Book Review: Doughnut Economics

Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth

Doughnut Economics: 7 Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist by Kate Raworth (White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2017. 320 pp) Kate Raworth is an economist that teaches at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute. She has a BA in politics, philosophy, and economics, and an MSc in economics for development, both from Oxford University. Whiteboarding Within the rhythms of my current role, I meet daily with my fellow team members to strategize and create deliverables for our clients. These working sessions often involve whiteboarding our ideas. Having a handful of completed projects under the belt, I’ve come to see how valuable that whiteboard becomes when a group of people are trying to solve a problem. It’s true, a… Read More →

Film Review: Minimalism

Minimalism: A Documentary About Important Things directed by Matt D’Avella (Catalyst, NR, 79 min) Starring Dan Harris and Joshua Becker. The Pursuit of Happyness What makes you happy? This enigmatic pursuit devours everyone who tries to crack the code. In philosophical ethics, the hedonist’s paradox provides an odd truism for the fleeting pursuit of happiness. In essence, the hedonist’s paradox suggests that the hedonist, a person pursuing pleasure as his or her ultimate end, will never find it. Story after story narrates this fruitless endeavor. The more a person pursues happiness, the unhappier she gets. And yet, when she stops trying to discover happiness, it serendipitously arrives. Thus, the only path toward happiness is to not look for happiness. Yea… Read More →

Book Review: Horrorstör

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

Horrorstör: A Novel by Grady Hendrix (Philadelphia: Quirk Books, 2014. 240 pp) Grady Hendrix has written for Variety, Slate, the New York Post, Playboy, Village Voice, Strange Horizons, and the anthology The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination. He spent several years answering the phone for a parapsychological research organization. He is currently employed by Orsk, Manhattan. Work as Occupation It’s startling and a bit over the top, but the theory behind work hasn’t changed much. We still live in a Taylorist world where the heart and soul of employee matter little and the efficiency and productivity of the employee matter greatly. The marketing team can dress up the work in all these high-minded ideals but too often this corporate… Read More →

Book Discussion: The Jungle

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (New York: Penguin Books, 2006; originally published in 1906. 464 pp) Upton Sinclair is an American author born in 1878. He wrote close to 100 books during his career and later unsuccessfully ran for Congress. Sinclair won the Pulitzer Prize in 1943 and died at the age of 90 in 1968. An Overview Upton Sinclair’s classic, The Jungle, highlights the poor working conditions of the meatpacking industry at the dawn of the 20th century. The principal character of the novel is Jurgis Rudkus, a recent immigrant from Lithuania seeking the American Dream in the outskirts of Chicago. Jurgis and his family find employment at a slaughterhouse but soon discover the deck stacked against them. The… Read More →

Book Review: What Matters?

What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth by Wendell Berry

What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth by Wendell Berry (Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2010. 256 pp) Born in rural Kentucky, Wendell Berry is a farmer, critic, and prolific author. He has published many novels, essays, poems, and short stories. Berry received his B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky before attending Stanford University’s Creative Writing Program. He obtained a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and taught English at New York University before taking a position on faculty at the University of Kentucky.  After a decade of teaching, Berry purchased a farm in the Kentucky countryside where he currently works and writes about the virtues of connecting with the land. Berry has won numerous awards including the T.S. Eliot Award, the Thomas Merton Award, and the… Read More →

Album Review: Silver & Gold

Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10 by Sufjan Stevens (Asthmatic Kitty, 2012.) Sufjan Stevens is an American singer-songwriter born in Detroit, Michigan and based in Brooklyn, New York. Stevens has released many albums of varying styles but is perhaps best known for Come On Feel the Illinoise, a concept album based on the state of Illinois. Stevens collaborates often with a variety of musicians and his work has received much critical acclaim. A Magical Time of Year, A Complicated Time of Year Isn’t December a magical time of year? The air seems to fill with the spirit of the season. People buzz around grabbing gifts, attending holiday parties, imbibing in spirits, and viewing Christmas lights. There is a… Read More →

Book Review: Varamo

Varamo by César Aira; translated by Chris Andrews (New York: New Directions, 2012; originally published in 2002. 144 pp) Born in 1949 in Coronel Pringles, a town on the southern edge of the Argentine Pampas, César Aira is a novelist, essayist, and short story writer. He settled in Buenos Aires in 1967 and has earned a living through teaching and translating from French and English. He has published more than eighty novels. Chris Andrews has won the TLS Valle Inclán Prize and the PEN Translation Prize for his New Directions translations of Roberto Bolaño. A poet who lives and teaches in Australia, he has translated eight Bolaño books and three novels by César Aira for New Directions. One Day A… Read More →

Book Review: Money, Greed, and God

Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem by Jay W. Richards (New York: HarperOne, 2009. 272 pp) Jay Richards, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute where he directs the Center on Wealth, Poverty, and Morality, and is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics. The Complicated Relationship between Money and the Church The church holds a complicated relationship with capitalism. On one side, it praises business for its instrumental purpose within its walls. Business creates wealth which, in turn, funnels into Church programs through the donations of the congregation. At the same time, business operates under self-interest, a seemingly anti-Christian position asserting “Greed is good”. What is… Read More →