Essays

Voting as a Symbol

Summary: Arguments often end up unresolved when one side values rational outcomes but the other is more interested in social signaling. This issue commonly arises when discussing whether individual Americans should vote in presidential elections. In a narrow, rational sense, most individual votes have no effect on the outcome, rendering voting a pointless activity, Read more…

Reflections

Market Segment: Pieces of Shit

  Hong Kong At the moment, I’m sitting on a curb in Hong Kong eating a McDonalds “signature” crispy chicken jalepeño burger. See, last night I stayed up late in my apartment all alone drinking cheap scotch and arguing with people on Facebook. This morning, I woke up hung over Read more…

Reflections

disgust.

An early morning in Tokyo, a peaceful forest outside of Portland, a sunny day on El Tunco beach, a quiet village in the Dominican Republic, a bustling market in, Mexico City, a bike ride outside Hanoi.     The impetus for these thoughts came on a rather haphazardly-arranged day-tour I took with a friend in northern Read more…

Reflections

Stylish Histories

Taipei, Taiwan   On a work trip to Amsterdam I found a book, Amsterdam, A History of the World’s Most Liberal City, by Russell Shorto, laying on the kitchen table for us in the AirBnB houseboat that a coworker and I were staying in. I have a tendency to get overwhelmed Read more…

Reflections

Forbidden Lands.

Havana, Cuba Americans get a special treat in Cuba that the rest of the world doesn’t get to enjoy: for us – at least, at the time of this writing – it is a forbidden land. It is a constructed limbo for us. Can we go in? In the gray Read more…

Reflections

That isn’t your identity.

That isn’t your identity. Stop letting people label you based on what you believe. Earlier today I listened to a discussion between two guys about a certain cultural/political movement that is seeing a rise of late. One person identified himself with the movement, but his friend did not, claiming something Read more…

Reflections

Chicken Buses

Antigua, Panajachel, Guatemala City, and the roads in between, Guatemala; When I was a kid, I checked out all 9 books on ancient Egypt from my elementary school library on rotation. Sure, I checked out all of the books about all of the African countries, but Egypt was my shit. There Read more…

Reflections

Pokémon

Mexico City, Mexico. I still remember the first time I saw Pokémon. I was in 3rd grade hanging out with my best friend, Brian, at the playground next to our elementary school one evening – but he spent most of the evening glued to his gameboy. We came to trade off each Read more…

Reflections

The Mirror

Mexico City, Mexico I write this at an interesting time. I like to use this blog to reflect on cultural experiences – small things here and there that I don’t understand about the world, but really enjoy trying to. Living in a foriegn place is a great opportunity to self-analyze a Read more…

Reflections

What’s in a Naem?

Guadalajara, Mexico; Mexico City, Mexico; San Salvador, El Salvador; I grew up on the east side of a north-Texas suburb called Plano. When my parents moved there in the mid 80’s, the Dallas area was booming as oil money started turning into tech industry growth. This growth brought immigrants from all over Read more…