Ellsworth Toohey


I love/hate Ellsworth Toohey because the first time I encountered the character, it brought to life so much about the world that is sick and sad that I didn’t have the words to articulate at the …

Making People Happy


Trying to satisfy other people’s values and other people’s aesthetics is not quite a fool’s errand, but it’s definitely a luxury, which makes it a foolish goal unless there are …

Shinjuku Gyoen Rose Garden


Shinjuku Gyoen Rose Garden

Stuck In A Cave With Becky Thatcher


I finished reading Tom Sawyer last night. I’m really happy that at the end of the book they got the money. It rings true — Tom knew they could find treasure, they made a pact to do it, and they …

Clear and concise


Clarifying goals and creating plans to reach those goals with minimal overhead has been a theme in my professional life for several years, and the idea of concision grows more central and dominant …

Pali terms for the eightfold path





Wait, what? Microsoft?


Form 2003 to 2015 I only used Linux, starting with Gentoo, then Arch, then finally Ubuntu. Towards the end I decided the best way to work was to have a stable host distro and then do any work and …



Translated by Bhikku Bodhi:

“I’ve enjoyed wealth, supported my dependents, and overcome adversities. I have given an uplifting offering and performed the five oblations. I have served the virtuous …

How to measure effort?


How to measure slack vs stretch? i.e. how to measure effort? All of the solutions that jump out at me are measurements by proxy, which aren’t perfect because the effort component is not …

Japan Memoir


I’m hoping to write a short memoir soon documenting the trip Joan and I took to Japan. We have photos and I wrote messages on a few post cards and I have a few journal entries, but if I want to …

Valuing My Time


Meetings are too expensive. I think of my time as worth around $1000/hour, and I want to improve my productivity to make it closer to $10,000/hour. If I let people waste my time then I’m …

Which one?


I don’t want anything to do with politics and I don’t like any politicians, yet, one of the public figures I feel the most affection for is a politician. Which one?

Ideas for Lektor Serverless


10 Ideas For Lektor Serverless

More stuff I want to write about


Articles I want to write:

REPL Design For Wireframes


A wireframe-only design service where clients fill out a detailed onboarding form and then receive a wireframe of their app idea for a fixed cost.

Clients can practice communicating their ideas …

Lektor Serverless


SWIM should create a fork of Lektor that runs on a serverless AWS setup. The Lektor frontend is already a React app communicating to the backend via an API (I think, I’m not looking at the code …

You Won't Believe What I'll Fantasize About Next!


Once in awhile I start daydreaming about spending all of my time programming for the 6502.

I’d rather master a constrained platform than use an enormously powerful system where I give up control …

Say hello


Reach out to people, you never know who might respond, you never know what kind of help you might receive.

I’m definitely interested in creating wealth, but I’m also very well aware that …

Wise People


After realizing the truth, the Buddha didn’t seek out wayward and ignorant people to help, he looked for people who were already accomplished in morality and concentration and shared his …

Useless Talk


After giving Moggallana advice for combating drowsiness, the Buddha instructed him to avoid two kinds of behavior that lead to restlessness.

First, he should abstain from pride, because pride will …

Elephant Gambit


Yesterday a friend was demonstrating how to mess with your opponent, so after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 he played 2...d5.

I’ve definitely seen the position before and probably even figured out the correct …

Python vs Emacs Lisp Text Processing


Post-production For asciinema Screencast Files

In the JSONL screencast file below, created with asciinema, a little editing will make for a much smoother screencast.

There is a 12 second pause in the …

Procrastination Is Not A Problem


Procrastination is not a problem. Procrastination is a great sign that either I don’t know what I’m doing, or I’m trying to do something dumb.

As soon as I see a clear path to work …

Irregular Chess


I’ve been patting myself on the back for making my life easier by choosing chess data as a domain to write programs against. Chess produces tons of well-structured, predictable, meaningful …

No Self


You are not the physical sensations you experience. Sights, sounds, touch, tastes and scents all arise and pass away, and when observed accurately, are not the thing you call “me”. …

In it to win it


Right now I work a day job at a startup. What I want from my job is to win.

I’m not interested in using this experience to get a similar job somewhere else making a little more money. I’m …

Slimy Constructivists


There is something that feels fundamentally dishonest and slimy about constructivism, and I have no doubt that constructivists could explain to me why it is some “intellectual weakness” or …

How to journal: Freewriting


“Freewriting” for journaling: maintain concentration on the pen moving on the paper, try not to know what word is coming next, keep writing whatever words come out until the words exhaust …

Conceptual Integrity


I’m not against new features, I’m against refusing to do the hard work of coming up with an actual product concept and instead just coming up with a big list of features.

Simplicity is …

Chess Drills A La De La Maza


Concentric Squares (forks and skewers):

Empathy vs Compassion


I’ve worried a lot about empathy, people striving for empathy as a virtue, people conflating empathy, sympathy and compassion, and people claiming empathy when it seemed they were actually …

Nonsense I might write about in the future


Stuff I’d like to write about:

I'll see your hipster nonsense and raise you a pretentious anachronism.


I’m going to experiment with hiring an assistant to write up my handwritten notes, so I can do more of my work with just a pen and a notebook. Although I am a decent typist and very happy in …

I'm mostly interested in business ideas that don't require me to work


Over the past two years or so, I’ve decided that I’m most interested in businesses that can be created with just a landing page and a manual process on the backend, and ideally with a …

The Second Location


Today I learned the real wisdom behind what I thought was just a funny line from 30 Rock: “Never go with a hippie to a second location.”

…I just want to go home to my wife and wake …

Running On The Wrong Hardware


Women produce many thoughtful, intelligent, creative, logical, insightful ideas, and often they express those ideas with language.

Sometimes men hear the language and try to act on it, but men …

Self-documenting Artifacts


I believe in the value of documentation, but it takes extra effort to create and documentation easily gets out of sync with reality. There is plenty of discussion about this problem in relation to …

When you've got it all figured out


Going For It All Figured Out

Sariputta is better than me


Sariputta is a great example of: “yea, that guy is better than me.” I’m reading the book Great Disciples of the Buddha because it was recommended in Mastering the Core Teachings of …

Math Illustrations With PostScript


euclids proof in-line

I started working through Mathematical Illustrations by Bill Casselman. It hits several interests: drawing with PostScript, improving my math skills, and getting better at using a computer as my …

Working on my chess skills


Philidor’s position for queen vs rook.


Wrote An Article About Django Generic Views


I wrote an article the other day for the Tests for Geeks Blog about using Django’s class-based generic views. Check it out.

I’m interested now in comparing the code between Django’s …

How to journal: Lists


For …

People paying to do stuff


SWIM should distribute software that runs entirely on AWS, so people can sign up and then a CloudFormation stack is launched in their AWS account to run their blog or photo sharing app or whatever. …

Business Drills


Of course I’m a believer in deliberate practice and repetition. I understand the draw of code katas, even if the presentation is often corny, and I completely believe that every single …

I love these games, but they're too much like work


Opus Magnum Health Tonic

Opus Magnum Precision Machine Oil

Opus Magnum Dark Thread

Index of householder suttas








Mangala Sutta - The greatest blessings

Parabhava Sutta: Downfall

Ice Jacuzzi


SWIM should sell ice jacuzzis in Costa Rica.

Cold Water Immersion


Tom immersed in freezer

I spent 3 and a half minutes immersed in 11.8 degree Celsius water. My friend was impressed that I did so well for my first time, but it seemed too easy to me. When I got out I felt like I could do …

Cultural Exchange


I enjoyed observing cultural exchange in Japan. I’m not sophisticated enough to recognize much cultural influence from China, but it was pretty easy for me to recognize the presence of hotdogs and …

So Much Bullshit On The Web


I want to rate websites based on performance metrics, presence of tracking technology, and ratio of content to bullshit (complex CSS, useless JS, ads, images, and so on). I’m also interested in …

Entrepreneurs Are Saints? Sell me Emacs!


I’m almost always grateful when entrepreneurs, businesses, and creative people make my life better in small ways. I’m grateful for the simple t-shirts I wear, the stainless steel straw …

Generating Idea Lists


I write lists of ideas on random topics as part of my typical daily journaling. The advice comes from a well-known blogger. It is some of the best advice I’ve ever followed.

Theorizing about it …

Hours In The Day


I don’t need more hours in the day, I just need the time between 5AM and 7AM to last much longer, and then I’d be fine fast-forwarding through 9-5 to make up the difference.

I ain't afraid of no ghosts


As a kid I was fascinated by ghosts, and also a little creeped out and scared. At some point in my life I took on a completely different attitude towards ghosts. I realized that I’m much more …

Llena con visión


A friend spoke with me recently about difficulty attaining access concentration. I am far from an accomplished meditator, but I asked him what he’s experiencing and did my best to relate my …

Learning Bookkeeping


I’m learning to use Ledger. I’ve taken some time away from doing any accounting or budgeting since giving up on YNAB. I guess I’d recommend YNAB to people who need to get their …

Selling Prime Numbers


I had a dream the other night that I sold prime numbers on the Internet. Not new prime numbers, just regular, already well-known prime numbers. But I had great copy and a great user experience, and I …

Householder Vinaya


SWIM should write about applying the Vinaya to householders – looking at the overarching concepts and tactics, and adapting the rules to householder life. Or looking at examples from the Vinaya for …

Five Hindrances


“Parasites Of The Mind”

A word I like for “dullness and drowsiness” is lassitude.

What to do? …

Crossing The Finish Line


Last mile efforts only matter if you’re going in the right direction.

Memorizing The Mahasatipatthana Sutta


The Mahasatipatthana Sutta, recited by Ananda at the First Buddhist council.

The four frames of reference (4): body, sensation, mind and mental qualities.

Observation of the body (6): breathing, …

Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing


“Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing” ― Kimi Raikkonen

One weird trick to find out which of your relatives is a racist!


SWIM should launch a libertarian email newsletter that focuses on memes, drama, and horribly slanted reporting on current events. Maybe with a tiny sprinkling of links to quality sources for news and …

So Interesting!


I’m working on a tool for creating software specifications. I know how boring that sounds…

Any real programmer knows that very little engineering happens today in software construction, …

Career Path


My intended career path is to make enough money as an entrepreneur to retire from working as a programmer, and then to really make money as an entrepreneur, so I can retire from business and work as …

Lots Of Ideas


“Pick something and stick with it”.

I get seduced by this idea every so often, it seems like an obvious ingredient for next-level success. But I suspect it might be bullshit advice, the …

Talk Is Cheap


Instead of dreaming about taking a trip, you could be buying a ticket.

Instead of fantasizing about working for yourself, you could be writing a resignation letter to take with you to work tomorrow …

Staring At The Wall


Staring at the wall is a good meditation practice.

Pick a spot on the wall, stand in front of it in a comfortable position, set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes, and then stand as still as possible, only …

Kill All Scope Creep


Kill all scope creep. It trys to worm into the cracks of your half-baked plan and crumble the whole thing before it ever even gets a chance to hold water. Sometimes the demands are clear and the …

Rubik's Cube Encoding


If you don’t care about making legal moves to arrive at a position, I think it’d be easy to come up with schemes for encoding information in a Rubik’s cube. It’s probably …

This Is Why I Don't Blog...


I reluctantly check HackerNews once or twice per day. I expect to see a pile of b.s. load along with the orange bar (in my more naive days I could change the color), but once in awhile something …

Django Postman with django-notifications


Today I had to get django-postman messages to work with django-notifications. There was no useful information out there, so maybe this will be helpful to someone. Modern Django apps would use the …

Oh My God, It's So Juicy!


omg it’s so juicy

Buy my kids a brand new pair of shoes


I’m a householder, so it makes good sense for me to fulfill that role as best as I can, without any particular attachment to the responsibilities, luxuries, status, or suffering that come along …

Too many concepts, not enough how-to


Cognito User Pools are different from, but related to, Federated Identity Pools. User pools give you an id token and an access token, while identity pools give you an access key, a secret key, and a …

Monday Morning


Monday morning is the best, especially after a holiday. I don’t dread going back to work, I’m grateful for the rest I got and the chance to get my head out of “work mode”, but …