Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Looking at this blog (as I envision it will become) you may be going "why are there so many apparently random things here? What's the common thread? What's this blog for?"

See, the thing is, as a smaller version of my adult self (age 4 or so, shortly after my first retained memories) I realized that knowing things was neat, and sometimes people do sub-optimal things because they don’t. So I made it my mission to learn all the things that are learnable, so that then I could tell people about them and the world would be better. Yes, I know, that’s a very simple plan. I was 4. It was a simpler time.

It’s several decades later now, but what happened was I stuck with the plan and have learned a lot of things, one of which is that there are too many things for “learn all of them” to be a viable approach. That made me sad, but still I think more is better (unlike with consumer choice, where the optimal number of options in many categories seems to be around 3-4 and good default options are important), and learning new things is one of my favorite activities. And I often find myself saying the same things to different people, like “here’s what your body uses salt for when you eat it” or “bees are dying a lot and that’s bad, here’s what’s happening and why”, or “plankton isn’t an animal, it’s a category of animals. Basically anything that’s fairly tiny and floaty counts as plankton”. And now there’s the Internet, where I can put stuff so other people can find it, and when someone asks me a question, instead of going “Ok, let’s sit down for half an hour, I wish there was a cable to do a data transfer between our brains but there is not”, I can go “people read words much faster than they speak them, here’s a link that will save you some time” and also “I’m really glad I don’t have to say that twice, it was long”.

So this blog is a place for me to put things I know, plus also things I think are true, so that people (probably mostly people I know) can read them later. I don’t anticipate a large audience, that’s not what this is for. It will start out small and grow as I have time to write things. I welcome corrections of any factually inaccurate statements you find here, because being wrong happens and misinformation is icky.

Happy reading!