Pokémon and the Ethics of Interspecies Relationships in Fictional Universes

Like many people, I like fiction. When reading a science fiction or fantasy novel, I am especially interested in worldbuilding (the process of constructing an imaginary world). What fantasy creatures live in some imaginary universe? How do they behave? How different species interact with each other? What kind of awesome technology or magic is there? What about the geography, the planet itself, the physical laws that govern the universe? [Read more…]

Hardships and Character-Building

Among conservative Americans there exists an idea that overcoming hardships is essential for character-building. People imagine that poverty is a just punishment for laziness, that a state cannot just give people free food, affordable housing, free healthcare, child support, and guaranteed minimum income, because then everybody would just become lazy and stop working. In fact, merely working isn’t sufficient, a person has to work hard in order to earn their daily bread and a roof above their head. [Read more…]

Agricultural Biodiversity: Bean Days

Genetic erosion is a process where a limited gene pool of some species diminishes even more. In wild endangered plant and animal species, low genetic diversity leads to a further diminishing gene pool pushing that species towards eventual extinction.

Yet during the last century humanity has lost also a significant amount of agricultural biodiversity despite it being important for food security and dealing with a changing climate. [Read more…]