“Wild and Domestic.” Wendell Berry writes in Orion Magazine about this odd binary: “With only a little self-knowledge and a little sitting still and looking, the conventional perspective of wild and domestic will be reversed: we, the industrial consumers of the world, are the wild ones, unrestrained and out of control, self-excluded from the world’s natural homemaking and living at home.”
“Brazil’s Right-Wing Hugo Chavez.” Michael J. Ard hopes that Bolsonaro will lead Brazil toward stability, but he isn’t optimistic about the new nationalist president.
“The Attention Games.” Megan Garber worries about the state of our media ecosystem in which information multiples and attention fragments: “The word distraction comes to the English almost directly from the Latin: distrahĕre, ‘to pull asunder.’ Lurking in that history is the recognition that the state of distraction is not merely annoying or inconvenient; it can be destructive and dangerous.”
“When Work and Meaning Part Ways.” Jonathan Malesic rightly argues that our culture has a warped view of work, but I’m not convinced that his conclusion—”we don’t need meaningful work”—offers a much better perspective. I’d suggest instead that we need to model our work after the work of monks.
”Why Woodworker (and Actor) Nick Offerman Wants You to Unleash Your Inner Crafter.” Lisa Boone talks with Nick Offerman about the need to make things. As Nick concludes, “if every household made something, we’d be a lot better off.” (Recommended by Jack Baker.)
”Nuclear Power Will Not Save Us From Climate Change.” M.V. Ramana and Robert Jensen critique the “technological fundamentalism” that undergirds the latest IPCC report. Technological fundamentalism is “the belief that the increasing use of evermore sophisticated, high-energy, advanced technology can solve any problem, including those caused by the unintended consequences of earlier technologies.”
“Personal Panopticons: A Key Product of Ubiquitous Surveillance is People Who are Comfortable with It.” L.M. Sacasas argues that many modern consumer devices make surveillance pleasurable and rewarding. Yet instead of doubling down on individual privacy, Sacasas concludes that “we need a new story to make the value of privacy seem compelling again. It may be that the best reason for me to guard my privacy is my desire to protect your freedom.”
“Rec League Politics.” Anthony Resnick has some ideas for practicing politics, and they are much more effective than mere voting: ”For a healthy politics, we need more players. We need a YMCA rec league approach to politics, not a major leagues approach. . . . More of our attention than ever before is devoted to politics, and yet we are woefully out of practice when it comes to democracy.”
“What’s Behind the Crippling Dairy Crisis? Family Farmers Speak Out.” As Lela Nargi reports, it’s not easy being a dairy farmer these days.