• Vectors of Transmission
    The Giant Cultural Parasite, Part 8 In the last section, I said we’d be getting into meme resources this time around, but as I started … Read more
  • What’s a Meme?
    The Giant Cultural Parasite, Part 7 What’s a Meme? We’re now going to make a jump out of the physical world and into the world … Read more
  • Co-evolution
    The Giant Cultural Parasite, Part 6 This article is part 6 of a series about memetics, or natural selection applied to the world of ideas. … Read more
  • Replicator Goals
    The Giant Cultural Parasite, Part 5 This is part 5 of a series about how cultural systems have their own goals that are not aligned … Read more
  • Replicator Domination
    The Giant Cultural Parasite, Part 4 The big picture (Part 1): The systems that drive our culture and determine our lives are out of control … Read more
  • Replicators
    The Giant Cultural Parasite, Part 3 The big picture: The systems that drive our culture and determine our lives are out of control and seem … Read more
  • Patterns
    The Giant Cultural Parasite, Part 2 Let’s begin with water. Imagine a clear pond. Smoothly polished stones lie at the bottom. Small trout hide in … Read more
  • The Giant Cultural Parasite
    Introduction and Overview I remember the exact day that I first encountered the theory of memetics. I was lying on a picnic table bench across … Read more
  • PCT – 5 Year Reflections
    This year will be the fifth since I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. When I reached the Northern Terminus on that freezing October morning, I … Read more
  • Heat Exhaustion on the Berryessa Peak Trail
    We climbed Berryessa Peak in the blistering heat to catch the last of the wildflowers. Two years prior, James and I had taken this same … Read more
  • The Yosemite High Route
    We’re going the wrong way. Tugging at the long red braid of his beard, Konstantin glares at the maze of jagged boulders ahead as if … Read more
  • A Stormy Night on the Lost Coast
    The rain began just before we arrived at camp. It was a fine mist, falling gently but persistently as we removed our shoes to cross … Read more
  • The Founding Fathers Don’t Support Your Argument
    Let’s stop pretending they knew anything about today’s world. Can we stop using the founding fathers as the basis of our political arguments? It’s a … Read more
  • Backpacking Checklist
    This is the backpacking checklist I use for almost every trip. It makes my packing faster and less stressful. Italics are things that I only … Read more
  • Backpacking Advice
    Friends sometimes ask me to share backpacking advice, so this is an attempt to put together some of what I’ve learned over several thousand miles … Read more
  • Klamath Basin – Part 7
    Today it’s Wayne Shorter, the eminent Jazz Saxophonist. Shorter is the front man and composer of this album, Speak No Evil, but the other members … Read more
  • Klamath Basin – 6
    The guttural thrum of a diesel engine, muffled by shoreside trees, wafts across Upper Klamath Lake. Though it permeates my present locale, the engine is … Read more
  • Yosemite High Route Slideshow
    The Yosemite High Route is a 94-mile off-trail route through the high country of Yosemite National Park. In the summer of 2020, I set out … Read more
  • Klamath Basin – 5
    Part 5 – Amid Tears and Sorrow The land is black and stinks of ash resin. Against purple skies, a hobbled tree stretches its blackened … Read more
  • Klamath Basin – 4
    An outboard engine spasms to life behind me, a great rattling noise against the serenity of the lake, then disintegrates into a thousand ruffles and … Read more
  • The Klamath Basin – 3
    This is Part 3 of a multi-part series.Read Part 1 here.Read Part 2 here. III. A wall drops away from the side of the trail, … Read more
  • My Top 8 Books of 2020
    This year I read 43 books. Of those, eight books earned a 5-star rating, which I only give if they changed something about the way … Read more
  • The Klamath Basin – 2
    This is part 2 of a multi-part series. Read part 1 here. II. To the south of Tule Lake is Lava Beds National Monument, forty-six … Read more
  • The Klamath Basin
    I. Fog blots the horizon, obscures it even from imagination. The still water of Tule Lake is a reflection so perfect it is invisible, so … Read more
  • The Lost Coast
    In 1936, the engineers constructing California’s Pacific Coast Highway rerouted their plans in Mendocino and Humboldt counties and turned the highway inland. The problem, they … Read more
  • The Hetch Hetchy
    We arrive at the Hetch Hetchy parking lot just after 10am and emerge from the car blinking and stretching under simmering blue skies, then pull … Read more
  • A Year Without Facebook
    Oh my god, I thought. I watched as pedestrians streamed into the crosswalk and across the street. Every one of them stared down at their … Read more
  • Grouse Lake Trail
    Mokelumne Wilderness July 17, 2020
  • Living with ADHD
    “Okay, for this next test, the computer is going to flash letters on the screen.” The neuropsychologist looked me in the eye to make sure … Read more
  • Stanislaus National Forest
    Baker Campground, Stanislaus National Forest, June 22-28, 2020.
  • Lost in the Sierra Nevada
    We were lost in the Sierra Nevada, and it was my fault. I climbed up to the top of a rock and looked out at … Read more
  • The Wilderness of the Mind
    This morning, I’m contemplating the wilderness of the mind. Wilderness can seem chaotic and dangerous.  In reality, it’s highly organized, it’s just highly organized in a … Read more
  • PCT Interlude
    I’ve just had a week off-trail. During that time I’ve been planning for the next section, running errands, and enjoying the many comforts of non-trail … Read more