Living with curiosity

This, to me, is what living with curiosity is about. It’s having viewpoints and the humility to evolve them. It’s recognizing that differences aren’t scary things to shy away from or isolate behind a wall made of stone or silence: they are often opportunities to learn and stretch and experience the world more fully.

Categorize with intention

Construct with meaning As a data analyst, I am often in the position of taking a big group and dis-aggregating that group into a small number of categories. It may sound simple enough, but over time I’ve learned that the art of categorization is mired with missteps indeed. For instance, race and gender are constructs:Continue reading “Categorize with intention”

Hypothetical functions of humanity

If qualities were functions of math… ability to recognize humanity = f(observation, empathy, communication) getting shit done = f(think + observe, try + learn, repeat better) psychological safety = f(context, trust, consistency) frustration = inverse of being ambitious and striving to fulfill potential = negative distance between expectations and reality trust and honesty = distanceContinue reading “Hypothetical functions of humanity”

Does not compute

Humans > Computers An index is an outsourced list of information pointing to what you actually want to know. For instance, the index of a book. Compression of data is when you have such a high volume of information to remember that you resort to outsourcing… such as to an index. Processing power is theContinue reading “Does not compute”


The following is an op-ed I wrote and pitched to the Chicago Tribune in advance of the November 3, 2020 general election in Illinois. I’d been phonebanking with ONE Northside Chicago and had had two particularly invigorating discussions with folks I identified with: “independent voters” who wondered why there was so much battling about theContinue reading “fair-tax-oped”

Data doesn’t drive

When I started my professional career in 2011, “data driven” was a hot concept. I was young and impressionable and found myself eagerly using the phrase. I was going 100mph down Data Driven Highway, singing at the top of my lungs with no end in sight. In hindsight, it’s hilariously sad that I missed the warning signs and huge crashes on the side of the road.