Here I am back on “Latitude Adjustment Podcast” for its 100th episode. As it generally happens with Eric and me, our conversation takes us from my sharp turn towards anarchism to the portrayal of Ukraine war in Lithuania to photography to mental health. It’s an honour to be on the anniversary 100th episode of such a wide-ranging show along such figures such as US presidential candidate Ralph Nader as well as prominent academics, human rights campaigners and grassroots activists from all over the globe.

With each passing year I find it harder and harder to buy the concept of random or accidental. More and more proof accumulates to prove otherwise. Insisting on the randomness of it all starts to very much smell like a fanatic religious belief. A religion of scientific rationality. Even when the odds are one in a million of billions. Those seem to be the odds of my friendship with Eric.

We met back in 2016 in Istanbul when I called the city my home. Feeling as lonely as it gets in a metropolis of nearly 20 million souls, I dragged my sorry depressed (a topic we touch upon in this episode) ass to a Couchsurfing meeting in hope of making a human connection.

Connect we did. Instantly.

Eric’s stories of time spent in Palestine, Syria, Egypt, of his ancestors’ miraculous escape from death by Ottoman genocide, as well as his humility glued my attention. Having come from a conservative Republican, Christian, and zionist background, his beliefs and values had gone 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Much like my own tectonic shifts after leaving the suits in the City of London and other temples of capitalism, much like my own beliefs in the gospels of business, neoliberalism and everything else The Economist, NY Times or Harvard Business Review were indoctrinating me with.

By the time we first met, Eric had been running his Virtual Dinner Guest Project connecting people from seemingly opposing camps and enabling them to have a conversation. One that might break or melt their pre-conceived stereotypes and prejudices towards each other. One that might bring a tiny speckle of peace to places where it’s needed the most. Not new to the audiovisual medium, back in 2016 Eric was already toying with ideas on how he could extend his impact. This is how Latitude Adjustment Podcast was born 2 years later and Eric asked me if I’d like to be his first guest. Yes, of course.

Fast forward 4 years – April 2022, Mexico. I’d been in the country for over two months escaping COVID lockdowns and the depressive gray that is Lithuanian winter. Eric texts – he’s in Mexico as well and he’s planning on going to Oaxaca city – my next destination. Not-so-random once again. Our second in-person meeting and Eric’s second invitation to appear on his show. Yes, of course. Again.

Much has changed, and much we have changed since the first episode. I find it hard not to cringe at my views expressed back in 2018. It’s easier to look at it as an old photograph – a snapshot of my views at a given time. Here’s the current one. Tune in on your fav podcast platform or on Latitude Adjustment Podcast’s website.