A few weeks ago, I stepped off the metro at Glacière in Paris’s 14th arrondisement and walked into Sainte Anne’s hospital, where I had spent the better part of my fieldwork last year. It felt good to be back in a psychiatric hospital as an observer, not a patient. Walking through the gate was just… Continue reading Asylum

The Wheels Come Off the Yasuní Bus (And My Thesis?)

“Yasuní-ITT”—the proposal by the Ecuadorian government to leave 900 million barrels of oil underground in exchange for international compensation (and, not incidentally, also the topic of my thesis)—has evolved into a powerful symbol.  When I first started my research, commentators were already declaring the proposal to be the solution to climate change and the harbinger… Continue reading The Wheels Come Off the Yasuní Bus (And My Thesis?)


Here’s an idea that doesn’t get nearly enough consideration in the development community: poor countries are poor because they’re hot. Okay, I’m not going to try even a half-assed defense of that statement.  I’m pretty sure there’s no shortage of peer-reviewed articles that disprove the climate-development link, and that if I thought for four seconds… Continue reading Heat


This weekend the train of bread crumbs that took me to Coca ran out, and I faced two days in the city with no one to interview and no meetings to attend.  I wasted Saturday watching monkeys.   On Sunday a friend who I made by phenomenally random chance at the Francisco de Orellana Anniversary-of-the-Merger-of-Two-Provicial-Directorates Fiesta… Continue reading Trust