A Mirror of the World

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My name is Christopher Schwartz. I am an American academic and researcher splitting his time between Central Asia and Europe, primarily Kyrgyzstan and Belgium. To learn more about me, you may check out my CV or visit my Academia.edu and LinkedIn profiles. Request to follow me or shoot me a DM via my Twitter profile.

A phenomenologist by training and a journalist by profession, I am branching out and becoming more of an independent researcher seeking new opportunities. Since April 2018, I have been using machine learning to investigate fake news and fake social media accounts. I am interested in understanding this problem scientifically, journalistically and philosophically. My partners in this endeavor are Dr. Rebekah Overdorf and the Civil Initiative for Internet Policy. If you are interested to know more, you may read our 2019 workshop paper, “Subtle Censorship via Adversarial Fakeness in Kyrgyzstan” 

This blog is really a personal affair, not a professional one. It concerns my explorations, a “spiritual journalism” in a two-fold sense: “reporting” on my spiritual-intellectual journey, akin to a diary (a peculiar diary, for sure, one in which you are the audience), and exploring the spiritual dimensions of being a journalist. To read my entries, click here. Because I have been blogging for several years, you may need a guide to navigate the forest of rumination.

Before diving in, though, please be advised about two items. First, as an outward, and somewhat refracted, reflection of my inward self, this blog is constantly evolving. Second, and relatedly, I password-protect some posts in order to limit reading to intimates; I sometimes even de-publish posts altogether. My reasons for doing either vary according to the post, so sometimes previously public content becomes closed and previously closed content becomes open.

To close this introduction to myself, the following is perhaps one of my favorite passages from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet-founder of my religion, the Bahá’í Faith:

In this Day the secrets of the earth are laid bare before the eyes of men. The pages of swiftly-appearing newspapers are indeed the mirror of the world. […] This is an amazing and potent phenomenon. However, it behoveth the writers thereof to be purged from the promptings of evil passions and desires and to be attired with the raiment of justice and equity…

— Baha’u’llah, Tarzát #6