The Quagmires of Quarantine

When I read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne a few years ago, I thought it would be interesting to spend a ridiculous amount of time in a confined space and watch myself become more and more psychologically unhinged. I have since discovered that this literary daydream was in fact highly context driven (context being a romanticised submarine) and living in my house with little human interaction and an abundance of instant noodles is really not the same thing.

Unpacking East of Eden by John Steinbeck

"The Salinas Valley is in Northern California. It is a long narrow swale between two ranges of mountains, and the Salinas River winds and twists up the center until it falls at last into Monterey Bay. I remember my childhood names for grasses and secret flowers. I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer—and what trees and seasons smelled like—how people looked and walked and smelled even. The memory of odors is very rich."

“Slacktivists:” a Critique of Social Media Activism

It’s become commonplace to frequently be confronted with a flurry of angry (and frequently ungrammatical) posts filled with buzzwords every time Trump posts something stupid (so, fairly often). In fact, it’s become so accepted that people appear to view posts on social media as a legitimate alternative to tangible contributions to the community, such as … Continue reading “Slacktivists:” a Critique of Social Media Activism

Technology’s Role in Democratization

Recently, the largest ever election in global history occurred in India, with 600 million voters casting ballots all over the nation. In light of the rise of authoritarian right-wing governments in the past year, India’s election is a refreshing reminder that democracy is very much alive. In fact, democracy has never been as vibrant as … Continue reading Technology’s Role in Democratization

The Dichotomy of Development

Developed or developing? It’s very tempting to utilise this simplistic dichotomy as a worldview and as a means of analysing social and geopolitical issues. I’m certainly guilty of using these labels myself. However, the truth is that the world doesn’t fit neatly into these two boxes of progress and that to use these labels may hinder our ability to solve global issues.

Vaccination in the Western World

In the year 2010, the deadliest American outbreak of whooping cough in fifty years occurred in California. Ten infants lost their lives as a result of this horrifying incident, and many more contracted the disease and suffered serious symptoms. When we picture low vaccination rates, we form a visual picture of some far-off developing country that lacks resources and education, but we don’t consider that often this is a reality in places much closer to home.