About two months ago, we began one of the largest experiments on work and productivity in recent memory. Within the realm of knowledge work, where working from home is most prevalent, we are asked to turn our previous havens of relaxation, comfort, and family time into battle stations whizzing with Zoom meetings and email checks. I don’t know about you, but I find it extremely difficult to separate church and state. I am unfocused at best in my work and detached from family in walks or meal time. Many prominent thinkers in the productivity space have discussed these issues at…


A case for moderate conservatism in a time of crisis:

Photo by Jacob Morch on Unsplash

On Tuesday, May 5th, 2020, the Trump administration declared a time of death for a governmental task force responsible for a national response to the coronavirus pandemic. Reports from the Wall Street Journal indicated that this would mean phasing out duties of officials and bureaucrats on the task force with full eradication by late summer. Then, by Wednesday evening, May 6th, the administration had already reneged on dissolving the task force. It was as if Trump was testing the boundaries of public outrage. …


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Recent projections of the global economy suggest a downturn not seen for decades due to the coronavirus pandemic. But it is often in times of such disruption that we are given the most opportunity for innovation. Disruption at this scale serves to sift out our economy’s most valuable skills and assets. It is often the “meta-skills” at the bottom of such activity that serve as the guiding force for job training and education.

But what “meta-skills” will emerge this time? Evidence suggests several seemingly disparate but connected knowledge, skills and abilities. …


Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

Gustavo and his wife Sarah live in a bleach white shotgun-style duplex with their two toddlers Gustavo Junior and Carolina. Gustavo (“Gus”) is an orthopedic surgeon with a dry wit and demonstrable passion for his work. Gus’s marathon of medical training began in Pennsylvania with a stop in New York before landing in New Orleans. His clinic, now required by law to perform only emergency procedures, does well enough that he manages to work three to four days a week with the flexibility to pick the kids up from day care. He and Sarah lead a bilingual household, where they…


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Among the many shortcomings of higher education, the most enduring is its inability to prepare us for the “real world.” Then presidential hopeful Marco Rubio famously stated on the 2015 debate stage that, “We need more welders and less philosophers.” Rubio recently recanted this and apologized, but the sentiment runs true for many of his intended audience who doubt the value of academic training in favor of pragmatic skills. I am not here to argue otherwise. Rather, I think we should apply this skepticism to what is taught within the academy, and to how it is taught.

Having completed a…

Walker Blackston, MSPH

Epidemiologist for the State of Louisiana; Fiancé, proud dog dad and a once and always Mississippian; @j_walkston; https://walkerblackston.com

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