Muraco Kyashna-tochá wishing we'd all embrace critical thinking and love ourselves a little bit more

Hypocrisy or cultural dissonance is what really drives me crazy. We’re the “just say no” culture that is saying yes louder and stronger than any other society. We're a nation of the addicted. Our government patents cannabis all the while claiming cannabis has no medicinal benefits. We are helping other nations to “develop” by extracting more resources from them than we’re giving. We’re a society "creating peace" by making war. We preach democracy while crushing others' liberation movements with impunity. We celebrate Martin Luther King Day but struggle to hear the meaning of his words. We have churches preaching God's love while engaging in outrageous acts of racism. In some ways, what we are is - the ultimate culture of self-deceit. A world of people simultaneously in love with and completely unfamiliar with themselves, living in perpetual fear of self-actualization, and molding our relationships to secure such, and all this baggage is also being dragged along into the technofuture with a faster yet faster chip.

I believe our life's journeys are engaged in the study of something deep and personal. The banker likes orderliness, the psychologist is trying to determine mental health balance, the cloud architect dreams of connections in a multiplicity of helpful ways, and the anthropologist is trying to figure out the objectified "other." How do I fit into my society? What is my worldview? What is human nature and in what way does it impact cultural memes? While, I'm mostly seeking answers, the process may be more important than the arriving.

Today edgy America stands on a precipice. A massive experiment in social cognitive dissonance gone awry. Culture is defined as "shared ways of organizing reality." Our democracy assumes that its citizens share the same reality - the same culture. In this regard, America culture is dangerously non-homogeneous and I believe we're in the midst of finding out whether democracy can be preserved even when that is not the case. I fundamentally believe a multicultural democracy can exist but we must embrace the journey. Since humanness and understanding have the same roots, the key is to better know ourselves.... our humanness, period. We can start by looking in the mirror.

Muraco Kyashna-tocha


All of us
so close but far,
children of a distant star,
connected by a silver thread
woven in a golden web.
Each of us
a spark of light,
each of us
alone at night.

Cultural Anthropologist Focused on cyber-anthropology's digital and cyborg memes and medical cannabis modalities

People know what they do; they frequently know why they do, what they do; but what they don't know is why what they do does. This is the realm of an anthropologist's understanding.

Anthropologists concern themselves with cultural study, and I am most interested in the “objectification of the other” a meme that infuses every other social construct - ethnicity, class and notions of equity. Thus, I examine all cultural and social constructs through the “objectification of the other” lens. I’ve had two anthropological areas I have focused on – digital anthropology which is a pure intellectual pursuit as I am personally enthralled by emerging technologies and a bit of techno junkie, even as I see the social-disconnect concerns. My other area of interest – medical anthropology was somewhat thrust upon me.

Digital anthropology also called cyber-anthropology – has focus on virtual communities. The advent of the internet allowed – for the first time in human history – the creation of communities solely based on like-mindedness. Virtual communities no longer needed to even share a common language in the age of online translators. It would be hard to underestimate how revolutionary this new community building process has been.

There’s both a potential for democratic explosion (as the likeminded connect and realize their political presence) – if we can develop criteria for wading through the massive amounts of data infusing our world daily – and as well as a potential for being overwhelmed and disconnected from each other. The issue is filtering. Emerging technology can also disruptors – amplifiers of the wrongs in our world, social-governance efficiently worse. As we efficiently shift from analog systems of control to digitally integrated control systems - we find algorithms now determine who gets SNAP benefits. Protecting human rights isn’t what algorithms do. So, the cyber world can offer endless possibilities for the objectification of the other. The current era of fake news provides regular examples. As I see it, we Americans seem to be a little overwhelmed. I witness the effect of two generations of the American education system being underfunded and I wonder how few Americans seem to possess the skills nor the desire to think critically about information passively accepted.

In 1998, I had the pleasure of being prosecuted for medical cannabis. Being one to make the most of every opportunity, I successfully fought the charge and became the first legal medical cannabis patient in King County, my case being resolved before Washington’s medical cannabis law went into effect. My legal event - well familiar to thousands of minority Americans - was a personal wake up call to how the war of drugs and specifically the war on cannabis was being used to denigrate a certain ethno-class. The war was a way to disenfranchise minorities – most specifically Black men - of their right to vote. Increasingly the war on cannabis seemed to be a conservative reaction to the civil rights movement. It pains me to note this personal awareness came about because of being busted.

As the saying goes – walk a mile in my shoes. I won my legal medical cannabis case – and having learned my lesson, I founded Green Buddha. Under my directorship, Green Buddha was the longest continuously running medical cannabis collective in Washington State when we closed our physical doors in 2016. Witnessing the objectification of the “pot user,” Through my Green Buddha work, I was an active medical cannabis advocate, assisting more than eight thousand patients. I've engaged in educational outreach at dozens of medical facilities and support groups and published peer-reviewed medical cannabis papers on dosing. I also created one of the first high cannabidiol (CBD) phenotypes – an innovative strain of cannabis called M’Otto – which contained almost no THC, and has been utilized by epileptics and as pain patients seeking non-stony pain management. I've experience working on cannabis legislation in Washington State, and was involved in the passage of the Washington State's cannabis research law.

Signing of the Cannabis Research bill in 2015

As a recognized medical cannabis advocate, I've been a resource for hundreds of journalists and news outlets, and am proud to have been featured in both the New York Times and the New Yorker. Additionally, I have extensive experience working on medical cannabis legislation in Washington State.

April 24, 2015 - The signing of Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles' Cannabis Research bill by Governor Jay Inslee


Cloud Solutions Architect, Systems Analyst & Technologies Consultant I facilitate the agile development of both your technological concerns and personnel

The Information Technology management landscape is radically changing, and "I am enthralled with achieving technical excellence with these emerging technologies. Virtualization, cloud technologies, global scaling, geo-redundancy, distributed systems, agile development (of both applications and employees), continuous integration/continuous deployment, containerization -- there's never been a more exciting vibrant time to be in the information technology field! A decade ago virtualization allowed for computing densities that were once considered unimageable, and developing technologies continue the trend. Clouding, the shift to DevOps, CICD pipelines, distributed systems and containerization all lead to amazing efficiencies. High-tech clouding suddenly allows modest size organizations to leverage big tools – extending reliability, global scalability and availability.

Knowing how to incorporate these new technologies, and how to find an appropriate balance between performance and cost in new scenarios is important. Performing required analysis and ascertaining SLAs are part of that process. A cloud systems solution architect – an IT professional who is responsible for overseeing a company's cloud computing strategy, including cloud adoption plans, cloud application design, and cloud management and monitoring – arbitrates this process.

Additionally, managing a team has never been more important – CICD pipelines and distributed systems demand tight efficient team building structures to be in place. As a cloud architect, I have a strong understanding of cloud computing technology and infrastructure as well as some experience in designing and migrating applications to the cloud. I have experience in the consultant role and understand the need to build relationships with team members and clients. I have an ear for diagnosing end user’s problems, the ability to prescribe the right solution and then ultimately determine the right combination of methods using the skills mentioned above to deliver the right features. I’m enthusiastic about advancing both our existential selves and our new technologies.

Two Opposing Forces at Play

Team building and socially engagement has never been more important for our organizations but our technology is getting in the way. In Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (2011), MIT professor Sherry Turkle argues that much in our modern life leaves us less connected with people and more connected to simulations of them. I think her point is valid and concerning - our new technologies to a degree cause us to fear face-to-face conversations – and the implications of this disconnection for cloud and high-tech work environments is sincere.

I am a MCSA certified Cloud Architect, knowledgeable on the leveraging the extensive Azure Platform. As a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) , I possess an excellent understanding of windows server environments and operating systems, networking, security, and mobile devices. I also have familiarity with Linux operating environments as well as open source technologies. I currently provide cloud computing consultation and system analysis services through my business Anthro|Technology.

Educator I am a teacher at my most fundamental... I love to promote critical thinking...

Teaching is a passion of mine. I am a junkie for "ahh haaa" moment – that moment of sincere understanding – which always results in a smile. An effective educator facilitates the learning process, never forgetting that the important dynamic is the learner-centric perspective. My pedagogical approach is one of active learning strategies and problem-based project work, akin to the consulting process.

I am an award-winning educator, winner of the coveted University of Washington's Excellent in Teaching Award 1992 UWas well as numerous other teaching accolades (PEW Teaching Leadership Awards, Sarah Denny Teaching Award, SOISM Teaching Award). I have experience teaching at all educational levels from high school, community college, university and graduate school. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching both in the United States and abroad, having been an instructor at the Darfur Women's College in Sudan, a visiting scholar at Fudan University in Shanghai and a Peace Corps trainer in Puerto Rico. I did a three-year Peace Corps tour teaching community development on Moalan Island, Fiji. Additionally, I've worked for several years as an educational consultant at the University of Washington's award-winning Center for Instructional Development and Research, where I consulted with science and math professors working on enhancing their teaching capabilities. I’ve experience as an instructor and consultant in shifting classroom or organizational culture, as well as mindfulness workshops.

As Green Buddha’s Director, I have been an educational resource to more than eight thousand medical cannabis patients in individual one-on-one consultations. I also conducted numerous medical cannabis seminars, roundtables and workshops at various conferences, professional institutions, health organizations and hospitals on absolutely every aspect of medical cannabis, its use and efficacy. My clients have included the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, UW School of Pharmacy, Virginia Mason, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Privateer Holdings, VerdaBio, the Washington State Liquor Cannabis Board and New Approach Washington.

For the last few years I have combined my pedagogical passion with my excitement over emerging technologies – spotlighting the approach of a technical education specialist. Cloud computing is truly breathtaking technology and the pace of techno-change makes students of all of us in information technology fields. The average IT staff spends one forth their day acquiring new information. My own experience getting Microsoft certified as a cloud architect has made me aware that technology education has a lot of room for improvement. Lack of pedagogical understanding, often without any theoretical approach, limited attention to gender differences in learning styles, inaccurate and dated training materials, little teacher-student engagement seems to be prevalent in technology educational resources, classes and schools. Given the need for tech workers in general, and specifically the need for more women and minorities in the tech industry there’s a huge room for improvement. This is where I current hang my educator’s cap.

I am - we are forever students.


At 5 years old - I am waiting for the school bus, with a "elephant" name tag around my neck. I was filled with pride to go to school and learning was fun! A successful educator wants to always stimulate their students so.



Contact Muraco or more importantly - how do we get a hold of the bird? Click the bird.

The best way to reach me is via email:

m at

Or through messaging (206) 486-2284

Or follow me on Twitter


A bit about the parrots: I was partnered for more than twenty years with Bubba my Moluccan Cockatoo, who passed away in late 2017. I still have two Macaws. Misha a 10-year old Blue and Gold Macaw, and Gizmo a 38 year old Military Macaw.

Each and every one has rescued me.

The One - photo by Gary Morrison

Cockatoos are noted for loyalty and I find that quaint in a partner.
Click the photo to visit Bubba's website.


More Muraco, medical cannabis and her birds in the media

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