Essays

Written pieces about Better Humaning, Technolophizing, Adventravel, and other made up words.


Better Humaning

Passing the Mic

We have a lot of rules for who's allowed to speak, and when. Here's when they backfire.

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Passing the Mic
Better Humaning

Teaching Oppression

An exploration of the unexpected ways cause and effect show up in social justice education.

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Teaching Oppression
Better Humaning

What's Social Justice Dogma? (Start Here)

I've written a lot about it over the past few years. And other people have too. Here's a list of articles to get acquainted.

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What's Social Justice Dogma? (Start Here)
Better Humaning

Trickle-down Social Justice

If money doesn't trickle down from the rich, can equity trickle down from the elite?

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Trickle-down Social Justice
Better Humaning

The Enemy of Your Enemy

Why would we give the people we don't trust within our cause this much power over its direction?

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The Enemy of Your Enemy
Better Humaning

Literal Transphobia

This isn't the kind of transphobia we publicly talk about. And its source isn't Fox News.

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Literal Transphobia
Better Humaning

Suffering Points

The ways we compare suffering for social justice make me feel like I dropped my ice cream on the sidewalk.

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Suffering Points
Better Humaning

The Appeal of Dogma

Why has dogmatic activism caught on in the social justice movement? Why does any dogma?

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The Appeal of Dogma
Better Humaning

Organize a Hot Take Dinner

Perfect for when everyone feels like they have to have an opinion about something, and you're also hungry.

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Organize a Hot Take Dinner
Better Humaning

The 9:3:1 Learning Rule

Finding the magical amounts of time you need to allocate to spectating, studying, and practicing.

The 9:3:1 Learning Rule
Technolophizing

Rage du Jour

What's on the menu today?

Rage du Jour
Better Humaning

Cancel Debts Not People

What would happen if we traded something abstract for something material?

Cancel Debts Not People
Better Humaning

Public Libraries Shouldn’t Exist

Imagine that public libraries weren't a normal thing. What would the public debate sound like?

Public Libraries Shouldn’t Exist
Better Humaning

When Ambition is Hiding

Sometimes shooting for the moon isn't taking a shot at all.

When Ambition is Hiding
Better Humaning

The Creative March

My new challenge to log at least 1,000 hours of creativity every year.

The Creative March
Technolophizing

The Road Away From Email

A long and winding path with a pot of gold at the end. If I can get there.

The Road Away From Email
Updates

2016, A Brief Review of Creativity

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” - Bill Gates

2016, A Brief Review of Creativity
Adventravel

Me + Thailand = August ’15

I'm disembarking for Bangkok via Hong Kong. I'll be bouncing around the Thailand for most of August.

Me + Thailand = August ’15
Updates

I’m Publishing A Book

And then it sunk in: I get to publish an amazing book. I get to share this with you.

I’m Publishing A Book
Updates

Starstruck

"You're in the belly of the beast," she said to me.

Starstruck
Adventravel

Into the Desert

Where foxes eat your camera cable and sunrises stop time

Into the Desert
Adventravel

An Outsider’s Guide to Driving in Egypt

Bringing back to America the concepts of no lanes, no crosswalks, no driving tests, and all about madness on the roads of Cairo.

An Outsider’s Guide to Driving in Egypt
Adventravel

Me + Egypt = June

Okay, beautiful people. So, this is going to be tough, but this is how it's going to be.

Me + Egypt = June
Updates

I’m Sick With Career

Symptoms include shortness of breadth, loss of here-ing, and influinbox.

I’m Sick With Career
Better Humaning

Be Bored

"Boredom is the fear of self." - Marie Josephine de Suin

Be Bored
Updates

Protecting Good Habits

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Protecting Good Habits
Updates

Remembering What You Do

"A living cell requires energy not only for all its functions, but also for the maintenance of its structure." - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Remembering What You Do
Updates

My Pre-Trip Insomnia

“The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.” - Poppy Z. Brite

My Pre-Trip Insomnia
Better Humaning

Treating Old Friends Like New Friends

“[O]ur honeymoon will shine our life long: its beams will only fade over your grave or mine.” - Charlotte Brontë

Treating Old Friends Like New Friends
Better Humaning

“What is the meaning of life?”

"You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life." - Albert Camus

“What is the meaning of life?”
Updates

Social Justice in 2014: Three Things to Do LESS

"Thrown over a precipice, you fall or else you fly; you clutch at any hope, however unlikely; however – if I may use such an overworked word – miraculous. What we mean by that is, Against all odds." - Margaret Atwood

Social Justice in 2014: Three Things to Do LESS
Better Humaning

My List of 100 Dreams

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” - John Lennon

My List of 100 Dreams
Better Humaning

I’m Insulted When You Call Me Ambitious

“At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.” - Salvador Dalí

I’m Insulted When You Call Me Ambitious
Technolophizing

30 Ways The Top Ten Most Mind Blowing Facts You Would Never Expect About Jennifer Lawrence Absolutely Kinda Restored Our Faith In Humanity And Crushed Our Souls

The internet has become that kid at the pool party standing on the diving board yelling incessantly at his mom to watch him do "just one more" flip. IT'LL BE SO AWESOME. I'm the mom and I just want to drink my Bloody Mary and watch Netflix in peace.

30 Ways The Top Ten Most Mind Blowing Facts You Would Never Expect About Jennifer Lawrence Absolutely Kinda Restored Our Faith In Humanity And Crushed Our Souls
Technolophizing

MacBooker’s Creed

If you rely on your computer for your job as much as I rely on mine, you'll likely relate to this. It's a parody, for sure, and definitely hyperbole... but barely.

MacBooker’s Creed
Better Humaning

Being Sick is a Good Time For Catching Up

You take the red pill, you don't cough as much and your body hurts a tiny bit less, and I show you how deep this rabbit hole goes.

Being Sick is a Good Time For Catching Up
Updates

My Favorite Thoughts of 2013

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein

My Favorite Thoughts of 2013
Updates

An Open Letter to the Disney Channel

“If you don't like Cinderella because she seems so 'naive' and 'weak,' listen to this quote from the Walt himself: 'She believed in dreams, all right, but she also believed in doing something about them. When Prince Charming didn't come along, she went over to the palace and got him.'" - Walt Disney Company

An Open Letter to the Disney Channel
Better Humaning

14 Simple Ways to Treat Every Day More Like Christmas

"First we'll make snow angels for two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookiedough as fast as we can, and then we'll snuggle." - Buddy the Elf

14 Simple Ways to Treat Every Day More Like Christmas
Updates

Scrapping and Starting Fresh: The Hawthorne Effect

“When a poet digs himself into a hole, he doesn't climb out. He digs deeper, enjoys the scenery, and comes out the other side enlightened.” - Criss Jami

Scrapping and Starting Fresh: The Hawthorne Effect
Better Humaning

The Abusive Relationship We’re All In That Most of Us Never Think About

"I've heard that people stand in bad situations because a relationship like that gets turned up by degrees. It is said that a frog will jump out of a pot of boiling water. Place him in a pot and turn it up a little at a time, and he will stay until he is boiled to death. Us frogs understand this." - Deb Caletti

The Abusive Relationship We’re All In That Most of Us Never Think About
Updates

100+ Tips for Minimalism

"Why, she would hang on him, as if increase of appetite had grown by what it fed on." - William Shakespeare

100+ Tips for Minimalism
Updates

Why I’ve Never Been a Fan of “Self Help” Books

“I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, 'Where's the self-help section?' She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.” - George Carlin

Why I’ve Never Been a Fan of “Self Help” Books
Better Humaning

Be Your Own Friend First

"I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line." - Lucille Ball

Be Your Own Friend First
Better Humaning

20+ Simple Tips for Living Mindfully

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” - Henry David Thoreau

20+ Simple Tips for Living Mindfully
Better Humaning

The Three Rs of Saw Sharpening

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." - Abraham Lincoln

The Three Rs of Saw Sharpening
Better Humaning

Asking For Help

The one where I admit something I'm ashamed of and try to overcome it.

Asking For Help
Better Humaning

For Me, It’s About the People

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” - Maya Angelou

For Me, It’s About the People
Better Humaning

Positivity in the Face of So Much Negativity

My response to an email from someone who is struggling with remaining positive while being aware of the negativity in the world.

Positivity in the Face of So Much Negativity
Updates

Three Days Computerless

"Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand." - Mustapha Mond, Brave New World

Three Days Computerless
Technolophizing

My Computer Died, but that’s Good

“We can only feel sorry for ourselves when our misfortunes are still supportable. Once this limit is crossed, the only way to bear the unbearable is to laugh at it.” - Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis 2

My Computer Died, but that’s Good
Better Humaning

Go See a Movie By Yourself

Because the opposite of how you're supposed to do something is often one of the best ways to do it, like breakfast for dinner.

Go See a Movie By Yourself
Better Humaning

Today is Perfect

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” - Albert Einstein

Today is Perfect
Better Humaning

Tomorrow Will Be Perfect

“I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active - not more happy - nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.” - Edgar Allen Poe

Tomorrow Will Be Perfect
Better Humaning

I’d be okay with a revolution.

"You say you want a revolution. Well, you know, we all wanna change the world." - John Lennon

I’d be okay with a revolution.
Better Humaning

My Gratitude Challenge

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” - Marcel Proust

My Gratitude Challenge
Better Humaning

Living in the Undefined

“To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.” - Ursula K. Le Guin

Living in the Undefined
Updates

Uncopyright

Sometimes you have to do something to know how it'll make you feel, even if -- or especially when -- it flies in the face of conventional wisdom.

Uncopyright
Better Humaning

The 3 Ingredients to a Happy Existence

"It is superfluous to suppose that what can be accounted for by a few principles has been produced by many." - Thomas Aquinas in Summa Theologica

The 3 Ingredients to a Happy Existence
Better Humaning

Reasons I Know My Heart is in Austin, Texas

“I let it go. It's like swimming against the current. It exhausts you. After a while, whoever you are, you just have to let go, and the river brings you home.” - Joanne Harris

Reasons I Know My Heart is in Austin, Texas
Updates

My Gaming Community

Sometimes you can spend so much time and energy trying to protect something you love that you forget to spend time and energy loving it.

My Gaming Community
Updates

Catalytic Friends

cat·a·lyst (n) : a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected

Catalytic Friends
Better Humaning

I Miss Wondering

“For this feeling of wonder shows that you are a philosopher, since wonder is the only beginning of philosophy.” - Plato

I Miss Wondering
Updates

Let Your Teacher Grade Your Test

It's difficult to wait for feedback, but unless you're responsible for judging yourself, you're likely doing yourself a disservice by filling in the blanks.

Let Your Teacher Grade Your Test
Updates

Reading the Fine Print

"The big print giveth, and the fine print taketh away." -Fulton J. Sheen

Reading the Fine Print
Updates

Hiding Behind a Keyboard: The Terror of the Unknown

The one where I started writing an essay about overcoming fears in my life and accidentally realized how to overcome one I'm currently struggling with.

Hiding Behind a Keyboard: The Terror of the Unknown
Updates

Why I Ride the Bus

What started out as a means to an end has evolved into an end itself -- an end for which I'm grateful.

Why I Ride the Bus
Updates

Halloween, As Viewed Through Many Eyes

"I am the clown with the tear-away face Here in a flash and gone without a trace I am the 'who' when you call, 'Who's there?' I am the wind blowing through your hair I am the shadow on the moon at night Filling your dreams to the brim with fright"

Halloween, As Viewed Through Many Eyes
Updates

Welcome to Sam Killermann’s Thought / Day

For one year (at least), I'm going to share a thought a day. These thoughts will be presented in a variety of formats (articles, lists, videos, comics, haiku, interpretive pancake eating) & on a variety of subjects (see: all), but I will follow 1 rule: I'll update every 24 hours.

Welcome to Sam Killermann’s Thought / Day