Josh Thompson     about     blog     projects

I pursue ease, joy, and meaningfulness. Sometimes successfully.

I have been called by both supporters and detractors various flavors of “an epistemic trespasser”, and I’m generally guilty as charged.

Here’s how some of my professional/personal interests translate into something legible to others. They’re not sorted in any particular order, despite using an <ol>

  1. I write on Substack about that distinctively American regime of interlocking land use norms + mobility network norms. Currently enumerating but a few of the many ways that american laws around land use and mobility networks were created by eugenicists explicitely and effectively to accomplish ethnic cleansing 👉
  2. I document on Tiktok various aspects of the mobility networks I encounter, conducting harm reduction where possible. There’s drone videos, 360 degree camera + scooting footage, and more, from places in America, Canada, Asia, and more.
  3. improving the performance of Ruby/Rails web applications. Productized consulting around simply making one’s Ruby/Rails test suite run 20-80% faster, locally and/or on one’s CI provider of choice.
  4. helping a given software person become a more-experienced and confident software person. I’ve got some stuff happening at
  5. I’ve ‘travelled a lot’, and in some mildly distinctive, unusual ways. I’ve read a lot, met many people over the years, been shaped by it, personally and professionally, and there’s plenty in the cognitive hopper, as a result.
  6. As of a few years ago, my primary vehicle became a 170cc gasoline-powered motorscooter, and it’s ruined me in the best way possible. I ride it all around Denver, of course, but also america, and ride scooters most places I go. Here’s data for a 24-hour layover/scoot-around Taipei, for example. If you’ve had some of the same experiences I’ve had, on a scooter, you might agree with me that scooters are incredibly efficient, rather under-appreciated vehicles. Their cargo capacity can be stunning, they are twice as gas-efficient as a motorcycle, let alone a four-wheeled vehicle. Because they’re so surprisingly agile and small, a variety of interesting path-finding options emerge for the user. If you ‘care about the environment’, you might be interested in considering that their emissions is at least less than 1/20th of a four-wheeled vehicle (tailpipe emissions, noise pollution, brake dust, tire rubber microplastics) and they consume less than a 10th of the space of a traditional four-wheeled vehicle, both when parked and in use. Their lightness (300 lbs) and tiny dimensions/low-center-of-gravity also allows a number of infrastructure innovations that unlocks ingeneous use of space in other ways. I contend they’re also quite easy/fast/comfortable/restful to use, compared to both bikes/e-bikes, and cars. tl;dr, consider test-riding a scooter, taking a motorcycle riders training course (optional but wise) and inching in that direction. 🤷‍♂️

As you could guess, this list represents a smattering of the ebb and flow of energy and focus, across several years.