I’m Ben! This is where I put things I write, usually about some convex combination of effective altruism, math, computers, philosophy, and other assorted miscellany.

By day I do machine learning at a small startup. Otherwise I enjoy reading, hiking, making music, contra dancing, fencing, and various other strange activities.

If you’re a new visitor, check out the best-of list, and if it strikes your fancy, subscribe. Or read some recent posts:

The costs of campus construction


Universities’ construction expenses seem unbelievably high, and I have no idea why.

On being welcoming


How can the effective altruism community be more welcoming? And why is it important?

Year-and-a-bit in review, 2014: where I’ve been


Every so often, I step back, take stock of what I’ve been up to recently, and figure out where I’d like to go next. (I have some ambition of doing this on a regular schedule, but I’m too often distracted by other blog posts.) Since this was one of the times I got distracted, this review covers everything since I wrote the last one in January 2014. Here’s what I’ve been doing:

Butchering the web for fun and profit with ┬ÁBlock


I recently started using the µBlock ad blocker. One advantage it has, in addition to blocking ads, is a nice interface for blocking arbitrary CSS elements from pages. This turns it from a single-purpose ad blocker into an incredibly versatile tool that can displace any number of site-specific addons.

Links VII: baseball stars, birthday songs, and bloggers


Argument culture • The van man • Hiring sucks • Typography advice • Eric Whitacre sets “Happy Birthday” • Depressing facts about drug reviews • Otium is back!

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