Social Psychology & Interaction


Bureaucracies: Why We Really Do Need Them

Modern societies operate through their formal institutions.  These institutions are run by bureaucracies that carry out the tasks necessary for the functioning of that society. As with aging human bodies that increasingly fail to function, bureaucracies also go into decline. A sure indicator of a society’s impending demise is the breakdown of its bureaucracies. 

Mt. St. Helens blow down timber

A Lesson from Mt. St. Helens

May 18th, 2022 was 42 years since 1,300 feet of the top and side of Mt. St Helens was blown off and pulverized in an eruption 500 times the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, creating chaos and violence here in the Pacific Northwest. Each year, on the anniversary of that tumultuous day, I think about the profound nature of the experience and my adrenaline-charged involvement with it.


Owning the Libs

‘Owning the libs’ is the current mantra of the Republican Party and it resonates through much of conservative thought these days. It means that anything you can do or say to anger or rattle the liberals and Democrats is an acceptable way of grabbing power and attention. It’s essentially a verbal middle finger, and they are using it to express policies and beliefs that end up hurting others, the environment, and even themselves.

Greek philosopher busts

That Which Lies Beneath

Do you ever look out on the world scene and ask yourself why it is that humanity seems to always be at odds with itself? It may hearten you to know that our struggle to agree on how we should conduct and organize ourselves, indeed, how to even think about our place in the ‘order of things,’ is not a new story. Humankind has been sorting itself out since our early beginnings. Across cultures and over centuries, we have talked about the conundrum of being human in a variety of ways.