The Pandemic-Era Allure of Productivity YouTube

This is how, in the early phases of the pandemic, I stumble upon the productivity side of YouTube. Over the last seven months, I have somehow found myself spending more time watching videos that tell me how to optimize my life — how to take notes, stack habits, sleep better, focus on work — than ever before.

Selling Out: A Qualified Defense

Everyone has the opportunity to find service in their work, not just the small percentage who have jobs in the nonprofit sector.

Empathy, Religion, and the American Conscience

Interacting with a diverse set of people — interfaith, interracial, interethnic, and otherwise — normalizes and humanizes markers of difference without minimizing them, and it also makes them mutually relevant.

The Grind Never Stops: Two Centuries of Slang at Harvard

Each of us questioning just a little bit more, and acting on our doubts just a little more frequently, vastly increases the probability that we’ll be proud of the traditions we’ve preserved and proud of the ones we have not.

The Other Chan: Donation Sanitization at the School of Public Health

When Harvard received a donation to revamp and rename its School of Public Health in 2014, most press releases and public coverage focused on the more amicable face of the deal.

Pandemic, Purpose, and Viral Peptides

The coronavirus teaches us that life, whether it be on campus or at home or inside a cell membrane, isn’t inherently good or inherently bad or inherently out to get you. It just is, and there’s something freeing in that.

A New Kind of Porn is Coming

In audio porn, there’s something symbolic about being directly addressed as you, specifically, are guided to your climax. For all intents and purposes, you’re the main character — regardless of the dynamics in the story.

What the Presidential Candidates Can Learn from Student Debaters

Debates must prioritize the integrity of truth. If we limit politicians’ opportunities to fall back on ad hominem attacks and well-timed emotional stories, the voters watching won’t be as embarrassed for their country.

Beethoven Dead at 250

With classical music in such decline, especially in America, we desperately need to try something new. More Beethoven is just more of the same.

Why You Can Have Your Vote and Protest it Too

We should move towards a vision of political engagement that includes the ballot box and calls for revolution and abolition, a recognition of short term gains that does not abandon long term imagination.

Falling Short: SEIU Negotiations in Precarious Times

I need the University to put its money where its mouth is, to teach me about justice by demonstrating that it is possible, to show that it values the health and well-being of all of its community members equally — to stop falling short of this.

The Plague According to Camus

Life might never feel completely fair. All we can do, then, is take heart in knowing it’s the struggle that counts, and if we fight for life, just maybe this will be relief enough from any plague.

Hidden In Plain Sight

How on earth can our society, advanced in so many respects, so flagrantly fail to care for its elderly? What does it say about us, that we find their situation so easy to forget?

If We Hadn’t: Grief and Hypothetical Realities in the Mahabharata

The “Mahabharata” isn’t exactly describing a pandemic, or national political upheaval, but it does speak to a reality we experience this year: widespread death, injustice, confusion, and uncertainty about the future in a peculiarly fatalistic way.

Silence in Xinjiang

Harvard’s response to the Uyghur crisis epitomizes Harvard’s more general, and deeply misguided, approach to engaging with political issues.

Solitude and Serotonin

If “Walden” redefined solitude, then we can redefine loneliness ourselves, here, now. It’s an imbalance; it’s a shock; it’s the breaking down and patching together of the microenvironment we knew.

The Music School’s Dilemma

If there’s a time for colleges — both liberal arts institutions and conservatories — to support their music students with new course offerings and career preparation for a changing music industry, it’s now.

Ranked-Choice Voting from 30,000 Feet

The strongest case for ranked-choice voting is not that it offers interesting advantages. Rather, we must understand that the current plurality system is untenable and unsustainable.

Free Fall

Free-falling students remind us that to truly understand Harvard’s unique laws of time, motion, and gravity, and how these forces influence each of us for better or for worse, sometimes we have to get off the aircraft completely.

Confessions Without Absolution

We need to cultivate a culture of acceptance in which we can be competitive and eager to succeed, but receptive to the reality that we might not. Rejection is not necessarily a fall from grace.

The Cost of a Harvard Education

If the primary expense is coursework, and the payoff credentials, extracurriculars, and networking, one wonders if there’s a way to give Americans the latter without the cost of the former.

You, Me, and the Spaces Between Us

Perhaps the next time there is a Zoom glitch, or a scheduling conflict, or even a loud silence in the house, I can peel away my tendency to objectify, grasp, or seek attention, and know that people far away from me are very much still present.

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