I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out. I’ll tell the story as I believe it happened. After that, you be the judge.

Long ago, in the ancient port city of Genoa, was born a boy. They called him Cristoffa. His father, Domenego Corombo, was one of those men who seem born with their eyes wide open at the beauty of the world and are thereby rendered incapable of settling down in any one spot. Apprenticed as a weaver at age 11, like his father and grandfather, Domenego ran away from home and instead immersed himself in the wild…


I fell in love with Greek mythology as a boy. My grandparents, on my father’s side, gave us the beautiful D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths, and it touched me like few books did. Not that I didn’t love the Bible, which we grew up with in a Christian home. But the Greek myths were so different from the Bible. Perhaps more relatable. I adored powerful Athena and Diana, with their arbitrary but extraordinary commitments. I wished to be like Ares or Apollo, who could topple enemies with the swing of a sword.

Yet even the D’Aulaires, with all their skill…


(And no, Lyft isn’t paying me!)

PC: lyft.com

To my fellow Lyft drivers:

There’s a big to-do about California’s Prop 22 right now, as all of you know because of the constant messaging from Lyft. (Uber drivers and others, I’m sure you’ve experienced the same.) And as someone with a long-time interest in both politics and the tech sector, I was really interested by the arguments on both sides. So I did a little digging and wanted to share what I found.

The skinny? Prop 22, while imperfect, offers us the opportunity to keep our flexible jobs, with increased pay. It would likely need to be amended in…


Dear Mr. Bezos,

I finished my last day as an Amazon Delivery Driver today. I drove for 6 weeks — 31 working days — and in that time I delivered about 3,000 of your Amazon packages. I realize they’re not exactly “yours,” since you only own 11% of Amazon. But as the largest shareholder, the founder, the CEO, and the president, I figure you’re the best one to address this letter to.

So here’s a quick update from the front lines — what it’s like day to day and some lessons I’ve learned on the job.

The alarm goes off…


From http://quarterly.politicsslashletters.org/

Capitalism seems to be under debate these days, for the first time in decades. “Socialists” of one stripe or another have won elections all over the world. “Democratic socialism” — the idea that much property should be held commonly, but under some form of meaningful democratic control — is among several alternatives proposed.

The response from capitalists has been swift and powerful. Capitalism, they argue, has lifted millions of people out of poverty when Communism and religious empires failed to do so. Capitalism is the only economic system compatible with our fundamentally selfish human nature. After all, Adam Smith wrote…


‘The Old Guitarist’ — Picasso

I’ve never read Gabriel García Marquez’s classic Love in the Time of Cholera, but the title has always fascinated me. It seems to carry the weight of hope and fear balanced precariously on its three nouns — the inexhaustible hope for love, the inescapable fear of death, and the madness which ensues when the two meet.

It is now a story almost all of us are living, in one way or another. You, with the elderly grandfather at home and a constant risk of bringing the disease home to him. You, with the newborn child in the ICU while the…


I was sitting in church last Sunday. Episcopal Church — I’m Mormon, but let’s just say I have a complicated relationship with Christianity, particularly my own church. So I was in an Episcopal Church, because a pastor I follow on Twitter was preaching that day.

He preached a lovely sermon. But it was a little prayer we spoke aloud after the sermon which really got me. These are the words we spoke together, as tears formed in my eyes:

“God of all mercy, we confess that we have sinned against you, opposing your will in our lives. We have denied…


An American History

Cape Palmas, Liberia. 1800s Etching. From oup.com

There has always been a current of feeling within US society that people of color do not truly “belong” in the United States and that they should “go back” to their own countries. One little-known and shocking episode of that history is the black colonization movement.

Thomas Jefferson and the Birth of Colonization

Author of the Declaration of Independence, President Jefferson was a brilliant writer and statesman. He was also a (mildly reluctant) slaveholder who favored the eventual abolition of slavery. He was born and bred in the green hills of Virginia, an identity which he cherished all his life. In the midst of…


Angelo Herndon, after and during prison sentence. From digital.library.pitt.edu and blackthen.com

In 1932, Angelo Herndon was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia.

Herndon was only 19 years old, a labor organizer fighting for unemployment benefits during the Great Depression, but the case against him was strong for one reason: he was an avowed Communist. Prosecutors found “communist literature” in his hotel room and used it to argue that he was trying to overthrow the government of the state of Georgia.

The charge was absurd, of course — Herndon was the son of a poor mining family who left home for a full-time job at 13. He had little education and no grand political…


Turn on the news these days and you’ll probably hear something about Trump’s infamous wall. Since I just visited Mexico and passed the border where that wall might be, I thought I’d write a few notes on my experience there.

My qualifications to write about this subject include:

  • Waited five hours at the border to get into Mexico
  • Waited three hours at the border to get back into the United States
  • Became friends with hundreds of people who immigrated illegally while on an LDS mission in Washington state (2008–10)
  • Lived in Mexico for 3 months in 2012
  • Fluent speaker of…

Abe Collier

“I do not understand one thing in this world. Not one.” — Marilynne Robinson, ‘Gilead’

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