From Axess, where did the money go? A special issue on the financial crisis. An interview with Doug Henwood of Left Business Observer. Daniel Gross on the little-known reason why investment banks got too big, too greedy, too risky, and too powerful. From FT, Philip Stephens on how the big banks rigged the market. Tunku Varadarajan on how Wall Street made money soaking savers and taxpayers, rather than adding value. A review of The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It by Scott Patterson. More and more on Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street by Andrew Ross Sorkin. Raghuram Rajan on a better way to reduce financial sector risk. Banks make money, literally, money is their output, but social guarantees are their input — should they be the ones making money? The Wall Street Pay Puzzle: Do big bankers deserve their high salaries? From Too Much, a review of "What is Fair Pay for Executives?" by Venkat Venkatasubramanian; an article on Wall Street’s bonus binge in perspective: A relative handful of Americans will take home more this year than half the nation’s taxpayers combined — when will the White House wake up? An interview with Neil Barofsky, special inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. A review of Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy by Joseph Stiglitz (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). The Needle’s Eye: Why America’s economic recovery needs the Global South. From American Scientist, can control theory save the economy from going down the tubes?

From Anthropological Notebooks, Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska (Warsaw): Visiting of Christian Holy Places by Muslims as a Strategy of Coping With Difference; and Begonya Enguix (UOC): Identities, Sexualities and  Commemorations: Pride Parades, Public Space and Sexual Dissidence. From the Great Generals Series, a review of MacArthur by Richard B. Frank; and a review of LeMay by Barrett Tillman. From smallpox and the Berlin Wall in the recent past, to post offices and glaciers in the near future, extinction is all around us — but is there hope for the extinction of death itself? Dodonomics preaches that the government should be "run like a business", but what business doesn't borrow money? Imperial Movements, Round-by-Round: It was not long ago that Filipinos and Puerto Ricans were the gloveless, unprotected, and militarily inferior populations fighting for their lives. Do people prefer to spread good news or bad news, and which stories do social creatures want to share, and why? Syracuse schoolchildren are upset over a White House response to their letter. When school kids sing Obama's praises: An article on education the politics of critical thinking. The difference between a million and a billion is a number so vast that it would seem nearly impossible to confuse the two, but who's counting? The Art of the Ambush: Critics dismiss the practice of surprising reluctant sources with a camera and a microphone as more showbiz than journalism, but television reporters and producers argue the tactic is not just legit, but also good for the story. A review of History of the Mafia by Salvatore Lupo.

From Dissent, Michael Walzer on Obama's first year: It could have been worse (and more by Todd Gitlin, Lillian Rubin and Nelson Lichtenstein). From The Nation, a forum on Obama at One. From Harper's, Kevin Baker on Barack Hoover Obama: The best and the brightest blow it again. A look at how Obama is from the 80s Left, not the 60s. From PUP, the first chapter from Demanding Democracy: American Radicals in Search of a New Politics by Marc Stears. Bill Fletcher Jr. on why it’s time for the Left to get serious. No We Can't: Obama had millions of followers eager to fight for his agenda, but the president muzzled them — and he's paying the price. An excerpt from Stoking the Fire of Democracy: Our Generation's Introduction to Grassroots Organizing by Stephen Noble Smith. A review of Democratic Promise: The Populist Movement in America by Lawrence Goodwyn. Is democracy killing democracy? The founding fathers saw this coming, but the walls they erected to contain the mob may no longer hold. Down with the People: Blame the childish, ignorant American public — not politicians — for our political and economic crisis. Populism is democracy at work: The president is merely speaking for the people. The Populism Problem: James Surowiecki on why voters and economics don’t mix. Why do people vote against their own interests? David Runciman investigates (and a response). Realignment revisited: Until the Republicans come to their collective senses, depriving them of power must be the most urgent aim of progressive politics. Apostles of nihilism: Republicans are winning the war of political rhetoric — the president needs to fight back. Night of the Living Dead: An essay on the party of Palin and the brainless and soulless living-dead conservatives who will eat your brain. From Reason, a review of books on Sarah Palin. Marc Ambinder on getting Sarah Palin's paradigm (and more).

Simona Segre Reinach (Venice): Fashion and National Identity: Interactions between Italians and Chinese in the Global Fashion Industry. The entirety of Greil Marcus' famous 1970 "What is this shit?" review prefigures the sense of profound, disturbed wonder in the best of Marcus’ criticism. A review of Structure and Randomness: Pages from Year One of a Mathematical Blog by Terence Tao. From Psychology Today, why do so many self-help books sound the same? From The Root, an article on Haiti's "orphans" and the transracial adoption dilemma. Christian imperialism in Haiti?: An article on missionaries, theo-tourism, and the invasion of the Global South. From Salon, an article on JD Salinger, a "recluse" with an ugly history of women. Nerd porn of the day: "We love xkcd": Neil Gaiman and a bevy of Internet celebs sing a tribute to our favorite Web comic. Bryan Curtis on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue: An intellectual history. From The Tablet, Wieseltier vs. Sullivan: Your guide to the brawl. You can’t handle the truth: David Nutt set out to determine which drugs are actually the most dangerous — and discovered that the answers are, well, awkward. Failing the IQ Test: A review of Intelligence and How to Get It by Richard E. Nisbett. The shop that gives: Where would we be without our cafes? Deep Doo-Doo: A review of The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters by Rose George; The Last Taboo: Opening the Door on the Global Sanitation Crisis by Maggie Black and Ben Fawcett; and The Culture of Flushing: A Social and Legal History of Sewage by Jamie Benidickson.

From Ars Technica, Matthew Lasar on the noosphere in 1996, when the Internet was Utopia; Rudolf van der Berg on ENUM: Dragging telephone numbers into the Internet Age; and a tale of two qubits: Joseph Altepeter on how quantum computers work. For half a century computer performance has roughly doubled every two years, but the laws of physics place insurmountable barriers on how long this growth can occur. The trend in supercomputing is not only one of faster machines, but a steady erosion of how super supercomputing actually is. From Wired, in the next Industrial Revolution, Chris Anderson says, atoms are the new bits (and more). Lo-fi vs hi-tech: You don’t need to have access to the latest or most expensive technology to create your own media — you can do it your own way. Andrew Sullivan on how the iPhone and IED rule the Age of Asymmetry: Everywhere, technology is subverting the old forces of order. Gizmos and the City: How our new toys can derange civic life. The rebellion of the tools: Geoff Olson on techno-Darwinism, cyber addiction and natural play. Computers were supposed to be labor-saving devices — how come we're still working so hard? What happened to those inventions of the future?: Real life hasn't always lived up to the visions of science fiction in books and movies. Tending the garden of technology: An interview with Kevin Kelly. Clive Thompson reviews You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more).