uncertainty could catalyze global reconciliation.

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