Books

Before You Reboot the NSA, Think About This

The paradox of reforming the secrecy-industrial complex

Think the courts or Congress or the bureacracy can reform the NSA? Think again.

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Does therapy help or hurt the writing process?

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On this day in 1930, Upton Sinclair won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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Patchett only skims the surface of her own life.

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What Happens When the British Stop Being Polite and Start Getting Real

Intimacy and the decline of manners in society

Is intimacy always a good thing? It has become customary to suggest that it is. But rather than being democratic, intimacy can be troublesome. Today we are obliged to be relaxed. Casualness is mistaken for fairness. The idea that each of us should do what makes us feel comfortable does not result in other people’s comfort and hardly seems to improve our own. I’ll call this the paradox of laxity: to paraphrase the sociologist Norbert Elias, we are constrained to be unconstrained.

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In an enlightening interview, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio—who in about 36 hours will be Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio—further contributed to the sense that despite his dominance among several demographics even in the Democratic primar

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Who could be more American than an oil baron?

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You Can't Learn About Morality from Brain Scans

The problem with moral psychology

Joshua Greene's book is intended as a radical challenge to the assumptions of that philosophical enterprise. It benefits from his familiarity with the field, even if his grasp of the views that he discusses is not always accurate.

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6 Great Works of Literature Written in 6 Weeks or Less 

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Federal Bureaucrats Declare 'Hunger Games' More Complex Than 'The Grapes of Wrath'

The Common Core's absurd new reading guidelines

Meet the "Lexile," the absurd reading metric for the Common Core.

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