Years ago, I lost my temper while arguing with my brother, and said, "Jeff, I could teach you everything I know and you'd still be an idiot." Please keep that in mind as you read this site.

Recent posts


When I first saw Starling Software's Programmer Competency Matrix, I was struck by the parallels between its four levels and the first four of the five that ...
April 26, 2011


Today, my friends Jorge and Val welcomed their first child, Aurora Aranda-Cort├ęs, into the world. And today, for the first time in nine years, my sister and ...
April 25, 2011

In Praise of Street Fighting

Sanjoy Mahajan's Street-Fighting Mathematics is subtitled "The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving". As the author says in the introd...
April 22, 2011

Holding Up a Mirror

Cameron Neylon always has interesting things to say. In a recent talk, he commented on my tendency to idealize laboratory practice when contrasting it with t...
April 18, 2011