Articles

The Life of Tiger: A Midwesterner’s View

Woods may be Californian by birth, and a Floridian by residence, but I believe there’s something in his latest comeback capable of stirring the soul of even the most reticent, celebrity-wary Middle American. I would never say that Tiger is us—he’s rich and famous and talented beyond my wildest imaginings and far more complex and conflicted than today’s hero-worshipping media narratives would have him be. But this late-career Tiger, the one grappling with his own limitations, the one braving the specter of very public failure, the one aging toward gratitude and grace and away from hard-driven egotism—is an icon that rings true.

Pawns On the Board, on Both Sides of the Pacific

The old neighbourhoods are not coming back amid the glass and concrete of today’s Shanghai. Half of the Andean countryside is beginning to look less like villages and more like mining settlements whose denizens want to leave. And the last few years have shown that liberty and truth are felt less in the bones by each new cohort of educated élites who will go on to craft policy. Still, something more timeless does come through in the frustration that I see growing on the faces of young Chinese on my Zoom screen, as they say they feel more like pawns on a shrinking board than ever before, and in the firm handshakes of the stubborn activists who will not yield and who appreciate the chance to talk with anyone sympathetic.

College: A Place for Training Exiles

It is a hard task to learn to plant roots in a place from which you know you will be uprooted. It is also the task that we, mirroring Israel in Jeremiah 29, are called to do. Through the process of planting gardens, marrying, having children, raising our children, and being planted and watered, we can shadow what our true home is to our neighbors and loved ones.

The Banalities of “the Birth of Modern Agriculture”: A Review...

All of the biases, all of the bloodlessness, and all the banalities of Tractor Wars, I suggest, are the products of a whole way of thinking about technology, agriculture and the economy, one that values invention over implementation or use, innovation over maintenance or care, and the “modern” over the technologies that are proven to work better for the plants, animals and people of the broader communities of agriculture in the present as well as the past.

P.G. Wodehouse and the Idea of Genius

We might not use the word “genius” in all these contexts, but the mystery is the same. Where did this exceptional ability come from? Is it just another trait like brown eyes or curly hair? We know only that this aptitude defies our disciplines and formulas and couldn’t have been foreseen. Bestowed upon otherwise ordinary people, genius singles them out in one salient regard. It’s a gift that the wise don’t take for granted, a revelation that might beckon each time we visit a gallery, see a movie, attend a concert, open a book.

Severe Mercies and Magnanimous Despair

If students grew up moving from city to city, or if they hail from a soulless suburb, or if they are inevitably complicit in economic and social systems they deplore, does reading Berry put them on a path to despair?

Chuck Marohn on the Human Errors of Traffic Engineering

Host:  John Murdock Guest:  Charles “Chuck” Marohn Chuck Marohn, the founder of Strong Towns and author of Confessions of a Recovering Engineer, discusses streets, roads, “stroads,”...

An Exception that Proves the Rule: NFTs Don’t Serve the Great...

Chris Hytha is a laudable example of somebody civilizing our approach to digital assets, and I fully support him. I’m glad to see fellow Philly Porchers Anthony Hennen and Nick Russo elevate Hytha’s work, but I don’t see any way to align the Wild West NFT economy with Wendell Berry’s “Great Economy.”

Resist Not Crypto

The status of NFTs in the world of 2027 depends, in large part, on how well we’re able to incorporate them into our positive vision of the good. We can, and should, step back and question them. But to stay removed from the craze is to abdicate our duty to shape the future in accordance with our values. The NFT trend marches on: will we help to choose its destination, or will we resign ourselves to futile finger-wagging?

Your Brains are in Your Hands: Doug Stowe on Forming Mind,...

Stowe’s book is both timeless and timely. Our physical embodiment as human creatures is always essential, but it is especially so amid increasing digitality. The last two years of pandemic-related economic fluctuations and supply-chain instabilities have further driven home the importance of developing manual competence on a local and familial level, which adds to the book’s importance.