“Will Technology Enhance or Deplete Relationships?” Matthew Loftus draws lessons on electronic medical records and our broader use of technology from What is Not Sacred?, a book by the Tanzanian priest Laurenti Magesa: “Our local affections will have universal implications for how we use technology, farm the land, and execute trade. And in the global realm as well as the communal, love and sanity require limits.”
“Why So Many COVID Predictions Were Wrong.” Jerusalem Demsas asks why so many predictions about the consequences of COVID turned out to be inaccurate. There’s not a single reason, but understanding what went wrong might help us learn from these mistakes: “In a crisis, credibility is extremely important to garnering policy change. And failed predictions may contribute to an unhealthy skepticism that much of the population has developed toward expertise.”
“China, Ukraine & The Western Soul with N.S. Lyons.” Alexander Beiner interviews N.S. Lyons about Ukraine and the unfolding tensions between what Lyons terms the “Virtuals” and the “Physicals.” (Recommended by Bernie Franceschi.)
“American Contrapasso: The Kingdoms Are Always Near.” Doug Sikkema ponders Randy Boyagoda’s imaginative novels and ponders the meaning and shape of tradition.
“Hopkinsville Memorial Service Highlights Bell Hooks’ Place in Literary World.” Jennifer P. Brown records that many Kentucky writers and friends who remember the life and legacy of bell hooks. Wendell Berry commented that “as a member of the disappearing class of agrarians, . . . he reads bell hooks with a sense of not only being spoken to but also of being spoken for.”
“A Regenerative Grazing Revolution Is Taking Root in the Mid-Atlantic.” Lisa Held reports on the spread of regenerative grazing and the complicated, still mysterious dynamics of soil biology.
“What I Saw at the National Conservatism Conference.” Dan Hugger reflects on what he saw and heard at last fall’s National Conservatism Conference. He was mostly unimpressed: “Like Yoram Hazony, I too want to see America as a great Christian nation with a Christian public life. This is the most surprising and startling common ground I share with my National Conservative hosts. How it can be accomplished by branding, political coalitions, and unleashing our ids is something I do not understand.”
“Expanding the ‘Community’ in Community-Supported Agriculture.” Caroline Tremblay describes “programs in both Vermont and New Hampshire [that] aim to reduce the cost of local CSA shares for residents in need of financial assistance, while at the same time ensuring farmers have the monetary support to be successful.”
“Literature for Life.” Humanities Watch interviews Zena Hitz about the Catherine Project: “any ancient book, any great book, shows you a piece of your humanity that you did not know before. It shows you possibilities for being human, both good and bad. That’s what the humanities are all about: it’s about seeing different dimensions of the human being. . . . You need to feed your imagination with different possibilities for different modes of life. There’s nothing more useful than being able to re-imagine your circumstances.”
“It’s Time to Bust Up the Major League Baseball Monopoly.” John W. Miller isn’t a fan of how MLB is run: “Like a lot of sectors of American life, from health care to social media, the problem with baseball is not that it’s a business. The problem is that it is a monopolistic business that overcharges, underpays and doesn’t give fans enough choices. Business, as Pope Francis says, is a noble vocation, but only if it enables human flourishing and sustains broad-based prosperity.”
“Wittgenstein, Cassirer, Heidegger, and Benjamin Walk into a Bar.” Daniel Walden reviews two recent group biographies of philosophers. He concludes that “the joy that both books take in philosophy is infectious, and the upshot is clear: this is a joy to be shared with the people around us, because philosophizing is a quintessentially human activity.”
“Orban’s Victory Might not Make Sense to the West. But it’s What Hungary Wants.” Henry Olsen provides a bit of context for Fidesz’s electoral victory in Hungary, arguing that “Orban was reelected because of his combination of market economics, nationalism and social conservatism.”
“Mushrooms Communicate with Each Other Using Up to 50 ‘Words’, Scientist Claims.” Are the electric signals sent between fungi meaningful? Linda Geddes weighs the findings of a new study on these transmissions.
“Identity vs. Intimacy.” If Julia Evanko’s review of Christine Emba’s book was of interest, see also Tara Isabella Burton’s thoughtful review of the same book.