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Posted inHistory

Fascism in India: The role of Nazis in Hindu nationalism

Reading Time: 8 minutes When writing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in Hindu extremism, I committed the cardinal sin of not defining a key term: fascism. This was a conscious choice, because I’ve written before on how quickly we mire ourselves in political word games. Better to start with the government figure that Western media keeps centering, as […]

Posted inHistory

Fascism in India: Who’s ‘in charge’ of 1.4 billion?

Reading Time: 9 minutes There’s something fascinating, if also disturbing, about Western incuriosity around the world’s largest democracy. 1.4 billion of our world’s 7.8 live in India, a country a third the size of the US, which has under a quarter of India’s population. How can the fortunes of so many mean so little? Nevertheless, India exists in the […]

Posted inWar and Peace

Beyond Ukraine: The global response to (un)civil wars

Reading Time: 6 minutes With Western attention on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it’s easy to forget the added pain of people from regions where crimes against humanity have been raging all this time. But it’s a whole different level of heartbreak for many to witness European borders suddenly opening wide, stronger sanctions put in place, and international organizations rallying […]

Posted inDeep Dive

Why we need to decolonize our thinking on archaeology

Reading Time: 13 minutes In a world of significant scientific illiteracy, it’s easy to point fingers at “the other side”. Religious extremists, and the politicians who leverage them for power, are a serious problem. But what habits have we formed, and what narrative structures exist in our media, that only make things worse? Today I interrogate my own weaknesses, […]

Posted inCulture, History, Myth & Folklore, Religion

The Rifle, and Other Stories, by Tomás Carrasquilla: Translating a Catholic writer as a secular humanist

Reading Time: 11 minutes Outside my work here at OnlySky, I’m a writer of speculative and science fiction, and a translator. My science fiction usually focuses on alternative justices and social contract theory, so the overlap with my humanist essays is obvious. But my work as a translator? Well, that’s a labor of love, and an act of thanks. […]

Posted inSpace

Can we still make peace in space?

Reading Time: 6 minutes What a year for symbols of peace and progress. On Thursday, April 7, the UN General Assembly removed Russia from the Human Rights Council on which it had sat for weeks while displacing 10 million Ukrainians, internally and abroad. In the inadequacy of an international organization formed after World War II to sustain peace among […]

Posted inCulture

Learning to love our messy activism: A podcast on quinoa

Reading Time: 4 minutes There’s the world we want to live in, and there’s the world we have. In many conversations here on OnlySky, I’ve noticed that one of the biggest mental blocks in activist discourse is our frustration that people won’t think or do differently right now. Why should we cater to their ignorance, or their obstinacy? There’s […]

Posted inCulture

Fighting exploitation in the Amazon calls for new alliances…even with missionaries

Reading Time: 5 minutes An ounce of gold is currently worth almost twice as much as an ounce of cocaine. That reality has changed the funding formula for guerrilla and paramilitary groups in Venezuela and Colombia. Where narcotrafficking once brought in the lion’s share of resources for groups like ELN and dissident FARC, two heavily-armed movements that occupy densely […]

Posted inScience

Can we make science journalism better for everyday readers?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Every person with an active interest in the natural world has their personal bugbear when it comes to the way journalists write about science. Maybe it’s neuroscience. Maybe it’s a common engineering problem. For me, it’s evolution. I cannot stand the way that most mainstream media reports on evolution for the everyday reader. And since […]