Stranger Things; or, Why ’80s Nostalgia is Good For You

Naomi Michalowicz // Stranger Things, Netflix’s hit show about kids fighting eldritch terrors in 1980s suburbia, has just concluded its fourth season. An obvious appeal of the show is its shameless indulgence in ’80s nostalgia, hitting every cliche of representing the decade—bicycles, arcades, music, quaint technology, bad hair, and of course, the full range of…

From Jane Austen to Chatbots: Using Conversation to Judge Intelligence

Naomi Michalowicz // Chatbots, those little pop-up virtual assistance you encounter at the bottom of every page on every website of every company, who cheerfully ask “what can I help you with?”, are not as smart as we’d like them to be. Often frustratingly obtuse, the virtual assistant is incapable of answering your questions or…

My Anxious Brain Inspires Me

Melissa Maldonado-Salcedo // “A writer….must believe that whatever happens to him is an instrument…This is even stronger in the case of the artist that happens, including humiliations. embarrassments, misfortunes, all has been given like clay, like material for one’s art.” -Jorge Luis Borges This story offers a snapshot into my head to provide a humanistic…

Why We Tell Stories

Nitya Rajeshuni // “Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one…

Collapsing Work-Life Balance in Covid-19

Amala Poli // The beep of the phone.. thudding heart, fingers clicking away. “Is everything okay?”  Yes, you say. “I just had to reply to this one email. All done now!” You set it aside, eyes flickering in the direction of the screen just a little.

Our Olympian Fables: On difficult personalities

Steve Server// The Perfectionist.  The Eccentric.  The Paranoiac.  The Loner.  The Mercurial Partner.  The Serial Dater.  The Sociopath.  The Narcissist.  The Coquette.  The Milquetoast. Archetypes of difficult personalities populate our books, our movies, and our TV shows. Where do they come from?  How do we understand their social function? It is worth considering the extent to which these archetypes are borne or at least informed…