California Is Full of Sh–t

And So Is Zócalo’s Regular Columnist. Inspired by the Oscar-Nominated American Fiction, I’m Taking Over This Column to Deliver Hard Truths

I walked by Billy Hearst’s old headquarters in L.A.’s stinking downtown, chatting up the bums and streetwalkers. Turned out I was married to one of the gals back in ’02, but neither of us remembered much about it.

Then, while dodging dog poop on Broadway, I ran into that rare species of homo sapiens: an editor. Felt sorry for her immediately. She’s doing a years-long sentence, without possibility of parole, editing the dull intellectual scribbler whose high-minded copy usually occupies this space. His drivel might as well be a balloon of …

Los Angeles Is an Unreliable Narrator | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Los Angeles Is an Unreliable Narrator

The Truest Thing About the City: We Are All Just Making It Up as We Go Along

Los Angeles is an unreliable narrator. The very cityscape is an illusion, albeit on the grand scale—streets and buildings, the human design of it, erected on a bed of sand …

An altar with framed photos of martyrs and heroes who opposed martial law under Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.’s and similar policies under Rodrigo Duterte. A black sign with golden yellow words "Remember Reflect RISE UP" leans against the table.

Using Memory to Fight Fascism in the Philippines

Fifty Years After Martial Law, Activists Are Combating Historical Revisionism to Hold Leaders Accountable

The numbers—70,000 detained, 35,000 tortured, 3,200 killed—represent the victims of President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.’s era of martial law, from 1972 to 1986. They serve as a reminder of one …

The Ancient Greeks’ Guide to Rejecting Propaganda and Disinformation | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Ancient Greeks’ Guide to Rejecting Propaganda and Disinformation

How Plato and the Sophists Can Help Us Find Shared Truth and Solve Our Political Problems

Is there a cure for disinformation, propaganda, and other offenses against the truth?

Twitter’s answer has been to add fact-checks to misleading statements, a move that has led to a showdown …

The Crisis of Fake News Isn’t News At All

Technological Change, Skepticism of Authority, and Relentless Politicization Have Always Undermined the Power of Facts

To be human is to have cognitive bias. And these human biases—and the institutions that benefit from promoting these biases—have fueled the current epidemic of fake news and the rejection …

Is Forgiveness the Basis of a Healthy Democracy?

An Iranian Philosopher Posits That Only Absolving Others of Blame Can Open Dialogue and Rebuild Decency

Why do we have such difficulty thinking about forgiveness? Read the news on any day and you’ll find stories of war, injustices present and past, and attacks on democracy. It’s …