The Intrinsic Value Myth

I’ve heard people object to Bitcoin (and cryptocurrency in general) on the grounds that is has no “intrinsic value”.

The Times Are Changing, or Not

Today on the train, I was listening to an old lady.

Writing Well Takes Effort

Writing complicated prose is overhyped. Far harder is taking your ideas and putting them into concise, simple, and short form takes real work.

Algebraic Topology Books

There are way too many of them. My class is using 4 to teach the introduction to the subject.

Soap and Shampoo Are Unnecessary

Last December, I heard that shampoo makes your hair worse by stripping the oil that’s normally produced in it. This causes a variety of hair related issues.

Make Your Notes Follow You

People often do not have their notes with them when they could most use them.

How to Make Students Actually Ask Questions

Every teacher has felt this before. You ask your listeners the dreaded question:

How to Get Ideas

I read this a while ago on Neil Gaiman’s blog:


I just realized that my mouse ran out of batteries this morning.  This, however, did not impede my computer work in the slightest and in fact, I got even more done today than usual.

Writing Math on a Computer

Writing mathematical notation on a computer shouldn’t have to be so annoying, given that the computer was invented to do mathematics in the first place. LateX is clunky, and so is virtually every other “solution”.

Screw the Middle

Some good advice about eating out.

25th and Potrero is the worst place in San Francisco

The fact that I can remember those streets is testament to how terrible they are.

Dirty secrets of cooking

My friends all agree that my food tastes better than theirs’, even when we make the same exact dish. The reason for this is because I’m willing to kill them with my food.

Uncomputability and philosophy

This post is part interesting tidbit, part random philosophizing. It assumes some familiarity with (basic) set theory and theoretical computer science.

New research model for science

These days, basic research is typically government-funded and happens at some sort of university.


I think of gift giving as an opportunity to show someone a whole new world view. I never give anyone a gift that they would expect. If I wanted to give someone something they were expecting, I would just give them cash instead and give them the freedom to do what they want with it.