From Finance and Development, a special section on Asia's growing influence: Asia is moving into a leadership role in the world economy. From Beijing Review, China's aspiration to build the best universities in the world will take a long time to come to fruition; and is China repeating Japan's mistakes? Economists disagree over whether foreigners should be allowed to invest in stock index futures (and more and more). Christopher Buckley takes a stroll around Hanoi, a buzzing city coming to grips with its war-torn, colonial past, its Communist present, and a whole lot of oncoming traffic. Temp Nation: A series on the demise of "lifetime employment" in Japan. A review of Everything Is Broken: A Tale of Catastrophe in Burma by Emma Larkin (and more). Speak Korean, the language of love: Foreigners in South Korea take language lessons for many reasons, among them to meet a mate. A review of The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia by James C. Scott (and more at Bookforum). The introduction to Japan Transformed: Political Change and Economic Restructuring by Frances McCall Rosenbluth and Michael F. Thies. Should you teach your kids Chinese? While China’s rise is real, Chinese is in no way rising at the same rate. In the cause of happiness: In a nascent democracy like Bhutan, the media is perceived as having a very different role to play, one that is socially committed. NLD and the Politics of Boycott: How the decision by Burma's main opposition party will affect the country's political process. An article on exploring Japanese popular culture as a soft power resource. A federal resettlement program for Burmese Karen sees 4,000 refugees starting new lives in Canada. From 3:AM, Ronald Kelts on why "Cool Japan" is over.

Carey Fitzgerald and Mitchell Whitaker (CMU): Examining the Acceptance of and Resistance to Evolutionary Psychology. From 3:AM, a review of Cold World: The Aesthetics of Dejection and the Politics of Militant Dysphoria by Dominic Fox. A review of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas (and more). It's unfortunate that the phrase "lipstick on a pig" has become so cliched, because there's no better way to describe the "new" National Organized Labor Journal. An excerpt from The Titanic Awards: Celebrating the Worst of Travel by Doug Lansky. More on Steves's Travel as a Political Act. A look at 8 incredible health innovations that transform lives. A review of Greatest Emancipations: How the West Abolished Slavery by Jim Powell. An excerpt from Eavesdropping: An Intimate History by John L. Locke. Pope Benedict declares public service a "noble vocation". Dark Roasted Blend on unusual and marvelous maps. The Twitter Devolution: Far from being a tool of revolution in Iran over the last year, the Internet, in many ways, just complicated the picture. Consumerism and capitalism are not sustained by corporations and advertising but driven by competition among consumers for status. From Standpoint, David Womersley on Trevor-Roper and Gibbon: A Tale of Two Historians. U.N. special rapporteur Philip Alston, Miller-McCune’s most recent Wonking Class Hero, takes on the arms-length warfare of drones. From THES, a review of Is the Rectum a Grave? And Other Essays by Leo Bersani; and a review of I do I undo I redo: The Textual Genesis of Modernist Selves by Finn Fordham. The man who wanted to be Woody Allen: Englishman David Simmons celebrates American Jewish comedians who just want to be loved. Prepare for the catchphrase, "HTML5 it!"

Christina S. Chen (Vanderbilt): Atheism and the Assumptions of Science and Religion. From The Christian Post, a review of The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails (and part 2). Serious question: What does theology have to do with reality? A review of Radical Judaism: Rethinking God and Tradition by Arthur Green. The first chapter from Spirituality for Dummies by Sharon Janis. A review of Christians in the Movies: A Century of Saints and Sinners by Peter E. Dans. God, science and philanthropy: Nathan Schneider on the politics of the Templeton Foundation's "Big Questions". From The Christian Century, a review of Life After Death: The Evidence by Dinesh D'Souza, After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by John Casey, and A Very Brief History of Eternity by Carlos Eire; and more on God Is Not One by Stephen Prothero (and more and more and more and more and more). Peter Manseau reviews Stephen Batchelor's Confession of a Buddhist Atheist. From FiveBooks, a series of interviews on books on Islam. From Liberty, an article on religious wars and religious freedom: A troubled history (and part 2 and part 3); a review of In the Name of Heaven: 3000 Years of Religious Persecution by Mary Jane Engh; and anti-Semitism is a historical enigma, and yet the question still remains: Why the Jews? A review of Ten Things I Hate about Christianity: Working through the Frustrations of Faith by Jason Berggren. Daniel Everett on the Piraha, the people who define happiness without God. Ross Douthat on why the Catholic Church is finished. If God is real, and religious believers can perceive him, why is anyone an atheist? Religion scholar Donna Freitas says reading the Bible bores her to death. Stefanos Geroulanos on his book An Atheism that Is Not Humanist Emerges in French Thought.

Stranger and more brutal than fiction: Lorraine Adams looks at what happens when innocents are swept up in counter-terror efforts. Roger Scruton on how we have allowed too many things in our world to be priced. It’s strange to think that just a few years ago, it felt as if design schools and studios nationwide must have been holding special screenings of The Graduate. The Rise of the Designer: In the early half of the 21st century, it is the Designer, not the Architect, who will arbitrate and mediate our experiences, both real and virtual. Former New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse talks about Roe vs. Wade, partisan politics, and the future of abortion rights (and more). A review of The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government by Thomas Bisson. A review of Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi. Darwin at Work: Harold L. Sirkin on the survival of the fittest companies. Police are again investigating John Mark Karr, who falsely confessed to killing JonBenet Ramsey — a trail of death threats, gender switches and a "little girl sex cult" called The Immaculates. From Forbes, here are four reasons why airlines are always struggling. Restaurant loos are now seen as a key part of the eating-out experience; Peter York flushes out five different approaches. Conflicts, whether over ties to the pharmaceutical industry or fights over new categories of illness, come with the turf in revising psychiatry’s most important reference. Decades ago modern medicine all but stamped out the nervous breakdown, but like a stubborn virus, the phrase has mutated. The introduction to What's Luck Got to Do with It? The History, Mathematics, and Psychology of the Gambler's Illusion by Joseph Mazur.

From Limina, Brydie-Leigh Bartleet (Griffith): Conductors and Authorship: A Postmodern Critique of Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. A review of How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (and Why You Should Care) by Ross W. Duffin. From Logos, an article on Joseph Haydn. A subject and servant of Europe’s most cosmopolitan empire, the composer Joseph Haydn played an important role in the emergence of German cultural nationalism during the 18th and 19th centuries. I'll Be Bach: A computer program is writing great, original works of classical music — will human composers soon be obsolete? A review of Changing the Score: Arias, Prima Donnas, and the Authority of Performance by Hilary Poriss. David Estalote on improvisation and musical language: Imagine if your use of the English language was limited to reading literature with little ability to converse with friends or express your thoughts in your own words — that is how most classical music making has been for the last century. A review of Sibelius: A Composer's Life and the Awakening of Finland by Glenda Dawn Goss (and more). Age of the Castrato: Thousands of boys were castrated in the name of music, and for most the benefits outweighed the drawbacks. A review of After the Golden Age: Romantic Pianism and Modern Performance by Kenneth Hamilton. A review of The Triumph of Music: Composers, Musicians and their Audiences 1700 to the Present by Tim Blanning. From Music and Politics, Christopher Moore on performance and the paradigm of historical contextualism. Gabriel Boylan reviews No Such Thing as Silence: John Cage's 4'33" by Kyle Gann (and more). Chopin, the public face of Poland: During his brief life, the Polish master of the musical miniature became a living symbol of his troubled nation.