Melting Asphalt

Recent Essays

  • Parable of the Redwoods

    or What Trees Can Teach Us About Human Intelligence. My native California is home to the world's tallest tree species: Sequoia sempervirens or the coastal redwood. The tallest living specimen towers a lofty 115 meters (379 feet) above the forest…Read more › Continue Reading »
  • Border Stories

    I. National sovereignty Conservatives often clamor for strong national borders. For most of my life I had no idea why. I mean, I understood their specific (partisan) agendas — wanting to restrict immigration or keep drugs out of the country,…Read more › Continue Reading »
  • 2014 Meta

    Time again for the annual indulgence: blogging about the blog itself. Main points for 2014: Fewer posts... but higher quality(?). I published only 8 full essays this year. Granted, most of them were long — 3500 words on average —…Read more › Continue Reading »
  • Tears

    A Tale of Dominance, Submission, and Friendship on the Cheap. So humans are a peculiar species. You probably knew that. What you may not have realized — like I hadn't until recently — is just how many specific traits and…Read more › Continue Reading »
  • Ads Don't Work That Way

    There's a meme, particularly virulent in educated circles, about how advertising works — how it sways and seduces us, coaxing us gently toward a purchase. The meme goes something like this: Rather than attempting to persuade us (via our rational,…Read more › Continue Reading »


I write things and put them here. Usually twice a month. Es­says about phi­los­o­phy, hu­man be­hav­ior, and oc­ca­sion­al­ly soft­ware. It's my ex­cuse for toy­ing around with new ideas and prac­tic­ing the craft of writ­ing.

I have to un­der­stand the world, you see. — Richard Feynman