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A brief intro to what you can read in Mostly Harmless Ideas.
Hey, welcome to Mostly Harmless Ideas! Here’s a short intro to the substack, so you know what you can expect from me.
First, a little bit about myself. I’m a full-time college professor and researcher, working at the intersection between artificial intelligence and formal systems. In this substack, I write about the many things that interest me, from technical topics in algorithms, CS theory, and AI, to more historical or philosophical pieces. I also write very opinionated essays on science and education, including occasional rants.
Things I’m writing about
By subscribing, you will receive everything, but I like to keep articles sorted so that you can subscribe to specific topics if you want to. Here’s a TL;DR of each topic:
All the general stuff is located in the main publication, including news about the substack itself, discussion threads, and recap posts.
The Essays section contains opinionated short and medium-length essays on science, education, society, life, the universe, and basically everything else.
The CS Intros section contains posts about clever algorithms, data structures, concepts, and paradigms in Computer Science, emphasizing intuitive ideas over formalism.
The Hitchhiker Guides section is for guides to different skills. I’m planning to cover varied things from technical writing, to open-source development, to how to make a business plan for a tech product.
The Great Ideas in CS is a special section for talking about the history of Computer Science, focusing on some of the most beautiful ideas in the field.
And finally, the Philosophy section is for light posts on some of the most intriguing philosophical aspects of Computer Science.
Everything I write in this substack is and will forever be free. I’ve had the incredible fortune of receiving world-class education for free, and this is my humble way of paying a third.
How you can participate
I write for you my readers, and that includes you (hopefully), so I’m always interested in hearing your thoughts about the stuff I’m writing. There are, at the moment, three places we can hang out in:
Each post has a comments section at the end where you can speak your mind, whether to give feedback on something, ask for clarifications, or just start a discussion related to that post. If you get a post via email, you can also directly reply from your email client.
There’s also a Chat that you can access on the web or directly in the app, where I’ll be hosting regular conversations around this substack in general, discussing things like which topics interest you the most, what’s your preferred schedule, ideas for collaboration, etc.
And finally, there’s the recent Notes section, where you can jump into any conversation started by me or any other Substack user, including yourself. I’ll be mostly sharing the best stuff I read online, and sometimes cross-posting my own stuff.
So now that you know what you find here, I hope I’ve convinced you to stick around. Feel free to browse the archive to catch up, and reach out whenever you want to. I’m always eager to hear from you.
And if you think some of your loved ones would enjoy reading my stuff, feel free to share this substack with them. Nothing would make me happier!