How Minnesota Teachers Invented a Proto-Internet More Centered on Community Than Commerce

In 1967, Eighteen School Districts Around the Twin Cities Created a Computing Network Connecting More Than 130,000 Students

In 1971, three student-teachers in the Minneapolis public school system created the computer game The Oregon Trail for students in their American history class. In this game, players could imagine they were journeying from Missouri westward to the Pacific Ocean, in search of better lives. They had to manage supplies, battle illness and foul weather, and hunt for food to continue along the Trail. Working with rudimentary text-based computer interfaces, they typed “BANG” to hunt and answered questions—“Do you want to eat (1) poorly (2) moderately or (3) well?”—by keying …

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No, We Do Not Have a “Nihilist” in the White House

Far From Being “Mindless,” This Nineteenth Century Philosophy Requires a Deliberate, Desperate Awareness of the Horror of Our Condition 

There has been, quite literally, much ado about nothing of late. Shadowing the rise of Donald Trump is the rise of what Friedrich Nietzsche called the “uncanniest of guests”—namely, nihilism. …

A Native Hawaiian Returns Home

Thirty Years After My Family Left for Prosperity in California, I Moved Back to the Islands I Thought I Knew

The land sparkled like glitter. It was 1961 and my mother let my brothers and me take turns sitting by the airplane window, but I was lucky enough to commandeer …

How Mexican Immigrants Changed the Way Americans Grieve

With Sugar Skulls and Altars that Maintain Our Connection to the Dead, Día de los Muertos Is Now a Therapeutic Ritual in All 50 States

After decades of avoiding the topic, it has become fashionable for Americans to talk about death.

Death dinners and death cafes offer people space to collectively discuss the physical, psychological, …