Biology is how our moods and mental states are expressed, but it’s not the root cause of them.

I was listening to an advice podcast this morning that I really enjoy (Danny Lavery’s Big Mood Little Mood), and the subject of depression’s manifold causes came up. The advice-seeker was a listless and burn-out lawyer who, after months of toiling alone at home during the pandemic, had begun to feel life had lost its meaning. They were seeking suggestions for dealing with the fact that the next forty or sixty years unfolding before them seemed doomed to be nothing but working, cooking dinner, doing a quick workout, and then heading off to sleep.

Danny Lavery recognized right away that…


Chasing numbers hasn’t ever paid off for me — but following my passion has.

I have been Very Online for a very long time, and that’s come with a fair share of social media “successes” and a boatload of failures.

In the 1990s, I was a popular user on AOL’s Antagonist Games Network. Though I was in elementary school at the time, I was given a dedicated spot in the platform’s weekly caption contest and had a handful of fans and imitators. In my teen years, I blogged on Myspace and Livejournal and developed a modest audience, though none of my writing there every really took off. …


That's true if you look at the algorithm that is currently being used -- but to only look at the current algorithm is to ignore the many different iterations of the algorithm that preceded it, and the fact that Youtube deliberately altered their algorithm because developers inside the company noticed that the old one was radicalizing people. It's even an oversimplification for me to talk about an "old" versus "new" algorithm, because they are constantly changing -- so a single study is simply not enough to demonstrate or even to meaningfully test whether Youtube was pushing certain users toward radical alt-right content. We know from developers within the company who have now left and blown the whistle on it that this was, in fact, the case. NYT's Rabbit Hole podcast has some great interviews about this: https://www.nytimes.com/column/rabbit-hole


A review & discussion of the book The Revolution Will Not Be Funded

Initially, I picked up a copy of The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex expecting to read about how nonprofit organizations exploit the passion of their employees and volunteers, and push them to work far harder than is healthy or sustainable for them.

In my own writing, I am obsessed with how organizations feed off our culture’s hatred of “laziness” and manipulate workers’ emotions in order to keep them grinding to the point of exhaustion. And as an academic with a partner who has worked for numerous nonprofits, I know that labor exploitation doesn’t begin or…


Adults don’t hold the keys to understanding your marginalized child.

“My kid has been asking a lot of questions about gender lately,” someone wrote in an email to me recently. “Do you have any picture book recommendations that would explain transness to them?”

“I’m doing research on the experiences of Autistic girls in elementary school,” wrote a teacher in my Twitter DMs. “Can I pick your brain for my research?”

“Your article about sensory meltdowns helped me empathize with what my daughter is going through,” said someone else. “Can we talk sometime about her?”

I receive a lot of questions from parents of Autistic and transgender children in my comments…


When your employer celebrates Pride, but bans transition-related healthcare on religious grounds

For over ten years I have taught at the Jesuit university from which I also received my Master’s degree and my PhD. I’ve been a student here, a postdoctoral researcher here, a part-time adjunct instructor, and now I’m a full-time professor. My relationship to the school runs deep. So too do my ambivalences, particularly in a month like Pride month, when it’s most clear to me that my existence as a transgender faculty member is contradictory and fraught.

Today I entered the university’s information commons (a computer lab and studying area connected to the library) to find this display celebrating…


Tesla CEO Elon Musk just came out as having Asperger’s syndrome. Here’s a primer on the issues with that now-defunct disorder label.

On Saturday Night Live this week, Telsa CEO and Grimes’ paramour Elon Musk came out as having Asperger’s syndrome. During his opening monologue, Musk joked that he was the first-ever SNL host to have the disorder — or at least the first to admit to having it openly.

There’s a couple of issues with that remark. The first is that SNL very much had an openly Autistic host in the past, former cast member Dan Aykroyd. For years, Aykroyd has been vocal about being Autistic and has discussed how his own autistic special interest in the paranormal informed the writing…


Handling rejection, coping with stress, and learning to set boundaries in an environment that’s often hostile to our humanity.

I am a social psychologist, clinical assistant faculty member at Loyola University Chicago, and the author of the book Laziness Does Not Exist. Over the past few years, I have written extensively about the harm done by the Laziness Lie, an unspoken, yet pervasive cultural belief system that preaches the following:

  1. Your worth is determined by your productivity

2. You cannot trust your needs and limitations

2. There is always more that you could be doing.

The Laziness Lie has a deep and troubling history, dating back to chattel slavery and the dawn of European imperialism. To this day, the…


Most abuse happens within the confines of the family, the church, or romantic relationships. So why are we so afraid of the outside world?

In the name of protecting vulnerable children from a supposedly menacing, corrupting outside world, much is done to render kids restricted, uninformed, and powerless. This despite the fact all evidence demonstrating that when children are well connected to a broader community, and have access to education and exposure to a variety of different lifestyles and points of view, they are far more likely to flourish. Most child abuse happens within the private confines of spaces we’ve been told keep them ‘safe’; the home, the family, and the church.

Last summer, a family friend began circulating Q Anon-adjacent rhetoric about the…


2020 was the year of the doomscroll. In 2021, I am walking back my compulsive internet use.

Like far too many people, I spent the majority of 2020 curled up in an awkward ball, fighting back tears, my phone craned in front of my face and giving me a nonstop tour of all the world’s horrors. I was adrift in a sea of uncertainty, and the graphs of COVID cases posted to Twitter promised me empowering knowledge but only left me more filled with dread. I was lonely and emotionally starved and Instagram and Facebook DMs offered me social snacks, with a side of secondary trauma and shame.

I was thankful to have the internet to keep…

Devon Price

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