Social Science

Jenny Diski: On Babyface

Jenny Diski— The great advantage over real live creatures that my Three Bears had in common with Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, aside from not needing to be fed or produce droppings, was neoteny. Mickey and my ursine family looked only glancingly like a mouse or brown bears, and much more like babies.

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Writing and Self-Hatred

Devorah Baum— In his amazingly pleasurable new book, In Writing, psychoanalyst and writer Adam Phillips describes writing, in his experience, as an “amazing pleasure.” Lucky him. He sits down to write, he says, and the writing just happens—he’s never “trying” to write and meeting some sort of internal resistance or

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Sorkin on the Racing Line

Clive James— Both The Sopranos and Band of Brothers were HBO cable productions, and their collective impact might tend to persuade us that network television was left nowhere. But it’s a law of the arts that a stylistic innovation gets instantly everywhere, like heat or cold; and in fact, even while HBO

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Net Neutrality and The Internet of Things

Philip N. Howard— The internet of things will help bring structure to global politics, but we must work for a structure we want. This is a challenging project, but if we don’t take it on our political lives will become fully structured by algorithms we don’t understand, data flows we

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Pride Month Bookshelf: LGBTQIA+ History, Cultural Studies, and Literature Beyond June

Presenting our Yale University Press Pride Month reading list—because celebrating #Pride2017, learning from the history of the movement, championing stories and contributions of LGBTQIA+ individuals, and working each day to insist on equal and fair treatment of queer communities should extend far beyond June. Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World by Gregory

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Why Oil Prices May Go on Falling – Forever

Dieter Helm— When the Saudis decided to draw a halt to the great shale oil boom in the United States at the end of 2014, they thought they could administer a short, sharp shock of lower prices that would kill off this threat, and then the market would rebalance again

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The (False) Promise of Social Media Self-Enterprise

Brooke Erin Duffy— With the skyrocketing growth of the independent employment economy, entrepreneurialism has emerged as a profoundly romanticized ideal for workers and career aspirants alike. A survey published last year by the Economic Innovation Group reported that sixty-two percent of eighteen to thirty-four year olds have considered launching their

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Exploring the Bystander Effect

Joel E. Dimsdale— The very public murder of young Kitty Genovese in New York City motivated the next social psychology exploration on the nature of malice. On the night of March 13, 1964, Genovese left work and was walking on a street in Kew Gardens, Queens, when she was chased

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Remembering the 1967 Six-Day War

Guy Laron— Are wars the result of accidents, compounded by misassessments, misunderstandings, and miscalculations? If this is true, there is no one to blame; according to this view, wars simply happen. But perhaps wars are born out of meticulous and willful planning by individuals and institutions that might benefit from war. If

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Stage Fright, Shyness, and Speaking to the Crowd

Joe Moran— I have been shy for as long as I can remember. For half of my life it just seemed an inconvenience, something to live with rather than be curious about. I became interested in shyness as a subject—one that might repay careful reflection—when I began to find my

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