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Samson Zhang
Builder and learner. samsonzhang.com
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan https://apnews.com/article/bc8b3670f9284186ac9a2699566b9baf/gallery/media:6ca4c6d1ac81433191989939b4131e03

The purpose of journalism is to disseminate a rigorously objective documentation of what happens in the world, without inserting the journalists’ or any institution’s biases, leaving the reader to form their opinion on the events about which they are reading.

This is the thesis I wholeheartedly believed, and enforced, as an Executive Editor of The Phillipian a year ago. In the newsroom, we called out every instance of possible editorialization: in phrasing, interview selection, what have you. Objectivity was the principle we operated by. Reporting on politics and international affairs are more complicated than reporting on the happenings of a…


Edyfi is a house of young techies with shared traits of curiosity, bias towards action, and “recursive self-improvement.” These values are par for the course in tech: they signify a culture of constant learning, making, and growth. To not do one of these things — not be pushing yourself into new knowledge, pumping out new things into the world, or pursuing more and more ambitious personal goals — is to stagnate. By another name, this is the hustle culture that any ambitious student, entrepreneur, or professional knows well.

Done right, hustle culture creates amazing results. It brought the fourteen of…


A week ago, I had an amazing conversation with Brennan and a few others at Edyfi. You know the type: it went on for hours, flowing powerfully from Taleb’s essays about black swans, to startup and literary pursuits, to powerful revelations on culture and motivation. It could have gone on for hours more if not cut off by the late hour.

It was only the third day we were at the house. As the conversation closed, we expressed our excitement for many more revelatory conversations like it. …


The CEO of a startup I worked for as a Product Manager asked me for one last contribution in the last week of my job: a write-up on how to make the team a high-performance one.

For privacy’s sake I won’t get too much into the specifics of this company’s situation, but the gist of it is that they’re a SaaS company that’s been around for several years, dominated their market, and growing steadily, but not innovating. …


Lately, I’ve been writing quite prolifically. I’ve published sixteen blog posts in the last 28 days, with content ranging from personal essays, to frameworks for productivity, culture, creativity, and innovation, to project logs, to book notes.

How much readership do I get? Google Analytics says about a hundred views across the site per week, so basically non-existant. I don’t write for readership, though. I write for myself, and I would go crazy if I stopped.

All of us are constantly absorbing huge amounts of knowledge and insights (i.e. ideas/information and the connections between them) through the content we consume, the…


Saturday was an awfully unproductive day for me. After a long meeting in the morning, I ate and watched YouTube until mid-afternoon, then read for two hours, ate dinner, played Chess, played poker, and speedran a video game until 1 AM. There are three main buckets I want to advance in: building Updately, doing physics research, and creating content, and on Saturday I made progress on exactly none of those.

At first, I felt as awful about the day as you would think. Days, weeks, months, seasons, three months at this community house, eight months left of my gap year…


Photo by Johnny Silvercloud

“Being black should not influence a political view,” reads one prompt in Jubilee’s “Black Liberals vs Black Conservatives” video.

All three conservatives step forward in agreement. “Being Black should not influence how you think politically,” says one of them. “What’s good for us as Black folks should be the same as what’s good for everybody else.”

“I vote based on the issues I care about, and the issues that I care about stem from my personal experiences as someone who was raised in a conservative household,” says another.

“Do you ever vote your religious beliefs?” the third questions him.

“Yes,”…


Playing on an average electric keyboard is like trying to see through thick fog on a rainy day. Nothing feels right and you can’t see ten feet in front of you. Playing an upright piano is like racing in an old sedan. It’ll get you from point A to point B no problem, but your performance is definitely limited. Playing a good grand piano is like going to Central Park on a sunny day, with huge lawns under the sky to dance around in and a backdrop of sky scraping glass and metal structures on all sides.

How would a…


There are a lot of little decisions that we make in life; some that may seem insignificant, but that might determine the next few days of your life, and others that might seem important, but ultimately you may find that you’ve wasted your time and effort on making a meaningless decision.

A scenario I’ve encountered: should I hang out with my friends longer, or go to back to my study hall? I won’t get punished for not going back, but it’s also the thing I should do…

If I had taken the time to think it through (and now, looking…

Samson Zhang

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