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Alone Together In One Body and Spirit

Social distancing has reorganized our public life by sequestering us within the familiar spheres we tell ourselves we are comfortable with. But when self-quarantining excludes the normal distractions and opportunities that inhabit our everyday lives, we are forced to reckon with the compromises and loneliness we are usually able to ignore. Long before the pandemic […]

On Things I Thought I’d Never Say, like God Bless the Internet!

About two weeks ago, Tim Kreider penned a column for Medium entitled, “It’s Time To Admit that the Internet Is Bad For Us.” I read it and nodded along, vigorously. A quarter-century in, [the Internet] does seem to have revolutionized consciousness, in much the same way as did nickel slots or crack. Studies have empirically […]

God of Progress, Slow Us Down

In his essay “After the Storm,” author Ben Ehrenreich investigates the concept of progress. It’s in the air, he argues, so elemental we don’t always know we’re breathing it. “We are in thrall,” he writes, “to the fetish of progress: the belief that history has a direction and a purpose, the faith that humankind is […]

Very Superstitious: The Human Propensity for Faith in the Unseen

“We make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear.” – William Shakespeare A couple of months ago, Julie Jargon wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal called “My Baby Monitor Is Haunted,” about a number of parents who have witnessed paranormal activity from the […]

Text Message for the Otherworld

When I was in school, Facebook was young. One evening, I saw a dead classmate’s profile, his picture featured on the sidebar, a recommended friend. I spent the next hours perusing the status updates he had posted when he did not realize his days were numbered. For anyone wondering, now Facebook has an answer for […]

Are Friends Electric? And Is Grace Digital?

This one’s especially for Andy, Anna, Blake, Caleb, Chris, Jeff, Kristin, Nathan, Reed, and Trevor. It seems like a hilariously ironic turn of Providence that I who have been so deeply suspicious of connectivity through electronic media and its pernicious (albeit often unintended) consequences should find the friends I am most in touch with, most […]

I Deleted My Social Media and Didn’t Tell Anyone (Except You)

I deleted all of my social media accounts a month ago and I didn’t tell anyone.  Well, two qualifications. First, I deleted LinkedIn (honestly, I don’t remember ever signing up for LinkedIn) and Twitter, but I only deactivated Facebook and Instagram because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak and I haven’t downloaded […]

The Human Is Very Important Right Now

At the soup kitchen where I accidentally volunteered for a couple of years, the following exchange happened more than once. Observing the guests at plastic fold-up tables, a volunteer would whisper what we’d all at some point wondered. “How do they afford it? Who pays for these phones?” Ostensibly low-income, possibly homeless, the guests were […]

Why Microsoft’s Super Bowl Ad Won’t Leave Me Alone

This one comes to us from Ed Uszynski. It will be pretty easy to forget Super Bowl LIII, its halftime show, and its commercials, as none of the three produced much inescapably memorable drama. But the Microsoft ad touting its XBox Adaptive Controller is proving surprisingly harder to shake simply because I moved from initially hating it […]

New Parties for the Age of Social Media

Who actually flies to Vegas for a bachelor party? I’m not being mean or judgmental here. I really want to know. Who has that kind of money to spend on a friend? I mean, if you’re living in LA and Vegas is only 4 car hours away, make like The Hangover and have a good (and […]

The Straight Road Out of a Buried World

November 11 came and went as unexceptionally as any Sunday ever does, a day living under the permanent shadow of Monday, almost exclusively spent hoping against hope to recuperate before the work week resumes. Most Sundays, however, don’t mark one hundred years since the armistice that halted the First World War and gave the day […]

To Dissolve the Line Between Man and Machine: Reflections on Cyberpunk and Suffering in the Meatspace

“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel” ​(Neuromancer, pg. 3) If I self-reflect on how geeky my hobbies are, I’m nothing if not consistent. For the past year or so, some friends and I have been meeting in a basement after work and playing a fantastic Dungeons […]