Book: The Second Kind of Impossible

I spent a while this summer reading math books and popular science, trying to figure out what a life in "research" might look like; in late Spring I began to sense that it was time to wake up my brain and start thinking again, and the best way forward seemed »

Adding Mathjax to your (SBT-)Microsite

I'm obsessed with sbt-microsites. Sbt-microsites is a fantastic plugin for SBT (the Scala Build Tool) that makes it easy to generate a beautiful sidecar site for your software project, full of code checked by your CI! I recently built a microsite for ScalaRL, my in-progress functional Reinforcement Learning library, and »

Moving to Spacemacs for Scala and Python

I've just finished retooling my development environment, and the process was annoying enough that I thought I'd write it up here, for myself in the future, and for you in the present. tl;dr; I ended up porting my old Emacs config, based on the literate emacs24-starter-kit, over to Spacemacs, »

Why I Climb - Plodding toward Creativity

I started rock climbing because it freed me from the monotony of training for sprint kayak. Climbing on rock is athletic and inspiring, and takes you to beautiful places. It can also be dangerous. Your decisions matter when you're hanging from tired fingers far off the ground. The danger and »

Book: The Measure of a Mountain

Last Spring, while preparing for my attempt on the Rainier Infinity Loop, I bought two books on Mt Rainier... and failed to read either of them. My invite to that adventure had come out of nowhere; I knew nothing about the park, the area, the mountain or its history, and »

Trip Report from the Other World

I recently ingested psilocybin mushrooms for the first time in my life, a decision that would have shocked and disappointed the straight-edged sprint kayaker I used to be. And I'm alive! I'm sane! My goal was to have some sort of spiritual experience; or, more accurately, to figure out how »

Creative Fear at Red Rocks

I write software for fun and profit, and writing great software - like all creative work - requires long stretches of deep thought. I don't know where creative insights come from, but two things are clear to me about how to find them: You can study and obsess over a »

Goals for the Truly Insane

I want to expand on the last piece I wrote on courage and goals, and talk about some of the traps that endurance racing can set for athletes looking to push their limits. That piece makes the case that aggressive goals are important because they force your ego to adapt, »

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