“Flourishing in a Digital World.” John Fea records a live episode of The Way of Improvement Leads Home podcast. Near the end, the conversation turns to FPR’s recent localist social media conversation that Matt Stewart provoked.
“Parts Unknown: West Virginia.” Anthony Bourdain visits coal country West Virginia. As a New Yorker, he does his best to listen carefully to these Trump-voting hunters, miners, and culinary experts who have long been treated as exploitable resources. (Recommended by Jeff Polet.)
“Pride and Fear in Our Small Towns.” Robert Wuthnow draws attention to some of the reasons rural America is hurting these days: “During the last decade of the 20th century alone, more than 7,000 of the nation’s 18,000 schools in small towns closed.”
“This is Giant Mine.” Jimmy Thompson visits a mine clean-up site in Yellowknife. Despite the lasting mess this mine has caused (projected to cost Canadian citizens over one billion dollars), a new mine may soon open nearby.
“The Wendell Berry Catalogue.” All of Berry’s books will soon be back in print from Counterpoint Press.
“Second-Person Politics.” Gerald Russello reviews Roger Scruton’s Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition. He sums up Scruton’s argument, claiming “conservatism is about home, how we figure out what home is and how to create and sustain one.”
“Reading Together.” Marilyn McEntyre recommends reading with others, and she offers ideas for how to do this.
“The Center for the Study of Ethics and Technology is Relaunching.” Michael Sacasas announces the relaunch of an important center dedicated to thinking critically and theologically about technology and ethics.
“The Galloping Gourmet Made Cooking Fun on TV Long before Food Network. Now He’s Back.” Rebekah Denn writes about a newly-reissued book by one of the first TV celebrity chefs. Yet as he told a group of college students gathered in his home for a meal, Graham Kerr now eschews celebrity:
If each of us thought, we are not likely to get a major TV show, but we are likely to have neighbors — and if you could contribute to neighbors, like growing a garden or sharing produce — there’s nothing like it. . . . You can make a difference on a one-to-one basis. When you yourself feel that you’ve got to inspire thousands of people, something rotten takes place inside, and you start to think of yourself as something more than you are. And we have a world that’s full of people like that, and they lead people astray very often.
“Tired of Winning: D.C. Think Tanks, NYC Magazines & the Search for Public Intellect.” Jon Baskin, an editor at The Point, narrates his experience working with intellectuals who care more about advancing a particular political agenda than actually thinking. We want to win the debate more than we want to speak—and stand by—the truth:
Our political conversation today suffers from hardly anything so much as a refusal of anyone to admit the blind spots and weaknesses of their ideas, the extent to which they fail to tell the whole truth about society or even about their own lives. In our eagerness to advance what we see as the common good, we rush to cover over what we share in common with those who disagree with us, including the facts of our mutual vulnerability and ignorance, our incapacity to ever truly know what is right or good “in the last analysis.”