Welcome back to another edition of the Pacific Sentinel.
As 2023 commences, there is, as there always has been (and likely always will be), a whole lot happening in the world—both foreign and domestic. So much so that, at times, we may find ourselves having difficulty focusing down on our classes, maintaining our finely balanced mental health status, or retaining optimistic views for the future. This struggle is also exasperated by the multitude of outside forces pressing in on us at all times. The information fed to us through social media algorithms enforcing our biases; the twenty-four hour news cycle; the disingenuous representation of struggling communities; the never-ending military conflicts and occupations throughout the world; last year’s tragedies and this year’s hopeful plans. This constantly shifting paradigm of forces both political and personal shapes how we interact with the world and with our immediate communities. We are each in a constant tug-o-war between what we see with our eyes, what we believe to be true and valuable, and what we experience in our everyday lives.
In this issue of the Sentinel, we are looking both forward and back to better understand ourselves, our cultures, and our futures. From Dylan O’Harra’s interesting yet disturbing interview with the newly developed artificial intelligence ChatGPT, to Ben Norman’s considerations on being a stranger in a new city, and John Watson’s interview with Indigenous artist Katherine Paul on her upcoming album for her indie-rock band Black Belt Eagle Scout, each contribution in this edition of the magazine is interested in where we’ve come from, where we’re going, and how we’re getting there.
With a new year also comes fresh ideas. Aside from our usual collection of essays, interviews, and narratives, you’ll find some new things in this edition that we hope excites you half as much as it does us. Our aim as editors is to create something that expands on the expectations of what a magazine has been to what it can be. What we wish to create, then, is a literary object that can be interacted with in a number of ways, rather than the assumed experience of reading it from front to back in the order that we have chosen. By refreshing the type of content we have published in the past, and by adding newer ideas, our hope is that you, as the reader, will find yourself interacting with it in a way that perhaps you previously were not and to offer back to our communities a multifaceted object representative of what we see, how we feel, and what you all deserve. We hope we were successful in this regard.
As always, thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing all that the new year has in store.
The Pacific Sentinel