A protester holds the name of a police violence victim during a Black Lives Matter march in South Philadelphia, 26 July 2016

UX/IA Election 2016: Workshopping “Black Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter”

When Lucia McBath, the mother of a 17-year-old African-American boy killed by gunfire for playing music too loud, told the Democratic National Convention yesterday that “Hillary Clinton isn’t afraid to say black lives matter,” many of the delegates applauded. Many grumbled. Most seemed confused. If you are also confused, you are not alone. What does “black lives matter” mean? What is it to be progressive, racist, ignorant, or revolutionary? These…

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Date: February 18, 2013

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Everything’s Just Peachey

Today’s view from the ground: Azokh, Nagorno-Karabakh, August 2012 “Keep looking at me. It helps to keep my soul from flying off.” – Peachey Carnahan in Rudyard Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King” The people of this land have lived here for thousands of years under meliks, caliphs, and khans. It became home to Armenians 2200 years ago and has been predominately Armenian ever since; most other populations moved on, married in,…

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Date: February 11, 2013

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The Garden Path

Today’s view from the ground: Tbilisi, Georgia; Yerevan, Armenia; and Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh, August 2012 “If you look the right way, you will see that the whole world is a garden.” – Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden In the above photo, the outer reaches of Stepanakert first emerge from the mountains separating it from Armenia to the west. Leo is the only member of the team I have met before, and the…

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Date: December 18, 2012

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Highway to Headache

Today’s view from the ground: Gardez and Khost, Afghanistan, December 2012 “Been holding out, searching for something – Something to carry me over the sunset to dawn’s early light.” – My Morning Jacket, First Light In the above photo, the “K-G Road,” the Khost-Gardez Highway, negotiates a treacherous high-altitude slope in Sata Kandow (The Pass of Death), blanched by an early snow. “I swear to Allah, man, if you whistle that damn song…

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Date: March 27, 2011

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Standing at the Threshold of Heaven

Today’s view from the ground: Tokyo, Japan, April 2011   In the above photo, a health care volunteer in Sendai helps treat a radiation reaction on a woman’s face after she was evacuated from the Fukushima area. I was last in Tokyo’s Narita Airport six months ago. If someone had come up to me then and told me what the next half year would be for me and the world, I…

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