A tale on the nature of footnotes, writing in general, and other things, told almost entirely in footnotes. Read more (18 min, 5500 words).
I pick up and elaborate on some parts that were cut from my review of "The AI Does Not Hate You", including some riffing on mind dumps, weirdness, tensions between the rationalist community and polite society, my conservatism-free youth, the conservatism of Star Trek and my hopes for AI stagnation.
Read more (17 min, 4300 words).
I try to sum up 2019, a year that started out well but took a weird turn about a third of the way through. Read more (6 min, 1400 words.)
If we want to sound friendly and appealing when presenting thoughts about human behavior we should avoid analytical, distancing language. But what if the value of an analytical and distancing perspective is part of what you want to communicate? Read more (11 min, 3500 words).
I respond at length to criticism against an article about erisology in The Atlantic, developing the concept further in the process. Read more (23 min, 7700 words).
I wrote a spontaneous piece on the tensions between cultural/intellectual accessibility and ambition that under later scrutiny wasn't quite up to snuff. Instead of publishing something sub par or discard it I used it as a jumping off point for discussing the nature of creative work, writing and thinking in general. Read more (13 min, 4200 words).
I summarize 2018 as a successful year and discuss what works and what doesn't with my blogging: it's getting better but higher ambitions and awareness of a bigger audience means I still write much less efficiently than I could be. Read more (6 min, 1800 words).
I review the book Hit Makers and go on about how it loses its point in a sea of storytelling . Read more (10 min, 3300 words).
I've spoken before about how it's difficult to interpret texts written by people with very different background assumptions, interests and preoccupations from you. Here I experiment with enumerating my basic beliefs in the hope that it'll make the meaning of my writing more transparent. Read more (13 min, 3200 words).
Reading David Foster Wallace’s ”Infinite Jest” over a period of six months provoked a lot of thought about what makes a good book and why I didn’t particularly care for this one. Read more (16 min, 3900 words)