(Last updated 14 February 2021)
Today, I’m a software engineer in silicon valley. I was born in socal and went to university at UC Davis, where I (eventually) graduated with a computer science degree. Any views expressed here are mine and not that of my employer
My introduction to coding was at 15, reading Python from Magnus Lie Hetland’s Beginning Python, which I found to be very helpful while busing to and from high school. I wouldn’t say I learned much computer science without school, but my coding / problem solving was primarily developed outside of an academic context; I would say the biggest difference for me here is that I was coding for fun in my own time, rather than doing what others thought I should, with deadlines. The biggest resources for me other than that book were: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist, Loop Like a Native, and a Python forum (other than of course, Stack Overflow). Nowadays, I enjoy coding in Python 3 and Scala. I find Kotlin and Rust intriguing though haven’t used them much.
Random Facts (to be expanded)
I like precise language, e.g. often saying “foreseeable future” instead of “forever” or “hypothesis” instead of “theory.” I’m not always perfect, but I do make an effort.
Black Lives Matter
At one point, I identified as sapiosexual, however have since switched to saying gray asexual (I’ve previously identified as demisexual). I may be demiromantic. I really wish I had learned about asexuality and the split attraction model earlier in life.
I enjoy barefoot (unshod) running, though haven’t been doing it lately. I might get back into it. Cumulatively, I’ve run hundreds of unshod miles since 2010, and hundreds more in minimalist footwear. Trail running is my favorite, although minimalist footwear doesn’t always do the best there. My current favorite minimalist footwear are Skinners. There’s no such thing as a “barefoot” shoe.
I practice mindfulness meditation daily, though I do miss days sometimes. I got into meditation because of Sam Harris’ book, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion; I would say I have changed substantially since I last went through the book, so don’t take this as too much of an endorsement, since my view of Harris has become more critical during that time.
Meditation is my primary tool for coping with stress, though running is good when my stress is too high for meditation.
I like science. But not like you think – not that IFLScience page. I regularly think of life as a series of experiments, hypotheses to be tested and potentially falsified. I struggle with trying new things sometimes, but when I frame it in my mind as an experiment, it’s much easier.
I wish more people knew about Buy Nothing.
I like cats.
I’m a recovering perfectionist.
I’ve never tried alcohol, and don’t intend to. This is one of relatively few things I’m not open to changing my mind about.
I am irreligious. I lack any belief in the supernatural. I love having cordial conversations with people about what they believe, if they’re willing to talk about their personal why, though!
I think Trump and his cronies are indefensible. I haven’t a real conversation with any folks who disagree. Feel free to ping me about this, but realize that it’s very emotionally charged and that my patience on this topic will be low.
I’m disappointed with modern education.
I love exercise. Besides running I also enjoy rock climbing, swimming, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, flag football, and although I don’t love cycling, I’ve done a “century” ride once.
Items that bring a lot of value to me:
- Air fryer
- Heavy blanket
Things I think everyone should know the basics of:
- Optimizing vs satisficing
- Mental models
- The difference between debt and deficit
- The Raven paradox (here’s a good Youtube video too)
I used to read a lot. I still read sometimes. My favorite books are:
- Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (I’m due for an, ideally more critical, re-read)
- Worm (quite long)
- The Kingkiller Chronicles (Tarbean was rough for me though)
At the time of this writing, I’m in weekly therapy. Meditation has helped me a great deal, but I’ve found therapy to vital to my improved mental health. I mention this here simply to reduce the stigma.