Weeds don’t exist in the wild: What can that tell us about humans?

Each so-called weed, after all, has a remarkable story to tell. Each is the product of millions of years of evolution. Each is a descendant from an ancient species that had migrated across seas and continents. Each has a life trajectory – dormancy, germination, establishment, secondary growth, bolting, pollination, seed dispersal, reproduction, death, decomposition.

Post-Bureaucratic Stress: Reflections on getting a police check in Vietnam

Bureaucracy is so deadly dull because it’s so mundane. But, as Steve Woolgar points out in his book Mundane Governance, the Latin etymology of ‘mundane’ is ‘of the world’ - just the way things are. And that’s only true of your experience with bureaucracy if you belong in the world in which you are living. If, as a grown-up, you’ve had to do any adulting in a country where you’re unfamiliar with the rules, then you'll know that bureaucracy becomes anything but mundane because you are not ‘of the world’ in which you’re trying to operate. So in this post, I want to draw on an experience from my fieldwork to explore how mundane bureaucracy, when you’re away from home, can be a stark reminder that you are ‘matter out of place’.