2018 Q3 reads


  • Going Somewhere, by Brian Benson, a memoir he wrote about cycling across America with his girlfriend. I resonated with the way he described the pleasure of cycling for its own sake: being in motion, being among trees and lakes, sprinting uphill even when your legs are screaming. The writing is surprisingly honest, for example, he often felt frustrated / impatient with his girlfriend, even though he knew at a logical level that it wasn't fair to expect her to be as fast as him. I wonder if all bike-touring couples go through this (including when the roles are reversed).

  • Chaos Monkeys, by Antonio Garcia Martinez, a crazy startup story involving players you've heard of, like Facebook and Twitter. Two instructive questions: Does it take a guy as ballsy as him to have a successful exit for a startup? And do acqui-hires typically make $650K/year in stock, or did he just get lucky with Facebook?


  • The Border Trilogy by Radiolab, the fascinating and disturbing story of how the US - Mexico border got to be the way it is today.

Cool stuff online:

  • A timeline of the far future on Wikipedia. This will make you feel small.

  • The Mastermind, by the Atavist Magazine, a surreal long read about a guy who started some sketchy online pharmacies, and then went much much farther than that. My favorite bit: "We have guys in Somalia buying weapons that are making an army [...] because we were gonna invade an island, Maldives" (so he would have a place to operate from).

  • Commoditize your complement, an essay that explains why companies make so much stuff available as free / open-source software.

  • /r/vandwellers and in particular FarOutRide, a couple of Canadian engineers who decided to build a campervan, take a year-long sabbatical, and go do what they love, which is mountain biking. Call me crazy but I find this incredibly inspiring.