How our everyday stories create our social reality, and how changing them can make the world better.

Constitution: We the People of the United States…
Constitution: We the People of the United States…
Image provided by author.

Once upon a time there was a grand experiment to see if a country by the people, for the people, could survive the tests of time and never perish from the earth. Or so the story goes.

Myth has purpose and myth has power. The myth of an exceptional America tells us that the United States exists to uphold the common good and promote democracy around the globe. This is a deeply-embedded story that many people tell themselves, and…

Elizabeth Warren and Robert Menendez paved the way for $50,000 student loan debt forgiveness, but the fight must not stop there.

Image provided by author.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren have been on a crusade since President Biden entered the office to cut the grizzly student loan debt in the United States by about half its current number. This is a big deal, since the country is bogged down with nearly two trillion dollars of student debt, and making loan payments has saddled most of the United States’ youthful population with a crippling burden that not only ruins hopes for health, safety, and a happy family but also innately damages the economic ecosystem of the entire country. …

For all the criticisms I can levy, it’s still a worthwhile film for a fun evening in.

Chris Pratt, looking Fine. (Pintrest)

In The Tomorrow War, we have Chris Pratt doing his usual superb job acting in a lovable role: dad of the hour struggling to follow his passion for science in a job market that won’t support him. Despite his many years of military service, he just doesn’t have the private sector corporate experience that the big labs want, and when we first encounter him he’s just experiencing yet another rejection.

This pretty clearly sets up one of the film’s main themes: the failure of society to reintegrate the soldiers it sends to war. …

Space exploration matters and it should be publicly funded.

Image provided by author.

On the eleventh of July, 2021, Sir Richard Branson lived his dream. Ever since looking up at the Moon with his father in the 60s, when humanity first traveled to our nearest orbital body, Richard dreamed of going to space himself one day. His career as an entrepreneur would make that dream a reality, the heights of his imagination fueled by his billionaire’s bank account. Branson wanting to go to space isn’t a bad thing, nor is it wrong for anyone to look up, starry-eyed, and strive to reach the heavens. …

The Tragic Thing About Vaccines… is that they work.

Vaccines have long given humanity hope. (Provided by author)

No, seriously. I know it’s a bit in-vogue throughout the deeper internet sphere to spin theories about the dark side of vaccine use, but this theorizing only ever serves to create barriers for the communities that need vaccinations the most: the poor, under-represented, and often neglected populations in communities across the world.

The only dark side to vaccines lies within the profit motive that can lead to them being expensive or proprietary, when they should be produced as services for the common good.

How do you get sick?

Stargirl tries to be a modern Superhero-themed Buffy… but where does it succeed in being itself?

I love superhero stuff, I really do. I’ve seen the classics, from silly weird things like Greatest American Hero to hallmarks of the new wave like Smallville. I’m also a huge fan of shows that buck the modern trend toward “doom and gloom melodrama”. Wandavision managed to offer something new: great writing, incredible acting, and enough mystery mixed with fun to be something special. I was less enthused with the The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which didn’t quite manage to offer anything new.

Then I encountered Stargirl, a silly little CW series I discovered on HBO that at least…

Self-betterment and the power of failure.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
-Samuel Beckett

Failure. Failure is a word that haunts so many people, a word that conjures images of the impending doom to which we all are borne. And yet failure, while a watchword, a watchtower word along the murky roads of life, has value, its true worth lies deeper like seeds beneath the ground.

From each failure comes a chance at success. From each success, a renewed chance to fail. The cyclical nature of what we are in this world is a repetition of the progressive and the…

A story of MeWe and the bad actors who now call it home.

The world of social media is only about 17 years old. If we set the clock rolling with MySpace, which broke ground in 2003, we’re looking at a system of global communication that’s still an adolescent. And, like any late-teen looking to figure out life, social media is encountering some unpleasant truths about the world.

Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash

MeWe is considered one of the “newcomers” to the social media sphere, founded in 2012 as “Sgrouples” (a name they did right in abandoning). They’re privacy-focused social networking and messaging service, ostensibly trying to provide the same (or better) features as Facebook, but without the…

The whole thing started when an inventor named Joe Woodland sketched Morse Code in the sandy shore of a beach

Photo by Michael Walter on Unsplash

It’s a point of incredible curiosity how similar inventions can be created by different people who have never met, and it’s incredible how different approaches to the same problem build upon each other to create some better and ore unique than any of the individual parts. Both of these processes can be found at work in the history of the barcode.

It’s such a common part of modern life that it’s easy to forget that the bar code only took off in the 1980s. But the whole thing started when an inventor named Joe Woodland sketched Morse Code in the…

A good YouTube alternative is hard to find.

Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

Datamining is the practice by which almost all so-called “free services” operate, and plenty of paid services like Amazon amass such an indescribable amount of information about its users as to be nearly unthinkable. But what can be done to return control of users’ data to the people?

In the last few months I’ve been on a consistent hunt for the sort of projects that offer an alternative. There are few good contenders with Amazon, unfortunately, given their total monopoly over certain aspects of the commerce net. I can’t go to many other online retailers and find (A) the breadth…

Odin Halvorson

Odin Halvorson is a poet and published short-story author seeking to make the world a better place by beginning with himself.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store