This is a personal blog. I’m interested in nerdy stuff, particularly programming, math, and physics. I have liberal political views.
The picture I’ve chosen at the top of my blog pages is a rendering of the Mars Exploration Rover. I didn’t work on MER, but the mission and systems have been a huge inspiration to me. To me, they symbolize not only what we can accomplish through ingenuity, effort, and perseverance, but the possibility of worlds yet to be discovered (this paragraph is starting to become a blog post).
Stuff I’ve read recently (and enjoyed):
Logicomix Papadimitriou (one of the authors) was a professor of mine when I was an undergrad at UC Berkeley. I think I can safely say this is the only graphic novel about the foundations of mathematics, a subject which until now, I have only been able to learn in piecemeal from Wikipedia. Hard to believe this was a New York Times best seller, just because the topic is so esoteric!
The Audacity of Hope Obama is such a great writer! You might want to keep a dictionary handy so that some of his vocab rubs off on you. The book explains Obama’s basic political philosophy, which should be helpful to those on the left who are disappointed that he hasn’t been progressive enough.
Three Cups of Tea I predict Greg Mortenson will win the Nobel Peace Prize within a few years. Reading this, you will not only be inspired, but learn something about a part of the world that’s scarcely understood in the US, despite our invasion of Afghanistan.
Predictably Irrational, plus the follow-on The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely. I really like his blog.
Joel on Software and the sequel More Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky. I love Joel’s writing style which completely disregards perhaps even disdains conventionality. Hard to imagine anyone writing more colorfully about the trials and triumphs of developing software.
Conscience of a Liberal by Paul Krugman. I’d probably enjoy reading his op-ed pieces, but I haven’t really gotten into it yet.
xkcd. One of my hobbies: explaining life in terms of xkcd strips. It’s sort of like using inside jokes, except the circle of people who are in on the joke are not just my personal friends, but anyone who is nerdy enough.