From Ethics & Global Politics, Monique Deveaux (Williams): Normative Liberal Theory and the Bifurcation of Human Rights; Hauke Brunkhorst (Flensburg): Dialectical Snares: Human Rights and Democracy in the World Society; Eduardo Mendieta (Stony Brook): From Imperial to Dialogical Cosmopolitanism?; and Saladin Meckled-Garcia (UCL): Do Transnational Economic Effects Violate Human Rights? A review of Civilising Globalisation: Human Rights and the Global Economy by David Kinley. Roland Burke on his book Decolonization and the Evolution of International Human Rights. A review of Human Rights in the Global Information Society. From Human Rights and Human Welfare, a roundtable on the United Nations and human rights. From World Press Review, Justin Frewen on the state-building woes of the UN. A review of National Responsibility and Global Justice by David Miller. A review of Humanitarianism in Question: Politics, Power and Ethics. From ISR, a review essay on humanitarian imperialism and its apologists. When humanitarianism hurts: If consequences matter and not just intentions, the responsibility to protect is an irresponsible norm — it makes a promise that cannot be fulfilled. Revisiting the Responsibility to Protect: Can a state-centric principle be saved by non-state actors? From New Left Review, Tom Hazeldine profiles the conflict-instigation NGO International Crisis Group and the parallel courses of its Atlanticist advocacy and of Western military aggressions.

From The Smart Set, Jerry DeNuccio on the metaphysics of cutting grass: A tidy lawn is only one reason to mow. Michael Johnson on the delightful Voltaire. From Vanity Fair, persuaded they held the key to great treasure and were targets of a Masonic plot, members of the aristocratic de Vedrines family turned over their lives, fortune, and ancestral chateau to a shadowy “grand master” — then came captivity and torture and a bizarre escape. Lauren Elkin reviews Proust's Overcoat by Lorenza Foschini. In his last book, The Bomb, the late, great historian and former bombardier Howard Zinn examines his troubling actions during WWII (and a look at the case against Howard Zinn). From Stanford Social Innovation Review, David La Piana on The Nonprofit Paradox: Why organizations are so often plagued by the very ills they aim to cure. From Thought Catalog, Nicole Rudick reviews Hannah Hoch's Picture Book. Of whales and aliens: Dorin Sagan on the search for intelligent life on Earth. The Christian religion has succeeded in introducing its point of view into the heart of the so-called “civil calendar” now in use in the greater part of the world — but just what is this point of view? You feel like an adult, going out to a restaurant and paying your own way — and then someone tells you how much you should tip. Conversations with literary websites: An interview with Chad W. Post, director of Three Percent. The story of pink: Photographer Lisa Kessler unpacks the many meanings of a color.

From Wired, Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff declare the Web is dead — long live the Internet (and more and a debate). A moving recap of some of the stuff that predeceased the Web — you may want to bring a handkerchief. The search party: Can Google find its footing in this brave new world? Google and the search for the future: The Web icon's CEO Eric Schmidt on the mobile computing revolution, the future of newspapers, and privacy in the digital age. The young will have to change names to escape their "cyber past", warns Google's Eric Schmidt. Google's chief says privacy is dying, but does the Facebook generation care? From Digital Culture and Education, Kerry Mallan (QUT): Look at me! Look at me! Self-representation and self-exposure through online networks; and Shelia Zimic (Mid Sweden): Not so "techno-savvy": Challenging the stereotypical images of the "Net generation". I tweet, therefore I am: Are Twitter posts an expression of who we are — or are they changing who we are? Peril and Promise: Will social networks change our world, or just reinforce it? A Death on Facebook: Kate Bolick on intimacy and loss in the age of social media. More and more on The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick. Meetup wants to be Facebook for the real world. Meet the fastest growing company ever: Andrew Mason figured out how to inject hysteria into the process of bargain hunting on the Web — the result is an overnight success story called Groupon. Some online commentators are already sounding Chatroulette's death knell, but rumors of the service's demise may be greatly exaggerated.

From 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, a special issue on Dickens and science. From New Left Review, Lacan enlisted on the side of Jesus, for an ethics of revolutionary goodness: Gregor McLennan reviews books by Terry Eagleton; and can underlying similarities of deep structure and social function be traced in the work of classical European and Chinese writers? Two presidents, two speeches — and a profound question about the American military that has yet to be answered. From the New York Times's Room for Debate, as philosophy departments have come under attack for being costly and impractical, do experimental methods, called "x-phi" by its proponents, offer new horizons for old problems? From Sojourners, an interview with veteran Sunday school teacher Elizabeth Warren on facing down the Goliaths of Wall Street. Multiculturalism and Its Discontents: Why are liberals excusing religious abuses on grounds of cultural relativism? The strength of Obama's long game with Iran: Nicholas Burns, former undersecretary of state for George W. Bush, explains why the current president understands Tehran. What "fact-checking" means online: If the Web has changed what qualifies as fact-checking, has it also changed what qualifies as a fact? Business journalism’s image problem: We aren’t all dashing muckrakers like Stieg Larsson’s Mikael Blomkvist, but untangling the financial crisis isn’t just about catching bad guys.

Mark Auslander (Brandeis): How Families Work: Love, Labor and Mediated Oppositions in American Domestic Ritual. What is it about 20-somethings: They move back in with their parents, they delay beginning careers — why are so many young people taking so long to grow up? (and more) From Slate, an article on the new science on chronically harsh and conflict-ridden households. From The Awl, Melissa Lafsky writes in defense of having children. City or subdivision: Where’s the best place to raise kids? It takes a lifetime to learn how to navigate the topic of children in polite and private conversation — and just as long to unlearn it. More on Peter B. Gray and Kermyt G. Anderson's Fatherhood: Evolution and Human Paternal Behavior. The case for boredom: Adam J. Cox on stimulation, civility, and modern boyhood. A time to teach: What is the best age to instill life lessons? The Boomerang Effect: How did the forever young generation turn into perpetual parents? A review of Poverty and Brain Development During Childhood by Sebastian Lipina and Jorge Colombo. Are children from collectivist cultures more likely to say it's okay to lie for the group? Big Think is promoting some dangerous ideas: Bringing back eugenics; allowing infant euthanasia; and letting kids have sex. A common belief about teenagers is that they implicitly assume that they are invincible or immortal and think little about their own deaths — a new study shows this to be a myth.

Ingrid M. Hoofd (NUS): Between Baudrillard, Braidotti and Butler: Rethinking Left-Wing Feminist Theory in Light of Neoliberal Acceleration. Fien Adriaens (Ghent): Post Feminism in Popular Culture: A Potential for Critical Resistance? Shira Chess (RPI): How to Play a Feminist. From New Politics, a special section on women's issues. From Reconstruction, Diederik F. Janssen on gender trouble as tentative analogue for maturity trouble. A review of Lies Women Believe: And the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. The myth of the fairer sex: Women, especially self-proclaimed feminists, must own the truth about our gender's capacity for violence if we are ever going to be effective in ending it. Is Lady Gaga a feminist? An interview with philosopher Nancy Bauer. "White Girl Problems"? Black girls have them, too. From The Scavenger, an unmarried, childless woman recently became the Prime Minister of Australia — for some commentators, Julia Gillard's lifestyle choices make her a bad role model for women. To The Lighthouse: Thomas J. Scheff on feminine mastery of inner dialogue. Do we still need to carve out separate spaces for girls and women in order to ensure that their ideas are heard? A review of Rape: Sex, Violence, History by Joanna Bourke. Sheryl WuDunn on our century's greatest injustice, the oppression of women globally. No Exit: Should victims of domestic abuse be eligible for asylum in the US?

From The Big Money, Marion Maneker on the weird logic of paywall challengers. It really should be called the life and times of film director George Lucas: A review of Star Wars: Year by Year. Bart and Lisa Go Head-to-Head: This is a very quick test of your ability to make sense of some fairly simple data. Pascal Fouche, author of an encyclopaedia of the book, Dictionnaire encyclopedique du livre, discusses whether publishers are prepared for the challenge posed by the dematerialisation of the printed word. What’s wrong is the same thing that’s wrong with discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or gender: Beauty bias is the last frontier of acceptable bigotry. Looks can deceive: Why perception and reality don't always match up. And the World Turned: Cheesy, cliched, and still strangely bewitching, soap operas are falling victim to their own bastard children. Following the death of his daughter Olivia, Roald Dahl became convinced that religion was a sham (and an excerpt). Marginalia and forgotten mementoes are often squirreled away inside conventional books — what will become of such treasures in the age of the ebook? A review of Slave Revolts in Antiquity by Theresa Urbainczyk. A review of Yeats and Violence by Michael Wood. How much oil is left on Earth? Garrett Heany investigates. Justin Bieber can hear them scream: New York goes inside the bubble with the 16-year-old sensation, as the fans start closing in.

From the latest issue of Numeracy, Rick Gillman (Valparaiso): Reorganizing School Mathematics for Quantitative Literacy. Mathematicians are facing a stark choice — embrace monstrous infinite entities or admit the basic rules of arithmetic are broken. A review of Dude, Can You Count? Stories, Challenges, and Adventures in Mathematics by Christian Constanda. A review of Duel at Dawn: Heroes, Martyrs, and the Rise of Modern Mathematics by Amir Alexander. A review of The Number Mysteries: A Mathematical Odyssey Through Everyday Life by Marcus du Sautoy and Here’s Looking at Euclid: A Surprising Excursion Through the Astonishing World of Math by Alex Bellos (and more). A review essay on two books by Ole Skovsmose. A special issue of the Annals of Improbable Research on mathematics is now online. The beauty of math: Incalculable beauty is the result when equations produce fractals. Has the devilish math problem “P vs NP” finally been solved? (Maybe not — and more) The pattern collector: The Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences outgrows its creator. Not fully understanding the "equal sign" in a math problem could be a key to why US students underperform their peers from other countries in math. Mathematics is sometimes applicable, sometimes not, and we have to know where to use it. Mathematics is no match for evolution or consciousness — is that a temporary problem? A review of The Elements of Euclid by Oliver Byrne (and more by Albert Mobilio).

From Vanity Fair, the media criticisms of Barack Obama’s style — too cool, too detached, too professorial — echo past complaints about another young president, John F. Kennedy, but though a sound-bite-hungry punditocracy craves Oval Office theatrics, the rest of America may not care. A new "superbug" has surfaced that has the potential to make even the most minor infections untreatable — how worried should you be? Nuclear fall in: John Horgan on why he's becoming a pro-nuke nut. The new morning-after pill: Is Ella birth control or abortion? Novel Ideas: Statesmen once looked to great works of literature to help them understand the world — no longer (and a review of Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft, and World Order by Charles Hill). From Wishtank Edu, Paul Grobstein on Diversity and Deviance: A biological perspective; Garrett Heany on The Chess Analogy: Positional decision making in a changing world; and an interview with The Yes Men. How much is enough? Lawrence Wittner on America's runaway military spending. South America gave up its dictator habit two decades ago, which is why the inauguration of Suriname's President-elect, former dictator Desi Bouterse, is raising tropical concerns. From Big Think, Michael Stone explains his scale of evil. What has become of genius? In the early 21st century, talent appears to be on the increase, genius on the decrease. Have editors and writers always hated each other?

An interview with Mark Valeri, author of Heavenly Merchandize: How Religion Shaped Commerce in Puritan America. To men traveling through the British colonies, everything was new — especially in the bedroom. A review of Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America by Jack Rakove. Was the American Revolution just? A review of Anglophilia: Deference, Devotion, and Antebellum America by Elisa Tamarkin. A review of Jesus and Gin: Evangelicalism, the Roaring Twenties and Today's Culture Wars by Barry Hankins. The signpost at the crossroads: When it comes to politics, abortion remains at the intersection of religion and American public life. A review of The Religious Left and Church-State Relations by Steven H. Shiffrin (and more). It is ironic that the South is regarded as backward, ignorant and uncivilized by what we think of as the intelligentsia of the world. After the 2010 census we could see something of a neo-confederate majority in Congress; historical patterns may be repeating themselves, but they could produce a very different final result. America, land of loners: Americans, plugged in and on the move, are confiding in their pets, their computers, and their spouses — what they need is to rediscover the value of friendship. More and more and more on Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America by Nick Rosen.