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By In essay

Man’s Best Reflection

“When I first started dating my fiancé, before we had a dog, we discussed this hypothetical: if a dog that belonged to you and a human stranger were hanging in peril, and you only had the time and ability to save one of them, which is more deserving of rescue? At the time, I made a logically-framed argument, maintaining that humanity is fundamentally more valuable than the life of any other animal, that a person is capable of producing so much more good in the world than a dog is, and that the risk of the stranger being a complete monstrosity of a person after being saved from impending death would be minimal compared to the odds that he or she would be a valuable contributor to society. Her rebuttal: just wait until you get a dog.

I waited. We got a dog. She was right.

Not only would I now save my dog without so much as a flinching hesitation, I’d probably save a stranger’s dog before I’d save the stranger. Sure, having a dog of my own has helped change my mind, but there’s more to it than that. An honest inspection of humanity yields a much stronger argument. Dogs are better students of character than humans — they bark at those worth barking at, offer their belly to those deserving of intimacy — which begs the assumption that perhaps they are simply better than people…”


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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Nostalgia is a Hell of a Drug

“Nostalgia is one of the traits that make humans unique in the world. It’s hard to know if other animals ever feel nostalgic, since it’s not exactly visually readable like anger, sadness or fear. It’s likely that even emotionally and cognitively advanced animals cannot reminisce, as nostalgia is really an offshoot of — or perhaps an intersection for — imagination and emotion. It requires us to imagine the past to stir up similar feelings we once had. Whether nostalgia is part of the evolutionary development of remembering or if it hints at something larger, like the existence of a soul, it is a potent and uniquely human experience.

This weekend was especially fixed on the rearview. It marked the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, as well as the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency. All manners of punditry were employed to construct meaningful, coherent narratives about both of them to see if the distance of time has brought about new understanding.

Combat sports also had some acute fits of nostalgia over the weekend. Anthony Joshua notched his 19th straight knockout in the biggest fight of his career against Wladimir Klitschko, immediately drawing comparisons to greats of old, from Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson to Joe Louis. Perhaps it was a result of the absence of any major fight cards this week or the next, but the MMA media was busy looking back, too. Patrick Wyman of Bleacher Report, Chuck Mindenhall of MMAFighting and our own Jordan Breen each published a retrospective-style piece looking at how different aspects of MMA’s past collides with its present. Some of those collisions are obvious, some not so much.

Truly, a lot has changed in this sport, while a lot continues to remain the same…”


Read more at Sherdog

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By In essay

What I’ve Learned About Being Local

“Before I left home last year to move to Korea, my nostalgic flashbacks to my life in Hawaii became particularly acute.

My parents still live close to my elementary school in Aikahi, and I remember how stoked everyone in the neighborhood was when the new playground was built — and how terrified we were when it almost burned down.

I would get out early on Wednesdays and go to Dave’s Ice Cream with my dad and my brother. I remember the liberation I felt when I got my first bus pass. I remember it all: There was the beach park where I got in my first fight, and the fence my friends and I used to hop over in middle school to smoke in secrecy…”


Read more at Honolulu Civil Beat

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