Roundup: Good October Reads

A highlight reel of some of the best online reading from the past two weeks.

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At risk of doing something “bloggy” on a blog, we finally decided to start doing a regular roundup of good online articles. There is good writing out there that respects or validates tradition but tackles 21st-century problems from a fresh perspective. Our hope is that you can save some time by finding a lot of it here. We can’t write columns on all of it, and sometimes people’s writing just stands best on its own anyway. We’ll do this every other Friday and see if you like it.

To share a good read you’ve found, use the Contact page. If we like it too, we’ll link to it and credit you.

  • “A Very Brief Theology of New Media Culture” (Joe Carter in First Things)
    • If, like us, you write for a blog and value culture, you have a tough question to deal with: why do you deal with permanent and lasting things (e.g. truth and culture) in a medium so temporary that no one will read what you write even one week later? Carter raises and tackles the question.
  • “Governor Hickenlooper on ‘Bottom-Up’ Thinking, Collaboration” (Jeff Hopfenbeck and Ben Jourdan in the El Pomar Foundation blog)
    • One of several current governors to keep an eye on. If you’re right-leaning, you know about Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie. But you might not know about Colorado Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper, a Denver brewery owner who wants Colorado solutions to come from the bottom and be as unique as each geographical area. If you want to keep an eye on how state and national governments are trying to foster localist-friendly policies, keep an eye on this fellow.
  • “Paul Ryan on Uncommon Knowledge” (Paul Ryan and Peter Robinson on NRO)
    • Rep. Ryan’s video interview on “Uncommon Knowledge” showcases Ryan at his best, because he has time to answer questions in more than 10 seconds. In this link, to section 4, Ryan gives the Burkean reason why we can’t make government policy fit Milton Friedman’s ideals.
  • “From Aspiration to Stagnation” (Ryan Streeter on NRO)
    • Excellent example of the link between social issues and economic issues, in the form of a well-collected summary of recent research on why American’s aren’t starting new businesses, hiring new people, or making new families.
  • Symposium on Giving to Arts and Culture (Philanthropy Magazine)
    • Philanthropy Roundtable’s excellent publication offers in its summer issue a series of articles on what strategic arts patrons are doing to revitalize American culture. The symposium includes stories on Rick DeVos’s city-wide arts contest that catalyzed an arts revival in Grand Rapids, the Philadelphia Opera’s “Random Acts of Culture” (a YouTube hit) that led to flash mob performances of Handel and Bizet, and a series of mini-interviews with philanthropists about “really smart gifts to the arts.”
  • “Business and the Literati” (Algis Valiunas in National Affairs)
    • Valiunas of EPPC pens (er…) a good history of why American literature and arts portray businessmen with such disdain.
  • “Nathan Glazer’s Warning” (Howard Husock in City Journal)
    • Social policy often does more harm than good, says one of the last of the original neocons…with the stats to back it up.
  • “Birth of a Salesman” (Richard Brandt in The Wall Street Journal)
    • “No, communication is terrible!” declared Jeff Bezos at an early managerial staff retreat. He wanted a company so decentralized—no team bigger than could be fed by two pizzas—that innovation kept coming up, and stagnation and groupthink never materialized. The result:

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