Melting Asphalt

Recent Essays

  • Outbreak

    Harry Stevens at The Washington Post recently published a very elegant simulation of how a disease like COVID-19 spreads. If you haven't already, I highly recommend checking it out. Today I want to follow up with something I've been working…Read more › Continue Reading »
  • Going Critical

    Background: This is an interactive blog post. I wanted to host it here, but don't know how to make it play nice with WordPress. So I decided to host it on another part of the site instead. Click here for…Read more › Continue Reading »
  • A Natural History of Beauty

    A mashup of ideas from David Deutsch, Geoffrey Miller, and Richard Prum, with a little César Hidalgo for good measure. —— Of all the problems that can plague a discussion of beauty — and there are several — perhaps the most damning…Read more › Continue Reading »
  • The Elephant in the Brain

    It's finally here! The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life — my first book, coauthored with Robin Hanson — is now widely available. You can find the ebook version on Kindle, Google Play, and iBooks. It's also…Read more › Continue Reading »
  • Here Be Sermons

    I've long turned up my nose at sermons and related forms of mass moralizing. One reason, quite simply, is that they bore me. Honesty good. Violence bad. My eyes glaze over. Empathy, rah! Racism, boo! Please, don't we know this…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