Where: Marseille.

Recently: I just got back from two weeks in Costa Rica (mostly on the grounds of a remarkable private conservation project in Guanacaste), New York, and Cambridge. While in Costa Rica, I sat on the beach at midnight while a leatherback sea turtle excavated her nest and laid a clutch of eggs — I occasionally got up to ferry a lost leatherback hatchling from a different nest to the edge of the sea in a bread basket. It was bananas. In Cambridge, I was partially enslaved to make kueh for a popup, which confirmed my beliefs that good kueh should cost a lot. But it wasn’t all horizon-broadening, educational travel: In New York, I had an extraordinarily mediocre meal at an establishment I shall refrain from naming.

The Pacific, from Guanacaste.The Pacific, from Guanacaste.

To take advantage of two weeks away, I finally had people come in to paint and take up the floor. These works of course did not finish on schedule. So I am still living in a worksite and spending most waking hours thinking about self-leveling compound, light-weight aggregates, low-VOC epoxy, and all that kind of thing.

A podcast: I recorded an episode with Brian and Laura from the Naturalistic Decisionmaking Association. They called it Strategies for Thriving in Uncertainty,” and it is about risk vs uncertainty, why the clunky phrase not-knowing” is essential, the epistemology and logic of qualitative research, why many important questions don’t have quantitative answers, imperative vs declarative approaches to programming, the use of trivial and invisible interventions, how having coffee with Howie Becker can change your life, the value of intentional discomfort, and other things. You can find Strategies for Thriving in Uncertainty” here.

Recent writing:

  1. From my not-knowing project:
    1. Not-knowing discussion #12: Broad approaches (summary)
    2. Building a toolkit for not-knowing
    3. [Not-knowing discussion #13: Tools for thought and action (summary)](
  2. From my newsletter:
    1. Low-drag machines
    2. Strategies for different uncertainties

Updated 20 February 2024