Melting Asphalt

Recent Essays

  • Crony Beliefs

    Credits up front: This essay draws heavily from Overcoming Bias, Less Wrong, Slate Star Codex, Robert Kurzban, Robert Trivers, Thomas Schelling, and Jonathan Haidt (among others I'm certainly forgetting). These are some of my all-time favorite sources, so I hope…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