I write words and read words and say words


Is learning to drive a waste of money?, for The Economist's 1843 Magazine.

"Every culture has its coming-of-age rituals. In late 20th-century suburbia, a standard rite was learning to drive. Housebound teenagers would transform into free-range adults the moment they got their licence – at least, whenever Mum let them borrow the car."

How Game Theory Improves Dating Apps, for The Economist's 1843 Magazine.

"Traditional heterosexual dating apps have a fatal flaw: women get flooded with low-quality messages – at best vapid, at worst boorish – to the point where checking the inbox becomes an unappealing chore. Partly as a result, men see most of their messages ignored. Nobody is happy, but nobody can do anything about it. Well, none of the users, individually, can. But a new generation of dating apps impose limitations on daters that might liberate them."

Why Won’t This Inspirational Email Chain Letter Leave Me Alone?, for Nautilus.

"Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new ideas and inspiration, proclaims the chain letter. Though perhaps consoling, this assertion is a blatant, implausible lie. And I can prove it.

Neuroscience of Early-Life Learning in C. elegans, for The Scientist.

"We often describe phenomenology and then speculate about the underlying machinery, but research in C. elegans—and especially this particular group—have really taken it to a different level, describing behaviors in great mechanistic detail,” said Harvard neurobiologist Bence Ölveczky, who was not involved in the research.

Why your internet connection is slow wherever you are in Africa, for Quartz.

You might assume that if your favorite websites or videos take ages to load in Nairobi or Lagos, it’s because the local internet connection isn’t very good. But increasingly, you’d be wrong.