Here you can find a collection of my interests and beliefs. On the semi-anonymous internet, it's a way I can tell you a bit about myself.

I also track this page in git so that I have a log of how these evolve over time.

Last updated: 2023/06/18



As a professional programmer, I obviously have a strong interest in programming.

Learning to code is the best example I know of a positive learning feedback loop: the more you learn, the more you want to learn. Perhaps second only to writing, it is one of my favourite methods for obtaining flow and a fantastic tool for lifting my mood. I like getting better at all aspects of software development, whether that's learning new languages, new technologies, Vim (no, you should probably not learn it), or boosting my typing speed (honed to >100wpm with my touch typing app for developers, TypePerf).

Here are some sub-topics that I am particularly interested in at the moment:

  • API design: how do we design long-lasting, flexible, powerful and intuitive designs for our APIs?
  • Databases: how do modern distributed databases such as Google's Spanner help us to break the CAP theorem? What new applications and paradigms do they unlock? How do they work?
  • Testing: What is the right amount of testing for a codebase? What are TDDs limits? What are its benefits? How do we make testing easier across an institution?
  • Systems design: how do we design better, more scalable, more elegant systems?
  • The craft of programming: how do you break down problems effectively? How do the best developers build complicated things quickly? How do you guarantee your code works as intended? How do you write your code with maximum clarity?
  • AI as a programming tool: how should we be incorporating AI programming tools like Copilot into our workflows? What was previously built using one programming technique that should now be achieved by a large language model?

Product and Design

As well as in a professional capacity whilst building web products, I have a more general interest in design and product. I have a tendency to see a lot of life as a design problem that can be solved. Mostly, however, this simply involves getting angry about Norman Doors and poorly designed cycle lanes. My favourite designs are the Finnish drying rack/cupboard hybrid and Dieter Rams' 606 Shelving Unit.


I studied philosophy at university and I think of it as a fantastic lens through which you can view everything else in life. It is a foundation that prompts you to examine first principles and its methodology of precise examination feels infinitely applicable. There are instances where it is specifically and pragmatically useful (e.g. truth-tables making programming logic easier) and also when it helps improve broader skills (e.g. in the ability to construct a well-formed argument).

Meta-learning, Productivity, Tools for Thought

When I learned to code while simultaneously studying for my degree, I became increasingly interested in meta-learning (learning how to learn) and its power to exponentially boost all other skills.

Although I now take a more tempered approach to this topic—I believe lots of 'productivity' advice is, in fact, shilling and procrastination in disguise—I still try to continuously hone my systems.

My current stack looks a little like this:

  • Note taking:
    • Main notes: Roam with a lightweight Zettlekasten system (although likely soon to be replaced by Obsidian after a two year period of dismal product updates. I'm also experimenting with Remnote for spaced repetition Remnote didn't stick and I'll be maintaining my main note taking app + Anki setup).
    • Quick notes/mobile: Apple Notes
    • Brainstorming/mood boards: Apple Freeform
  • Todo Lists: lightweight GTD approach, implemented in Things.
  • Spaced Repetition: Anki with daily reviews across a wide range of topics.
  • Pomodoros: Session app on Mac.
  • Inbox zero with Superhuman
  • Various developer-specific productivity tricks e.g. snippets, physical and mental checklists, improved typing speed, ...


I can't imagine running my life without a consistent fitness routine. The returns on day-to-day wellbeing alone are high enough for me that I find I need to exercise 4+ times a week to feel relatively normal.


  • Strength training 3x/week (including 1 Olympic weightlifting class to focus on my clean/snatch/jerk)
  • Spin 1x/week
  • HIIT 1-2x/week
  • Surfing on holidays

I also have a general interest in mobility right now, and am exploring Alexander Technique, yoga and stretching as a result.

Previous: triathlon, swimming, long distance running, white water kayaking.


Art is an area of my life that is infinitely valuable yet seems neglected in many tech circles. Here's a list of some of my favourite art forms and artists. Please send me any of your favourites as I find this the best way to discover new things I like!

  • Music: Mostly variations on indie, electronic and dance/techno, but generally very varied (Spotify here). I also DJ for fun.
  • Film: I currently go to the cinema around once a week, so I see most new releases. Some favourite films/directors include David Lynch, Wim Wenders, Wong Kar-Wai, Kubrick, Annie Hall, Blade Runner, The Big Lebowski. Find me on Letterboxd.
  • Literature: Mrs Dalloway, A Little Life, Frank O'Hara, Oscar Wilde, Dostoevsky, ...
  • Art: I'm a Tate Member and end up seeing some form of art around half my weekends. Some recent favourite exhibitions are Francis Bacon, Barbara Hepworth, and Olafur Eliasson. Some general favourites are Sol Lewitt, Lucian Freud, Donald Judd, Rothko, Sickert, ...
  • (Street) Photography: Bruce Gilden, Martin Parr, Elliot Erwitt, ...


I find the act of explicitly articulating your beliefs clarifies them and separates the important from the trivial. This list is an ongoing attempt to do that.

  • Most of your impact on the world is in the long-term future and this has profound, counter-intuitive consequences for the decisions you make.
  • The world is weird and humans are generally bad at reasoning about the huge consequences our actions can take in light of technology, the long term future and the general structure of modern society.
  • Life is short, important, urgent and precious.
  • Good hard is fun, bad hard is terrible. Embrace the former, prepare for the latter.
  • Cities should be designed to be walkable and cyclable.
  • Politics is an ineffective vehicle for change for 80% of people. Of course, some people should be interested in politics but for most it serves only as a talking point on which action is never taken.
  • You should probably block news content. You're better off consuming higher-quality information like (good) books that will be useful for a longer period of time. If something is truly important news, you'll hear about it anyway. I think the optimal amount of time to spend on news is non-zero, but I haven't quite updated my feeds or media sources to reflect this. I still think most news content should be blocked, but that there's value in having some high value sources of information. Party politics is still a strange concept to me.
  • You should live your life in an anti-fragile way.
  • Rationalism and systematic decision theory is (almost) always a waste of time. Heuristics, defaulting to action and contact with reality are all much more useful tools.
  • Free will is an illusion. I am a compatabilist about free will. I no longer care about this question.
  • Utilitarianism is a very good heuristic for living your life by. I'm not completely sure on its foundations, however. I am currently less sure on even this belief. Currently under investigation so if you have any good meta-ethics/moral foundations/moral disagreement recommendations, please email me! I'm hoping that Reasons and Persons will magicaly sort this out for me. 19 Feb 2023: Reasons and Persons did not sort this out for me. After a general disillusionment with utilitarianism, I now lean towards a roughly virtue ethics perspective, although this is still a very active project I am trying to work through.
  • People should be having more children, and my peers consistently under-index on the effects of declining birth rates, diminished growth, aging populations, and their own old age.
  • AI safety is a serious consideration, although I suspect the serious negative consequence are more like dealing with large natural disasters than world-ending apocalypses. In particular, the recent wave of LLM releases have made me far more confident that the future will be safe from serious AI dangers.
  • Scenes are the true source of productivity, creativity and success. See my essay on "Small Groups" here.
  • The Great Stagnation is real; generally, the lives of my generation are, in material terms, more difficult than that of those born in the mid 20th century.