Uh so I think my days were off or something, but it’s fixed now. I don’t have a lot of links this week so I’ll start with some shameless self-promotion:

An article I wrote on getting to $2000/month with a newsletter.

The actual newsletter.

A very nice explanation of the Y-combinator.

Some useful tips for UI design.

Imagine your worst panic attack. Times it by 100.


The differences between giftedness and genius.

A train station in Japan closes down after the only passenger it was serving graduated from high school.

Next on my reading list: Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

Related: Chinese lingerie merchants in Egypt (New Yorker, 2015)

A cool demo on waveforms, built in React.


Stopping childhood lead exposure responsible for a 56% drop in violent crime in the 1990s. Link.

Despite what they say, men and women have a strong automatic preference for monogamy. Link.

This study used the implicit-association test, which is somewhat hard to fake, but not impossible.

what lah

How mangoes became popular in China. Choice quote:

Alfreda Murck writes that when a mango celebration came to a small Fulin village a local dentist didn’t see what was so special. He exclaimed that it just looked like a sweet potato and, for his insolence, “he was arrested as a counterrevolutionary.” The man was found guilty and executed.

Are we in a bubble that’s about to burst? I don’t know, and after reading this, I still don’t know.


I just learned about vDSOs (virtual dynamic shared objects). Basically, relatively safe kernel functionality like gettimeofday() can bypass the whole syscall context switching by using a shared library. (If the kernel doesn’t have vDSO support it will fallback to a traditional syscall).


Baremetrics shows their own real stats in their demo.

Recovering audio from recording the vibrations of objects.

The history of economic growth.

Related: the industrial revolution was basically the only significant event in history.

Mike Bostock, creator of D3.js, launches notebooks for Javascript.

What do you know. The basic tenets of economics works: building more housing in Portland lowers rent costs.


I’ve been reading a lot of things that are just compilations of links lately, like Benedict Evans’ newsletter and SSC links posts, and I’m inclined to start my own, partly so I can start posting regularly again. I’ll try to do this every week. It’ll mostly be stuff I found interesting the past week.

From SSC: Two basic at-odds political meta-theories: conflict theory vs. mistake theory. Conflicts theorists view politics as a zero-sum game, where it’s a constant struggle between those with power and those without. Poor political decisions are poor because they benefit the oppressive class. Mistake theorists think poor decisions come from poor decision-making/priors instead of power struggles.

The original rsync paper is surprisingly short, easy to read, and elegant.

A very good list of 57 startup lessons from the founder of RethinkDB. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I’ll try:

Minimize complexity. The simpler the product, the more likely you are to actually ship it, and the more likely you are to fix problems quickly.

An oldie but a goodie: Steve Yegge’s Platforms Rant. Illustrates the importance of having a platform. You can’t expect to consistently build what users want. Let other developers do the work for you by building a platform instead and opening it up. AWS and Zynga-era Facebook games are great examples of this. So was Twitter before they added developer restrictions.

Why does SF have a huge homeless problem? Here’s why: 1) Insane rents due to NIMBYism, 2) Easy weather (you won’t see too many homeless in Montreal), and 3) Mental illness, although this may be circular: becoming homeless for an extended period of time probably makes you go crazy.

50 insane icebreaker questions by Chuck Klosterman: my favorite is Canadian Football Future — reminds me of DFW for some reason.

A $1.50 Michelin Star meal in Singapore. Particularly relevant cause I’m in Singapore right now and I really want to go try this place out, but it’s raining pretty hard right now. Maybe tomorrow.

Shameless self-promotion: I wrote a post on backtracking.

I used Elm to create the visualization. It was such a pleasure to use — like Haskell, but more front-end oriented. Here’s a good beginner’s book on Elm.

What I’m listening to this week: