How utopia went to hell

Image from John B. Calhoun, a picture of Calhoun in a mouse utopia in 1970 (Photo by Yoichi R Okamoto)

A sparse, gray landscape and ash slowly flowing down from the sky. Smoke everywhere. Sounds of multiple explosions. Perhaps an asteroid strike, or a nuclear war.

This may be how the hypothetical end of the human race is often put on display in post-apocalyptic films but what if human extinction was less a cinematic scene, and instead, a looming reality?

“Universe 25” was a study carried out from 1954 to 1972 by John B. Calhoun, an American ethologist and behavioral researcher who claimed bleak effects of overpopulation on rodents were a grim model for the future of the human race.


Psychologists say these traits guarantee your failure.

Photo by Vinicius Wiesehofer on Unsplash

“What advice would you give to your younger self?”

“What would you do differently if you could go back in time?”

“What’s your biggest regret?”

One of my students asked me these questions last week. My first thought was “Same question, different clothes.” My second thought was “What makes you think I know the answer?” but that would be of no help to a young girl who was apparently looking up to me. (for whatever unknown reason)

Then I stopped momentarily to think and look back on my life. The trip down memory lane made me think of some things…


The more I earn, the less I own.

Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash

It began three years ago.

I was driving home after a long day at work and was feeling completely burnt out. You know those times when you re-evaluate every decision in your life that has led you to that very moment? That’s what this was.

I had been feeling off for a while but I drowned myself in work to avoid having to face the reason.

Now, I could have been classified as a “successful” person for someone in my position. I came from a below-average family and managed to move out at Sixteen and make something of myself. …


Overcome the psychological phenomenon that slows down your success.

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

There’s a dirty little secret that many high achievers share: Deep down we feel like complete frauds and have a deeply rooted sense of self-doubt that leads to us considering our accomplishments as a result of serendipitous luck.

This psychological phenomenon, known as imposter syndrome, reflects a belief that you’re an incompetent and inadequate failure despite evidence that indicates you’re a skilled and successful high-achiever. Studies suggest 70% of people experience imposter syndrome at some point in their career.

The core reason that people experience imposter syndrome is really due to our unrealistic, unsustainable notions about what it means to…


85k views per month and five viral stories (so far)

Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

A year ago, when the first wave of the pandemic hit and forced me and many others out of our jobs, I found myself stuck at home with no income or plans to spend my time.

In order to keep my sanity, I dived into my old hobby of writing, which was initially meant to be just a distraction to pass the time. After a week of just writing on my laptop, I decided to join Medium and share my work.

At first, I didn’t think my writing was worth any money and couldn’t imagine being paid for it. And…


Events that make you feel lucky to be living in the current pandemic

Photo by Chelm's Varthoumlien on Unsplash

At first glance, human history might seem like a catalog of disaster and tragedy and perhaps it says something about mankind.

Whether a result of war, famine, disease, or a combination of all three, there are multiple times throughout history that must have been sheer hell to live through. Here are five other times in history that would make the current global problems relatively insignificant.

1 . Europe — During the Black Death


From giving children heroin for a cough to drilling a hole through the skull

Collage of some vintage medical treatments. From left: scoliosis treatment device, medical photography using electric shots, blood mixture as part of the popular corpse medicine treatment. (Photo credits : Wikipedia Commons )

Looking back, many of the medical treatments of the past may seem barbaric, cruel, and primitive to the modern mind. In a time where little was understood about the anatomy of the human body, diseases were often thought to be the result of demonic forces or punishment by the gods for past misdeeds, and treatments would often do more harm than good.

Here are the top five most disturbing and dangerous medical practices in history.

1 ) Trepanation of the skull


Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash

A practical guide to becoming the best version of yourself

It was 1:34 AM on a Friday night when it happened.

I was, as always, out drinking with my colleagues. It was our daily routine to go straight to the bar down the street from our office as a way to cope with the extreme toxicity of our workplace. We would spend hours drinking and smoking and complaining about our boss, then go to the office the next day and repeat it all over again.

That particular night was a crowded one and all the tables were full and stacked very closely next to each other. A group of 40-something-year…


How the Korean War influenced cosmetic operations

Photos showing the before and after of the double eye-lid surgeries, 1956; photo credit: Dr.Millard’s research paper on “The Principles and Art of Plastic Surgery”

In today’s Korea, nearly 20 percent of the female population has had plastic surgery at least once in their lives. One of the most common procedures is the double-eyelid surgery.

Although the public rarely associates its ever-booming cosmetic surgery industry with race or the nation’s turbulent modern history, there is evidence that the origins of such procedures reveal dark roots of racism.

History of double-eyelid surgery

Around 50 per cent of Asians, or ‘Mongoloid Orientals’ (Chinese, Korean, Japanese…) are born without a visible eyelid crease above their lash line. Anatomically, their eyelid has an extra fold of skin called the epicanthus in addition to…


Experiment with escalating electric shocks has an even more shocking result

Photo of one variation of the Milgram Experiment; Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Have you ever wondered how the Nazi guards in the concentration camps were able to commit such horrendous acts? Did it ever cross your mind why those ordered to kill did not object to the insanely inhuman commands?

While studying the events of World War II, one might find it hard to imagine how anyone would be capable of doing such horrifying things. But what if it’s proven that we were highly likely to do the exact same thing if we were in their position?

What if the events of World War II are not just history but rather a…

Kim Mia

Semi-Human | Designer | Minimalist | Writer | Polyglot

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