Pony Is Not A Well-designed Programming Language

Pony's design goals are commendable, but its author does not sufficiently care about simplicity, or does not know how to achieve it. Example line from https »

About Steve Phillips

Steve Phillips describes himself as an ultra-ambitious programmer, entrepreneur, philosopher, humanist, and cypherpunk. In 2019 he was featured in Wired magazine journalist Clive Thompson's book Coders »

Revolutionizing Programming May Require Rethinking Functions

I just did a quick semi-deep dive into learning assembly! Why? Because revolutionizing computer programming is a high priority for me, and I no longer trust »

Bruce Perens Hates Ethical Software

Open source pioneer Bruce Perens has written a close-minded, condescending, fallacy-laden blog post defending something that is not even under attack, namely the definition of open »

Noisebridge CryptoParty Workshop for Activists & Other Non-geeks!

Slides: https://tryingtobeawesome.com/files/cryptoparty-nb-aug2019/ Virtual handout of recommended privacy tools: https://tryingtobeawesome.com/files/tools.pdf »

Policy Ideas

Policies that I believe would make the US a dramatically better place: Tax some substantial fraction (~20%?) of the money companies save outsourcing jobs and use »

Secure Tool Comparison: Signal v. Wire

TL;DR: Wire doesn't make you use your phone number as your identifier, which is huge IMO. But Signal has the best security track record and »

Supplements I Recommend

Since some people have recently asked, the supplements I recommend to everyone (at least give them a try!) and that I take every day are: Lecithin »


Here are some techniques for discovering your values: Ask yourself (and write your answer) -- who are the greatest people who have ever lived, and why »

Future of Text

Dear Frode and company, What am I working on? I am building Effective.af (code): secure task management software with a bevy of unique features, designed »


I consider the following statements and achievements awe-inspiring, and I hope you do, too! Voyager In 1977, Jimmy Carter wrote the following statement, which hitched a »

Server Benchmarks: Comparing DigitalOcean and Scaleway

Scaleway's servers are half the price of DigitalOcean's... but is it worth it? Let's find out. DigitalOcean's 2GB RAM instances ($5/month): $ cryptsetup benchmark # Tests are »

Configuring Checkup for Server Status Checks

Here is a super-fast way to get started with Checkup, which provides "[d]istributed, lock-free, self-hosted health checks and status pages". Checkup is pretty great, but »

Effective.af Talk for 5MoF @ Noisebridge

On 2018.11.15 I gave a talk at Noisebridge's 5 Minutes of Fame (5MoF)! Here are my slides: https://r1it4g6we08inkj4ynop.oasis.sandstorm.io/index.html »

Effective.af talk at Aaron Swartz Day 2018

My slides: https://zgv2t96qauu2agbgexs6.oasis.sandstorm.io/index.html?transition=none#/ I will post the video when it's up! »

More About Me: My Recent AMA

Here's a rather extensive AMA/Q&A session I did for the CodeBuddies.org community last year, in which I go quite deep: https://medium »


Email: steve@tryingtobeawesome.com PGP key $ curl https://tryingtobeawesome.com/files/steve.pub | gpg --import ...or $ gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys 0x7295C51C3F8AA1E2 ...or, since pgp »

Pursuance Talk for Code for San Francisco

Here they are! https://tryingtobeawesome.com/files/slides/pursuance-c4sf/index.html?transition=none#/ »

RIOTcon 2018 Talk: The History of Pursuance

In January 2018 I gave a talk at RIOTcon about -- you guessed it -- Pursuance. Here are my slides. »


My criteria when deciding to work on a project: Long-term: I must be not just willing, but excited to spend 10+ years of my life on »


How to Decide What to Work On You should pursue a project if and only if it: Maximizes your values Is valuable to the world Is »


Mine The End State Here's where we need to get to as a species: I want every person in the world to be doing exactly what »

Slides from my CCC Talk

Slides from my Pursuance talk given at 34C3 on December 30, 2017 in Germany: https://2bxc6ctt7hly0milf5fo.oasis.sandstorm.io/index.html?transition=none#/ »

The Human Colossus

An excerpt from the brilliant https://waitbutwhy.com/2017/04/neuralink.html -- If an individual human’s core motivation is to pass its genes on »

Slides from Latest Surveillance Self-defense Workshop

My good friend AJ Bahnken and I hosted a CryptoParty/surveillance self-defense workshop/security training in December of 2017. Here are our slides: My slides: https »