Information Density of Different Languages

I was looking at a plane’s inflight magazine a few years ago that had the same text in various languages. It occurred to me that logographic languages (like Mandarin) seemed quite wasteful, given the large number of characters they have to encode. On the other hand, each character probably encodes a lot more meaning thanContinue reading “Information Density of Different Languages”

Central limit theorem magic

Oscar does a regular talent show, and I always try to come up with the most high-probability-of-failure magic trick idea. Important to lower the bar for everyone else and get others to feel good about going on stage with their own whacky idea (and do the same in their work). Here is one I cameContinue reading “Central limit theorem magic”

Covid behavior by temperature

I’ve been playing with the public covid data on BigQuery which is available here. I was curious how covid spreads related to temperature. The simple intuition being: when it’s either too hot or too cold, people spend more time indoors, and that will facilitate the spread of the virus. If that’s the case, you’d expectContinue reading “Covid behavior by temperature”

What’s driving employee satisfaction

One thing I love about startups is that they’re essentially big “natural social experiments.” Like, ask any other startup what they’re calling their OKRs/all hands meetings/product artefacts/roadmap/etc., and you’ll get wildly different answers – which is cool because it means startups aren’t just testing products, they’re also testing how to work together, and sometimes thatContinue reading “What’s driving employee satisfaction”

The arithmetics of throughput-based games

Back in the days when we were making games, I loved trying to more rigorously quantify the economy of a game, and how its core mechanics evolve numerically. Around 2010, a very popular game that existed in many variations was a type of game in which you had to manage a pipeline, for example byContinue reading “The arithmetics of throughput-based games”

Short trips through the complex plane

The other day I got obsessed with trying to find the smallest possible code to create the most interesting visual complexity. Fractals and in particular the Mandelbrot set come to mind quickly, so I wanted to visualize the Mandelbrot set, and I wanted to do it in Javascript in such a way that I canContinue reading “Short trips through the complex plane”