Jeffrey T. Howard and Alexis Santos (Penn State): Estimates of Excess Deaths in Puerto Rico Following Hurricane Maria. Tsilly Dagan (Bar-Ilan) and Talia Fisher (Tel Aviv): State Inc. (“Conventional wisdom holds that citizenship is not a consumer good and that the goods that the state confers upon its constituents — e.g., economic and social rights, access to its publicly provided goods, political voice and identity — are not for sale”). Do you really know what Bitcoin is? A guide for the confused. Trump is only first-year president to ever lose Most Admired Man poll. Russia never stopped its cyberattacks on the United States. Why wage a war on Christmas? The interrogation of tradition is a fine and healthy thing — but sometimes a tradition turns out to hold all, or many, of the answers within it.


Jacquelien van Stekelenburg, Bert Klandermans, and Agnes Akkerman (VU Amsterdam): Does Civic Participation Stimulate Political Activity? Chris Wells (Wisconsin) et al: When We Stop Talking Politics: The Maintenance and Closing of Conversation in Contentious Times. Melissa Harris interviews Teresa Bejan, author of Mere Civility (and more). Is it time to retire the word “citizen”? Kate Reed Petty wonders. Geoff Pfeifer (WPI): Whither Citizenship in the Age of Trump. What is to be done? Barrett Brown on why it is time to consider alternate systems of governance. Our world outsmarts us: Social problems are fantastically complex, while human minds are severely under-engineered — is democracy doomed?

Technology is changing the way people think about — and participate in — democratic society; what does that mean for democracy? A scholar asks, “Can democracy survive the Internet?” Treat people as citizens: How a generation of political thinkers has underestimated the abilities of ordinary people and undermined democracy. “Democracy vouchers” aim to amplify low-income voices, to conservative ire. You can download Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines, ed. Elizabeth C. Matto, Alison Rios Millett McCartney, Elizabeth A. Bennion, and Dick Simpson.


John Tillson (Liverpool Hope): Is All Formative Influence Immoral? The case for a screen-free childhood: Eleanor Barkhorn interviews Andy Crouch, author of The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place. Sex makes babies: As far as we can tell, no other animal knows this — did our understanding of baby-making change the course of human history? Thomas Baudin, David de la Croix, Paula E. Gobbi on endogenous childlessness and stages of development. Child-free and loving it: A turn of the century look at your barren womb. Rivka Weinberg (Scripps): How Many Children Should We Create? It Depends. The case for not being born: The anti-natalist philosopher David Benatar argues that it would be better if no one had children ever again.


Want to know why there are so few Republicans in the humanities? In dramatic shift, more than half of Republicans now say colleges have a negative impact on the U.S., with wealthier, older and more educated Republicans being least positive. Elitists, crybabies and junky degrees: A Trump supporter explains rising conservative anger at American universities. Elite colleges are making it easy for conservatives to dislike them. Liberals can’t ignore the Right’s hatred for academia. Conservatives charge that universities are hotbeds of liberalism — they’re wrong. The kids these days: “The idea that leftist activist faculty are indoctrinating students to become radical lefties is just NOT supported by data”.

Conservatives are the real campus thought police squashing academic freedom. Jeff Sessions just criticized university safe spaces — but conservatives want their own safe spaces too. Joseph Heath on affirmative action for conservative academics. Having “right-wing” values is not easy on college campuses, but it can be rewarding. This professor wants to teach administrators not to cave in to right-wing outrage.


Joseph Carroll (Missouri), John A. Johnson (Penn State), Catherine Salmon (Redlands), Jens Kjeldgaard-Christiansen and Mathias Clasen (Aarhus), and Emelie Jonsson (Gothenburg): A Cross-Disciplinary Survey of Beliefs about Human Nature, Culture, and Science. Is violence embedded in our DNA? Some research suggests that throughout our evolution an innate tendency toward fighting shaped human anatomy — but anthropologists are sharply divided on the matter. The first chapter from The Genome Factor: What the Social Genomics Revolution Reveals about Ourselves, Our History, and the Future by Dalton Conley and Jason Fletcher.


Where is Trump’s cabinet? It’s anybody’s guess — agency heads are carrying out the Trump administration’s agenda largely in secret, in many cases shielding their schedules from public view. Too lazy to kill regulations, Trump is ignoring them instead. How a gay friendly and “very pro-choice” Trump created the most anti-choice, anti-LGBT administration in generations. How a low-level decision on baggage fees spotlights the worst of Trump. “He’s not weak, is he?”: Inside Trump’s quest to alter the judiciary. Long after Trump is gone, we’ll still be fighting him. Tough times for liberals mean it’s time to toughen up: Treasured institutions are reeling — fixing them will require more than a pledge drive.

Trump’s first year was even worse than feared — but voters can change things up at the ballot box in 2018. America is not yet lost: So far, the nation hasn’t retreated into cynicism.


Johann Frick (Princeton): Conditional Reasons and the Procreation Asymmetry. Morgan Ricks (Vanderbilt): Money as Infrastructure (“Bank regulation is therefore properly understood as a subfield of infrastructure regulation”). How the world changed around Sergio Aragones and Mad magazine: Examining the role of satire in an era of absurdity. The first chapter from Reputation: What It Is and Why It Matters by Gloria Origgi. “The world’s biggest terrorist has a Pikachu bedspread”: Not every leaker is an ideological combatant like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning — Reality Winner may be the unlikeliest of all. Obamacare will survive: It won’t be pretty — but the law might really, finally be in the clear.


Frank Pasquale (Maryland): Professional Judgment in an Era of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. John Danaher (NUI Galway): Building a Postwork Utopia: Technological Unemployment, Life Extension and the Future of Human Flourishing. David Gunkel (Northern Illinois): Rage Against the Machine: Rethinking Education in the Face of Technological Unemployment. It’s puppets vs. robots: Tom Whyman on the god in the machine. Out of road: Leslie Hook on driverless vehicles and the end of the trucker. The end of work, individualism, and the human species: Derek Thompson interviews Yuval Harari, author of Homo Deus.

A.I. will transform the economy — but how much, and how soon? Brad DeLong on automation, labor and the future of work. Welcoming our new robot overlords: Once, robots assisted human workers — now it’s the other way around. Are we about to witness the most unequal societies in history? You will lose your job to a robot — and sooner than you think (and more and more). We’re so unprepared for the robot apocalypse. Kai-Fu Lee on the real threat of artificial intelligence. Chill: Robots won’t take all our jobs. Why I’m skeptical that robots will take all our jobs. History and economic theory suggest that fears about technological unemployment are misplaced.


Leslie Kendrick (Virginia): Free Speech as a Special Right. Flip-flopping on free speech: Jill Lepore on the fight for the First Amendment, on campuses and football fields, from the sixties to today. Michelle Goldberg on the worst time for the Left to give up on free speech. Michael H. Schill on the misguided student crusade against “fascism” on campus. Stop telling students free speech is traumatizing them. Joseph Heath on freedom of speech on campus (and more). Could everyone please stop freaking out about college students, please? Some thoughts on that survey claiming college students are hostile to free speech. The campus free speech wars are dramatically changing what it means to be a college Republican.

Kashana Cauley on when conservatives suppress campus speech. There is no 1st Amendment right to speak on a college campus. Erwin Chemerinsky on how hate speech is protected free speech, even on college campuses. Universities can’t have it both ways on free speech. Do Americans support free speech on college campuses? Absolutely — except sometimes. There have been so many bad lefty free-speech takes lately. Williams College president: Don’t ignore the real threats in the debate over free speech. Professors are losing their freedom of expression. Death threats are forcing professors off campus. Free speech isn’t under attack on campuses: It’s just being extended to more groups.

The two clashing meanings of “free speech”: Today’s campus controversies reflect a battle between two distinct conceptions of the term — what the Greeks called isegoria and parrhesia.


June Carbone (Minnesota) and Naomi Cahn (George Washington): Nonmarriage. Is an open marriage a happier marriage? What the experiences of nonmonogamous couples can tell us about jealousy, love, desire and trust. Why marriages succeed — or fail: Sean Illing interviews Eli Finkel, author of The All-or-Nothing Marriage: How the Best Marriages Work. How did marriage become a mark of privilege? America, home of the transactional marriage: The country’s exceptionally thin safety net prompts residents — especially those with less-steady employment — to view partnership in more economic terms. Nona Willis Aronowitz on why we should weaponize marriage against Trump (no, really). Let’s stop treating the divorce rate like the crime rate.

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