Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blogs to love

Here are several blogs worth reading, all of which focus on education, community, and the search for a good (or at least viable) life:

Front Porch Republic: Its tagline says it all: Place. Limits. Liberty.  The conservatism of FPR's writers is bracing and clear-eyed--no promises that a set of tax cuts or free-trade agreements will solve the world's ills.  Instead, a willingness to examine ills, local or global, in the context of the limits of the earth, and the limits of human beings.

The School of Life:  A British gathering of academics and civic innovators, who've set up a location for learning that does some of what schools do, but does it in a particularly thoughtful way.  Take a look, for instance, at today's post about the creation of healthy minds.

The Politics of Well-Being: British journalist Jules Evans' regular examination of the search for well-being. He mixes a nose for trends just emerging (positive psychology, for example) with pithiness and neo-aristotelianism.

The Big Society Watch and InCommon from the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University: The Big Society watch traces Great Britain's experiment with Tocquevillian social change in modern Europe;  InCommon looks at civil society in California.

Cato Unbound: Most blogs purport to show diversity of thought and real intellectual engagement.  This one actually does.  The exchanges on typical libertarian topics (the limits of government, for example) can get to be inside baseball quickly (unless you are deeply familiar with libertarian and conservative political thought), but the exchanges whose titles promise dullness, like this one on the impact of free parking are excellent.  My current favorite is the discussion of the political scientist James C. Scott's work.

The Becker-Posner Blog: Wherein two of the smartest economists in the world write consistently clear and challenging essays about big issues in American life.  Great stuff, especially for folks trying to understand the market from the perspective of people who understand the market and still admire it.

Buddhist Geeks: Regular podcasts from Buddhists who work in the high-tech world.  Full of insights about systems, change, the ways of organizations, personal transformation, and social change.

Taken together these blogs are evidence both of the rich learning and community that can emerge on the web, and of people who have gotten well past the superficiality of the current discussion of politics, government, and the good life.  All are worth following.

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