Melting Asphalt

Recent Essays

  • Personhood: A Game for Two or More Players

    Being a person is not the essence of humanity, only... one of its many masks. — John Gray Pardon me while I scratch a little itch here in public. I'd like to describe for you a concept that I can see very clearly in my mind. I can't entirely justify… Continue Reading »
  • Your Oddly-Shaped Mind

    "There are three kinds of death in this world. There's heart death, there's brain death, and there's being off the network." — Guy Almes Last time we explored how your body — a tube of cogitating meat that you (sort of) identify with — isn't really a thing at all.… Continue Reading »
  • Boundaries of Your Body

    Some will say that 'you' are your body. That everything that happens to 'you,' happens to your body, and vice versa. That you ought to identify, therefore, with your organs and tissues, your face, your DNA, and your brain — in other words, the totality of your biological organism. Certainly… Continue Reading »
  • The Aesthetics of Personal Identity

    Forgive the seemingly sophomoric question, but... Who are you, exactly? Or to put it another way: Which parts or facets of the universe do you identify with? This question, so easy to ask, is all but impossible to answer in a satisfying way. If you want a hard definition, something… Continue Reading »
  • Technical Debt of the West

    (Originally published at Ribbonfarm.) Here's a recipe for discovering new ideas: Examine the frames that give structure (but also bias) to your thinking. Predict, on the basis of #1, where you're likely to have blind spots. Start groping around in those areas. If you can do this with the very… 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