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Scientists Answer the Most Provocative Questions

Science today is more a process of collaboration than moments of individual “eurekas.” This book recreates that kind of synergy by offering a series of interconnected dialogues with leading scientists who are asked to reflect on key questions and concepts about the physical world, technology, and the mind. These thinkers offer both specific observations and broader comments about the intellectual traditions that inform these questions; doing so, they reveal a rich seam of interacting ideas.

A Citizen's Guide to the Debate over Taxes

To follow the debate over tax reform, the interested citizen is often forced to choose between misleading sound bites and academic treatises. Taxing Ourselves bridges the gap between the oversimplified and the arcane, presenting the key issues clearly and without a political agenda. Tax policy experts Joel Slemrod and Jon Bakija lay out in accessible language what is known and not known about how taxes affect the economy and offer guidelines for evaluating tax systems—both the current tax system and proposals to reform it.

Selected Stories

Tangier is a possessed city, haunted by spirits of different faiths. When we have literature in our blood, in our souls, it’s impossible not to be visited by them.
—from Another Morocco

“Public space” is a potent and contentious topic among artists, architects, and cultural producers. Public Space? Lost and Found documents how critical spatial practices have expanded the concept far beyond the physical confines of the city square. The book considers the role of aesthetic practices within the construction, identification, and critique of shared territories, and how artists or architects—the “antennae of the race”—can heighten our awareness of rapidly changing formulations of public space in the age of digital media, vast ecological crises, and civic uprisings.

A History

Energy is the only universal currency; it is necessary for getting anything done. The conversion of energy on Earth ranges from terra-forming forces of plate tectonics to cumulative erosive effects of raindrops. Life on Earth depends on the photosynthetic conversion of solar energy into plant biomass. Humans have come to rely on many more energy flows—ranging from fossil fuels to photovoltaic generation of electricity—for their civilized existence.

Youth, Risk, and Opportunity in the Digital World

It’s a familiar narrative in both real life and fiction, from news reports to television storylines: a young person is bullied online, or targeted by an online predator, or exposed to sexually explicit content. The consequences are bleak; the young person is shunned, suicidal, psychologically ruined. In this book, Jacqueline Ryan Vickery argues that there are other urgent concerns about young people’s online experiences besides porn, predators, and peers. We need to turn our attention to inequitable opportunities for participation in a digital culture.

The Andrew Cunanan Story

It was suddenly chic to be “targeted” by Andrew.... It also became chic to claim a deep personal friendship with Versace, to infer that one might, but for a trick of fate, have been with Versace at the very moment of his “assassination,” as it had once been chic to reveal one’s invitation to Cielo Drive in the evening of the Tate slayings, an invitation only declined because of car trouble or a previous engagement...
—from Three-Month Fever

An Intuitive Approach with Examples

This textbook offers an introduction to advanced microeconomic theory that emphasizes the intuition behind mathematical assumptions, providing step-by-step examples that show how to apply theoretical models. It covers standard topics such as preference relations, demand theory and applications, producer theory, choice under uncertainty, partial and general equilibrium, monopoly, game theory and imperfect competition, externalities and public goods, and contract theory; but its intuitive and application-oriented approach provides students with a bridge to more technical topics.

Living with Pollution in Rural China

Residents of rapidly industrializing rural areas in China live with pollution every day. Villagers drink obviously tainted water and breathe visibly dirty air, afflicted by a variety of ailments—from arthritis to nosebleeds—that they ascribe to the effects of industrial pollution. “Cancer villages,” village-sized clusters of high cancer incidence, have emerged as a political and cultural phenomenon. In Resigned Activism, Anna Lora-Wainwright explores the daily grind of living with pollution in rural China and the varying forms of activism that develop in response.

“I loved Michel as Michel, not as a father. Never did I feel the slightest jealousy or the slightest embitterment or exasperation when it came to him. It was something that no one has a right to expect from the best son or the best lover.”
—from Learning What Love Means

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