Posted inDeep Dive

Life isn’t fair, so why should sports be?

Reading Time: 5 minutes To help us cope with life’s inevitable setbacks and injustices, we have developed certain aphoristic tidbits. Displayed often on bumper stickers and t-shirts, these include such sayings as, “It is what it is,” or the French version, “C’est la vie.” It also includes the PG-13 rendering of another, “Stuff Happens” (seen on bumper stickers as […]

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 inPsychology

Sports are for losers: On unavoidable suffering and learning to flourish

Reading Time: 5 minutes The recent Olympic Games, the ensuing NCAA March Madness Tournaments, and all other competitions produce an exorbitant amount of one category of athlete: losers. All told, the 2022 Winter Olympic Games alone sent home more than 2,000 losers. Sports and competition itself is a uniquely unforgiving institution. It’s designed so a large majority of participants lose […]

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 […]