Tax Charity Research

Epistemic status: amateur effort, on the order of half a day of casual investigation. Accidentally failed to do scholarship properly[1]. Possibly accepts bad premises[2]. It’s story time. So tax season rolls around, and you wonder why taxes are so damn complicated, to the point that paying someone or something to help with your taxes is an […]

Review/Rant: The Southern Reach Trilogy

Warnings: contains spoilers for Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance, The Quantum Thief, The Expanse, The Laundryverse, Dark Matter, and SCP (as much as SCP could be said to have spoilers). Discussion of horror works. Otherwise contains your regularly scheduled science fiction rant. I recently[1] blew through Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation/Authority/Acceptance series, also known as the Southern Reach Trilogy, which I’ll abbreviate to SRT. First things first: overall, […]

Making the Most of Bitcoin

Epistemic status: I believe I’m drawing on common wisdom up to part 5. After that I’m just making shit up, but in a possibly interesting way. Not proper financial advice, see the end of the post. So let’s say you have some Bitcoin. What do you do with it? #1. Cash out everything immediately Lots […]

Radical Transparency

Nothing that’s been said before, but it didn’t click until I thought about it some more and had an AHA! moment, so I’m doing my own write up. Let’s say that you’re faced with a Newcomb problem[1]. The basic gist is this: Omega shows up, an entity that you know can predict your actions almost perfectly. Concretely, […]

Tape is HOW expensive?

Maybe you’ve seen that hard drive prices aren’t falling so quickly. Maybe you’ve seen the articles making claims like “tape offers $0.0089/GB!”[1], looked at recent hard drive prices, and seriously thought about finally fulfilling the old backup adage “have at least 3 backups, at least one of which is offsite” with some nice old-school tape[2]. So you’d open up […]

2017 Review

If there’s a theme for my 2017, it seems to be FAILURE. FAILURE at cultivating habits Due to the addition of a morning standup at work, I noticed I was getting in much later than I thought. I could previously pass off some pretty egregious arrival times as “a one time thing” to myself, but not when […]

Ain’t No Calvary Coming

Epistemic status[1]: preaching, basically. An apology, in both senses[2]. I know my mom reads my blog; hi, mom. Mothers being mothers, I figure I owe her a sit-down answer to why I’m not Christian, and don’t expect to re-become Christian[3]. Now, I don’t expect to convince anyone, but maybe you, dear reader, will simply better understand. Let’s […]

The Mundane Science of Living Forever

Epistemic Status: timeboxed research, treat as a stepping stone to more comprehensive beliefs. Known uncertainty called out. Live forever, or die trying! Previously: Lifestyle interventions to increase longevity @ LessWrong, 9s of cats. TLDR? Yes, Immortality I wrestled with whether to shoot for a more normal and mundane title, like “In Pursuit of longevity”, but “live a […]

9s of Cats

Epistemic status: value judgement. The internet has a lot of cat pictures. Let’s say I upload a cat picture to Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3). As of writing, their marketing materials claim that a stored object is 99.999999999% likely to stay securely stored in a year, which translates into a 50% chance of losing a given cat picture […]

Subdermal Scientific Delivery

Epistemic status: crap armchair theorizing. PutANumOnIt points out that psychology is broken. Having read Robyn Dawes’ House of Cards and Andrew Gelman’s post on the replication crisis, I agree with him, it is kind of crappy that it’s been years since the replication crisis and still nothing seems to have changed. However, I disagree with the shape of his reaction, both online and […]