Reading Time: 6 minutes I had never met these two little girls before—flesh and blood relatives—but when I did, it was a lot of fun. They were full of energy and cuteness. It was 40 years ago. I was 15. My parents had taken me back East one summer, to the Bronx, to the neighborhood where my father grew […]
Reading Time: 3 minutes Human brains are forever trying to make patterns. We want to create models and run simulations to deflect the unimaginable horrors of chaos. We want to put everything into a manageable series of boxes. However, the social world composed of human minds trying to communicate with each other is total chaos. How many boxes do […]
Reading Time: 8 minutes In the late 2000s, research blossomed around our use of online avatars. Did our videogame icons and social media profiles represent our actual selves, our ideal selves, or something else entirely? And did they have a reciprocal impact, a “Proteus effect” that transformed self-perception? Did we change in the real world based how our online […]
Reading Time: 4 minutes Azamat Junisbai was almost 16 when the Soviet Union collapsed around him. But it took Putin’s aggression against Ukraine for him to decolonize his Kazakh mind and identity.
Reading Time: 5 minutes In 2016, I was invited to speak at a conference for Humanist Students UK (the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies, as it was called at the time) at the University of Sheffield. I was dating an English guy then and was excited to share my enjoyment of networking with humanists. He […]
Reading Time: 8 minutes One of my biggest issues with J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek (2009) was its abysmal treatment of Spock’s core struggle with his human and Vulcan halves. Oh, he still had that tension in the movie! But Abrams also had Spock casually shacking up with a human (Uhura!) while loathing the human side of himself. Did […]
Reading Time: 2 minutes You probably know of me But you don’t know me I’m the lion waiting in the den The mystical life force that beckons forth, A line of salamanders and amphibians All morphed together to form me Your queen Truth is I existed only as plot, An evil necessary, If females were not needed for reproduction, […]
Reading Time: 3 minutes As a teacher, I encounter and attempt to debunk essentialism whenever I see it in the minds of my students, in the world, and in myself. Here’s why. Essentialism is, briefly, the attribution of fixed, unchanging essences to people, places, and things. The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy describes it as the attempt “to distinguish between […]
Reading Time: 7 minutes Of course I’m in favor of bodily autonomy: who, especially those of us who consider ourselves feminists, wouldn’t be? But alas, COVID is testing the limits of this word’s meanings, and I think many are missing a key point.
Reading Time: 4 minutes The pandemic is making us all rethink many things; for me, a major point of reflection is the role of community in university life, and what to do when we are without it.