Hello, World

I spent most of my undergrad preparing for a PhD in political science, with particular interests in the United States Senate, the European Union, and the design of government procedures and institutions. However, I accidentally completed a research project in natural language processing; compounded with many other reasons, I’m now a computer science PhD advised by Prof. Ellie Pavlick at Brown University.

As a zealot of the Scientific Method, I’m always running controlled experiments in cooking and coffee brewing (which often involve 2 or 3 types of thermometers). Although trained as a saxophonist, I’m learning the piano in my 𝜀-spare time.

An Incomplete List of Unpopular Opinions

The American Political Science Association’s citation style is better than that of many other fields. LaTeX .bst file available here.

JavaScript may be the most prominent example, but LaTeX and bash are also awfully anachronistic languages. If they are still the standard in 50 years, I will be sad.

Despite being a sensible compromise at the Constitutional Convention, the Senate’s allocation of two seats per state—regardless of population—is a gross contradiction of democracy. American voters direly need a public discussion to clarify their preferred level of balance between direct democracy and representative democracy.

Skeuomorphism is one of the best approach to UI design, and the iOS 7 flat-everything redesign was a big mistake.

In the context of professional philosophy, I’m a compatibilist, but I think people in general take free will for granted too easily.

(Not an opinion but an empirical fact) Shake Shack > Five Guys > In-N-Out

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“Why should one section be taxed to construct a public improvement in another? ‘What interest has South Carolina in a canal in Ohio?’ And what if Ohio didn’t want it? Why should the national government decide such issues? The sovereignty of the individual states—their rights, their freedom—was being trampled.”

“‘What interest has South Carolina in a canal to the Ohio?’ The answer to that question expounds the whole diversity of sentiment between that gentleman and me… According to his doctrine, she has no interest in it. According to his doctrine, Ohio is one country, and South Carolina is another country… I, sir, take a different view of the whole matter. I look upon Ohio and South Carolina to be parts of one whole—parts of the same country—and that country is my country… I come here not to consider that I will do this for one distinct part of it, and that for another, but… to legislate for the whole.”

Robert A. Caro. Master of the Senate.