“What a Famous Poet Can Teach Rural Pastors.” Stephen Witmer looks at George Herbert’s classic and asks, “what if we were to read Country Parson for its original purpose: as a guide for doing rural ministry?”
“Celebrating the American Front Porch.” Strong Towns had two essays last week on the front porch. Campbell McCool writes about the meaning of front porches and the conference he’s organizing this year in Mississippi to reflect on their significance.
“Refuge and Prospect: The Front Porch.” And Beth Ann Fennelly offers a beautiful ode to the front porch: “No other architectural space is so deliciously not/and: not inside, not outside. Not public, not private. Not house, not garden.”
“Want to Start a Local Revolution? Ask a Kid This Question.” Also at Strong Towns, John Pattison asked his 11-year-old daughter “What are your hopes for our neighborhood?” and got some excellent answers.
“The Turing Machine Speaks.” Roger Scruton critiques Yuval Noah Harari’s intellectual project, arguing, “The obstacle that stands in the way of all biological reductionism is not consciousness but self-consciousness, the “I think” that accompanies my perceptions, as Kant put it.”
“What Economics is For.” Marco Rubio draws on Catholic Social Teaching to advocate for the necessity of good work: “The dignity of work, the Church instructs us through documents like Rerum Novarum, is not just the concern of individuals. It is the concern of communities and nations to provide productive labor to their people.”
“Warren and Sanders Think This Farm Policy Will Help Rural America Rebound. Does it Stand a Chance?” Siena Chrisman, writing for Civil Eats, reports on the growing support for supply management in agriculture circles.
“Doorbell-Camera Firm Ring Has Partnered with 400 Police Forces, Extending Surveillance Concerns.” Drew Harwell connects some disturbing dots. But don’t worry, the FPR porch has no surveillance cameras.
“Declawing Simone Weil.” Scott Beauchamp argues that Karen Olsson’s The Weil Conjectures: On Math and the Pursuit of the Unknown is a failure, but an instructive one.
“Who Do Machines Work For?” Oren Cass reviews The Technology Trap, by Carl Benedikt Frey, and finds its analysis flawed. Nevertheless, he concludes that Frey’s examples suggest technologies are most likely to replace workers when social policies allow businesses to draw on “a cheaper and more pliant” workforce to run their machines, whether through child labor or offshore factories.