Nate Meyvis


A note on unit testing (or, writing to your tools)

Let’s say you like (not just testing but) unit testing. I do, and I think you should, but that’s a separate argument–for now. And let’s say you see a test like this: def test_only_foo_is_green(self): self.assertEqual(, self.filter_by_color(Color.GREEN)) This test is really two tests: you’re testing both that all the foos are green and that all the […]

Dana Gioia and unasked questions

Last week’s EconTalk featured Dana Gioia. He discussed what I have long considered one of the largest and most important trends in American life, although basically nobody ever talks about it: What has happened to poetry? My friends are pretty bookish, and they approximately never read poetry (or, at least, I take that to be […]

Reconcilable Differences #147: Pan-Pan!

Link. I had misunderstood RecDiffs. I’d taken it to be, very roughly, a Seinfeld descendent with lots of politics translated to longform podcasting. My new theory: RecDiffs is an extended meditation on the art and craft of living. It is a series of case studies in enhancing one’s conceptual framework in order to make life […]

Bluff, Jane Stanton Hitchcock

The book as discussed on Thinking Poker #330. A delightful plot; nobody will be surprised it won the Hammett Prize. Unapologetically middlebrow and intelligent throughout.

Accidental Tech #413: Suddenly I’m the Marco

Link. A characteristically professional effort, but it doesn’t stand out from the crowd of ATP episodes unless you have a particular interest in high-end monitors or computer speakers.

Mac Power Users #959 (Contextual Computing)

Link. A good show at its best. This might be life-changing for me. Even if it’s not, it will probably eventually allow me to invest a couple hours to save many more. So, if you use a Mac and are not fully confident in your automation / deep-linking / etc. setup, I’d recommend this.

Invest Like the Best 2020-12-15: Sam Hinkie

Link. I listened to this one on Patrick McKenzie‘s recommendation and it did not disappoint. Tyler Cowen has convinced me that recognizing and developing talent is a centrally important (and under-studied) subject. This episode covers that and much more. (Including a great James Harden story.)

EconTalk 2020-12-28: Michael Blastland

Link. A very Russ Roberts guest discusses how much of what happens is knowable, with “knowable” here meaning something like “predictable or explicable in light of all the fundamental things we could learn about that could be causing it.” Lots of great examples here. Well worth a listen.

Self-Portrait in Black and White, Thomas Chatterton Williams

Worth reading both as a memoir and as an argument. Williams is a strong intellect and also a strong prose stylist. The occasional sentence falls flat, but overall the mechanical quality of the book is excellent. I’m not the one to judge Williams’ central thesis: that we’d be better off attempting to transcend (or perhaps […]

The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen, Jacques P├ępin

This is a very rich book; the first 2/3 is the best. (When I was reading the last third, I couldn’t shake the feeling that his publicist had written it.) This is high-information-density (and high-entertainment-value) material about culture, especially French culture; management; the New York City of our collective imagination and as it used to […]