R. W. Blickhan
I’m a writer and programmer.
At a high level, I’m interested in five intersecting topics:
Cultural evolution and the cultural niche
The Secret of Our Success took my head off and screwed it on slightly differently.
As a result, I’ve been deeply influenced by cultural and biological anthropology.
- How does culture broadly impact our day-to-day life? How does it impact our tool use, our relationships, our thought?
- How do cultures differ across space and time? How does culture change over time and why?
- How can we use cultural evolution and socialization to our advantage?
I keep a reading list of some of my favorite works related to culture.
Consciousness, identity, & neurodiversity
I am bipolar, specifically cyclothymic, and consider myself neurodivergent.
This has inspired a lifelong interest in consciousness; my experience of neurodivergence has given me a slightly skew perspective on the topic.
In particular, I am roughly an illusionist about consciousness.
- What is consciousness? Are there other conscious creatures out there?
- What is the basis for our personal identity? How does the perception of others impact our identity?
- How does neurodivergence and mental illness affect my life and others’ lives, in history and across cultures?
I keep a reading list of some of my favorite works related to consciousness and neurodiversity.
Tools for thought
I consider this site a digital garden where I can work with the garage door up.
I am also a heavy user of Obsidian for notetaking and Mochi for spaced-repetition flashcards.
I created the Tag Search plugin for Obsidian and I publish some of my Mochi cards.
- How do we build more “bicycles for the mind”?
- What are novel ways of interacting with our computers?
- How do we make it easier to write clean, correct code?
I keep a reading list of my favorite writers working in this space.
- How do we generate conviviality and “scenius”?
- How do communities differ from markets?
- How can we use Dunbar’s number to our advantage?
- Why do we tell stories?
- How do good stories “work”?
- How do we intentionally practice storytelling?
Broadly, I consider myself an Epicurean humanist.
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rwblog, released (roughly) once a month:
Professionally, I am a product engineer at Asana (see my resume). I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science & mathematics from the University of British Columbia. I live in San Francisco with my fiancée Sherry and our small canine companion Rooibos.
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