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Travelling just for the people

When I was 21, I moved to New York City. An old friend travelled many hours and came to stay with me for a couple days. It was his first time in New York. I said, “Do you want to see the Statue of Liberty? Empire State Building? Central Park? A Broadway show?” He said, “I don’t care what we do. I just came to see you!” I said, “Ha ha....

Want anonymity? Make a persona not a mystery.

Because of my open inbox, I meet a lot of strangers. I love it. Almost everyone tells me who and where they are in the world. If they don’t, I wonder. Am I talking with someone from Australia? Philippines? Brazil? Are they 20 or 60? Male or female? It doesn’t really matter, but the brain can’t help wondering. It’s human nature to want...

I want to lose every debate.

My favorite moments in life are when someone shows me a new perspective — a way of thinking I had never considered. Ideally it’s something I opposed, but they help me understand why it works for them. The sex worker explains why she loves her job. The Singaporean in the three-piece-suit explains why clothing is like the SMTP protocol. The...

Conversations with Tyler Cowen

Tyler Cowen is my favorite interviewer of all-time. His interviewing style has spoiled me for all others. He creates a tasting feast for the mind. First he finds brilliant accomplished people that he wants to learn from — people that are not too famous so they are not too polished in their answers. Then he does a ton of research in advance of...

Reading the Bible start to finish

I like going to the source. Like finding musicians’ influences, and getting to know that music too. Same with film, art, philosophy, and technology. I also like doing what people I admire recommend. And a few people I really admire suggest we read the entire Bible. So to go to the source of western culture, and do what the wise people say,...

Who should I meet in Chennai and Bengaluru?

February 13 through 21, 2023, I'll be in Chennai and Bengaluru, India. My sole purpose for this trip is to meet new friends. Ideally kindreds that are driven by creative curiosity and love introspective conversations. This is personal, not business. I’m an “Overseas Citizen of India” and my son is half-Indian (Tamil). I will always have ties...

make believe

Kids scream, “Monster in the hallway!”, and hide behind the couch. They stack up cushions for protection, and plan their defense. They know it’s not true — there’s not really a monster in the hallway — but it’s exciting to feel the adrenaline of panic, then make a shelter and feel safe. One kid yells, “The floor is hot lava!” The familiar room...

a daily run, part two

In my previous post, “a daily run” — (please read it first) — running was a metaphor for whatever actions you take in your life. The story is about how we choose beliefs because they’re useful, not true. Beliefs make emotions. Emotions make actions. Actions come from emotions. Emotions come from beliefs. So choose whatever belief makes...

Static HTML comments

If you have a static HTML website, but you want to include comments, here’s an interesting way to do it using PostgreSQL’s NOTIFY and LISTEN. The big idea is to write the comments as static HTML, only when comments change, instead of doing a database query to display them every time. This prevents the “hug of death” if you get a burst of traffic....

a daily run

Every day you go on a long run through the forest. You picture a pot of gold at the end. It helps you finish when you feel like quitting. One day you pretend there’s a tiger right behind you. It makes you much faster, so you keep using this approach. A running expert suggests you try acting like you’re running on hot coals, to keep you on...

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