I’ve gone viral, or Scattered Thoughts on Workism

Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. (Ecclesiastes 4:6) I’ve gone viral …on TikTok. So I spend a lot of time on TikTok, for, um, research purposes. This is supposed to be embarrassing. Our cultural obsession with work, or workism, as Derek Thompson calls it, means allContinue reading “I’ve gone viral, or Scattered Thoughts on Workism”

Life Update and Poem

Life update: I’ve moved to Cambridge to do an MPhil in Philosophy. More on that in another post. I’m at Trinity College, hence the picture. No philosophy to share, yet. But here’s a poem I wrote at the Sidgwick Site: Plant one flower. After, don’t look down at your feet. Stumble, stumble your way, headContinue reading “Life Update and Poem”

Finger in the Dike

The CFA and Holes As some of you know, I spent the last two months cramming for the Chartered Financial Analyst Level I exam, which I took last week. The test covers over 3,000 pages of material across ten topics, ranging from Ethical and Professional Standards to Economics to Derivatives.  The expression that best capturesContinue reading “Finger in the Dike”

What I’m reading (June 2021)

Entrepreneur/VC blogs A lot of good stuff here. Even if you’re not interested in tech/start-ups/investing, these blogs are worth checking out for general wisdom. Plus they humanize the people behind some very impressive and influential companies. (1) Paul Graham’s blog Graham is a successful founder, but you probably know him because he started Y-Combinator. CheckContinue reading “What I’m reading (June 2021)”

You only have two types of problems

I’ve recently become convinced that there are only two types of problems you can have: belief problems and agency problems. Belief problems are problems that arise from having not enough information or incorrect information. Examples include: You think you’re very likely to be mugged in your neighborhood, so you either avoid going outside at nightContinue reading “You only have two types of problems”

Guest Post: Five Books You Should Read on Soviet History (Leora Eisenberg)

I am not a pundit and I am not an expert: my five-to-seven years of Ph.D. study of Soviet history remain as of yet un-begun, much like society’s path toward socialism. But over my years of obsession with the history of the workers’ paradise, I’ve read quite a few books—some of which my standing nowContinue reading “Guest Post: Five Books You Should Read on Soviet History (Leora Eisenberg)”

What I’m reading (May 2021)

This is a new column where I share ideas by way of links. Here’s what I’m reading this week: Philosophy (1) This article by Jeremy Fischer in Ethics: “Racism as Civic Vice”. He argues that racism is a (bad) civic character trait. The first section is a standalone lesson in ways to think about racism:Continue reading “What I’m reading (May 2021)”

Guest Post: Naomi Shifrin’s Lesson Learned

A continuation of the Lessons Learned series. Naomi Shifrin (Singer and undergraduate student, Princeton University): COVID-19 was a spiritual shock. We, the human race, received perspective in the form of a harsh and deep truth: we are not in control of the happenings of the universe. This was the year I exited the beaten pathContinue reading “Guest Post: Naomi Shifrin’s Lesson Learned”

You can now smoke weed legally in New York. But should you?

Last month New York became the 15th US state to legalize recreational marijuana. People can now possess up to 3g, smoke it wherever they’re allowed to smoke cigarettes, and grow their own. This is a big win for racial justice. New Jersey was the first state to make a racial-justice-based argument for legalization (my colleagueContinue reading “You can now smoke weed legally in New York. But should you?”

Status-Income Disequilibrium

(Thanks to Jeff Zymeri for the pointer) Here’s David Brooks’ “The tragedy of the SID”: This eventually became his book Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There. If you’re anything like me, you have a very strong opinion of David Brooks. That’s for another post. And/but this is undeniably aContinue reading “Status-Income Disequilibrium”