Infrequently Asked Questions

These questions are rarely asked, which is unfortunate. I have gathered their answers here, for your edification. Q. If I am navigating a high-dimensional space, how do I avoid getting lost? A. Move slowly and observe as much as possible. Q. Do I currently believe anything that is false? A. Yes. Almost certainly. It would be very […]

Energy, Emotion, and Capital

Consider the economy as software governing a chemical reaction. Note: Previously, I wrote about one way I look at money: as a mathematical language. Because people found that essay interesting, I thought I’d write another in the same vein: let’s look at the economy as a process of energy, as if it were a chemical […]

I worry for the country.

If I didn’t have the experiences I’ve had, it would be easy for me to believe everything is fine. In Silicon Valley, most employers pay for health insurance. Many of us eat three meals a day for free at work. Pretty much everyone here plans to vote for Hillary because the system we have is […]

Why the Something Feels the way it Does

A just-so story. At first, there was nothing. This was very confusing. “Why is there nothing?” Everyone asked. “Wait — who is doing the asking?” Clearly, this wasn’t going to work. So we decided that there would be something. We called the something a game, because we were playing at creation. The first game wasn’t all that interesting. […]

How to Be Happier

Put down that selfie stick, and get on your hoverboard! Consumer culture has produced two perfect metaphors, which will allow me to illustrate a great approach to better happiness. Consider: The World as a Selfie Stick Some people treat the world like a selfie stick. They keep it at arm’s length, and use it to create […]

Your House is On Fire!

You thought you smelled smoke, so you went to investigate. The kitchen was hot. It was flickering, too. Kitchens shouldn’t flicker. But yours was. You called to your wife, and the two of you ran out the front door. You fumbled for your phone to dial 911. As you passed the threshold, you thought, briefly, […]