Hi, I’m Thomas.
I write to make sense of the world, and to spread this sense with others.
I like pull-ups, making up my own lyrics to popular songs, and talking to people with unusual worldviews.
Some things about me
I’m a Third Culture kid, but despite growing up in several countries, I managed to retain the Britishness of my parents.
I graduated from University College London in 2019. I studied natural sciences: In my case, a mix of physics, geophysics, and applied mathematics.
I currently work at Wren.co. I also work with the Yak Collective. Sometimes I do independent consulting too. In my spare time I’m reading, writing, and learning about how to decide things when you don’t know what will happen next.
I also write Between the cracks. It was intended to be a newsletter about ideas I’ve found which are either surprisingly general, or generally surprising. At the moment, it’s really more of a personal take on ideas I’m kicking around.
I’m currently based in Vancouver, Canada. Contact me if you are around and fancy a coffee!
My favourite posts
- Life, School, and the 80:20 Rule: School compresses the ups and downs of life into nice linear sequences. It gives the illusion of progress. But real learning is nonlinear.
- The economics of OnlyFans: OnlyFans is a billion-dollar company, but most creators lose money. Why?
- Minimum Viable Novelty: In uncertain times we crave order, and in the lockdown we have to impose it upon ourselves. Our routines need minimum viable novelty so we don’t go insane.
- Why does maths work?: A summary of Hamming’s The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics
- Wait Attentively: Why waiting for groups of friends is like an infinite series.
- Benford’s Law Basics: In which I finally understand Benford’s Law.
- 2020 Review: Just over a year of writing online. It’s surprising how much I learned.
Some things I’d like to see in the world
If you want to discuss any of these, please let me know!
- A scaled solution to the Two-Sigma problem
- Something between The Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, and Aristotle as a live-in personal tutor
- Widespread nuclear power (especially nuclear powered container ships — did you know the biggest 15 ships emit as much pollution as all the world’s cars?)
- A company that absolutely nails moving. When you have to move you should be able to push a button, and all the paperwork, finding a house, finding schools, opening a bank account, is done for you.
- Voluntary Imprisonment as a service — a solution to the “flying productivity paradox”.
- People tend to be extremely productive on airplanes. This is in part because there is a lack of stimulation: no internet, limited room to move around, only sub-mediocre entertainment which is decided by committee, not tailored to your interests.
About this blog
I’m just trying to figure stuff out.
You can find out more about what I was thinking when I started it here.
I hope you find it useful!
It’s short, and I already owned it. Plus, excess-are-us is easy to say and remember. If you can think of any other good reasons for XSRUS, or anything it could stand for, let me know.