“Your name tag has to say where you’re from. What do you want me to put?” My boss smiled politely as he waited for my answer.

“Can you put Costa Rica?” I asked, and he laughed before saying, “Sure.”

I wasn’t from Costa Rica. I had just spent a year living there, but I was in reality a fair, blue-eyed, white girl who had grown up a couple of towns away from the ski resort where I now worked. It’s just that I was humiliated that I was local. I hated my hometown with such vehemence that I refused to…

Photo by Kevin Lee on Unsplash

One of the first things I noticed when I moved to New York City was the way New Yorkers would make themselves at home anywhere. On the subway I observed riders eating dinner, taking a nap, applying makeup and even crying, as if the F Train was their living room. I witnessed people languidly sunbathing atop bleachers in the middle of Times Square with hundreds of tourists buzzing around. I marveled at how unselfconsciously people would setup camp in cafés to work or play games for hours, without ever seeming to wonder if they were overstaying their welcome.

You see…

Yesterday I hosted a virtual event entitled Re-Evaluating Social Media: Where do we go from here?, where we discussed issues surrounding social media including algorithms, content moderation and privacy. In an ironic twist, the YouTube Live video of our panel discussion was blocked less than 12 hours after our livestream. Below is a screenshot of the e-mail notification I received.

Wednesday’s insurrection should have been a surprise to exactly no one. Division and outright rage have been reaching a boiling point for several years now, and we’ve watched Trump fervently stir the pot since Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election. Much of the provocation from the President, and the rallying of his insurgents, took place before our very eyes on social media. Which begs the increasingly urgent question — what role and responsibility does social media have in today’s world?

Currently the FTC and 46 US States, the District of Columbia and Guam are suing Facebook for…

Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

The US election results (or lack thereof) have been the shock heard round the world, and it isn’t just the protests, pre-mature claims of victory, and accusations of fraud that have people unsettled — it’s the closeness of the race. A landslide win was projected for Biden by many, but the narrow margins by which states are being won and lost make clear just how divided the nation truly is. We are being forced to face the question that has been murmured reluctantly in the shadows for a few years now: is America on the precipice of a civil war?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional nor an expert on transgender issues. I am no more qualified to have or express an opinion on these topics than any of the other thousands of people weighing in and throwing stones.

Image by Pixabay

In all honesty I had not been following the recent controversy surrounding JK Rowling all that closely. Primarily this was because I don’t believe we should control or be controlled by the opinions of others, and secondly because I don’t believe that we should value the opinions of celebrities to the degree that we do. However, I did finally read…

I came into this strange season of pandemic and isolation at the tail end of what has already been the strangest and most difficult time of my life, making it a bit like the final quarter of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland… are all of the oddities encountered at that stage in the story really that odd anymore?

You see, we’re in the midst of a home renovation. My husband and I bought an old historic house and what was at first scheduled to be a four month renovation has just stretched into its second year. It goes without saying that…

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Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests that, in order for an individual to be motivated to achieve higher needs, their lower needs must be met first. That is to say that if a person does not have their most basic needs being met (food, water, air, sleep), they are not going to be concerning themselves much with higher needs, such as friends or status. It is hard to argue with the truth of this premise — after all if you were having trouble breathing, an idea such as being popular would become remarkably trivial.

The next level above these physiological needs…

Growing up in a literalist Christian church, I was taught from a young age that people are born inherently sinful. Man is born with a sinful nature which makes him deserving of hell, hence the need for a redeeming savior who bore the punishment for us. This concept may not seem all too radical on its face (at least if you’re accustomed to religion), but it gets a little disturbing when you start peeling back the layers.

The idea that man is inherently sinful led to me being taught by our pastor’s wife at the age of seven that babies…

As a writer, conceiving a new idea can be much like deciding to conceive a child. Starry-eyed and full of anticipation, you dream about how beautiful and perfect this story will be. You imagine with romanticism the late nights of sitting up tending to it, picturesque, a labor of love. You think about how everyone will “oo” and “ah” over it, how amazing it is, and you’ll be so proud.

Then you put pen to paper, the idea is born, and it’s nothing like you thought it would be. You realize you have no idea what you’re doing, you’re way…

Sara Karnoscak

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