Luis Thiam-Nye

with a silent 's'

The most satisfying thing to me is building something and seeing it work. Growing up in a world of computers, I developed a strong interest in computers and technology. Computers provide powerful platforms that, through the power of software, allow you to turn imagination into some form of reality.

In particular, I enjoy creating systems and software to make processes more efficient. Since time is finite, it only makes sense to constantly be asking "how could this be made better?" (That is as long as you optimise the right things and solve the right problems.)

Current Status

  • Hobby: Software development mainly in Clojure
  • Occupation: Undergraduate student of Engineering at the University of Cambridge
  • Location: UK
  • Interests: programming; space technology; tunnels as a method of transport; blockchain & cryptocurrency; decentralised systems of governance; freedom; sane user interfaces; information management; collective intelligence; effective learning techniques; spaced repetition systems; Right to Repair; certain inspirational pieces of digial art; random other things.
  • Diet: plant-based; no added sugars; ideally avoid additives/sweeteners; alcohol-free.

What I think

I like to think about a wide diversity of things, such as (1) how the world is a flaming dystopian car crash and (2) what can be done to fix that.

In order to improve the state of the world, we need a good environment to support the generation and cross-pollination of ideas. That suggests the need for tools for collaboration and the augmentation of human intelligence.

While we have seen major advances in what is technologically possible, the tools are behind where they should be. Douglas Engelbart is evidence of the world that could have been, and unfortunately his ideas have not been taken to their full potential. However, there is hope: Roam Research could be the future of collective knowledge and reasoning, as long as people begin to reject mediocre tools that create more problems than they solve.

Furthermore, what in the name of 🦆 is going on with the web? It's not even funny anymore. The HTML/JavaScript stack is SLOW and a nightmare to work with!

Anyone in their sane mind would make efforts to transition to a language that has not been tugged up from the depths of Satan's lair. But no. Instead, there has been a trend towards the usage of web technology (which is evident when so many apps run on Electron.js and React Native nowadays).

Optimisation is useless — only unless you are optimising the right things. In my view, Google V8 and React etc. are impressive creations, but they are solving the wrong problems; a better version of Javascript can only take us so far. What we desparately need is a radically different alternative technology that comes from a world that makes sense — a world that obeys reasonable expectations.

Yes, I understand that HTML/JavaScript has the wonderful property of being portable between platforms. While it is good that something like that exists, the thought that HTML/JS is the best solution for cross-platform user interfaces is a depressing thought. There must be better ways.

Speaking of better ways, I absolutely love the Clojure programming language and the philosophies of Rich Hickey. Why would anyone want anything but a LISP dialect that emphasises immutability and a highly interactive development workflow? Haskell also catches my interest, but if I need a low-level language then Rust is my choice (although Carp, a LISP dialect without a GC, could be a promising alternative to Rust or C).

If necessary, you can contact me via email here.

Last updated: 2021-12-19

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