“The Unlikely Activists Who Took On Silicon Valley—and Won.” Nicholas Confessore tells the story of how a real estate investor convinced California to pass a data privacy law despite the objections of Facebook and Google.
“How’s that Swamp Draining Going?” Gracy Olmstead describes the corruption and bloat that continues to plague the Farm Bill.
“Wrestling the Giant: Why I Deleted Instagram.” Andrew Peterson reflects on the benefits and temptations of social media. This picks up on many of the themes discussed in our “localist social media” discussion earlier in the year.
“The Eclipse of Catholic Fusionism.” Kevin Gallagher narrates the decline of the alliance between social conservatives and free-market capitalism:
It is not only Catholics who in these latter days are eager to look beyond the historical horizons offered by liberalism. Liberalism today is beset from all sides by competing ideologies. Faced with new or resurgent nationalisms in the United States and in Europe, an increasingly assertive socialism, and the grand and antipolitical visions brewed in Silicon Valley, Catholics and non-Catholics alike can more confidently conclude that American constitutionalism or “classical liberalism” will have to look outside itself for answers.
“Wendell Berry and Higher Education with Jack Baker and Jeffrey Bilbro.” David Kern chatted with Jack and me about Berry, the importance of his fiction, and universities.
“News from Midland, South Dakota.” The first installment of Joseph Bottum’s new column on life in the fly-over state of South Dakota.
“The Humanities Are in Crisis.” Benjamin Schmidt parses the data on the steep decline in humanities majors and identifies a possible cause: “Students aren’t fleeing degrees with poor job prospects. They’re fleeing humanities and related fields specifically because they think they have poor job prospects.”
“Drought In Central Europe Reveals Cautionary ‘Hunger Stones’ In Czech River.” Camila Domonoske reports on an unusual form of placed knowledge.