btrmt. | Betterment

ideologies you choose.




making or becoming better;



rituals of thought, feeling, and action;
the science of ideas;

btrmt. is about the ideologies you choose. We are saturated with these rituals of thought, feeling, and action. It's what brains do: map the predictable structure of the world to predictable patterns of thinking and behaving. They are protective—graceful solutions to an impossibly complex world. Yet, they leave us only half awake; following patterns laid for us, not by us. So, the analects are me exploring them. The manifesto details those I've chosen. And my other projects are what I do with them. Your turn.




Analects are a collection of ideas, extracts, or teachings. A funny kind of word that dresses up the sharing of ideologies in a facade of respectability. These are my analects. With a background in brain science and the sciences of mind, I explore how ideas become ideologies become action, for better or worse. Here, you'll find articles, video, and audio.



The human animal is “half awake. Our fires are damped, our rafts are checked… the human individual lives usually far within his limits”. The old stories we are told teach us that this is the best we can do, halt, lame, half-made creatures that we are. There is another story though. A story that has us waking up; embracing the unique capacity of the human mind. This is a manifesto that tells that story.



Marginalia is the word for the marks one makes in the margins of books and the like. These Marginalia are my daily notes on interesting content from around the web, or whatever I'm reading right now. A collection of links, quotes, and extracts, with my commentary alongside.



The Missives are the newsletter and the changelog: my notes to you so that you can keep track of what's happened since you were last here. Of course, you can get the newsletter in your inbox too, or get everything in the RSS feed.



Many of our existing ideologies are filtered through an economy of shame, outrage, yearning, and terror while what narratives of growth we have left are increasingly superficial. The scholastic enterprise has gone a bit funny too: a thousand proliferating disciplines, showering us with knowledge split into a million isolated fragments until "we know more and more about less and less". The curricula are my attempt to make something rather more useful. A collection of heuristics, or frames, through which we make some of the chaos into meaning while accepting that in doing so, we are choosing to make some meaning into chaos.


Latest Newsletter


February 15, 2023

New article on the careers of facts. Specifically how we consume education for entertainment, and how that manifests. Probably part of a two part series, since I cut a bunch from this one for length.

January 31, 2023

New article on how much of our knowledge seems to come from just the easiest measurements. Two examples close to my heart: brain science and therapy.

In other news, I added to the site a symbol I drew to explain the credenda to someone. I like it. Do you?

A bit more streamlining of the various projects and blurbs and whatnot in response to reader feedback. Should be easier to work out what's on the site, and what it's for.

Fixed some issues in the layout that have bothered me for a while. Also, all the images on the site are now way better. They look the same, but trust me, back here it's way better.

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