Reading Time: 7 minutes When El Salvador’s president came to power in 2019, many didn’t care that the ensuing calm might have resulted from Nayib Bukele’s backroom arrangements with local gangs. The country of six million, terrorized for years in part by US MS-13 gang members offloaded to Central America, had high hopes of better days under the authoritarian […]
Eight billion of us: What does that mean?
Reading Time: 4 minutes November 15 is the UN’s estimated date for the eight billionth person to join the living human species. We might have hit that number a few days prior, or a few weeks ago. We might meet it tomorrow, or the day after. But some of we eight billion really like the feel of concrete dates. […]
First death penalty issued for Iranian protesters under expanded mandate
Reading Time: 3 minutes Last week, 227 members of Iran’s 290-person parliament advocated for harsher retributive actions to be taken against protesters arrested in the nation-wide demonstrations after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was brutally murdered by morality police in September. Prior to the parliament’s decision, the Islamic Revolution Court was already charging people connected to these protests with death penalty […]
What next? Twitter’s complicated role in the literary world
Reading Time: 11 minutes Not long after Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, another exodus of site users began—and with it, discussion about the people who aren’t ready, or able, to leave. Transitioning to a new platform isn’t easy for everyone: for many disabled people, for instance, leaving Twitter means learning all the ins and outs of yet another system […]
North Korean missile strikes raise questions about our ‘war games’
Reading Time: 4 minutes On Wednesday, North Korea fired 23 missiles. One landed less than 37 miles from South Korea’s coast. South Korea responded with three air-to-ground missiles along a territory closed to commercial air traffic, and around 100 artillery shells from North Korea entered a military buffer zone. According to the Japanese Coast Guard, another missile landed 16 […]
The overthinking humanist: Life in a world of eight billion
Reading Time: 13 minutes At 4 a.m. on Sunday, I just needed fifteen minutes to finish a news brief. Fifteen minutes, and I’d be ready to leave for a trip to a pueblo two hours away. Fifteen minutes, and I’d switch modes completely: from English to Spanish, from digital to analog, and from the high-minded literary life to something […]
On the brink: How yesterday’s fears can help us move through today’s war
Reading Time: 9 minutes In 1919, a poet started drafting what would eventually become one of our most oft-quoted poems, especially in times of struggle and disaster. In its earlier forms, it referenced tensions on the Russian border, before being scrubbed of precise details and left with a more all-encompassing sense of dread. As the poet was writing it, […]
Twitter’s Elon Musk debacle raises serious questions about digital citizenship
Reading Time: 9 minutes On October 3, Elon Musk tweeted a proposal for “Ukraine-Russia Peace”, with a Yes/No poll that yielded 2.7 million responses (59 percent “No”). Because Musk is the richest person in the world, with a current net worth of around $230 billion USD from Tesla, SpaceX, and recent AI ventures, his views on Russia’s invasion of […]
On ‘tomorrow sorrow’: How we grieve the future today
Reading Time: 7 minutes I was six years old when Star Trek: The Next Generation first aired one of its most beloved episodes, “The Inner Light.” In it, Captain Jean-Luc Picard wakes to a life not his own. He lives in a small village, where he works as an iron weaver, and everyone explains that he is recovering from […]
The Scientist Rebellion: What will it take to get the world’s attention?
Reading Time: 8 minutes The Scientist Rebellion calls for more people “on the inside” to take up the struggle against government inaction. But where does the movement fit into broader climate change activism, and is its degrowth message enough?