Chris Lakin

Me?

I write quick essays about ideas I find interesting.

Looking to work on important and neglected STEM problems in my life.
Currently targeting brain computer interfaces.

Presently studying mathematics at Carnegie Mellon.

Favorites

Deviate from what’s typical to win a winner-takes-all game.

Parroting: the only way to understand someone else with certainty.

Stoicism: This philosophy has done me a lot of good, so I’d like to share it.

Increase idea quality with Idea Sex.

A mental model for building meaningful relationships.

How to determine whether someone is open-minded with one test.

How do you find people you’ll like? Be polarizing.

Email list

I’ll send a short update once or twice a month to update you on any new essays I’ve posted. If you subscribe, make sure you receive a confirmation email.

Essays

Sorted by date last posted or revised. Newer ≠ better.

New: Much of expertise is pattern recognition. How do we teach that?

New: Fulfillment ≠ Pleasure.

Ask questions even when the idea seems preposterous. | Unscientific

How to determine whether someone is open-minded with one test.

Parroting: the only way to understand someone else with certainty.

Deviate from what’s typical to win a winner-takes-all game.

In life we’re not necessarily optimizing for truth—we’re optimizing for value. And the most useful things aren’t always completely true.

The purpose of food is to nourish!

A mental model for building meaningful relationships.

By the way, there’s a real chance of human extinction in the next few centuries.

What if we are the only life in the universe?

The difference between ‘Thinking Forwards’ and ‘Thinking Backwards’.

Deliberately inject randomness into your decisions.

Stoicism: This philosophy has done me a lot of good, so I’d like to share it.

Choosing a career path.

Does ‘intelligence responsibility’ exist?

We’re biased towards explanations, and away from randomness: Apophenia.

Focus on learning what’s possible, not specific procedures.

If you’re going to have an ego, at least make it meta.

You should prioritize Output activities — and beware an overcrowding of Input activities.

How do you find people you’ll like? Be polarizing.

Increase idea quality with Idea Sex.

Why I wear orange glasses: sleep and Stoicism.

How blocking blue light affects sleep.

Corner of less important essays.

Projects

How to Tame a Chipmunk (2020)

My (wild) chipmunk pal, Stripes.

No Use Crying Over Mixed Milk (2020)

An actually good conceptual explanation of entropy (video).

Open Ideas List (2020+)

Open source list of ideas. Supposed to be crazy. Meant to help inspire other good ideas.

This Website (2020+)

Pittsburgh Electric Bus Proposal (2020+)

I wanted Pittsburgh Port Authority to purchase more electric buses (electric buses have a few advantages), so I proposed a practical strategy that they can use to finance future purchases. Unless you’re looking at my website as a resume, this will be boring to you.