the kind of stuff I’m into

Favorite books

The Origins of Political Order - Francis Fukuyama

How To Win Friends And Influence People - Dale Carnegie

1984 - George Orwell

How Asia Works - Joe Studwell

Things I’ve read

The Three-Body Problem - Cixin Liu

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 - Cho Nam-joo

The Master of Go - Yasunari Kawabata

Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom

Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman

Connected - Nicholas A. Christakis, James H. Fowler

Animal Farm - George Orwell

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality - Eliezer Yudkowsky

Code Complete - Steve McConnell

The Design of Everyday Things - Don Norman

Zero To One - Peter Thiel

Lean In - Sheryl Sandberg

The PhD Grind - Philip Guo

Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson

Creativity, Inc - Ed Catmull

Freakonomics - Stephen J. Dubner, Steven Levitt

The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell

The Charisma Myth - Olivia Fox Cabane

Who Gets What – and Why - Alvin E. Roth

Liar’s Poker - Michael Lewis

Flash Boys - Michael Lewis

Flash Boys: Not so Fast - Peter Kovac

The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - John Perkins

The Motivation Hacker - Nick Winter

Strangers in Their Own Land - Arlie Russell Hochschild

Political Order and Political Decay - Francis Fukuyama

Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari

We Are The Nerds - Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

The Making of Asian America: A Histroy - Erika Lee

Born a Crime - Trevor Noah

Speaking of books, back in undergrad I reviewed Mastering Leap Motion, for better or worse.

Bookmarks from the internet

The Rise of Explorable Explanations: On using interactive visualizations to explain things.

Execution in the Kingdom of Nouns: I went through a phase of ‘OOP is king!’ once, before I discovered there were more approaches than computing than just using objects, which isn’t always the most suited tool.

Privilege and inequality in Silicon Valley. “One example of a poor mindset is to minimize conflict because fucking up is costly and opportunities are hard to come by, so it’s been a challenge putting my ideas out there and defending them.”

Demographic 2050 Destiny. Great visualization of interesting trends the world will take.

John Carmack on functional languages.

Curse of the Gifted. Talent vs Experience

Intellectual are Freaks. A useful reminder in knowing what you don’t know.

How and Why to Granularize. One of the most important life skills is to learn how to learn, and a large part of that is knowing how to learn a difficult skill by breaking it down in subskills and mastering each in turn. It’s something you learn by playing sports, but it can also be extended as far as social effectiveness.

The Art of the Command Line. Cool command-line tricks.

Parable of the Polygons. A GREAT illustration of how social segregation tends to naturally happen as a result of each person optimizing even slightly towards their social environment preferences.

Why Learning to Code is So Damn Hard. A relatable, well-written piece on the path that many software developers go through in their career.

The Rules for Rulers. Think you can be a good world leader? No man rules alone.

Testyourvocab. How many English words do you know?

Every Frame a Painting. A great Youtube channel on cinematography.

Nerdwriter1. Another great Youtube channel on cinematography.

Classic Programmer Paintings. It’s just funny.

Unraveling the Tech Hiring Market. Offer deadlines make the whole hiring market inefficient.

You Don’t Know JS. A Javascript book with the rare emphasis on making sure you understand how things work, not just how to use them.

The Law of Leaky Abstractions. Why you need to have strong fundamentals.

The Slack Notification System Flowchart. Why things are not as easy as they look.

Jessica Livingston Speech about YC Culture. A look into how YC built a good culture.

Wendover Productions. A cool Youtube channel that explains why a bunch of stuff about everyday life are the way they are, with lots of insights.

When Monospace Fonts Aren’t: The Unicode Character Width Nightmare. A humbling post about how the simple question of font rendering is seemingly impossible to solve right.

Silent Technical Privilege. A great post about very implicit assumptions that are really easy to take granted, about the importance of something as simple as having letting people you try things.

A Tale of Two Canadas. How, even in a supposedly equalitarian country like Canada, there are a lot of differences in equality of opportunities.

Blockchain Company’s Smart Contracts Were Dumb. By acclaimed financial writer Matt Levine, this article touches interesting subtle questions about the meaning of money and contracts. “Financial systems are supposed to work for humans. If the code rips off the humans, something has gone wrong.”

State of JS. Comprehensive survey of web frontend trends, very good work by the authors.

Why do Game Developers Prefer Windows?. An insider look into the history of the OpenGL vs DirectX battles, and how it was influenced by politics and the development of hardware.

Investigating the Potential for Miscommunication Using Emoji. Having emoji’s doesn’t solve the potential for miscommunication of emotions over text.

The Viridis Color Palette. Sometimes, small low-level details like the number of color cones in the retina is crucial to making non-misleading data visualization.

The Web We Have To Save. A nostalgic look on the early days of the web. Modern web is rich and very powerful, but the old web also had some desirable properties.

Boiling the Ocean, Incrementally - How Style Brought Rust and Servo to Firefox. A discussion of the pragramtic decisions needed be made to achieve the monumental task of replacing a browser’s rendering engine.

Psychology v.s. the Graphics Pipeline. How many cognitive psychology papers that involving timing might be wrong because of monitor refresh rates?

Crashes, Hangs and Crazy Images By Adding Zero. GPU compilers are so incredibly buggy. I’ve ran into these bugs too.

How Discount Brokerages Make Money. Helps understand the reality behind Robinhood which is getting so popular these days, and a lot of how money is really made in finance generally speaking.

The Great Divide. How the term “front-end developper” refers to two entirely separate groups of people, and how that’s a great source of miscommunication.

ooooops I guess we’re full-stack developers now. How abstractions and new tooling has made the “stack” shrink, and remaining developers responsible for learning the entire stack.