Right-wing billionaires and business propaganda: An excerpt from Joshua Holland's The Fifteen Biggest Lies about the Economy (And Everything Else the Right Doesn't Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs, and Corporate America). Whose media bias? Progressives' attempt to reshape the media has had some successes, but the failures may be more instructive. Chasing Fox: Gabriel Sherman on the loud, cartoonish blood sport that’s engorged MSNBC, exhausted CNN — and is making our body politic delirious. Why politics sucks: Political debate is so shallow and devoid of nuance that it is stifling the momentous decisions we may need to make this century. Why I love partisanship: Political feuding dominates our land — and in the eyes of one European, that’s exactly how it should be. How can Americans talk to one another — let alone engage in political debate — when the Web allows every side to invent its own facts? The Myth of Consensus Politics: For most of the past century, consensus in American politics has been more phantom than fact. In a sign of political junkies' further-diminishing free time, there's a service that will, essentially, read political books so you don't have to. D.W. MacKenzie on the impossibility of an informed electorate. Increasing numbers of ordinary Americans believe the U.S. political system is “fixed” against them — they’re not wrong. Why do our leaders disappoint us? It might have something to do with us. Michael Kazin on the myopia of anti-Washingtonitis. A "Government Doesn't Suck" march is planned. What normal person would put up with the inane indignities of the electoral process? New research looks at the importance of looks in running for office. A look at how D.C. became Hollywood for semi-attractive people. How GOP insurgents borrow from the left to move America right. Throw the Bums In: Americans distrust the GOP, so why are they voting for it? (and a response) Eight false things the public “knows” prior to Election Day.

Keith Swisher (Phoenix): Lawyers as Johns: The Professional Responsibility to Pay Lady Justice. From Vice, a special issue on comedy. Morals without God? Frans de Waal on how primate behavior sheds light on the origins of our sense of right and wrong. A review of The Shadow Market: How a Group of Wealthy Nations and Powerful Investors Secretly Dominate the World by Eric J. Weiner. A look at 6 bullshit facts about psychology that everyone believes. From California Law Review, a symposium on Martha Nussbaum's view on same-sex marriage and the constitution. Why commercial fishing is the deadliest job in America (and more). Riding the edge: For a moment, skaters, punk bands and artists had a secret place to call home. Research discovers how the deaf have super vision. When will obscenely rich aholes stop crying about taxes? Bill Maher wants to know. From New Statesman, an interview with Paul Johnson: “I suspect the sex abuse scandal has been greatly exaggerated”. The Nerd Report remains to this day one of the most extensive and far-reaching nerdological investigations ever undertaken. From Fortune, meet Josh Kaufman, the enemy of the MBA (and more). Private Security: Amitai Etzioni writes in defense of the "virtual strip-search". From Wired, Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson debate where ideas come from. Why are the effects of marijuana so unpredictable? Joseph Epstein has finished writing a book — now comes the anxiety. What will happen when the Earth's magnetism reversal occurs? For more than 40 years, social scientists investigating the causes of poverty have tended to treat cultural explanations like Lord Voldemort: That Which Must Not Be Named. An interview with Paul Thagard on books about the meaning of life. A look at 5 simple things you won't believe are recent inventions.

Jennifer Ritterhouse (GMU): Dixie Destinations: Rereading Jonathan Daniels' A Southerner Discovers the South. As home to America’s id, New Jersey’s pop-culture landscape has mutated, peaking with The Sopranos, then regressing into the Reality TV mud of Real Housewives and Jersey Shore; with Boardwalk Empire, HBO reaches further back, into the state’s proud, bullet-laced past. Size Matters: An article on small towns with big things. New England’s hidden history: More than we like to think, the North was built on slavery (and more). From Main Street News, an article on Bonaparte, Iowa: The Little Town That Could. Gangs of LA: All conflict tends towards binarity, be it on the chess board, in the political arena or on the mean streets of Los Angeles. Detroit’s decades-long collapse has left wide-open spaces for all sorts of possibility to flourish; it’s not exactly anarchy, but the place doesn’t operate by the rules of a normal American city. The small Nevada town of Battle Mountain has embraced its designation as the "Armpit of America" with an Old Spice-sponsored festival. The United States of Star Wars assigns a planet from the Star Wars universe to each state, which then illustrated appropriately. From Texas Monthly, a look at the history of Texas (according to Wikipedia). A review of Banktown: The Rise and Struggles of Charlotte's Big Banks by Rick Rothacker. How can the United States of America pretend to lead the fight against global money laundering given the "business" of Delaware? There’s a strange phenomenon in Los Angeles: the Betty Boop phenomenon. Worlds away from what we see on Jersey Shore, HBO's Boardwalk Empire has reignited interest in New Jersey history and culture: An interview with Bryant Simon, author of Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America. A look at some real world superheroes of the South. Rhode Island will vote on whether to drop "Plantations" from its name. Choire Sicha on America's top ten least pageview-garnering cities.

Jonathan Cohn (UCLA): The Virtual Aesthetics of Cosmetic Surgery: The Pleasure in Imagining the Body Morphed. A look at the 5 most mind-blowing coincidences of all time. From Philosophy TV, Jason Brennan and Neil Sinhababu debate political liberties and hedonism. How long has the "dumb blonde" meme been around? A review of The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Moral Values by Sam Harris (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). How the couple behind the Idiots books really collaborate. Creepypasta: From the files of the /B/tards. The power of realistic thinking: How can we avoid the pitfalls of too much optimism and too much pessimism? Humanoid Rights: The ACLU looks to science fiction to prepare for future threats to civil liberties. Friends with benefits: When you can't dress, eat, or go to the bathroom on your own, privacy takes a back seat to trust. A review of Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson (and more). Lonnie Johnson, the inventor of the Super Soaker, is trying to create a radical new solar-powered engine — he has the Air Force’s attention. "Lord of war" and "Merchant of death" Viktor Bout has had his fingers in many bloody conflicts over the years; the Russian arms dealer, who has been in a Thai prison since 2008, is now likely to be extradited to the United States — will he reveal the names of his backers? Regular exercise can help us live longer — but what exercises are the most effective, and how much do we need? New research suggests that more is better, and variety is best. From Britannica blog, a forum on Proposition 19 and the legalization of marijuana. A review of Bob Woodward's Obama's Wars (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more).

Here is the latest issue of Techne. From Transformations, a special issue on Bernard Stiegler and the Question of Technics. Joseph Isenbergh (Chicago): Last Apps Standing. Future shock, postmodern nostalgia, and uncanny technologies: A review of Obsolete: An Encyclopedia of Once-Common Things Passing Us By by Anna Jane Grossman. A review of Nanoethics: Big Ethical Issues with Small Technology by Donald P. O'Mathuna. Being a behemoth: how Microsoft (and 9 others) make their billions. The iPhone4 STILL doesn't have Dvorak? Kill QWERTY! From Wired, Clive Thompson on the death of the phone call. An article on 11 technologies in danger of going extinct. PCs built for the Apocalypse: There are plenty of nearly indestructible computers. From American Scientist, an article on the Great Principles of Computing: Computing may be the fourth great domain of science along with the physical, life and social sciences; and a review of The Cultural Logic of Computation by David Golumbia. What will happen when technology no longer augments our reality, but overthrows it? An interview with William Gibson on his relationship with technology. Peter Kirwan on why TV will outlive newspapers. Techno-porn: How the sex industry drives mainstream technology. A review of A Culture of Improvement: Technology and the Western Millennium by Robert Friedel. A code for chaos: Just how dangerous has a computer worm and cyberwarfare become? In defense of the Taliban: As poverty’s historical enemy, technology will always defeat extremism. A review of The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics by Luciano Floridi. Computers can auto-generate processes, so can we really use them for scientific research if we can't control them? A review of Kevin Kelly's What Technology Wants (and more). A review of Between Reason and Experience: Essays in Technology and Modernity by Andrew Feenberg. A review of I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works by Nick Bilton. An interview with Clifford Nass, an expert on how people respond to technology.

Manuel Mueller-Frank (Oxford): The Role of Religion in the Creation of Economic Societies. Christian Brown and Anthon Eff (MTSU): The State and the Supernatural: Support for Prosocial Behavior. Maximiliano E. Korstanje (Palermo): Ideology and Prejudices: Exploring the Roots of Religion. Edward Dutton on implicit religion. Do all religions share a common thread? A clear-eyed understanding of our religious differences may be the best hope for promoting cooperation among different religions. Holy places should unite humanity; too often, they have the opposite effect. A review of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us by Robert Putnam and David Campbell. Religion in a centerless society: An excerpt from Damon Linker's The Religious Test: Why We Must Question the Beliefs of Our Leaders (and more). An interview with Gabe Lyons, author of The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America (and more). From Paranormal America, here is a table linking paranormal beliefs to various religions in America. A review of The Evangelicals: What They Believe, Where They Are, and Their Politics by Christopher Catherwood. The Reformer: How Al Mohler transformed a seminary, helped change a denomination, and challenges a secular culture. Walking away from church: Organized religion's increasing identification with conservative politics is a turnoff to more and more young adults — Evangelical Protestantism has been hit hard. A review of Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites and Other Lies You've Been Told: A Sociologist Shatters Myths from the Secular and Christian Media by Bradley Wright. Preface to anatomy of deception: Mark Jarmuth on how liberals lie about Christianity. How best to respond to the New Atheists: A review of Against All Gods: What's Right and Wrong About the New Atheism by Phillip E. Johnson. A review of Huston Smith’s Why Religion Matters: The Fate of the Human Spirit in an Age of Disbelief. What is wrong with fundamentalism, anyway, and is there such a thing as a fundamentalist atheist?

From the latest issue of Human Affairs, Silvia Galikova (SAS): The Feeling Brain — The Thinking Soul; Simone Belli (UAM), Rom Harre (Georgetown) and Lupicinio Iniguez (UAB): What is Love? Discourse about Emotions in Social Sciences; Tatiana Buzekova (SAS) and Monika Isova (Comenius): Disgust and Intimacy; and a review of Emotions in Social Science: A Reader. Let us now celebrate the losers: We owe a debt to failures, to those creative ideas that flamed out or gloriously flopped. You are what you click: Marshall McLuhan once told us that “the medium is the message” — now the medium is rewiring the human brain. From NYRB, what to do about Guantanamo? A review essay. A review of Kosher Nation: Why More and More of America’s Food Answers to a Higher Authority by Sue Fishkoff. A look at 6 iconic jobs that are going away forever. Playing air guitar is every frat boy’s favorite party trick but, the fact is, air guitar has roots that extend back prior to the heyday of heavy metal. Happy 200th, Snow White: Fairy tales do one thing, but they can do it in several different ways. When historian Jill Lepore stumbled on a letter from John Adams about the lies of American history, it brought to mind her own youthful brush with the Revolutionary spirit (and more). Corn and country: Julie Greene on Nebraska, Mexico, and the global economy. It is often asked: what is the difference between imaginative literature and other sorts of intellectual endeavor? The introduction to Lawyers and Fidelity to Law by W. Bradley Wendel. Era Klein on infrastructure, the best deal in the economy. When Machines Kill: What does it mean for a machine to "decide" to kill someone? They’re hiding the sex scenes: Somebody had been messing with Judy’s book. In the tank, on the clock: Can we kill time before it kills us?

The origins of life: Mineralogist Bob Hazen believes he's discovered how life's early building blocks connected four billion years ago. A review of The Art of Plant Evolution by W. John Kress and Shirley Sherwood, and Flora Mirabilis: How Plants Have Shaped World Knowledge, Health, Wealth, and Beauty by Catherine Herbert Howell. A look at how plants drove first animals onto land. Research suggests monkeys have cognitive abilities once thought unique to humans. Do new discoveries ever “rewrite evolutionary history”? Research confirms the mother of all humans, a "mitochondrial Eve", lived 200,000 years ago. Are humans continuing to evolve — and, if so, is our basic biological nature changing, or has modern culture stopped evolution? A review of Biology Is Technology: The Promise, Peril, and New Business of Engineering Life by Robert Carlson. A review of Designer Genes: A New Era in the Evolution of Man by Steven Potter. A review of Drawing the Map of Life: Inside the Human Genome Project by Victor McElheny (and more). Craig Venter thinks he can change the world, but he already has — from mapping the human genome to creating the world's first man-made bacterial cell, Venter achieved a lifetime of innovations in just ten years. An interview with Craig Venter: "We have learned nothing from the genome". Genome as commodity: In a few years, millions will have purchased their own genome. Which population is most genetically distant from Africans? Amerindians. Black men can swim: Advances in genetics are finally allowing us to get to the bottom of long-held racial myths. As scientists explore the genetic links between Jewish populations, rabbis and thinkers wrestle with the question of what this means for Jewish identity. A look at how human diversity not that great. When the key to good genetics research isn't in the genes: It's hard to link a gene to a condition if you're not exactly sure how to define that condition in the first place. It has long been suggested that a mother’s and father’s genes do not play exactly equal roles, and new research points to asymmetry that could be far more substantial than thought. A review of Choosing Tomorrow's Children: The Ethics of Selective Reproduction by Stephen Wilkinson.

A new issue of Homeland Security Affairs is out. From The Washington Monthly, a cover story on The Next Real Estate Boom: How housing (yes, housing) can turn the economy around; want to really fix the economy? Stop spending $300 billion a year on foreign oil, and invest it instead in ethanol and other homegrown fuels; and President Obama wants us to support ethanol — how about we do something better for the American farmer? A prince on politics: A review of The State in the Third Millennium by Prince Hans-Adam II. Rob Horning on the authenticity crisis and the dream of escaping irony. Don't want the government, big industry, and some 15 year old to know your secrets? You're shit out of luck. On blowing my load: Thoughts from inside the MFA ponzi scheme. Although the bank bailout program TARP officially ended on Sunday, it's likely that we'll see something like it again one day. Here's a multi-part series by Fran Markowitz, author of Sarajevo: A Bosnian Kaleidoscope, on her recent trip to Sarajevo and Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina. From Swans, a special issue on immigration. What Columbus Day really means: If you think the holiday pits Native Americans against Italian Americans, consider the history behind its origin. James Ley deems Terry Eagleton’s serpentine arguments for a "materialist" interpretation of morality as "borderline delusional". Friends of Noah: Jon M. Sweeney on the Judaic roots of the blessing of animals. Flamboyant and controversial, Arthur Demarest is one of the world’s foremost authorities, who is reshaping ideas about this ancient, advanced but long-lost Maya society. Who really rescued General Motors? Malcolm Gladwell reviews Steven Rattner's Overhaul. With the decline of the wristwatch, will time become just another app?

From World Policy Journal, a special issue on the global art canon, including an introduction, the Big Question: Is there a global canon? A panel of experts weigh in; David Palumbo-Liu and Dr. Paulo Lemos Horta on teaching the canon; Joel Whitney on a mongrel canon; and the editors select artists, composers, filmmakers and photographers to showcase the vast scope and creativity of the Global Canon. Arti$ts and the Market: Many in the art world cling to the myth that financial gain does not motivate artists — this is not only bad economics, but bad art history. Pop goes the art market: A $40 million Lichtenstein? James Franco, Lady Gaga, and the rise of celebrity art: Why are so many artists using celebrities in their paintings, sculptures, and installations? Meet the world’s 10 most powerful artists. Britain's cultural community warns spending cuts will mean a "blitzkrieg" for the arts — but isn't austerity supposed to deliver punk rock and poetry? A review of Trespass: A History of Uncommisioned Urban Art. Art vs. the World: How does one relate to the other? An epidemic of easy-to-manipulate "arty" images infesting our blogs and our Facebook pages is way out of control. The first chapter from Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work by Edwidge Danticat. Special forces: Is specialization killing art today? Minimalism has been the defining style of our era, but now it’s in retreat (and more). A look at 7 priceless works of art ruined by staggering acts of idiocy. Has Ricardo Dominguez, a cyberscholar and artist-provocateur, courted controversy once too often? An article on the beastliness of modern art. Four books mark the increased interest in the 17th-century painter Caravaggio. Let them eat paint: It’s time for a separation of art and state. Art and politics: How young revolutionary David Alfaro Siqueiros fooled the city elder.