11 for '11

(Photo by zizagou76 via Flickr Creative Commons)

                                                                            

Part 1:

Why Music Writing Matters in 2011

In his introduction to an anthology of The Best Music Writing 2011, Alex Ross shares a selection of tweets reacting to bassist and singer Esperanza Spaulding’s upset over teen star Justin Bieber for the Best New Artist Grammy.

Raj Patel, Sherry Turkle, Bruce Levine, Tyler Cowen and Eliza Griswold...oh, my! We smack a big red bow on our 11 for '11 series of conversations with big thinkers, analyze their predictive powers, and talk about their spheres of influence.  How  

We also look at some folks who, in retrospect, should have made the list, like leading edge tweeter Evan Hill, and music critic and retro-downer Simon Reynolds

Throughout the year, we’ve been featuring a series we call 11 for 11… conversations with innovative thinkers who challenge and provoke new ways of thinking about the issues of our time. Dr. Raymond Tallis is a former clinical neuroscientist turned author.

Photo by jetheriot, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Here on Word of Mouth, we love brain science.  Brain-science in the courtroom.  Brain-science and aesthetics. Brain-science and poverty.  Image a brain and we'll hear your pitch with open ears.

This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, we talk with Harvard experimental psychologist Stephen Pinker about his new book, Better Angels of Our Nature, about the history of violence, and why it's declined

Links:

This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, we talk with poet and journalist Eliza Griswold, about her book The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam. Griswold spend seven years traveling the band of the globe called the 'tenth parallel,' the latitude about ten degrees above the equator where two worlds collide.

This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, we talk with psychologist, author and blogger Bruce Levine, a radical progressive calling for the resurgence of an active and energized democracy. Polls show that politicians are out of step with the will of the citizens on issues like the wall street bailout, health care reform and the current deadlock over raising the debt ceiling.

This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, it’s energy, specifially oil. Oil is trading at 112-dollars a barrel, up from 86-dollars a year ago. Michael Klare says the era of easy oil is behind us. He’s made news for his concept of “extreme energy” – the pursuit of fossil fuels in increasingly difficult environments using expensive and sometimes dangerous methods.

mikebaird / Flickr/Creative Commons

Today we have this month's 11 for '11 segment, focusing on how the increasingly dangerous pursuit of oil affects the market price. Plus, alcoholism in Russia, and a journalist shares stories from inside the Balkan Underground, a crafty, cynical, and fearless network that has heisted hundreds of millions of dollars worth of jewels in 26 countries.

A new book by George Mason University Economics Chair Tyler Cowen has inspired spirited debate among beltway and economics circles. Published only as an e-book, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better argues that America's economic growth plateaued in the 1970s. Median wages have stagnated since, he says, because we have eaten all the low hanging fruit that enabled innovation to flourish and average income to grow across the board.

In January, the global food price index rose for the seventh month in a row, reaching the higest level since record keeping began in 1990. Raj Patel is an activist and academic whose book, Stuffed and Starved, predicted the food crisis that caused riots on four continents back in 2008. More recently, his book, The Value of Nothing, argues that we as citizens should rethink our assumptions about rational markets and the very meaning of democracy.