When you consider the intelligence explosion effect, the next few decades could determine the future of intelligent life. But should we listen to futurists or are they leading us towards "nerdocalypse"?

In the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can spend an unlimited amount of money to support candidates. How's that working out?, asks blogger Kevin Drum. The Boston Review has a symposium on "Democracy After Citizens United," including a lead essay by Lawrence Lessig (who also writes more in The Washington Post), and responses by Will Wilkinson, Allison Hayward, Nancy Rosenblum and others. Law professor Molly J. Walker Wilson challenges the decision in Too Much of a Good Thing: Campaign Speech after Citizen United, and NYU's Samuel Issacharoff uses Citizens United to examine what possibilities for reform remain to redress the vulnerabilities of democracy before the powers of the purse How much has the case changed campaign finance in 2010? Kenneth P. Vogel writes in Politico that a massive $4.2 million ad buy announced Tuesday by American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS erases any doubts that the groups, conceived by veteran GOP operatives Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, have the cash to be major players in next month’s election. WaPo columnist Eugene Robinson writes that it's unconscionable that we can't know who the buyers are of public offices these days. Mother Jones has just published a special report: "Who owns Congress?," detailing the top corporate spenders. And the latest issue of PS: Political Science & Politics has a series of articles on the 2010 mid-term elections.

Is Tehran a suitable host for World Philosophy Day? Why some are calling for a boycott.

Increasingly DIY and nihilistic, it's not surprising that contemporary philosophy is drawn to the untilled fields of undead subculture. The recent book Hideous Gnosis unleashes a bloodthirsty plague of para-academic commentary upon Black Metal, but how to talk about a music that refuses to talk about? Heather Havrilesky investigates Lady Gaga's strangely empty song of herself in a review essay in Bookforum's music issue.

How good are we at estimating other people's drunkenness? Psychologist Steve Rubenzer investigates.