Money Stuff 

My worst financial investment was not buying vodka, but everyone else is ever
crazier on the subject of money.

The Retiree 

The media storm the publicists had been bracing for never occurred. There was
no damage to control. The attention they had been instructed to deflect from
the Baikal Trust never materialized. And it was not because Ozy Khan was the
thirty-seventh billionaire to launch himself boringly into space, in a space
mansion of his own […]

MJD 59,396 

I've developed two obsessions through the pandemic that I think will persist
long past the end of it, probably to the end of my life: tinkering and story-
telling. On the tinkering front, I've built out a nice little science-and-
engineering workshop over the last year and acquired more skills in less time
than I expected to, […]

Storytelling — Matthew Dicks 

I recently finished, Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks, a quintessentially American
storyteller in the Mark Twain tradition. It is perhaps the most unique book on
narrative structure and theory I've read, after Keith Johnstone's Impro. Dicks
appears to have lived a very colorful, eventful life that supplies all the raw
material you might ever want, to […]

The Anxious Philosopher King 

Interview with anonymous about emotions, billionaires, submission, Plato, and
why individual identity is a mistake.

Storytelling — Mamet’s Conflict Airing Theory 

One of the big questions to which I have yet to find a satisfying answer is
what stories are, in the set of things that includes various other kinds of
speech. David Mamet has what I think is a partial answer in Three Uses of a
Knife, a short, stream-of-consciousness meditation on storytelling which I […]

Mu's neighborhood 

[My goal](/about) for [Mu]( is software that is
accountable to the people it affects. But it's been difficult to talk to
people about Mu's goals because of the sheer number of projects that use
similar words but lead to very different priorities and actions. Some of these
I like to be associated with, some not so much.

_if you care about making software accountable_

There are two ways t...


Perhaps it was some sort of strange precognitive cultural memory of the
future, but the cliches, it turned out, were all true. Well, almost all true.
The aliens did come in large flying saucers that could hover silently and move
silently at physics-defying speeds. They did make mysterious crop circles and
abduct and probe hundreds […]

Eternalist systems 

Systems such as religions and political ideologies reinforce eternalism. They
dispel doubt by denying nebulosity.

Easily Top 20% 

All the dating stories from my previous life that somehow managed not to crush
my optimism about romance.

MJD 59,354 

Peter Turchin's concept of elite overproduction has been on my mind
increasingly lately. It refers to historical conditions during which there are
more people aspiring to elite roles in society than power structures can
absorb. In 2021, to a first approximation, this is people with college degrees
in fields with low market demand. A good […]

Sex Positivity Is Counter-Cultural 

My Quillette article on sex negativity and follow-up thoughts on fuckability,
why sex is bad so often, the preservation of ambiguity, and the value of

Storytelling — The American Tradition 

Adam Gurri pointed me to this 1895 Mark Twain essay, How to Tell a Story,
which makes the interesting claim that the humorous story, dependent for its
effect on the manner of telling rather than the matter, is an American
invention: There are several kinds of stories, but only one difficult kind-the
humorous. I will […]

MJD 59,326 

I am considering adopting two rules for projects that I think are very
promising for 40+ lifestyles. No new top-level projects (TLPs) (twitter
thread) Ten-year commitments to projects or no deal (twitter thread) I don't
mean practically necessary projects like doing something to earn money. I mean
non-necessary life projects like writing a blog, or […]

MJD 59,323 

Yesterday, I was testing a new bench power supply I just bought. I tested it
with a multimeter, then connected it up to a motor, to make it go brrr for
fun. It's the sort of thing I haven't done since grad school, decades ago. As
I was tinkering, I was idly wondering about whether […]

In Programming You Create The World 

I’m personally convinced that computer science has a lot in common with
physics. Both are about how the world works at a rather fundamental level. The
difference, of course, is that while in physics you’re supposed to figure out
how the world is made up, in computer science you create the world. Within the
confines … [Continue reading In Programming You Create The

Here’s why we don’t understand heavier-than-air flight 

If you've been reading popular science websites or magazines lately, then you
may have heard the news: we don't understand how airplanes work. For example:
This fact may surprise you, given that humans have been successfully
designing, building, and flying airplanes for over a century now. But I'm
afraid that the articles are pretty clear: […]

Show more
Refactor Camp

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!