Keys arranged to spell out Control-Alt-Backspace.

Welcome to Control-Alt-Backspace, a place for collecting ideas on regaining control in an increasingly complex world. Check out the manifesto to learn more about the purpose of this site or the sitemap for an overview of series and topics, or jump right in with recent posts below.

Control-Alt-Backspace updates every Monday, more or less. Got questions about something you read or suggestions for new posts? I love hearing from people – shoot me an email!

Recent Posts


7 minute read


The Fortunes File

4 minute read

Some months ago we talked about commonplacing, a technique for recording quotations and other random ideas you come across. In this rather short post, ...

Best Books of 2021

5 minute read

I read about 30 books in 2021. Here were the ones that stood out the most; I highly recommend all of these.

Two Takes on the Eternal September

11 minute read

September, and with it the start of classes at most educational institutions in the United States, is almost upon us. In honor of this, I’d like to l...

Free Speech: A Credo

5 minute read

I hesitate to write about politics on a blog that is rarely overtly political. But this is a special kind of politics. It is a kind of politics that tran...