Posted inHistory

We’ve been here before: 5 centuries of (flawed) human rights advocacy

Reading Time: 5 minutes There’s a quote by 19th-century essayist Charles Dudley Warner that I think about every time I revisit world history. As he wrote, “It is fortunate that each generation does not comprehend its own ignorance. We are thus enabled to call our ancestors barbarous.” Cute, right? But the phenomenon he observed, of thinking ourselves automatically morally […]

Posted inDeep Dive

What does it mean to resist?

Reading Time: 6 minutes If you’ve ever spent time around small children, you might recall one of their most fascinating phases: when a child first learns “no,” and starts to use it. It’s an extraordinary leap into self-recognition, this moment when they discover that they have the option to resist. And they’re curious about it, of course. They want […]

Posted inCulture

Addressing Palestinian suffering is hard, so the world plays word games

Reading Time: 6 minutes On February 1, 2022, Amnesty International released a report identifying the current situation in Israel and Palestine as “apartheid,” a term most commonly associated with South Africa’s political system of racial stratification until 1994. The full title goes further, calling the region’s state of affairs a “cruel system of domination and crime against humanity.” The […]

Posted inEnvironment

Oil imperialism and the struggle for human control over our futures

Reading Time: 4 minutes In March 2020, something unsettling transpired in the global economy. Okay, a few somethings. But while most of the world remembers the sweeping COVID-19 lockdowns, what happened between Saudi Arabia and Russia around oil production is not common knowledge. And yet, as Vladimir Putin has launched a military invasion of Ukraine, we cannot forget the […]

Posted inClimate Crisis

Who’s afraid of an environmental crisis?

Reading Time: 5 minutes When my grandfather died, his books and magazines were packed up and shipped halfway across the country. In that treasure-trove of old reading, I found science-fiction paperbacks, ancient Greek plays, early 20th-century poetry and philosophy, the occasional beaver magazine (which my father hastily took from my curious nine-year-old hands), and… MAD magazines from the 1970s. […]

Posted inCritical thinking

Trend cycles, shmend cycles

Reading Time: 3 minutes Sometimes fortune favors the optimistic. It certainly did for me when one of my posts, “3 ways to combat the ´worst timeline´ blues,” brought out a commenter from a different slice of the political spectrum. In that post, I’d talked about the importance of overcoming our media fatigue, our sense of being dragged into inane […]