Yanis Varoufakis: What You Heard About Tomorrow's Greek Election Is Wrong
According to standard media accounts, tomorrow’s parliamentary election in Greece is actually a referendum on the euro, because a victory by Syriza, the “radical left” party, would lead Greece to exit the euro zone. That’s nonsense, explains Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis, who helped Syriza develop its strategy.
T.M. Luhrmann: How God Became Nice
In researching her new book When God Talks Back, anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann spent two years at an evangelical church called the Vineyard. She didn’t find much fire and brimstone there. Here she explains how evangelicals came to embrace a kinder, gentler God:
Marc Ambinder: How Washington's Gay Mafia Helped My Career
Marc Ambinder: Chris Hayes and the New Politics of Stigmatization
Veteran political journalist Marc Ambinder recently relocated from DC to California and, in parting, wrote a much-discussed piece on things he learned about Washington while living there. I asked Ambinder to reflect on the controversy surrounding MSNBC host Chris Hayes’s famous Memorial Day weekend remarks about the word “heroes”. In particular, I asked, do the attacks on Hayes reflect a change in the quality of Washington discourse?
Shadi Hamid: The Case for Intervention in Syria
Shadi Hamid, Research Director of the Brookings Doha Center, favors military intervention in Syria by a coalition consisting of Turkey, Arab nations, and western nations. Here he makes the case for intervention, and I raise some doubts about its wisdom, and he responds to them:
Paul Zak: The Scientist Who Became a Promiscuous Hugger
Paul Zak, author of the new book The Moral Molecule, is a pioneer in the study of oxytocin, the neurotransmitter that brings feelings of trust and empathy. Having stimulated the release of oxytocin in experimental settings, he decided he’d try to stimulate its release in less formal settings. And that, as he explains here, is how he became known as “Dr. Love.”
Matthew Hutson: Is Magical Thinking Good for You?
Matthew Hutson’s book The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking is about the ways most people, even atheists, are prone to illusions--ranging from out-and-out superstitions to subtler departures from rationalism. Are these illusions, on balance, a good thing?
Matthew Hutson: Is Caring About Your Legacy Irrational?
Matthew Hutson’s new book The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking discusses ways most people, even atheists, think “magically”--ranging from out-and-out superstition to subtler departures from rationalism. Hutson contends that caring about your legacy is an example of magical thinking, and here I challenge him on that point:
David Frum's Ironic Indictment of the Ruling Class
David Frum’s new novel Patriots is, among other things, an indictment of the ruling class. But, unlike many such indictments, Frum’s complaint isn’t about a concentration of power per se. Here, after relaying a scene from the novel, he puts a finer point on his critique of modern America:
Is David Frum's New Novel an Act of Revenge?
David Frum was famously fired by the conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute and is now considered an apostate by much of the conservative establishment. As it happens, the conservative establishment doesn’t come off looking too good in his new novel Patriots. I asked Frum whether the book is payback: