Hi, nice to meet you.
I'm Matt; a reader, writer, product manager and self-taught programmer. Broadly, I'm interested in complex systems, computing and communication.
The simplest way to reach me is email: matt@thisdomain. I use email for correspondence, not capture. Cold emails are welcome; I'm responsive by default and I operate by Crocker's Rules. I'm also reachable on on Warpcast, Twitter and a dynamic set of Discord servers and Slack groups.
Some insight into what I'm up to right now.
Advisory, consulting etc.
Sustained engagements focused on evolving challenges, emerging domains and evergreen issues. A typical arrangement consists of recurring video calls and ongoing asynchronous interactions over an extended period of time. Guises I assume include—but are not limited to—fractal PM, sparring partner, live rubber duck, friendly inquisitor and source of tangential artefacts and insight.
The Magnificent Seven
Begun in July 2020, The Magnificent Seven is my weekly newsletter of curated artefacts. It goes out every Sunday at 0700 GMT/BST and contains seven things that elicited a “Whoa!”, a “Wow!”, a “Huh?” or a “Hmmm” from me—mostly text-intensive items like books, articles, blog posts or essays; sometimes projects, graphics, ideas, excerpts, videos, songs, tools, artists, art, creators, software or hardware.
Motion-based approaches to computing and intelligence
Multiple years of producing Mag7 have taught me that indexing, distributing and publishing the interesting things one finds on the web is complicated. ______ is a tool designed to change that.
The Yak Collective
The Yak Collective "is an online space for collaborative tinkering ... a space where you can work with others on gardening your indie or weekends-and-evenings life in collaboration with others who share some of your priorities / interests." I'm mostly involved with the recurring governance studies group but it's not uncommon to find me weighing in on a Discord thread and enviously side-eyeing other YC activity tracks.
Swell and Cut
From August 2015 to September 2018 S&C was a daily blog about mastery, strategy and practical philosophy. Now, S&C is where I post infrequent miscellanea and publish the Status of the Wholes, my annual review-slash-roundup.
A selection of salient past activities and projects.
- Yak Governance Studies Sequence contributor (publishing, May-June 2023)
- Contributor to the tinker's tale within the Wanderverse (publishing, March 2023)
- Temporary Benevolent Dictator, YakCon (event, Jan. 2023)
- Contributor to a YC pop-up consulting project (consulting, Dec. 2022)
- Learned to Product Own (product, Aug. 2022)
- Intro'd myself to data science (computing, June-July 2022)
- Self-published Riven (publishing, June 2022)
- Learned about CLIs, IDEs and Git (computing, late 2021)
- Learned the fundamentals of computing (computing, late 2020-late 2021)
- Explored elements of product management (product, summer 2020)
- Contributed to Yak Talk (publishing, summer 2020)
- Learned to Scrum Master (product, July 2020)
- Self-published Ss (publishing, July 2020)
- Self-published Barker (publishing, May 2020)
- Provided freelance editorial services (consulting, 2017-2019)
- 2 x Ribbonfarm contributor (publishing, 2017-2018)
- Completed The Art of Longform (publishing, summer 2017)
- Produced six Paris-Review-style interviews (publishing, 2016-2017)
- Self-published Disconnected (publishing, Aug. 2016)
- Three years of daily blogging (publishing, 2015-2018)
- Past lives:
- Factory operative
- Movement coach
- Physical security response at festivals and events
- Waiter and bartender
- Mediocre student
- Okay athlete
Much of the goodness in my life has—and continues to—emerge from reading. Below are the highest rated books I've read recently.
Top Rated Books of 2022
All lists are based on the "Read" section of my 2022 annual review.
Top rated non-fiction, 2022
- Critical Systems Thinking and the Management of Complexity, Michael C. Jackson
- Theory of the Earth, Thomas Nail
- The Matter with Things Vol. 1, Iain McGilchrist
- Seeing That Frees, Rob Burbea
- Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud
- Working, Robert Caro
- The Figure of the Migrant, Thomas Nail
- Theory of the Image, Thomas Nail
- Ideas That Created the Future, Harry R. Lewis
- Product Management in Practice (2nd Ed.), Matt LeMay
- Theory of the Border, Thomas Nail
- The Living Mountain, Nan Shepherd
- Theory of the Object, Thomas Nail
Top rated fiction, 2022
- The Hydrogen Sonata (Culture X), Iain M. Banks
- Surface Detail (Culture IX), Iain M. Banks
- Seven Surrenders (Terra Ignota II), Ada Palmer
- Where the Crawdads Sings, Delia Owens
- Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota I), Ada Palmer
- Matter (Culture VIII), Iain M. Banks
- Perhaps the Stars (Terra Ignota IV), Ada Palmer
- My Brilliant Friend (Neapolitan Novels 1), Elena Ferrante
- Chronicles of the Black Company (Black Company 1-4), Glen Cook
- Harbinger of the Storm (Obsidian and Blood II), Aliette de Bodard
- Servant of the Underworld (Obsidian and Blood I), Aliette de Bodard
Honourable mentions, 2022
Top Rated Books of 2021 (April to December)
Both lists are based, in part, on the "Read" section of my 2021 annual review.
Top rated non-fiction, 2021
Top rated fiction, 2021
- The God is Not Willing, Steven Erikson
- Blood and Bone (A Novel of the Malazan Empire V), Ian C. Esslemont
- Orb, Sceptre, Throne (A Novel of the Malazan Empire IV), Ian C. Esslemont
- Assail (A Novel of the Malazan Empire VI), Ian C. Esslemont
- Stonewielder (A Novel of the Malazan Empire III), Ian C. Esslemont
- Look to Windward (Culture VII), Iain M. Banks
- Matter (Culture VIII), Iain M. Banks
- The Stand, Stephen King
- Assassin's Quest (The Farseer Trilogy III), Robin Hobb
- Gerta: A Novel, Katerina Tuckova
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