The next three posts will discuss what I dub the three dubious virtues: desperation, recklessness, and defiance. I call them dubious, because each can easily turn into a vice if »

Confidence all the way up

I apparently possess some sort of aura of competence. Some say I'm confident, others say I'm arrogant, others remark on how I seem very certain of myself (which I have »

The Art of Response

Imagine two different software engineers in job interviews. Both are asked for an algorithm that solves some programming puzzle, such as "identify all palindromes in a string of characters." The »

There are only two seasons

As far as I'm concerned, there are two seasons — summer and winter. Each one begins on an equinox (when daylight and darkness are balanced), and then waxes to a »

Reflections [Solstice 2015]

Yesterday, scores of people came together for the Bay Area Secular Solstice. The secular solstice is a winter holiday for the non-religious. It's an opportunity for people to come together »

Obvious advice

This is a common scene at the MIRI offices: I have a decision to make, like what sort of winter fundraiser to run. Before making any choices, I take a »

There is no try

Ok, so "try" is actually a pretty useful concept; there's a reason we have a very short word for it in the English language. Nevertheless, I have found it quite »

Stop trying to try and try

Imagine a graduate student of mathematics as they interact with a professor, attempting to understand something in the professor's area of expertise. They're working hard to wrap their head around »