About the Author

Greetings!  My name’s Jessie.  (Incidentally, it’s not short for Jessica.  I’m named after my great grandmother, who was born in 1896, and whom I had the privilege of knowing as a child.)  I’m an elder member of the Millennial generation and a proud native of Detroit, though I grudgingly moved to Washington, DC for a job a few years ago.

I’m what’s been called a divergent thinker.  This often manifests in being a social critic, even though I try to be friendly about it.  But I admit it: I often feel compelled to point out when the emperor doesn’t appear to be wearing clothes.  If you’re interested in MBTI, you might say that I show my extraverted feeling, but there’s some very strong introverted thinking going on beneath it.

Oh, you want to know what I look like?  How’s this?

I don’t, however, automatically think less of a person if s/he disagrees with me.  There are people out there whom I respect who hold very different views than I do, and I enjoy conversing with them and trying to understand why they think what they do.  I am always trying to learn and improve my understanding, and I get worried when I find myself in political echo chambers.  In discourse, I try to keep three values: knowledge, frankness, and good will, as I blogged about in this foundational post.

On Politics

I’m a democratic socialist, and at present an elected member of the Steering Committee of the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America.  My politics are of the head and of the heart; they’re where both reason and compassion take me.  As the Left has exploded in size and visibility, however, my tendency toward divergence means that I do have some disagreements with what most people presume “the Left” thinks.  (But then, I can’t think of any group I belong to where that wouldn’t be the case.  It’s just that politics on the Internet isn’t as conducive to good faith questions as I wish it were.)  On that note, if I were asked to give one bit of advice to my fellow socialists, it would be to emphasize the value I’ve found in knowledge, frankness, and good will.  We can win on solid intellectual ground if we actually engage there in good faith!

As a socialist writer, I’ve contributed to In These Times and a couple times to Democratic Left.

On Positive Disintegration

I also happen to be living a life of overexcitablity, which infuses all of my writing.  It’s also made the Theory of Positive Disintegration tremendously useful to me.  That’s why I’ve dedicated much of this blog to sharing the theory’s wisdom with others.

Me in 1989 at Boblo Island, an amusement park on the Canadian side of the Detroit River.  Photo by my dad.

I am very close to my family, which consists of my wonderful mom and dad, my little sister Emily, who is a nurse, my brother-in-law Ben, and also this fellow named Max upon whom I stumbled a few years back who is as quirky as I am.  (We both figured we’d just be perpetually single because of it.)  I’m afraid I have to note that, since starting this blog, my dad has ceased to be alive, and I’m upset about that.

I welcome and encourage your thoughts on all posts (just please keep eunoia—good will—in mind), or if you’d prefer, send me a private message here.  I will respond, though sometimes it takes me several days.  To those who do me the honor of sharing my posts on social media, know that you have brought warmth and light to my humble little writerly existence.  Thank you!