Italo Calvino’s hidden thoughts on the Cold War and lessons on building bridges between different perspectives.

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A source of inspiration for architects, a source of confusion for many others. Published in 1972, “Invisible Cities” is a journey through a world of imaginary cities and conversations between Marco Polo and The Great Khan. While it is a journey through the world of imagination, it is also a journey through reality.

Calvino’s “Invisible Cities” is classified as postmodernist literature, which is largely characterized as stylistically playful and unrealistic. The meaning of postmodern literature is its meaninglessness.

I first read this book while studying abroad in Florence. My professor told our class how literary criticism of “Invisible Cities” revolved…


Where are you putting that power?

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Knowledge is power. There’s truth to this. In my opinion, it’s near synonymous with expansion. It expands our minds, what we think, how we think. It expands our horizons, the beautiful possibilities that we see for our futures.

Thomas Jefferson went even further. He considered knowledge as synonymous with power, safety, and happiness.

If this phrase was entirely true, you’d assume that the more knowledge you possess, the more empowered you feel. Yet, sometimes the opposite is true. The more knowledge we possess, the more we uncover, we can be met with a feeling of powerlessness.

That’s why sometimes I…


Revisiting the past can make the future more clear.

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Sometimes, it’s the people who know you the least who understand you the most. That was the case with Matteo.

Studying abroad in Florence, I was constantly experiences new things, exploring new places. But there was one place I always went back to. For about 14 weeks, four days a week, I went to the panino shop across the street from my school for lunch.

Matteo was the shop owner. He was kind, made one heck of a panino, and he accepted the meal vouchers we were provided to pay for food in Florence. …


Why the wolf-kill bill shows the necessity of well-informed policymaking.

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In case you missed it, on May 6 Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed Senate Bill 1211 into law. The bill is being referred to as the “wolf-kill bill” because, starting July 1, it allows hunters and private contractors to kill almost an unlimited number of wolves in the state.

There are an estimated 1,500 wolves in Idaho. Because Idaho’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan set the minimum threshold of wolves in the state at 150, the new law will allow for up to 90% of the state’s wolf population to be killed.

Paving the way for this bill to be…


Can it be earned, or only given?

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Trust. Simple in theory, yet complex and nuanced in practice.

It’s no secret that trust is an essential pillar for any strong, healthy relationship.

I’m willing to bet most — if not all — of us have heard the saying, “Trust is earned, not given”.

If you’re like me, you adopted this saying as one of your personal beliefs.

It was a mantra I lived by my whole life. Trust was not something to give haphazardly. That was too risky. It was something given in small doses, slowly building a tolerance of trust earned over time. …


A short story illustrating the necessity of words and actions. Like sunlight and water, a flower needs both.

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A man crossed paths with a flower. It was strong, vibrant. He loved the flower. He told the flower how much he appreciated her. It made the flower feel warm.

Finally, someone noticed me. Out of all the flowers in the world, he has chosen to appreciate me.

The man continued telling the flower how much he appreciated her. The warmth of his words were like sunlight. They made her colors shine more vibrantly.

But the man did not water the flower. His words, like sunlight, started to burn. Without water, she began to shrivel up. …


Privacy protection for your life: online and offline.

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We’ve probably all heard it before: our brains are like supercomputers. Just like computers, our brains are constantly transmitting and processing data. That’s why I thought information security practices may be able to help me protect my mental and emotional security.

Information security experts build safeguards into digital infrastructure to ensure the security of the data and assets they protect. I build safeguards into my daily interactions to ensure the security of my inner peace.

Somewhere along the line, I learned to feel guilty when telling someone “no” or asserting any boundaries. This led to life-long people pleasing tendencies, feeling…


Small words choices can make a big difference.

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Often times, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Other times what you say is what can matter most. We create and use words to convey meaning. They signify, while also being significant. This is why I choose my words carefully. Say what you mean, mean what you say — right?

Because I am careful to choose my words, I am also careful to observe the words others choose. Since words are a reflection of our thoughts, I pay attention to my word choices. Observing our words can give us insight on the thoughts that shape those…


What’s your choice, bumpers or no bumpers?

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Most of us have heard, said, or even been told the phrase “stay in your lane”. If you stay in your lane, you stay out of trouble. When it comes to bowling, staying in your lane? With bumpers, that’s easy! If your bowling ball doesn’t hit them, no harm done. If it does, then they give a little nudge of help in knocking down the pins. That’s why I always decided to be opt for bumpers. They didn’t harm, but they sure could help — which made them a critical part of my bowling strategy. …


A concept, turned commodity

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Time. One concept, yet seemingly a million different perceptions on how it passes, what to do with it. We hear “Time flies when you’re having fun!” and question “Where did the time go?”. When you’re in a meeting you couldn’t care less about, you may wonder if it’s possible for time to go by any slower. If you’re like me, you’ve probably professed that “time is a social construct!” and been met with a pair or two of rolling eyes.

Each of us hold different ideas and beliefs surrounding the concept of time. These come together to define our relationship…

Julia Wilson

I write about thoughts that become ideas, turning ideas into things.

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