Alex's Notes

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

  • Downward Causation

    Macro level processes altering micro level processes by changing constraints. For example, thoughts and memories alter the strength of connections in the brain via gene regulation which alters the physical constraints of ions/electrons (synapses).

  • GraphPlan

    A data structure and search algorithm for efficiently finding the shortest plan of actions between an initial state and goal state.

  • Webmentions

    Webmention is a W3C web standard for decentralized comments, reposts, and other interactions across websites.

  • Meta Game

    The game about the game. In game development, it’s often cited that it’s all about the meta game.

  • Talk Then Code

    In a blog post from Dave Cheney, open source contributor to golang, he writes that it’s always better to talk about a bug/feature/change then writing code.

  • Talk - The Secret of Psalm 46

    A talk given by Brian Moriarty, a renowned game designer/developer, that encourages listeners to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of making something awe-inspiring.

  • Essay - Learning How to Read

    An essay from Niklas Luhmann about learning to read and how there are different kinds of books that require different approaches.

  • Org-Roam

    An Emacs library that recreates Roam (software that implements a Zettelkasten-like system) using org-mode.

  • 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.