• Hey, I’m Sam

    I build things with words

The Book

There comes a time when a person must say enough of this, it’s time for change. There is a world out there, a place where things are done differently. You can read a book or watch a movie but to really get it, to know the fever of Bangkok or the opaque water of the Pacific, you have to go there.

And why not..?

The Articles

How Silk Road Made Your Mailman a Dealer

There was a time when you couldn’t buy heroin on the internet. Then came Bitcoin, and the golden years of Silk Road. Suddenly, taking a walk to the corner began to look ludicrous. Why risk inconvenience, bodily harm and the possibility of getting C-grade drugs when you could get some of the best stuff on the planet delivered to your door? In this new paradigm, your mailman was the dealer. Since Silk Road was founded, drugs worth hundreds of millions of dollars have flowed through postal networks around the world. And that’s despite the fact that…

Leave the Guitar, Smash the Laptop: The Story of Music-Making AI

On a fine July evening in the year of 1965, Bob Dylan brought to the stage not his usual acoustic guitar, but a Fender Stratocaster. The fans, it can be said with only mild exaggeration, went nuts. People cried, booed and cheered as the face of folk music plugged in and electrified the crowd. In a single night, one man broke with tradition and introduced a new style of playing music. Several decades later, autotune was introduced.

Cher, a singer of international note, used autotune on her 1998 song, “Believe.” In that song, we hear for the first time the musical style that would become synonymous with pop in the 21st century. For better or for worse, wires and transistors had again reshaped the sound of music. Not everyone was pleased…

The Blog

Why I Like Living in Asia

Let's kick it off with a quote. "It is clear that with less personal freedom and a bigger and more invasive state comes less personal responsibility and greater lawlessness." Those words came from an article about the UK fudging crime numbers by deliberately using fuzzy methods to measure malfeasance. So it's sort of out of context, because I'm not going to talk about crime, but it's still a good way to begin. I want you to picture life in America in the 1800's. The Wild West. There was very little in the way of "consumer protection." You didn't…

How to Get the Most out of Bali

I've decided to settle down in Bali which is not something I thought I'd ever do. In fact I clearly remember telling family members that Bali is crowded, the traffic is nuts, it's not at all for me. That was before I discovered surfing. Now that I know this Indonesia island has some of the best waves in the world, well it changes things. Even if you don't surf it's worth coming here, but there is a way to do it right so that you get the most out of your trip. See, the thing with Bali is that there is traffic, trash and tourists, the terrible…

What You're Meant to Do

Figuring out the thing you're meant to do, the holy trifecta of ambition, talent and personality, it takes experimentation. Some people get lucky and find it when they're young. Other people, it takes years. I'm reminded of The Moon and Sixpence, a brilliant book. The guy, I forget his name, is a banker in London and out of nowhere he feels that art is his calling. So he leaves his family and moves to Paris to paint. Fantastic, I love it. Your Thing But how do you know when you've found your thing? You keep getting better at it. In my life…

About Me

Hello, I’m Sam. I’m twenty-seven, American and I like to do things. Things like travel, write and surf. I even dabble in web design, I made this website myself. I’ve been all over the world although I particularly enjoy the Philippines, Germany and Ukraine.

Generally I write non-fiction but that might change in the future. A few of my favorite authors are Cormac McCarthy, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Neal Stephenson. I read fifty or sixty books a year. If you’d like to know a bit more about me you can click here.

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