Hello, I’m Nathan Allen. Welcome to my page! This serves as an experiment in shortform as well as a little intro to myself.

I am a freelance (sort of, I'm new to this) writer based in Winston-Salem, NC. My writing tends to focus on the interdisciplinary study of the environment — those places where science, philosophy, psychology, history, and other discipline meet. Other than that, I write about philosophy broadly, LGBTQ+ issues, media studies, and culture.

I am a writer and editor of Pollen — an interdisciplinary magazine about the environment. In addition, I am a regular writer for Mind…


Julia Michaels and the “wasted time” view of ex-relationships.

Photo by Djim Loic on Unsplash

I am friends with almost all of my exes — granted now, I am just 22 so I haven't really racked up a long list of ex-boyfriends. The ones that I have been lucky to share parts of my life with are still somewhat a part of my life now.

Being friends, or even friendly, with your ex(es), might seem really odd. I don’t have the statistics on this so take my word with a grain of salt, but it does appear to me at least that a lot of folks clean the slate after each relationship. Once it is…


Get ready to receive environmental news and inspo directly to your inbox!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I love to learn. Not having to seek out new information all the time is a game-changer. That is why I love newsletters. These are curated emails that are sent directly to you with all kinds of fresh, new ideas for you to think about.

I am particularly interested in environmental news and ideas, so here is a list of a few newsletters that I really enjoy.

The Climate Crisis from The New Yorker & Bill McKibben

First up, a detailed one. This newsletter from The New Yorker is written by activist and writer Bill McKibben. …


Tracking the history of why this fish is a stand-in for tricking people into thinking that you are someone else.

Photo by Milos Prelevic on Unsplash

I was watching Catfish a while back and remember thinking two things: Why would anyone do this? and What does this have to do with an actual catfish?

I decided to dig into it and I am happy to say that although I still have no answers for the first question, the second has some pretty interesting answers. Here’s what I found.

First off, what does it mean to call someone a catfish?

It is definitely not a term of endearment. To call someone a catfish is to declare they are a phony. This comes in many varieties, of course.

You might have embellished your dating profile a bit. For example…


Explained by a writer who cares about fish — to some extent.

Photo by kate on Unsplash

Recently, marine biologist Daniel Pauly — a person whose work I greatly respect — wrote a piece about what the new, flashy Netflix documentary “Seaspiracy” got wrong.

While I agree with all his points, and this is not necessarily a response, I would like to really pull the light down on what I think a major point of the documentary was: fish can feel enough pain to warrant our not eating them if we have the option.

Pain in fish, the uncomfortable truth for fish-stick lovers

There has long been debate about whether or not animals in general (not just fish) feel pain. Before that, there is even a…


Looking at the use case and history of these multiple-use names.

Photo by Kirill Balobanov on Unsplash

[tw: rape, assault]

In 1973, a landmark legal case known to many as “Roe v. Wade” occurred. Less known is the fact that “Roe” was half of Jane Roe, a pseudonym for the plaintiff.

In 1986, a woman known only as Jane Doe to the public, engaged in an 11-year court battle with the Toronto Police Department after they used her as bait to catch the infamous “Balcony Rapist.” She won the case.

In 2015, a man raped “Emily Doe” on the Stanford University campus. Emily Doe was not actually the victim’s name.

And, in March of 2021, a man…


And if you are a writer, here’s why you should too.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

In high school, the administration gave all the students a laptop to use for class and take home with us for homework. It was a Chromebook; and — I absolutely hated it. Why? I really have no idea.

I suspect it has to do with some psychological trick having to do with Chromebooks having a reputation for being really sh*tty machines. I completely fell for it too. I hated it and only used it for school.

In college, the slander of Chromebooks was still internalized. I was an Apple guy, with a super high-end MacBook which I naively thought was…


Philosopher Judith Butler on performing one’s gender

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

“Why do you talk like that? Why do you act like a girl?”

When I was younger, I was asked these two questions all of the time. Most of the time I would answer with “Um, I don’t know?” which was truthful. I was just doing me — which so happen to clash with gender norms.

As I got older, I began to recognize the real consequences of not properly playing out gender norms. So I began shielding. This phenomenon (which I swear I read about somewhere so if someone knows about it please comment) is basically a group of…


And opponents of cancel culture make it difficult to solve.

Have you ever thought about something so big that it seemed unfathomable, and maybe even unreal? Well, if so, you have likely encountered what is called a hyperobject. According to eco-philosopher Tim Morton, hyperobjects are those “…things that are massively distributed in time and space relative to human.”

I admit, it does sound a little complicated but it might sound familiar because humans are currently dealing with a dangerous hyperobject: climate change. A ‘thing’ of massive proportion that seems out of reach for us organism who live only a short 100 years if we are lucky.

So let’s talk more…


Notes on Veganism

I did not know how good this would feel.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

A couple of months ago, I signed the lease. A day later, I was handed the keys to my new place. It was a big step, but not really because of the move.

I reveled in this situation because for the first time in my life, I would be able to live in a completely vegan household. You see, my roommate Cam, a buddy from college, is vegan too. For months, we had fantasized about having our own place with plants in the window, oat milk in the fridge, Oreos in the cabinet, and Peter Singer on the bookshelf.

Realizing…

Nathan Allen

writer. illustrator. manic collector of pens and notebooks. bug guy from North Carolina. see my work at www.nthnljms.com

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