What Makes Us Smile?

When asked how he felt about Baltimore and the AVAM Matt had this to say. “Baltimore is amazing. Historically it is amazing, you can’t go wrong with Edgar
Allan Poe and H.L. Mencken I think it’s a beautiful city and for me as a visitor
this (The AVAM) is the center of Baltimore, and it’s not as violent as the wire


Leaving my world behind allows me to experience other cultures, and also helps me see my own. I’m in Istanbul at the International Symposium of Electronic Art (ISEA) to find out what others are doing, see the Istanbul Biennale, and talk about prosocial media research. Istanbul is cool. Baltimoreans would love it, as does everyone here, it seems. Since I arrived I’ve been scribbling down notes, trying to better understand my sense that Istanbul and Baltimore are similar in some significant ways, and so are Turkey and the US.

Dusting Off Our Game

This 4th film installment in WhoWeAm’s series on education looks at the absurd discrepancy between traditional US culture and the current US schools.

What To Delete: Pt. 2

In the digital world, space is pretty cheap these days. I can backup my laptop for 6 months for what it costs to spend an evening out. I don’t care about Google’s storage issues so I don’t even bother to delete emails I’m not interested in; I just ignore them. But I do notice that when I take the time to actually select a file and trash it, it feels good. In fact, it feels increasingly good…

Street Destination

So, Istanbul. Decades after the Ottoman Empire said goodbye to its last Sultan in 1922 the population of Istanbul was what it had been at the end of the 19th century—hovering around a million. That’s not a lot for a city that big; it must have felt as empty as Baltimore does sometimes. Since then, Istanbul’s population has grown thirteen fold, and like its income, it’s still growing fast compared to metropolitan areas in other industrialized nations. How does this happen?

Baltimore Afrobeat Society

Performances by the Baltimore Afrobeat Society are both intense and deeply cathartic experiences as well as important cultural gatherings that have become a ritual for many of us. As the dates for their most recent performances approached, fans of the ensemble spoke of the impending celebrations with reverence knowing that these happenings aren’t your typical live shows. They are rites of affirmation.