The Real Participation Trophy Complex

A month or two ago I could not escape this video on social media, so I’m guessing you’ve already seen it. It’s the one where Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why and motivational speaker, lets everybody know just what’s wrong with Millennials (‘those born 1984 and after’).

We’ve all heard some iteration of his complaint, but Sinek’s is, perhaps, the most Continue reading “The Real Participation Trophy Complex”


Don’t Let Anyone Tell You How to Vote (for Pizza)

Hey, it’s so good to see you.  I’m so glad that the nine of us could finally get together.  We never seem to be able to find the time, but now that we’re here I have no doubt that this will turn into another epic party.  But here’s the thing: we’ve really got to figure out what kind of pizza we’re going to order.  We know we want to get one of those LargeHugeTM pizzas over at Slorpy’s, which should feed all of us, so we’re only going to order one single pie.

Odd that we’ve found ourselves in such a specific predicament, but there it is. Nothing a little democracy can’t solve. Continue reading “Don’t Let Anyone Tell You How to Vote (for Pizza)”


Consider the Flag

When Donald Trump won the election, Polish activist Martin Mycielski freaked out a little. Mycielski is a member of the Committee for Defense of Democracy, an organization that’s currently committed to opposing (or at least slowing down) the Neo-Authoritarian Law and Justice Party that has recently taken power in Poland. After the US election Mycielski believed he saw the same situation happening here in the United States. In an effort to save his American counterparts the confusion he and his friends went through as they watched Poland regress, Mycielski wrote a guide called Year 1 Under Authoritarianism, What to Expect? The guide started as a PDF, but eventually grew into the website

The entire site is a great read, but what stood out to me was Continue reading “Consider the Flag”


The Process of Dismediation 0.9

I’ve been struggling to come up with a way to visualize how the media works in a neo-authoritarian government.  One expects the authoritarian to have complete control or almost complete control over the press; active suppression of dissent.  Turns out you don’t need to do that at all.  If you feed people lies consistently enough, many won’t believe them, but many will, and many more will turn away from any media, which allows the authoritarian to do what they’d like.

Below is a working infographic representing the phenomenon:


Download or View in Full Resolution

The next version will include pinpointed attributions, but for anyone wishing to know more about the modern method of misinformation, read or watch the below:

A message to my doomed colleagues in the American media

When the Truth Falls Apart


The Hidden Assumption Behind The Purge

The Purge is a 2013 horror film that explores the idea of an America where all crime is legal for one night a year.  Part of the appeal of the films are how they explore the effects such a festival would have on culture and economics.  A central theme is that there are positive outcomes of the Purge: there is almost no crime Continue reading “The Hidden Assumption Behind The Purge”


Exceptional After All

Up until the election of Donald Trump, it was easy for America to tell itself that it was special, that it would never really suffer the crises of liberal government that threaten the rest of the world.  But now it seems that we’re just as susceptible to authoritarianism as the rest of the world.  Or are we? Continue reading “Exceptional After All”