"Raed Nerian" is derived from old English words that mean (broadly) 'counsel' and 'protect'. Together, I intend them to mean simply "counsel to protect". Works as a pseudo 'mission statement' for my life as well as anything else I've ever come up with. Raed Nerian serves as my personal website/blog/outlet for random writing and odd ideas, with the common theme being discussion of ideas that I think are interesting, and want other people to think about too. Especially, ideas about how to better understand and fix our strange, broken world.
I am an avowed minimalist, and tend to see Wikipedia as the pinnacle of what 'good' web content looks like, so you will never see ads or their like on the site. Just some thinkpieces and other similar bloggy content I like to put out because... I like to. (No law against circular reasoning on websites!).
DISCLAIMER: Stuff you see here isn't approved or reviewed by anyone but myself. And I like to poke at taboos and play with controversial topics, so odds are if you regularly read/follow you'll be offended/irritated/terrified at some point.
Sort of a Biography
Like one of my inspirations, J.R.R. Tolkien, I am more or less a Hobbit. A day working in my library, a night relaxing with the family, good food and good sleep. These things I like. Attention, not so much. Being on the autism spectrum likely plays a key role. But because we live in a world run by extroverts and obsessed with identity signaling, here's some basics for anyone who for whatever reason wants to see biographical materials:
- I grew up conservative, religious, and rural. As an adult, I became consistently more non-religious, anarchist, globalist.
- By anarchist, I mean a total philosophical rejection of any form of persistent "authority". That is, the purported "right" of anyone to coerce anyone else.
- Authority is undesirable, an excuse for one person to dominate another; Authority is unnecessary, as humans naturally form cooperative groups to manage collective affairs.
- Similarly, by non-religious I mean zero submission to religious authority. God, no god, lots of gods - whatever I or anyone believes is a matter of individual conscience alone.
- A globalist is merely someone who believes that all humans are basically the same, have the same inherent rights, and that commonality >>> any state, country, tribe, clan, gender, faith...
- In short, I place my faith in the innate human capacity for self-organization and the collective mission of improving the capacity of all individuals and communities to live well.
- I research, I write. This is what I do. I can't not read, think, and read some more. I can't not come up with questions, answers, and then try to tell other people about them.
- The scholarly/academic component of my work is focused on Development and Governance, or how to effectively provide basic services to all people, everywhere.
- The public science component of my work is focused on translating scholarly/academic concepts into stuff a lay person without a decade of academic training can understand and apply.
- The science fiction component of my work emphasizes understanding the nature of humanity and our shared history by building and exploring worlds that could be.
Stuff I write
- Bringing Ragnarok is a hybrid of mythology and science fiction, with doses of alternative history, military fiction, and visions of a quite dystopic future for humanity.
- Designing Cascadia takes my interdisciplinary scientific background and applies it to understand how Cascadia could work as a post-USA successor state in the Pacific Northwest.
- This website/blog. Random ideas, thoughts, arguments, and other topics of interest to me, where I think my commentary might be beneficial (if anyone reads it).
- This academic article "Impact of Rural Electric Access on Deforestation Rates", co-written with Dr. Alison Johnston, was published in 2017 in World Development (!)
- I've successfully written and defended two Master's projects, one using satellite data to evaluate Klamath Basin wetlands, the other an earlier version of the published article above.
- I once wrote a fantasy novel called Kangaen, which I self-published on Amazon for kicks. Thinking about editing and re-releasing it in the near future.
Stuff I like
- Writers: Arundhati Roy. J.R.R. Tolkien. Ta-Nehisi Coates. J.K. Rowling. Mark Twain. Snorri Sturluson. Isaac Asimov. Edward Said. Robert Fisk. James Clavell. Ibn Khaldun.
- Media: Amon Amarth, Dark Tranquility, M.I.A., Rammstein, Anti-Flag, Dr. Who, Babylon 5, Gundam Wing, Fallout: New Vegas, Panzer General 2, Total Annihilation, Legend of Zelda.
- Fields: Political Ecology, Comparative Politics, General Systems Theory, Critical Theory, Post-Colonial Studies, Political Economy, Mixed Methods, Simulation and Modeling.
- Places: Willamette Valley, Cascadia, Scandinavia, Britain, Germany, Japan, Portland, Berkeley, San Diego, Gothenburg, Edinburgh [NOTE: I like but haven't in many cases been].
- Home: My spouse, two cats, our 100 year old house, two dogs, maybe someday horses, goats, and other animals (!), rainy and windy days.
- Co-written academic piece using qualitative evidence to examine how the militant group Al Shabaab survives, controls territory, and exploits ethnic minorities in Southern Somalia.
- Co-written academic piece emphasizing the importance of "security governance" in fixing failed states and making a case for an independent international humanitarian intervention NGO.
- Co-written academic piece (yeah, I do a lot of research) looking at racialized patterns of foreclosure incidence in Baltimore after the 2008 housing crash.
- Development of the rural electric access piece already published to examine the main hypothesis at a sub-national level, adding a crucial dimension to the argument.
- Bringing Ragnarok 2, which will take the Six Friends deeper into the Second World War (1944), Second American Civil War (2041), and Earth Liberation Struggle (2147).
- Actually writing up and defending my doctoral dissertation (you know, when there's time).