Sheon Han

[a-z]*

2024

Inside the Cult of the Haskell Programmer — WIRED
On Haskell — a cult classic of programming languages.

JavaScript Runs the World—Maybe Even Literally — WIRED
A defense of JavaScript — a silly-ass language that everyone loves to hate but more powerful (and egalitarian) than you think!

AI in Cinema & “Her” — The Verge
Sci-fi films are bad at depicting AI but Spike Jonze’s “Her” shows how it should be done.

What We Lost When Twitter Became X — The New Yorker
About my time at the bird app and what the future might hold.

2023

How Manuel Blum—a Turing Award winner—became a legendary PhD advisorMIT Technology Review
A profile of Turing Award-winning theoretical computer scientist Manuel Blum, who is also known as the greatest PhD advisor in the field. On what makes a great teacher who produces extraordinary scholars.

The Hypocrisy of Judging Those Who Become More BeautifulWIRED
About lookism and the immorality of disparaging people who “artificially” enhance their beauty (e.g., leg-lengthening surgery or plastic surgery).

(For WIRED’s Next Normal series on how our “normal” ethical beliefs may change in the future.)

The Deep Link Equating Math Proofs and Computer ProgramsQuanta Magazine
On the Curry-Howard correspondence, which shows an isomorphism between logical proofs and computer programs.

The Case for Selective Slackerism — The Atlantic
About what’s possibly my favorite Korean word and my perpetual state of being: 귀찮음 (gwichan).

How Google Docs Proved the Power of LessWIRED
A piece of “software criticism” on Google Docs.

The Most Important Machine That Was Never BuiltQuanta Magazine
On Turing machines, the nature of computation, Entscheidungsproblem, undedcidability and more.

The Researcher Who Would Teach Machines to Be FairQuanta Magazine
Q&A with Arvind Narayanan, a professor of computer science at Princeton, on privacy, AI ethics, doing interdisciplinary research and others.

The Case for Software CriticismWIRED
Why isn’t there “software criticism” like there is film criticism or book criticism? Software may be the defining cultural artifact of our time. So why isn’t there a culture of critical analysis around it?

A Reading List on Why We Run — Longreads
An essay and commentaries on six pieces of writings on running.

2022

The Hidden History of Screen ReadersThe Verge
On blind programmers who have, for decades, created screen readers for the visually impaired community.

The Magic of Tiny-Home Videos — The New York Times Magazine
About my year of watching tiny-home videos on YouTube.

When You No Longer Recognize Your Home Country — The Atlantic
On migratory grief—the phenomenon of mourning one’s homeland when it undergoes such severe changes that it’s no longer recognizable.

The Reducetarian MovementTIME
A primer on the idea of “reducetarianism” (related TED Talk).

How Do You Prove a Secret? — An Explainer on Zero-knowledge ProofsQuanta Magazine
On zero-knowledge proofs: A counter-intuitive proof technique to prove the truthfulness of a mathematical statement without revealing any “knowledge” used in the process.

How to Write Software With Mathematical PerfectionQuanta Magazine
Q&A with the Turing Award winner Leslie Lamport on distributed systems (e.g., Paxos consensus protocol, Byzantine faults), computer science education, formal verification, and LaTeX.

~2021

Steven Yeun’s Perfect Accent in “Minari” — The New Yorker
On the film “Minari” and the experience of living as a non-native speaker in America.

How Our Circles of Friendship Churn and Evolve Over Time — The Atlantic
Why is friendship so mysterious? My interview with the Oxford psychologist Robin Dunbar.

Every Immigrant Is in a Long-Distance Relationship — Catapult
A personal essay about my long-distance relationship.

When Literature Meets Philosophy — An Ode to Philosophical Science Fiction — The New Republic
A review of Philosophy Through Science Fiction Stories in praise of philosophical science fiction.

The Humanities: The Next Frontier for Korea’s Chaebol — Korea Exposé
On Starfield Library in Seoul.

A Tale of Two Clubs — Nassau Weekly
On Princeton’s eating clubs: Ivy and Terrace.

Life as Art — Nassau Weekly
A profile of the philosopher Alexander Nehamas and his meaning of the “good life.”