I’m not sure how I got there, but it was obvious there was no turning back. I was standing on colorless ground, hard clay-like soil which extended ahead for a hundred meters before ending precipitously. Beyond was nothing. No skies or clouds, no shimmering stars. Nothing but sinking shades of gray.
The scene was unlike any I’d ever seen. My instinctive reaction was unbridled panic. A rampaging beast had been unleashed within my chest, pounding with all its might in a desperate attempt to escape. Crumbling under the barrage of blows, my lungs retreated, leaving me to struggle with short…
A few weeks ago, my good friend and I decided to do a joint writing project about Japanese culture and society. After all, such a complex, deep and stratified social framework can’t be understood from any single vantage point — especially not that of white guy who’s only been here a few years.
The first topic we agreed to write about is dating. Specifically, dating Japanese people in Japan. Kayo wrote her piece from the perspective of an outgoing, independent, and overall awesome Japanese lady. Be sure to check it out here. As for my piece, well, I did my…
Jeremiah: Alright everyone, thank you for joining today’s Zoom call. As you saw from the agenda I sent you last night, our goal is to come up with a structure for our next big Medium Writers Challenge. This is our chance to set Twitter aflame, so I’ll be counting on all of you! Before we get the ball rolling, let’s see who’s here. We have Nathaniel in charge of audience development.
Nathaniel: Hi everyone.
Jeremiah: We have our chief platform manager Jacinda.
Jeremiah: I see our head of writer engagement, Overly Optimistic Olaf.
Olaf: That was a beautiful…
“Look, on Amazon, it says my tent can fit eight people!”
From the first message exchange with my outdoor enthusiast friend, I should’ve known things wouldn’t end well.
I’m not an outdoorsy person. My comfort zone extends from my bed to my favorite burger joint a dozen blocks away — and even then, I’d much rather pay for delivery. Yet it was her birthday wish and the other people she invited all seemed fun to hang out with, so I figured I’d make an effort.
Being a bonafide slacker, I didn’t do much to prepare. I entrusted my future to…
My career started off a bit too lucky. During my studies I would get teased about how a degree in international human rights law would land me at the unemployment office. There was even a time in between studies where I was on unemployment benefits, and when I asked my counsellor what kind of work I could do, he told me, “You have just the profile to work here!”
I didn’t have the heart to tell him, but it wasn’t quite what I had in mind.
Then, a tremendous stroke of luck. Two months out of university, I landed my…
Of all the topics I regularly write about, leadership is perhaps the most frustrating. The business world is rife with leaders convinced they have valuable insight to share. In my quest for smart and engaging interviewees, I’ve often found myself suffocating under a deluge of vapid books, articles and seminars on becoming a better leader.
Let me save you some time. Not every leader is a leadership expert.
Those who are can be hard to recognize, since being a successful leader does not guarantee — or even require — innovative or reproducible ideas. …
As a society, we’ve come to equate linguistic ability with intelligence. We hear it all the time, from documentaries about famous historical figures to your friend describing their smartest acquaintance.
A genius who speaks 7 languages!
Few other skills solicit the same degree of reverence. IQ is notoriously unreliable. Academic performance only measures your ability to study for tests. Even professional accomplishments in complex fields like brain surgery don’t guarantee you’ll be recognized as smart.
But languages are somehow different.
Our societal admiration for polyglots strikes me as overblown for multiple reasons. …
I’ve had it, I’m done.
When I took this job, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. All work, no reward. But as a figment of your imagination, I was expecting as much. I don’t mind occasionally taking form in the foggy muddle of your mind, coming to rest upon your shoulder, and whispering ideas into your ear.
I’m a muse. It’s what we do.
What I can’t stand is what you’ve done with me. We muses have inspired the greatest male artists and thinkers in human history. …
Full disclosure, when I was studying for my degree in human rights law, free speech — and its broader cousin, freedom of expression — isn’t something I spent that much time on. The whole thing seemed pretty straightforward. It could be summarized as:
You can’t be punished for your thoughts and how you express them; terms and conditions apply.
To keep things simple, here’s how those terms and conditions are defined under international law (ICCPR article 19 paragraph 3, for the nerds):
[…]It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by…
Tokyo is notorious for its massive crowds and oppressive population density. In addition, with over 30 million tourists per year, any attraction worth seeing is guaranteed to get overrun.
That’s why, in order to get ahead of everyone else and collect a truly unique set of pictures to show off on Instagram — because let’s face it, that’s why you’re looking for tourist-free attractions in the first place — you have to think outside of the box.
Further out of the box than the tens of millions of people also striving for internet validation.
Consider yourself lucky to have found…