My Time in Cambodia

The beef lok lak (meaning diced) is served with white jasmine rice, the beef flavored with local black pepper, accompanied by a tang of unexpected sweetness from the lemongrass and sugarcane in the sauce. Rice is, obviously, a staple in this region. My first visit to Asia was not in more developed (read: tourist-friendly) Japan, Korea, China, orContinue reading “My Time in Cambodia”

Violating the Prime Directive

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain This oft-used quote is great for a soundbite, and cushyContinue reading “Violating the Prime Directive”

Rise of the Machines and the Question of Human Value

Artificial intelligence incites a primal fear within us. From Terminator to Ex Machina, fictional AI symbolizes the underlying fear of machines usurping humanity from its place on top of the food chain. At the 2015 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires, Argentina, some of the foremost minds–Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk–warned against AI militaryContinue reading “Rise of the Machines and the Question of Human Value”

In-Group Community Policing and Religion

Or How freaking out about “Shari’a courts” is racist and myopic because the problem is a lot bigger than the Scary Brown People So certain segments of the media have a hard-on for horrific stories about Muslim communities, especially stories of honor killings. Almost exclusively stories of honor killings. The tension between these communities andContinue reading “In-Group Community Policing and Religion”

Reading Minorities and the Limit of Empathy

Consuming art means confronting many archetypes and structures built from eons of culture and experiences. After some consideration, I have decided to go through my long, long list of “to reads” I had saved in my Tumblr “likes”. All of these “to reads” were solely diverse reads. Meaning, the writers (and characters) are not straight,Continue reading “Reading Minorities and the Limit of Empathy”