CityLab’s visual exploration of how public libraries came to be

CityLab is a website dedicated to the people who are creating the cities of the future—and those who want to live there. Through sharp analysis, original reporting, and visual storytelling, their coverage focuses on the biggest ideas and most pressing issues facing the world’s metro areas and neighborhoods. Recently, they did a remarkable piece that … Continue reading CityLab’s visual exploration of how public libraries came to be


Will is a force that can be used to construct if one is not guided by blind desire. Thoughts lead to words. Words become actions. Actions become habits. Habits become character. These are powerful statements from Margaret Thatcher, which are further carried by James Allen in As a Man Thinketh. Men and women, he writes, are … Continue reading Intentionality

Cicero on the greatest thing to be praised in a great and splendid person

Marcus Tullius Cicero was one of the greatest leaders of the Roman Republic. Over the course of his career, he became, among other things, an orator, lawyer, and politician. Also, for centuries, he was considered one of the greatest philosophers. One of his best-known works is On Duties.  According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Written … Continue reading Cicero on the greatest thing to be praised in a great and splendid person

Democracy can work better

It isn't that people are apathetic, that they don't care about what's going on at city hall and just want to live their lives with the government operating in the background. It's that the government's communication strategy is terrible. We live in a hectic world where we're constantly interrupted, and they are publishing 150-page documents … Continue reading Democracy can work better

The failures and successes witnessed

My first internship with the Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce terrified me. I walked away so dismayed about professional life I emailed Northern Illinois University's College of Business, telling them I was terrified. Here is how I ended the email: I feel like college and the real world is going to crush my twenty year old dreams, … Continue reading The failures and successes witnessed

Community: The foundation of culture

Smarter people than me, scholars and artists, have tried hard to capture the complexities of the human experience and show perennial truths about the state of Man. Unfortunately, the fact is that it’s probably impossible to do. There are so many diverse cultures in the world. People change greatly for an unlimited number of reasons, … Continue reading Community: The foundation of culture

E.B. White on the definition of democracy

I've recently begun listening to a new podcast: Civics 101. It's described as the podcast refresher course on the basics of how our democracy works. I thought it seemed intriguing after I stumbled upon their episode on democratic norms. In that episode the authors of How Democracies Die, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, offer great insight into questions like which norms … Continue reading E.B. White on the definition of democracy