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For most of my adult life I have trained in martial arts. The body awareness and conditioning they provide supports my physical and emotional health on so many levels. My martial training also offers useful insights on a strategic question I ponder frequently: what must we do to navigate the changing world in which we live?

One of my formative instructors taught out of a basement studio in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was a stocky man with a prominent, gravelly drawl. He was also a Deputy Sheriff, and brought a sense of urgency to our training that I at first found…


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In my first blog post a couple weeks back I explored how the meaning of apocalypse has changed over its long journey into modern English. It was originally a synonym for the word revelation, and referred to instances when surprising truths were revealed in dramatic ways. Today we use the word to refer to events marked by cataclysm or catastrophe.

These meanings are not unrelated; the uncovering of certain truths can have a profoundly destabilizing force in people’s lives. The same can be true for societies writ large. …


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Someone first suggested I read Daniel Quinn’s 1992 novel Ishmael in 2003. When they mentioned the book’s title, I refused thinking it was about religion. They assured me it was not. I then refused because, at the time, I thought myself above reading fiction. They let the issue drop.

Years passed, and every few months a new suggestion to read Ishmael would surface. In early 2006, while a graduate student studying environmental science at Indiana University, I finally relented. I was looking for some pleasure reading to take the edge off the doom and gloom my program inundated me with…


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Photo credit: Pxhere.com

In my humble opinion, Donald Trump was the best president the United States has had since the Civil War. He was not particularly smart, noble, honest, or even endearing, but made up for these shortcomings by holding a superbly polished mirror up to the American people and refusing to let us look away from it.

From the moment people first saw their collective reflection, some concluded they did not like it. As a consequence, Trump became the enemy, the evil “other” whose erasure, banishment, or exorcism would solve so many problems. …


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Apocalypse.

When you read that word, what emotions does it elicit? What imagery comes to mind?

In common use today, apocalypse refers to any event marked by catastrophe, cataclysm, or destruction on a vast scale. Some warned of impending financial apocalypse even before the coronavirus pandemic forced governments around the world to shut their economies down. Others have warned of climate and ecological apocalypse for decades, and fear a global tipping point may not be far off.

Not only do we fear apocalypse, we also fetishize it. From I Am Legend and Mad Max to The Road, Parable of the…


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Acorns were an important food source for people around the world prior to the rise of industrial agriculture, though few people eat them today. One reason for this is that acorns are not edible straight from the tree. Their high tannin content gives many raw acorns an intensely bitter taste and astringent mouthfeel, making them unpleasant to eat and toxic if eaten in large quantities. With thoughtful processing enough of these tannins can be removed to yield a food that is nutritious and calorie dense. …


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On May 11, 2019 our atmosphere’s concentration of carbon dioxide surpassed 415 ppm for the first time since anatomically modern humans have walked on Earth. This milestone is the crowning achievement of centuries spent burning fossil fuels, cutting trees, and tilling soil, among other activities. These workings transform our world, making it warmer, shifting its precipitation patterns, and leading to extreme weather events. We are changing more than our planet’s climate, too. Our development, forestry, and agricultural practices alter global nutrient cycles, decimate biodiversity, and leave no region of the planet uncontaminated. …

Eric Garza

I dabble in written, audio, and video media production and ponder deeply the predicaments of our age. Find me on the web at EricGarza.info.

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