May 2, 2024

Ebikes are extraordinary

I thought about getting an ebike for a few years before I finally pulled the trigger. With almost two thousand miles on the odometer, I’m happy to report that these are utterly magical machines. If you’re even remotely considering buying one, do. I’m pretty confident you won’t regret it.

April 24, 2024

How to type 50% faster with LLM assistance

Even if you already type pretty fast, LLMs can help you type much faster.

April 23, 2024

Parking shouldn't be free, but it should be easy

Most people hate paying for parking and fiercely resist attempts to make them do so. I wonder how much of that resistance isn’t to cost per se, but rather to the annoyance of the process of paying.

April 22, 2024

Before criminalizing the problem, legalize the antidote

The fine people of Grant’s Pass are fed up with homeless people sleeping in public, and are taking action to prevent it. Naturally, their first step must have been to repeal the laws making it illegal to build homes for such people. That would just be common sense, right?

April 18, 2024

Lake Merritt botanical textures

Lake Merritt sporting some very fine spring textures at the moment.

Three colors of flowers Daisy-like wildflowers Grasses Orange and yellow flowers

April 17, 2024


I’ve been reading a lot about legislative efforts to address our catastrophic housing scarcity problem, and found myself struggling to keep track of all the attempts. I figured someone must have made a database of them all. But evidently not! So I made one:

March 29, 2024

Tax the curb cuts

Proposal: after repealing mandatory off-street parking requirements, go a step further and impose a significant annual fee on curb cuts.

March 28, 2024

Legalize the prediction markets

Gambling on sports has been legalized, normalized, and placed at the immediate disposal of every vulnerable dopamine hound. Prediction markets, on the other hand…

March 28, 2024

Our cities are empty

Walking around downtown Oakland last night I found myself thinking, as I often do, “where are all the people?”

March 4, 2024

Fair Tax California

I got a little obssessed with California’s Prop 13 recently. I knew it was very bad but I didn’t grasp the full magnitude. So I dug in and channeled my ire into building something.

February 26, 2024

Henry George was right.

Lately, when I walk around the city, I often hear myself thinking, “Land value tax fixes this.”

February 23, 2024

YIMBY legislative database?

I see YIMBY legislative wins reported and discussed on social media regularly.

February 22, 2024

Ever increasingly YIMBY-pilled

Reading and thinking a lot about housing policy lately, I’m finding myself ever-increasingly YIMBY-pilled.

February 22, 2024

Filtering is real, exhibit 100

Nice study out of Harvard JCHS, more evidence for “filtering”:

February 22, 2024

La Jolla Tax Madness

Here’s some La Jolla property tax madness:

January 18, 2024

Do judges read the tweets?

I wonder…do judges read the tweets?

January 18, 2024

Space tomato

I really love this space tomato story:

January 17, 2024

Advance market commitments for industrial policy?

What if we administered our industrial policy as a collection of advance market commitments?

December 28, 2023

Lake Merritt rainbow

Rainbow over Lake Merritt

December 24, 2023

Red shouldered hawk


Red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) Dora Canal, Mt. Dora, Florida

December 18, 2023

Let's eradicate the bedbugs

Could gene drives help eradicate bedbugs?

December 15, 2023

Peter Attia + Richard Miller on the science of aging

Anyone interested in aging science should listen to both of these episodes of Peter Attia’s podcast:

December 15, 2023

Right now is the perfect moment to toll all the roads

Autonomous driving gives us a rare opportunity to prevent future traffic nightmares and steer the future of mobility towards the public good.

December 13, 2023

Aphantasia and pupil constriction

🤯: “…simply imagining something bright like the Sun also causes (a smaller, but still measurable) constriction. Aphantasics show perfectly typical pupillary responses to actual changes in light. However, their pupils do not change to imagined light.”

December 13, 2023

Maybe RSS is all we need

My quixotic gesture at an alternative and healthier model for social media. Think of it as anti-social media.

December 10, 2023

Diego Rivera at the SF City Club

I learned this weekend that there’s a spectacular Diego Rivera fresco at the City Club in San Francisco on the stairwell between the 10th and 11th floors.

December 4, 2023

mapo tofu

The Serious Eats mapo tofu recipes are seriously delicious.

November 29, 2023

Naturally affordable housing

Nomenclature proposal: housing that people can afford because we made it legal instead of illegal to build enough of it should be called “naturally affordable housing.”

November 27, 2023

Oakland mirrors

Sun reflecting off building looking west in Downtown oakland, with moon near horizon

November 17, 2023

Automated bike lane enforcement

Automated bike lane enforcement is good, I’m glad it’s happening.

November 6, 2023

Ampersand excess

People joke about their addiction to the m-dash, & I do suffer from that affliction — but of late, I find myself even more profligate with the ampersand.

November 6, 2023

Emulsify please

You know those machines at the paint store they use to shake the dickens out of paint cans to mix them super well? I want a mini one of those at home for peanut butter.

November 5, 2023

Narrow the lanes please

Where lanes are concerned, 9ft is the new 10ft.

November 1, 2023


Thirty busybodies shouldn’t have the power to use the courts to strangle democratically enacted policies.

October 30, 2023

The AI drivers are safer

Judging by personal experience riding a bike around San Francisco over the last few months, I’d say the AI drivers are less inclined to endanger my life than the human ones.

October 23, 2023

Pelican necks

Today I learned that the peculiar neck structure of a pelican is called a “gular pouch.”

October 6, 2023

Memorize some poetry

I think you should memorize some poetry, even just a little. I’ve been attempting this lately and I can recommend it highly.

September 29, 2023

Backcountry flavor country

Here’s a backpacking trick: open the freeze-dried meals at home, remove the desiccant packets, and add a quarter teaspoon each of salt and msg powder.

August 25, 2023

Terrain basemap in navigation mode?

I really wish that Google maps would offer “terrain” as the base map in navigation mode. Would be a much better experience for mountain travel.