Now pages are more stable than a Twitter feed and less permanent than the about page. Life updates on a monthly rather than daily or hourly cadence.


After finishing a ton of books this month, I'm beginning to write again. That's all I need to say about that!


Along with writing, I'm also trying to do a page of drawing every day. I'm following the Draw A Box course too.

Tampa Bay FCG

I have been spending some of my weekend time hanging out at FGC (fighting game community) events all around the Tampa Bay area. I am trying to get my Street Fighter 6 game up to a competitve level. It's so fascinating to learn and the people in the community are very friendly.


I'm still working at Engage fi and I really like it there. I'm the system admin of the tool we use called Smartsheet. I get to interact with people all across the company to build tools and get the right data to the right places.

London flipped from sweltering summer back to drizzling grey yesterday. Autumn was overdue. Summer was a little too manic for my taste anyway. I spent a bunch of time in Maine, New York, and San Fransisco. A mix of long back porch hangouts with family, collaborator coffees, and in-person problem-solving with the Ought team.

But the Ought team are no longer the Ought team. We've changed names! And whole companies come to think of it. Ought as a legal entity was a non-profit research lab. But we found it difficult to get enough funding from the charitable space to hire people and grow 

Elicit, our primary product. Our founders decided to pull the same move as OpenAI and Anthropic and flipped to become a VC-backed startup. The new company is just called Elicit. We raised a seed round and rebuilt the product.

We're slowly moving our 200,000 active users over to the new beta version. We shipped it while we're still deeply embarrassed by it. It has a thousand big and small UX cuts that fill me with sadness. Every morning I get on and hack away at them, trusting at some point it will feel beautiful to use.

My work on Elicit and explorations of 

Language Model interfaces have compounded into some strong opinions. I gathered some of them into a new talk called Squish Meets Structure. I did one round of it for Smashing Meets AI, and then drastically improved it for Smashing Conference in Freiburg, Germany a few weeks ago.

I'm headed to 

Web Directions in Sydney, Australia and FFConf in Brighton later this year to present my slightly more macabre talk on the Expanding Dark Forest and Generative AI. Expect to be all talked out after that.

Currently taking in writing advice from men named Ste(v/ph)en. Working through Steven Pinker's “

The Sense of Style” and Stephen King's “On Writing” – both excellent. The former for grounded advice on non-fiction communication, the latter for an extraordinary account of persistently writing through double-shift minimum wage jobs and a raging alcohol and drug problem.

Spent the summer discovering how much I love dresses and 

jumpsuits with deep pockets. Found some of my favourites from BodenRo&ZoWhistles, and Thought.

I've realised I spent the last decade avoiding femme clothing, aesthetics, and mannerisms in an attempt to be taken more seriously in the all-male spaces I hang out in. Spaces where I am routinely treated like a small, insignificant girl, ignored, and spoken over. Feels pretty freeing to give fewer shits and permanently live in dresses. They'll ignore me either way.

The last six months have felt like a disorientating blur. While bouncing between overseas trips, writing conference talks, organising events, and keeping up with work, I ended a long-term relationship and moved across London. My writing took a hit – I haven't published much this year. I feel like I'm still trying to figure out what to do when I get up every morning.

Having everything thrown out of whack is pretty useful. You figure out how resilient your systems are. You learn what you have committed to muscle memory and what you rely on cues from your environment to do.

I was also reminded how much I value my extended friend network in London (and the rest of Europe). My social groups here often feel like concentric overlapping circles – I can't neatly distinguish them. Which feels right; like a small village where everyone knows everyone. My philosophy friends show up at the 

Future of Coding meetups I run. My Twitter friends appear at dinners with my more woo creative people. It's difficult to beat the sheer density of curious, friendly, ambitious people in a big city like London. It is more than worth the price of rent IMHO.

It doesn't help that everything in the world of language models and generative AI has been moving at warp speed this year. I'm reading notes I took back in October of 2022 on GPT-3 and truthfulness, and it feels like we're in a completely different world now. The benchmarks are out of date. The prompting techniques are more sophisticated. The real-world use cases have proliferated.

I keep wanting to throw my hat into the discourse ring – I certainly have formed opinions at this point! But there's so much noise it's difficult to determine if you're adding any signal. I'm being cautious about it. Being a careful thinker feels like a rare quality at this point; I still aspire to it.

Some good reads as of late:

It's a weird week. Twitter is (possibly) entering a slow death march and much of my community is reluctantly slouching over to Mastodon. I've started cross-posting there as well: The Elon-escapades only drive home how important it is to own and control the platform you're publishing to. Which means writing on your own website first and cross-posting to external platforms. The IndieWeb community has a catchy acronym for this: POSSE. Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere.

I still don't have a Twitter-like stream setup on this site, but I'm working on it. Tools like 

WebMentions and Bridgy are going to do a lot of the heavy lifting. I'm having trouble finding many tutorials or guides on how to do it though – perhaps another case of writing the piece you want to read.

I've been working at 

Ought since late August. The London ↔ SF time difference is a bit crap, but I can't say enough good things about my fellow Oughters 🦦. It's rare and special to work alongside such thoughtful and ambitious people. We're in the middle of designing and prototyping some wildly different interfaces for Elicit, our AI research assistant and Ought's main product. Users say they love the current version, but we know it could be so much better.

In other news, I bought a cheap, used laser printer and it's drastically improved my reading experience for long articles and PDFs. Can't recommend it enough. There are plenty going for £30-40 on eBay and you'll finally read all those 5000-word blog posts you have bookmarked.

I've finally gotten back into a good writing cadence. I recently published 

Programming Portals and Command K Bars. Now I'm slowly chipping away at Tools for Thought as Cultural Practices, Not Computational Objects. I've been writing it forever, but that's kind of the point of gardening in public. You post up loose skeletons of ideas and flesh them out over time. Nothing forces you to write like knowing people are reading your half-baked version.