Alex's Notes

A collection of notes organized in the Zettelkästen style to foster creative thinking.

  • Static Analysis of UX

    It seems possible to generate all states of a purely functional UI so that it can be analyzed and audited.

  • Planning AI

    A sub field of artificial intelligence (AI) concerned with helping agents generate valid and coherent plans of actions to reach a goal.

  • Outward Effects

    Applies a result (usually favorable) to an activity e.g. learning (the activity) is valuable because of the outward effect on, for example, being better at one’s job and earning more money

  • Measuring UX

    User experience is subjective which makes improvements in UX difficult to calibrate since we need to rely more our collective taste and/or talking to users.

  • Inherent Value

    Something that would be valuable even in the absence of outward effects e.

  • Entropy

    Disorder in a system that tends to increase over time until reaching an equilibrium.

  • Difficulty Discussing Social Issues

    The reason discussions of social problems and correctness are difficult is because there is no safe way to fail and learn from feedback about a point of view.

  • Abstract Syntax Tree

    Transforms a language into data by lexing (separating the words into a sequence of tokens) and parsing (applying syntactical rules to the tokens).

  • Zettelkasten

    An analog note taking system that emphasizes connections between atomic ideas.

  • Why Aren't Remote Devboxes Used More Often?

    It seems like we should have better options for a full fledged, on-demand dev environment, that lives in the cloud, available from any internet connection, and you only pay for what you need.

  • Value Signaling

    Overtly stating or doing something for the purposes of letting other people know your position on a social issue for fear of being looked down on.

  • UX Entropy

    User experience for a non-trivial web UI tends to degrade over time as more functionality is added and more engineers add to it.

  • UX (User Experience)

    The subjective quality of the user’s motivations and feelings towards the interactions with a product.

  • UI Crawling

    From an entry point uncover all of the possible actions a user could take in a user interface.

  • SCQA

    *S*ituation *C*omplication *Q*uestion *A*nswer A way of structuring writing to clearly communicate an idea introduced by Barbara Minto in The Minto Pyramid Principle.

  • Richard Hamming

    Mathematician and computer scientist. Important ideas: What matters is working on important problems or work on things that could lead to something important.

  • Richard Feynman

    Physicist and author of ‘Surely you are joking Mr. Feynman’ who worked on the Manhattan project and won a Nobel Prize.

  • Niklas Luhmann

    A sociologist famed for his prolific output–he wrote 70 books and 400 scholarly articles on a wide range of topics.

  • Neil Gaiman

    Acclaimed author that looks at the world in a unique way that’s very entertaining.

  • My Morning Practice

    These days I wake up very early for the puppy ~5:45 AM so between getting the dogs ready and starting work I have about three hours.

  • Kalman Filter

    A way of predicting what a system is going to do next when you don’t have exact information (like most real-world things).

  • Fuzzing

    The process of generating a range input values based on some constraints to fully explore a programs handling.

  • Andy Matuschak

    Researcher who focuses on how to improve the productivity of knowledge workers.