21 July 2019

American Division

US Capitol Building

Most thinkers have noticed that America is going through a difficult time. My favorite podcaster, Dan Carlin, tried addressing the issue of extreme politics in 2017 then went silent for months. His listeners urged him to jump into the fray because, "the stakes have never been higher". In May he let loose a podcast, saying his whole political worldview is in crisis, and that if you walk away from his podcast thinking, "yeah, that is exactly what I wanted", then you probably didn't need it to begin with.

(Dan is trained in political science and mostly podcasts with entertaining historical epics, from the Achaemenid Empire to a 5-part, 24-hour runtime series on World War I, which comes highly recommended!)

Dan's recent rantings have helped clarify, for me, the reality of the current political moment. There are a lot of people pointing out problems that are ultimately symptoms, but what is the underlying ailment? Everyone seems to have different ideas. Sure, people don't know how to consult, not enough people vote, money increasingly corrupts power, social media has fundamentally changed the way people get information, the news is bonkers, gerrymandering undermines democracy, it goes on and on. But why is it different now? Why does it feel like we've gone from a contentious debate to nearly a civil war?

20 March 2019

Baha'is of Nicaragua

Baha'is of Masaya, Nicaragua
Today's sunset will mark the spring equinox, the end of 19 days of fasting, and the Baha'i New Year. It also marks my family's halfway point of a 3-month stay in Nicaragua.