I was recently (about a month ago) introduced to the concept of WEIRD, which stands for Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. It came up during the criticism for my short story, The Creature in the Quarry, and it’s had me thinking off and on about what I can do to address it in my writing. The concept is straightforward — when I approach a subject, being of the white middle class, I look at it with the benefit of everything that comes from being white and middle class.

I received an education in mathematics, linguistics and writing, art, music, and history, the natural sciences, as well as physical and mental health. I have virtually no religious background and while I may work to support myself, I’ve never suffered for lack of any of those really basic human necessities like food, water, and shelter. So when I write something about people in another time and another place who have, and have always had … less … than I have, I get the priorities and thinking wrong.

I have a problem with people who I don’t think are as smart as me. I have a problem with people who don’t take my advice (especially the ones who actually ask for my advice). I have a problem with people who