Favorite Things

Professional Philosophers

  • Nick Bostrom
  • Hilary Greaves
  • William MacAskill
  • Professional Economists

  • Robin Hanson
  • Bryan Caplan
  • Tyler Cowen
  • Intellectuals Outside Academia

  • Brian Tomasik
  • Eliezer Yudkowsky
  • Sam Harris
  • Gwern
  • Think Tanks

  • Global Priorities Institute
  • 80,000 Hours
  • Foundational Research Institute
  • Open Philanthropy
  • Textbooks

  • The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology
  • A list of the best textbooks on every subject
  • Podcasts

  • The 80,000 Hours Podcast with Rob Wiblin
  • Rationally Speaking with Julia Galef
  • Books

  • Lying by Sam Harris
  • Rationality: From AI to Zombies by Eliezer Yudkowsky
  • How to Measure Anything by Douglas W. Hubbard
  • Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell
  • The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives of Everyday Life by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson
  • Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
  • Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink
  • Papers

  • Existential Risk Prevention as Global Priority by Nick Bostrom
  • The Vulnerable World Hypothesisby Nick Bostrom
  • That is not dead which can eternal lie: the aestivation hypothesis for resolving Fermi’s paradox. There is a response article, which may be argument-crushing, but I still love the original paper for exemplifying a certain type of grand, cosmic thinking.
  • Personal

    Sports

  • Running- Aside from time-efficient health-benefits, nothing quite matches the endorphins.
  • Swimming- I have a love-hate relationship with it, but it's hard to beat a 30 minute lap sesh.
  • Weighlifting- it's satisfying and everybody likes gains.
  • Intramural sports that involve running. IMO, nearly everyone should play pickup soccer, ultimate, or whatever floats their boat once a week.
  • 'Hooah' Hobbies

    These days, I try to be safer due to the utilitarian calculus, but I'm still a bit of a dare devil emotionally.
  • Freediving- While I don't do it all that often anymore, there's nothing quite like looking up at the surface when you are 30ft down with just your lungs full of air.
  • Riding motorcycles- While I'm in the process of selling mine as of Nov 2019, they are quite fun when you forget about the utilitarian calculus (& risk of road rash, paralysis, death).
  • Jiu-Jitsu- It's one of the few martial arts where you can afford to go all out in training, and not carry significant risk of injury.
  • The Arts

  • Piano-I don't spend much time learning new songs anymore, but I still love to play here and there. e.g.
  • Classical guitar- I went to a public (charter) arts school 6-11th grade, and learned how to sight-read lots of classical music, particularly that in the style of Matteo Carcassi.
  • Ballroom dancing- I competed and performed with my high school's varsity competitive ballroom dance team, and learned most of the styles of ballroom dancing, from Lindy-Hop swing to Foxtrot.
  • Programming Setup

  • Languages- Python, although I toy with C and Haskell and am familiar with others.
  • Text Editor- Sublime Text 3 with the ~20 most popular packages. My Preferences.Sublime-settings file.
  • Hosting service- Netlify. It's free, fast, and easy--just push changes to your site's files to GitHub to update the site.
  • Hardware- running with an Intel i7-7600U @ 2.90 GHz, 32 GB ram, and a 500 GB SSD on Windows, which is really nice and allows me to pretty much not care about how many programs or tabs I have open.
  • Blog management- I just maintain a Python file I wrote that can push forward updates to the head,header, and footer elements and generate new pages from Markdown files.
  • Digital Habits

  • Password management- I use LastPass. For my Google, LastPass, and other most sensitive accounts, I use a passphrase created from rolling dice and looking up words in a word bank. I also use Yubikey or Authy Authenticator on most important sites when they offer it.
  • Notes- Google Keep. I've tried Evernote and a few others. IMO, they still all suck, but Google's is the simplest that gets the job done for me. I use Standard Notes when I want extra security.
  • Email- I use Gmail for everyday stuff and Protonmail when I want max security.
  • VPN- They've been under fire lately for basically just moving who can spy on you from your Internet Service Provider to some rando company. That said, I trust ProtonVPN and F-Secure over most ISPs anyday.
  • Phone- Pixel 3a XL. Probably the best phone you can get for under $650.