From the Journal of Academic Freedom, a special issue on academic boycotts. Michael Bikard (LBS): Is Knowledge Trapped Inside the Ivory Tower? Technology Spawning and the Genesis of New Science-Based Inventions. Publish or perish: Bret McCabe on how academic publishing confronts its digital future. Jonathan Wai and Max Nisen on the complete ranking of America's 501 smartest colleges. Which bogus list of universities is the best? Mora Caplan-Bricker on the college rankings ranking. Glenn C. Altschuler reviews Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities by Craig Steven Wilder. Rob Asghar on the toughest leadership job of all — it's not what you think. William Vesterman on Rutgers, Inc., or how Thorstein Veblen explains today’s policies in higher education. Marko Milanovic on academic spam. David A. Hollinger on the wedge driving academe's two families apart: Can STEM and the human sciences get along? Anna Grzymala-Busse on how area-studies centers are vital but vulnerable. Where have all the geniuses gone? Darrin M. McMahon on how the term has become generic, and all but banished from academe. You can’t just end an era: Sangamithra Iyer on Cooper Union. What if colleges embraced affirmative action for class instead of race? Sophie Quinton investigates. Low-income students going to college is now set to become the latest thing that conservatives hate. Should public education be free? Or, perhaps, what should the phrase “free public education” mean? (and more)

From FT, a special section on the new physics, including Clive Cookson on how Britain’s “top scientist” Martin Rees says our brains may not yet have evolved sufficiently to unlock the secrets of the cosmos. Steven Weinberg on physics: What we do and don’t know. A digital copy of the universe, encrypted: As physics prepares for ambitious projects like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, the field is seeking new methods of data-driven discovery. Jonathan Ree reviews Newton and the Origin of Civilisation by Jed Buchwald and Mordechai Feingold. The cosmos is cracked: Clara Moskowitz on how a computer simulation of the universe shows that it may be filled with “defects in spacetime”. The Big Bang may not have spawned the universe after all: Our universe might actually be the result of the collapse of a four-dimensional star. Rhett Allain on a media guide for physics. The secret to the universe is at the bottom of a hole in South Dakota. Mark Jackson on how theoretical physics is like sex, but with no need to experiment. There could be 40 billion habitable Earthlike planets in our galaxy alone — this has been another semi-regular reminder of your insignificance. Adam Mann on the experiments most likely to shake up the future of physics. It’s a physics world: Philip Ballon how distinctions between “discoveries” and technological “spinoffs” are meaningless, even misleading.

Ciara Hackett (QUB): Responding to Crisis: When the Telephone Fails. Gillian K. Hadfield (USC) and Barry R. Weingast (Stanford): Microfoundations and the Rule of Law. The miraculousness of the commonplace: Morgan Meis on remembering Arthur Danto. Locked in the cabinet: Glenn Thrush on the worst job in Barack Obama’s Washington. Jason Fagone on how High Times magazine may be the most influential publication of our era. Kenneth Roth on the NSA’s global threat to free speech. From New York, the idea of starting a (non-digital) magazine in this day and age seems downright insane — and yet, for those keeping score at the newsstand, dozens upon dozens of them have sprung up in the past few years. Aya Lowe on how remote islands are coping with Typhoon Haiyan's devastation. From UN Dispatch, Mark Leon Goldberg on how the UN responds when a massive disaster strikes; and the UN thinks you should give a crap (and more on World Toilet Day). Barrett Brown is bored out of his mind in jail. Neil Irwin on everything you need to know about JPMorgan’s $13 billion settlement. Kate Wong on why the U.S. destroyed its ivory stockpile. Jonathan Zakarin on how to write an awesome movie, according to some of Hollywood's best writers. Who are the six greatest living artists? This provocative, perhaps unanswerable question is worth asking for what it reveals about a cultural arena in which money and fame often seem to be the paramount obsessions.

Obamacare enrollment seems to be recovering from its slow start and picking up in the last few weeks. In states where the website works, Obamacare works too. Jonathan Cohn on six things the media doesn't understand about Obamacare: People losing their insurance is a bigger story than people getting insurance for the first time. Michael Kinsey on how people complaining about Obamacare insurance cancellations want to get something for nothing — and Obama encouraged them to think they could. Igor Volsky and Adam Peck on the Obamacare cancellation notices you haven’t heard about. David Warsh on a simple step with which the president can begin to re-establish his authority. Matthew Yglesias on the broken system behind The lead contractor on the federal exchange is prospering like never before. Meet the bureaucrats now deciding Obamacare’s fate. Michael I. Niman on Obamacare and the Republican Party's long con. Joshua Green on Marco Rubio's devious new plan to kill Obamacare. "Repeal and replace," as the Republican slogan went, has effectively morphed into "repeal and then we'll consider doing something but we're not sure what". Tom Tomorrow on Republican alternatives to healthcare. Rightblogger rage that health plans could change turns to rage that health plans could stay the same. We're about to learn whether the anti-Obamacare crowd will control the narrative, or have to fold it up. All sorts of things will happen to Obamacare in the next few months — Obamacare hyperventilation to continue forever!

Haifeng Huang (UC-Merced): A War of (Mis)Information: The Political Effects of Rumors and Rumor Rebuttals in an Authoritarian Country. Roderic Broadhurst (ANU): The Legacy of the Bo Xilai Trial: How Corruption and Its Suppression Threaten China's Future. From n+1, Rebecca Liao on China’s constitutional crisis. From NYRB, a review essay on China by Ian Johnson. Gideon Rachman reviews The China Choice: Why We Should Share Power by Hugh White. Adam Minter explores China's central role in the world's vast global recycling trade. John Knight on five reasons why China has the most interesting economy in the world. A letter from a Chinese forced-labor camp is found in Kmart Hallowe'en decorations. Christopher Beam on his day in the world's biggest building — a Chinese mall you've never heard of. Hayes Brown on the relaxation of China’s infamous “one-child” policy. China's building cities so fast, people don't have time to move in. Why do international students go to China? Andrys Onsman investigates. Eliza Filby on teaching China's Anglophiles. Why are hundreds of Harvard students studying ancient Chinese philosophy? Christine Gross-Loh wonders. It’s OK if your kid isn’t fluent in Chinese yet. Forget prophecy and wisdom — using the I Ching is a weirdly useful way to open your mind to life’s unexpected twists. Andaleeb Akhand on explaining the longevity of the Chinese world order. Daniel Bell on why we must measure national harmony: The ideal is as universal as freedom, fairness, and happiness.

Kenneth Williams (South Texas): Justice or Peace? A Proposal for Resolving the Dilemma. From Viewpoint, a special issue on workers. Who’s good at forecasts? A look at how to sort the best from the rest. David Miranda is nobody’s errand boy: When Glenn Greenwald’s 28-year-old Brazilian partner was detained in London this summer while transporting documents related to the bombshell Edward Snowden story, many assumed he was unfairly roped into a situation he didn’t understand — that couldn’t be further from the truth. West faces challenge in moving Syrian chemical arms through battlefields. Brandon Keim on why laws restricting soda sales make perfect scientific sense. Kevin Drum on Larry Summers, secular stagnation, and the Great Investment Drought. Of course Tim Geithner is joining a private equity firm: The former treasury secretary's next move is intended to preserve his dignity — it won't. Should human dignity be upheld at all costs? Jasper Doomen wonders. The first chapter from The Alzheimer Conundrum: Entanglements of Dementia and Aging by Margaret Lock. "I'm not a pseudoscientist!": Deepak Chopra and Jerry Coyne battle over what "science" really means. How many people born in the 1800s are still alive? Anna Baddeley on how the Public Domain Review demonstrates the power of digital curation: With so much literary content available for free online, it's a relief when someone cherry-picks the things worth reading. This is not your father's Wall Street Journal.

Andrew Ascherl (New Mexico): Infrapolitics and the (Non)Subject: On Ethics, Politics, and Radical Alterity. Harry Walton (Edinburgh): The Constitution of the Subject in the Works of Michel Foucault. Simone Gustafsson (Melbourne): “Outside of Being”: Animal Being in Agamben’s Reading of Heidegger. Maebh Long (USP): Derrida Interviewing Derrida: Autoimmunity and the Laws of the Interview. Walter Edward Hart (Texas A&M): What Would Foucault Do? Rethinking Thinking in Sociology. From Radical Orthodoxy, Cyril O'Regan (Notre Dame): Hegel, Sade, and Gnostic Infinities; and Neil Turnbull interviews Philip Goodchild on Deleuze, Marx, and the extent of the theological. Tom Bartlett on Paul de Man's many secrets: A biography two decades in the making reveals what the renowned theorist concealed. Christopher Chitty on Foucault’s Addendum: Finally published, Foucault’s lecture notes from 1970–71, his first year teaching at the College de France, demolish the caricatures of his thought. Will Self takes a walk through the banlieues of Paris and is astonished by the prescience of Guy Debord's 1967 masterpiece The Society of the Spectacle, which so accurately describes “the shit we're in”. Vice travels to Ljubljana, Slovenia, to meet superstar Communist philosopher and cultural theorist Slavoj Zizek. 120 minutes with Slavoj Zizek: Interrogating cinema, pornography, and the surveillance state with the pervert philosopher (and more). “Cut the Balls”, Zizek parody mocks critical theorist.

Neville Morley (Bristol): History as Political Therapy. Professions and publics: James Herbert on three views of doing history. History without end: Stuart Whatley on reading purpose back into time. Ben Alpers on how the past may not be as usable as we once thought. Why is the study of history so peculiar? Axel Kristinsson investigates. Daniel Johnson on the decline and fall of the history men: Historical awareness is no longer seen as the cornerstone of a good education — we are falling victim to cultural amnesia. Scott K. Taylor on historians and the problem of miracles: Historians, like most academics, are a secular lot — is this a bias that prevents a deeper understanding of religious history? Dan Allosso on the temptation of historical fiction. If you believe what David Barton says about the founding of this country, than you are either a mark or a fool, but probably both. Robert Paul Wolff on how to do history (and part 2). Larry Cebula writes an open letter to the historians of the 22nd century: Sorry for all the stuff. Simon Schama is a man always making history. MacArthur “genius” Robin Fleming on using archaeology to write history, wants historians to stop being afraid of science. Tim Lacy on going meta on historical thinking. This is what happens when historians overuse the idea of the network. The newly translated The Allure of the Archives ponders and celebrates archival research — Scott McLemee thinks it's a classic. You can download Whose History? Engaging History Students through Historical Fiction by Grant Rodwell.

Luigi Zingales (Chicago): Preventing Economists' Capture. From GQ, Jeanne Marie Laskas goes inside the world of the double-crossing fake hitman. It came from an Egyptian tomb — well no, actually, it didn’t, but once a myth lurches into life, there’s no stopping it. Jerry Coyne on how pseudoscientist Rupert Sheldrake is not being persecuted, and is not like Galileo. Hi honey, I'm home: Autumn Whitefield-Madrano on makeup and cohabitation. Peter Savodnik goes inside Lee Harvey Oswald's lost Soviet days. From The Christian Post, Joe Beam on dealing with a spouse's sexual past (or your own). Dick Cheney is an even bigger monster than you thought: Listen to the man with a taxpayer-funded new heart wax indifferent to the life of his donor. Enter the grifters: Rogue “insurance” providers are telling customers they've found a way to get around Obamacare regulations and still sell “junk” insurance policies. Obamacare is having one huge success nobody knows about — making other health-care programs better. They’ve learned nothing: Betraying any knowledge of political science, media embarrasses itself with a phony frenzy — here's how bad it was. Politico Magazine looks like an in-flight magazine — critics pounce. Andrew Sullivan expands The Daily Dish with monthly subscription-only magazine called Deep Dish. Lane Brown on the last culture guide you’ll ever need. Alli Reed on the 5 weirdest side effects of moving to a new country.

What is an American conservative? Patrick Deneen investigates. Zombie apocalypse or marginal revolution? Jason Kuznicki on Nick Land, neo-reactionaries, and the heterotic society. Gracy Olmstead on searching for a truly compassionate conservatism. Rick Perlstein on the Right and pyramid schemes (and part 2, part 3, and part 4). Libertarians are very confused about capitalism: Elites didn't get rich off of some “free market” — here's why libertarians should back radical wealth redistribution. Amanda Marcotte on contraception extremism and the Right-wing bubble. Do libertarians need God? Apologist Jay Richards says theism necessary for freedom, human rights. Phyllis Schlafly has some serious concerns about U.S. immigration: Beware of polygamous Muslim immigrants on welfare bringing Sharia law. Sean McElwee on Ayn Rand’s vision of idiocy — understanding the real makers and takers: Sorry, but making a profit off something that's useless to society is not morally superior to helping others. Meet the right-wing group masquerading as a mainstream nonprofit — but pushing extremist laws across the country. The Republican ignorance of economics appears to be far more dangerous than previously believed. Do Republican presidents kill babies? Conservatives confident America rejecting Obamacare, ready for every-man-for-himself care. Sorry, John Stuart Mill was not a libertarian. Is IKEA the new model for the conservative movement? Jane Meyer investigates. A poll finds conservatives more offended by rainbow flag than Confederate flag.