last updated: March 23, 2024

week: March 18, 2024 to March 25, 2024

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what have I been up to

  • Outside of work, I spent much of this week cranking on this website, which is now almost ready to be published. This is the most I’ve ever done on the frontend, and though it’s a small project all things considering, it’s been fun to learn a bit about this part of the stack. Astro and Tailwind have both been very fun to play with.
  • Cursor has been quite incredible to use. Still very unclear who the code-gen winners will be in 5-10 years, but the UX of cursor blows everything else out of the water.


  • I finished Chip War. Frankly, I went into the book thinking that it would focus primarily on the current race for chip dominance between (primarily) the US and China. I was surprised that most of the book was in fact about the history of semiconductors and the chip wars of past. In the end, it was a somewhat informative piece on semiconductor history, though rather bland and unemotive in it’s storytelling. And on the subject I was most interested in - the chip wars of today, the book is far less substantive than I had hoped.

  • Continuing to read Stalin II by Stephen Kotkin. It’s a slog, but I’m about halfway through and starting to pick up the pace. It also helps that I’ve gotten to the Great Terror (1937) which is a morbidly fascinating period of Soviet history. The extraordinary session of the Main Military Council meeting on June, 1937, which usually occurs annually in December, was a particularly jawdropping microcosm of the times. Of the 85 senior military officials at the start of 1937, a number had already been arrested, leaving 53 to attend the council meeting, and in the end just 10 of the 85 officials would survive the purge. The top ranks of the Red Army as a whole would be decimated, with a 10% survival rate. Further illuminating the situation: at the council meeting, not a single speaker defended any of the arrested.

  • Read The Man Who Solved the Market. Candidly, I learned about the book after listening to the latest Aquired episode about RenTec, but I first heard of the firm in highschool 10-12 years ago and was instantly enamored. I even recall making it my dream job for a while, until I realized that I’m not all that good at math. Anyways, back to the book. Although the writing is not the strongest, the author does a good job revealing the mystery behind the most insane fund in history. Some fun facts about their Medallion Fund:

    • Averaged 60%-70% gross returns over the last 30-40 or so
    • Charges 5% management fees and 44% performance fee. 2/20 say what??
    • Named after all the math/science medals won by Simons and the others who were there at the start.

    I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to learn about the start of the quant era, the early days in ML and a story of a firm that operates far outside the norms of general business.

article highlights

I got nothing saved this week, but part of my motivation for creating this website is to remind me to save things I come across.

podcast of the week

Inside Linear: Building with taste, craft, and focus | Karri Saarinen (co-founder, designer, CEO).

Linear has made some interesting organizational decisions, such as creating teams around projects and disbanding afterwards, and not having any PMs (though they finally hired their first one). Cool interview with an unique CEO.

current video games

Mostly playing Hell Let Loose these days.