“Has Our Food Become Safer in the Last 10 Years?” Four experts discuss food safety regulations, consolidation, and local food systems for Civil Eats.
“Starting Seeds.” Darby Weaver surveys some of the many institutions that are training and supporting young farmers who want to practice local, sustainable agriculture.
“Dubrava Ugrešić Looks for Home.” Joel Pinckney considers two books by the Yugoslovian Ugrešić, claiming that the “sense of a lost home, and the disorientation Ugrešić experiences in its wake, is at the heart of her work.”
“In Wendell Berry’s Essays, a Little Earnestness Goes a Long Way.” If you want to read a remarkably condescending, irresponsible review of the Library of America’s collection of Wendell Berry’s essays, The New York Times has you covered with this one by Dwight Garner.
“John Lukacs: Iconoclast and Self-Styled ‘Reactionary.’” John Rodden remembers the kind of teacher and person that Lukacs was.
“Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life is not a Typical World War II Drama.” Alissa Wilkinson reviews Malick’s new film and praises its portrayal of humble fidelity: “It is in our human nature to love the story of a person who did great things: saved lives, wrote books, stood against the dictator who wiped out millions of lives. It is less common for us to celebrate a man who threw away a comfortable life and simply refused to do what he knew he could not, and paid with his life.” I’m reminded of Wendell Berry’s critique of the “heroic” in his essay “The Gift of Good Land,” where he enjoins the drama of ordinary life in its stead: “The drama of ordinary or daily behavior also raises the issue of courage, but it raises at the same time the issue of skill; and, because ordinary behavior lasts so much longer than heroic action, it raises in a more complex and difficult way the issue of perseverance. It may, in some ways, be easier to be Samson than to be a good husband or wife day after day for fifty years.”
“Unflinching: G.E.M. Anscombe at a Hundred.” John Schwenkler reflects on Anscombe’s legacy on the centenary of her birth, and he praises her as someone “who spent her life trying to deliver the truth from obscurity, even—or perhaps especially—when the truth was inconvenient.” (Recommended by Bill Kauffman.)
“Josh Hawley, the Senator From Main Street.” Writing for The American Conservative, James P. Pinkerton wonders if Senator Hawley is the heir to Teddy Roosevelt and William Jennings Bryan.
“In Praise of a Nonelite Education.” Katherine Maloney, a professor of chemistry at Point Loma Nazarene University, makes a case for the value of nonelite colleges that parallels in many ways the argument Jon Schaff made for FPR yesterday.
“An (Even More) Inconvenient Truth: Why Carbon Credits For Forest Preservation May Be Worse Than Nothing.” Lisa Song conducted a lengthy investigation for Pro Publica on whether carbon offsets or “Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation” are effective. Her answer, basically, is not really.
“China’s Alarming AI Surveillance of Muslims Should Wake Us Up.” Tim Weinhold writes for the Washington Post about China’s oppressive use of cameras, facial-recognition software, and “reeducation and training” camps.
“The American Solidarity Party is a Third Party that Actually Makes Sense.” Matthew Walther charts a strategy for the ASP, a “socially conservative and economically moderate” party, to gain greater influence in national politics.
“Rural Americans Would be Serfs If We Abolished the Electoral College.” Trent England defends the Electoral Colleges and other safeguards that restrain majorities from misusing their power.
“Algorithmic Governance and Political Legitimacy.” I’m not sure if Matthew Crawford successfully ties together all the threads he introduces into this essay, but he does propose some provocative links between political legitimacy, surveillance capital, political correctness, and populism. I hate to suggest another thread, but I think Charles Taylor’s account of “code fetishism” would be a helpful addition to the argument Crawford is making.