Skip to main content

A quick note on blogging

I often get asked why I write so many posts about US politics, or random science crap, and so few Peace Corps-related posts, or even sometimes about my jaded tone.  I got an email yesterday:
Why are you always so negative?  You're giving the Peace Corps a bad name.  Focus on the positive aspects of your experience, talk more about your village!
My answer is that this is my own personal space, and I follow wherever my random, disorganized thoughts lead.  I'm jaded and cynical because I value straightforwardness and honesty very highly, and I call it like I see it.  If you don't like it, feel free to direct your browser elsewhere.  Questions, comments, and requests are always welcome, but please don't gripe about how I'm harshing your mellow—I do this for free.


  1. As a RPCV from the Philippines, I know exactly what you mean. I only rarely wrote about Peace Corps on my blog and ended up posting a lot about politics and poetry, personal interests of mine. The blog was as good an escape from my wholly Peace Corps world as any other.

    Also, I wanted to say I followed Andrew Sullivan's link to your site. Congrats! That must have been thrilling, though the topic is a grisly one. I appreciated what you had to say about rape and risks and Peace Corps in general.

    Take care and enjoy the rest of your service. Coming home is just as strange as leaving.

  2. Thanks! Glad you found something worthwhile. I'll be headed back around September. I was hoping someone would have gotten that unemployment rate under 8%, but it doesn't seem that likely...

  3. I'm all for "call it as you see it." Your blog is my favorite read.

  4. Thanks! By the way, my mom says she's a big fan of yours :)

  5. speaking of being too negative. i heard you got banned from pst. for what its worth it was really helpful to hear from a pcv who wasn't all smiles and butterflies (which is pretty much the pc term (pun intended) for full of shit)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Why Did Reality Winner Leak to the Intercept?

So Reality Winner, former NSA contractor, is in federal prison for leaking classified information — for five years and three months, the longest sentence of any whistleblower in history. She gave documents on how Russia had attempted to hack vendors of election machinery and software to The Intercept , which completely bungled basic security procedures (according to a recent New York Times piece from Ben Smith, the main fault lay with Matthew Cole and Richard Esposito ), leading to her capture within hours. Winner recently contracted COVID-19 in prison, and is reportedly suffering some lingering aftereffects. Glenn Greenwald has been furiously denying that he had anything at all to do with the Winner clusterfuck, and I recently got in an argument with him about it on Twitter. I read a New York story about Winner, which clearly implies that she was listening to the Intercepted podcast of March 22, 2017 , where Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill expressed skepticism about Russia actually b

Varanus albigularis albigularis

That is the Latin name for the white-throated monitor lizard , a large reptile native to southern Africa that can grow up to two meters long (see pictures of one at the Oakland Zoo here ). In Setswana, it's called a "gopane." I saw one of these in my village yesterday on the way back from my run. Some kids from school found it in the riverbed and tortured it to death, stabbing out its eyes, cutting off its tail, and gutting it which finally killed it. It seemed to be a female as there were a bunch of round white things I can only imagine were eggs amongst the guts. I only arrived after it was already dead, but they described what had happened with much hilarity and re-enactment. When I asked why they killed it, they said it was because it would eat their chickens and eggs, which is probably true, and because it sucks blood from people, which is completely ridiculous. It might bite a person, but not unless threatened. It seems roughly the same as killing wolves tha

The Conversational Downsides of Twitter's Structure

Over the past couple years, as I've had a steady writing job and ascended from "utter nobody" to "D-list pundit," I find it harder and harder to have discussions online. Twitter is the only social network I like and where I talk to people the most, but as your number of followers increases, the user experience becomes steadily more hostile to conversation. Here's my theory as to why this happens. First is Twitter's powerful tendency to create cliques and groupthink. Back in forum and blog comment section days, people would more often hang out in places where a certain interest or baseline understanding could be assumed. (Now, there were often epic fights, cliques, and gratuitous cruelty on forums too, particularly the joke or insult variety, but in my experience it was also much easier to just have a reasonable conversation.) On Twitter, people rather naturally form those same communities of like interest, but are trapped in the same space with differe