trees grow from seeds. easy to say but how does that work? how the hell does a pine cone construct that indomitable giant, Sequoia sempervirens?

abstraction is fundamental to the way our brains process information but it pastes opaque symbols over the wonderful complexity of our world

help! all my friends are strange loops

Hey! My name is Sid. I work on symbolic computation and artificial life, with the goal of building artificial general intelligence. I studied math at UCLA and now I live in San Francisco. Feel free to contact me at or on twitter.

Sometimes I write essays at



From the hydrogen-red wombs of spiral galaxies like our own to the inner orbits of dying, distant Betelgeuse, the chains of physical law hold fast. The parabolic contours of the smooth surface that dominates the central portion of this ancient automaton still, over eons of dormancy and kiloparsecs of travel, assert their singular, universal, electromagnetic purpose…

We will not have a chance to escape when our societal organizations are deterministic (e.g. government on the blockchain), or worse, superintelligent.


You are taking advice from someone who spent more than three thousand hours studying a complex language spoken on a distant volcanic archipelago in order to watch cartoons more effectively.


I believe that artificial neural networks are profoundly lacking as a substrate for artificial general intelligence (AGI), in ways that scale and architecture cannot fix.


By employing a few dumb tricks, a computer with super-Turing capabilities could prove almost any theorem over the natural numbers, including many that have stumped the best of us for centuries.

Favorite books

mainly sci-fi, science nonfiction, fantasy, manga