Melting Asphalt

Recent Essays

  • Crony Beliefs

    [Note: if you prefer audio, you can listen to this essay narrated by Grognor on his excellent podcast Second Enumerations. —Ed.]   Credits up front: This essay draws heavily from Overcoming Bias, Less Wrong, Slate Star Codex, Robert Kurzban, Robert…Read more › Continue Reading »
  • A Nihilist's Guide to Meaning

    I've never been plagued by the big existential questions. You know, like What's my purpose? or What does it all mean? Growing up I was a very science-minded kid — still am — and from an early age I learned…Read more › Continue Reading »
  • Minimum Viable Superorganism

    Originally published at Ribbonfarm. Of all the remarkable things about our species — and there are many — perhaps the most striking of all is our ability to band together and act as a united, coherent superorganism. E pluribus unum.…Read more › Continue Reading »
  • 2015 Meta

    Time for my annual blogging review. And only 11 days late! I'll keep it brief. Blog stats I published a paltry six full essays this year. Don't get me wrong: I'm proud of them. But still, six. It would be…Read more › Continue Reading »
  • Social Status II: Cults and Loyalty

    So my previous post on social status was recently treated to a review/​critique by Scott Alexander over at Slate Star Codex. I expect most of my readers are already big fans of Scott's blog (as am I). But for those…Read more › Continue Reading »


I write things and put them here. Maybe once or 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