About

Hi there! I'm Kanjun ("can-june"). I build teams, institutions, & cultures. Occasionally, I write words & code.

At the core of my work is a belief that humanity has tremendous latent potential - as individuals, as groups, and as a collective. I hope to unearth this potential, to enable a creative, abundant future where benevolent life flourishes robustly throughout the universe.

Currently, I'm building an AI research company working directly on human-like general intelligence. My job is to understand how the mind understands, and it's the best thing in the world! Machines as intelligent as humans will be one of the most important technologies ever built for creating abundance - and help us understand the most fascinating mystery of all: our own minds. If you find this interesting, we're hiring!

In past lives, I ran Sourceress, an AI recruiting company; grew Dropbox to 1500 people as Chief of Staff; co-authored Sew Electric, a book that teaches kids programming using sewable electronics; danced; tinkered with hardware at the MIT Media Lab; and wrote high-frequency trading strategies to pay for college.

I co-founded and lived at The Archive, which you can learn about on the Today Show.

On the side, I invest in & help founders, scout for Sequoia Capital, and dance as much as I can.

Questions

Questions I'm currently curious about, that I'm at varying stages of being able to answer. These are mostly pointers, and are not precisely specified.

  • Why are humans able to learn and build understanding across such a wide variety of problems and domains?
  • How does knowledge get constructed? What enables it to accumulate?
  • Are there inherent tradeoffs to generality that can't be overcome with more compute?
  • Why did dinosaurs exist for 165 million years without reaching advanced civilization?
  • How do groups, organizations, and societies develop and change culture?
  • Why do organizations have certain capabilities and not others?
  • Why do we develop the motivations we do?
  • What inhibits benevolent motivations toward other humans / desire for contribution?
  • What are beliefs? Why do they develop? Why do they change?
  • What determines the level of volition someone feels? Why do some people have significantly more volition than others?
  • Why are curiosity and goal-orientation usually at odds?
  • What is anxiety?
  • What is trauma?
  • What are Newton's Laws for psychology? What are the variables?
  • What are the lenses and microscopes for psychology?
  • What does healthy child-rearing look like in 300 years?

If you're interested in discussing any of these, please feel free to DM me on Twitter!

Interests

A sampling of things I really enjoy learning and talking about:

  • Romantic transhumanism
  • The process of learning; why & how it happens
  • Science, and the process of discovery & knowledge construction
  • Institutions for discovery and creation
  • Understanding human minds
  • Understanding volition - what explains the amount someone feels, how to increase it
  • Individual & group potential
  • What enables some groups to do extraordinary things (readings: 1, 2)
  • Collective intelligence
  • Social technologies & social literacy
  • Technologies for thought & progress
  • Probability and information theory
  • Optimistic narratives
  • Scenius
  • Coordination problems
  • Cities, the Internet, and other dense human gatherings
  • Space and environment design
  • Creating mavericks