By distorting the true inclinations of American voters, the electoral college is an obstacle for social progress

Photo by Geoff Livingston

Democracy is a simple concept. It’s supposed to reflect the opinions of the people. But the way the system works in the US distorts those opinions, heavily favoring rural, conservative populations at the expense of educated, urban ones. Everybody agrees this is absurd (apart from the extremist conservatives who have been doing everything in their power for things to stay that way, but they are fighting against history and their steam is running out), and that changing things would require amounts of energy and political will that we might not see for a long time yet. But how long can…


The origin of the universe, the meaning of life events… Shouldn’t humanity be mature enough by now to accept there are some questions we just don’t have the answers to?

Photo by zeitfaenger.at. Source: Flickr

Good friends of mine are into subtle worlds, the influence of the energy of the universe on our lives, that kind of thing. There are a lot of great ideas in there, for example ‘there’s more to life than the fulfillment of physical needs’ or ‘just because science can’t explain something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist’.

Where I no longer agree is when you extend this way of approaching the…


If you’re buying organic to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals, you’re right, but you’re missing most of the point.

Photo by Ella Olsson — source: Flickr

Pesticides are bad for your health. Though that could seem quite obvious considering these are chemicals that were designed to kill living things, scientific evidence keeps piling up to confirm that intuition. Limiting our exposure as consumers to these chemicals is undoubtedly the main reason explaining the sharp increase in the consumption of organic products in Western countries over the past few years, and that’s obviously a sensible thing to do, because who wants to eat poison, right? (I’m using…


Photo by Martin Snicer. (Source: Flickr)

Among the many things that have to be done to fight global warming, the #1 issue is to decrease the amount of carbon we’re adding to our planet’s atmosphere as greenhouse effect gases, primarily methane and carbon dioxide. But being efficient in doing that requires understanding the carbon cycle.

(Side note: let’s all please refrain from using the expression “climate change”, which was only invented to make the whole thing sound a lot less scary than it actually is. The truth of what we’re facing is global warming — yes, even if you reckon last winter was really cold).

Carbon…


Photo by Carles Rabada on Unsplash

It’s pretty clear by now that Silicon Valley has started to seriously lose its shine. For a couple of decades, the Californian tech industry was a synonym of modernity, innovation, disruption and business savvy combined with ultimate coolness. Today, the number of people who still see it that way is rapidly diminishing, as the general view on Silicon Valley slowly but surely shifts to being a bunch of cynical capitalists who aren’t even that modern at all.

The causes of this demise are quite clear: repeated scandals regarding the (lack of) protection of user data but also regarding the morality…


One measure of human development is the possibility for people to make their own choices. Yet still today, not many people in the world make any choice when it comes to their religion.

Photo credit: Matthew Fearnley

Do you have a religion? If so, have you ever wondered why you have that one instead of another? Most people don’t ask themselves that kind of stuff, but when they do, they generally come to the same conclusion wherever they are in the world: because it was their parents’ religion.

The complexity of heritage

I was born of a Roman Catholic father and a WASP mother…


What kind of industry stoops from being perceived as novel and fun to bloated and untrustworthy in less than a decade? Certainly not one that delivers, provides or satisfies. It’s time to dial back the influence of social media over our lives.

The 2017 Fyre Festival debacle is one of the most telling stories you could find to illustrate the inanity of social media and the absurd power it has garnered over people’s lives (the relentless Netflix documentary about it is worth the hour and a half of your time — and there’s a Hulu documentary out as well). …


A lot has changed when it comes to what is considered acceptable human behavior lately. Is it a coincidence that feminism, environmentalism, sexual tolerance, corporate responsibility and awareness towards racial issues are all on the rise right now? Hardly, and here’s why.

“You just can’t say anything anymore!” Complaints against political correctness are nothing new, but it feels like they’ve been increasingly audible lately. Whether the complainers are referring to what they can no longer say about women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQs or animal rights, the feeling remains the same: from every direction, the prohibitive pressure is mounting.

Women’s March in Oakland, CA (Jan. 2019) by Thomas Hawk (Flickr)

Blink and the…


Credit: Jeanne Menjoulet (flickr)

Government bashing has been an international standard for decades. To a point where most developed countries today fit into one of two categories: worn-out democracies where no one trusts or even approves the functioning of their system anymore, and authoritarian regimes where defiance against the government isn’t even an option. Rocks and hard places.

The simple idea that an organized and complex society requires some form of government to function seems to have disappeared from the basic, universally accepted notions in our societies. …


What the world needs now is constructive panic

Recently I took part in a “Climate fresco” workshop, where a group of participants collaboratively lay out cards on a large sheet of paper representing the causes and consequences of global warming, creating an eye-opening web of interconnected phenomena that must be linked together with arrows. Spoiler: it ends badly.

Causes & consequences of global warming summarized in a “climate fresco”

The most striking thing when you finish the exercise is that the ultimate consequences of unchecked global warming are the infamous trio of famine, war and disease — because those are most likely what happens when increasingly severe droughts, floods and heat…

Patrick H.

French-American citizen of the world based in Paris. Former music journalist turned editorial content creator and concerned dweller of Earth.

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