Here are some projects I’m working on, or that I’ve worked on in the past.


The Big List of Uber’s Controversies

A database that tracks controversies and scandals the ride-hailing company Uber has had, making the point that Uber’s problems go far beyond its management and culture.

Uber's problems go far beyond its management and culture. Illustration by Heske van Doornen.

Illustration by Heske van Doornen.

Data visualization and tools

I make data visualizations and tools. You can see my work on Tableau, Plotly, and Cartodb. I am also learning R to get better at statistical analysis and to make visualizations. A few examples that I’m proud of are:

  • a visualization on how black unemployment is tied to white unemployment;
  • a choropleth showing how progressive policies correlate with union representation, using a hexagon tile grid map (also below);
  • a calculator showing when the wealthy stop paying into Social Security; and
  • a critique of common definitions of “middle class” and “middle income.”

Union Representation and Higher Minimum Wages

Blog

I blog at The Shearing, with some other people, mainly writing about politics and other social issues.

Anti-austerity advocacy campaign

I co-founded an anti-austerity advocacy campaign that fought against the austerity fad in the early 2010s, which was led in large part by organizations financed by billionaire Pete Peterson. We had some important and meaningful victories against those organizations before they were defeated (for the time being). It’s now semi-dormant.

Recently, I discovered that one of those organizations — The Can Kicks Back, which used affinity fraud to try to make young people think austerity and cutting Social Security was “cool” — let their domain name expire, so I had a little fun: thecankicksback.org.

The Can Kicks Back's new website!

The Can Kicks Back’s new website!

Other/miscellaneous

Bikes

I like to ride and work on bicycles. I think after walking and public transportation, they are a good and democratic and equitable way to get around. I have accumulated a few bikes, but my favorite right now is a 1984 Ross Mt. Whitney that I got from a friend and completely restored. It was one of the first production mountain bikes. I currently use it to ride around the city.

Computers

I’ve built a few computers, and up until recently, I’ve been using a laptop that I originally built in 2006 (it is approaching the Ship of Theseus paradox). In spring of 2015, I built my first computer since then. I now use the laptop as a backup, for traveling, and for experimenting with Linux (Xubuntu).

Bets

I have a couple of current just-for-fun bets with people.

  • Will the 10-Year Nominal Treasury Note Rate be above 3.00 percent by December 31, 2016?
    • My position: No. (Made 2014)
    • It was 2.45 percent on the last open day of the year, December 30, 2016.
  • Will any country completely ban the ownership of pet cats by June 14, 2023? My position:
    • No. (Made June 14, 2013)
  • Will the bubble in Silicon Valley deflate before 2020?
    • My position: Yes. (Made 2013)
  • Will Uber collapse or substantially change its business model in the next decade?
    • My position: Yes. (Made 2013)