Recently, I’ve taken to introducing myself as a writer. Occasionally, I receive a response along the lines of: “But aren’t you the person teaching the TensorFlow class?” or “But didn’t I see you in that CS class?” and I was always confused: “Why should being a writer stop me from being interested in CS?”
This morning, I went for brunch with a bunch of people I didn’t know. A man in his fifties, after hearing that I’m a writer, asked: “How are you supporting yourself financially?” Continue reading “[Day 803] How do writers make money?”
Sophia the robot visited Vietnam today and VnExpress asked me to write an op-ed about what it means to be human. In the article, I mentioned the program that Andrej Karpathy wrote that generated Shakespeare-sounding text.
I didn’t think much of it until my editor texted me: “Is Andrej Karpathy human?”
I was like: “I guess.”
She was disappointed and took that example out of my article.
Some of the cool things that happened today:
- Jeff Dean high-fived me! I was having a drink with Brennan Saeta at the TensorFlow after-party when I looked up and realized that standing right next to me was Jeff Dean. “OMG that’s Jeff Dean,” I said, slightly freaking out. “I’m just going to act casual. No big deal.” Brennan laughed: “Would you like to say hi to him?” “Maaaybe.” So Brennan introduced me to Jeff and Jeff thought that teaching a TensorFlow class was cool.
- I guess my *new* best friend just got on the cover of Nature. Brett Kuprel was featured on the cover of Nature before he turned 25. PhD students these days (shaking head).
Continue reading “[Day 282] The pressure of impressing new people”
Last summer, I worked under Richard Stebbing and he is kinda a genius. I googled him the other day and found out that he finished his undergrad engineering degree in 3 years with straight A-plus. He then became a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, finishing his PhD also in 3 years. Every time I see him code, I’m like: “Wow, you can do that?” When he wasn’t blowing me away with his coding skills, he made a sport out of making fun of me.
Continue reading “[Day 136] Meet Richard Stebbing–my unbelievable boss”
The stoner: the guy who just hit a bong and reeks of liberalism and is probably on the wrong train.
The Oprah: the person who always runs into one friend or another on the train and decides that it’s the perfect time for a deep, soul searching, and revealing conversation.
The novice DJ: that one guy who doesn’t exactly have a refined taste in music but likes to play his music really loud from his phone’s speaker.
Continue reading “[Day 89] 10 people you meet riding BART in the Bay Area”
Living a non-driving adult life in the Bay Area means that I will have to Uber a lot. On an average day, I take two Uber trips, and on days when I go out, I’d easily make 5 or 6 trips. In San Francisco, Uber has “UberPool” in which you share an Uber with random strangers. I always feel slightly excited whenever I take an UberPool because you never know who you are going to meet.
As my friend Tucker put it, UberPool is like a chatroulette on the go. With San Francisco being the heart of all kinds of ideologies, movements, tech, arts, expressions and the home of all kinds of people: startup founders, software engineers, activists, artists, chefs, new age bums, hipsters, nouveau riche, old rich, you never know who you are going to meet.
Continue reading “[Day 72] San Francisco’s Chatroulette on the Go”
So guys, I’m back in the Bay Area, and here are some updates about my life at the moment.
I work in San Francisco, room in Berkeley, party like it’s 1920s because it was the Prohibition period and I don’t drink.
I live in a beautiful house on top of a hill, overlooking the bay and several of its bridges. My three roommates are all competitive chess players–they became grandmasters in their early teens and naturally all they ever talk about is chess. They refer to me as their “non chess player friend” in the same loving manner the Malfoys do when they talk about the Muggles.
Continue reading “[Day 66] Living that Bae Life”
Disclaimer: I live in Palo Alto and even though I make frequent trips to San Francisco, San Jose, Berkeley, and the surrounding cities, a lot of things I mention below might only apply to Palo Alto.
It’s always fascinating for me to get out of Silicon Valley. I have been there for so long that I have almost forgotten how ridiculous it must be like to people outside the bubble. Even though both London and Silicon Valley are multiracial, they are like two different worlds.
Continue reading “[Day 32] London vs Silicon Valley”
Today, I had dinner with a really nice guy. Like two adults, we talked about our life goals. There were 6 things I was looking for–yes, I made a list, had it printed out and tucked away in my phone case. But when he asked, I told him only two. I wanted to be healthy and I wanted to make it as a writer and that was all. The other four, I couldn’t tell him. The truth is I hadn’t been able to tell anyone. There is something about admitting to what you want that makes you feel so vulnerable. Isn’t the more you want, the weaker you get? Would people make fun of me, the oh so needy and desperate?
Continue reading “[Day 19] Why are we such cowards?”