About: Arjun Narayan

Ristret is an experimental blog platform that I wrote, partly to learn about CMSes, partly to get more experience writing database queries in an actual production setting, and partly because I needed to fulfill my urge to write more. I combined all those desires in one long project, hence this blogging platform/blog.

I currently live in Brooklyn. I work on an artisanal, hand-crafted, open-source database. I also have a Twitter, where I mostly retweet market-urbanist propaganda and Dan Wang. In a previous life, I was a PhD student in computer science at the University of Pennsylvania. I wrote a PhD thesis on distributed differential privacy. By the time I finished, I learned that I didn't care much for security or privacy, but had come away with lots of strong opinions about distributed databases and large scale dataflow execution. I now put those opinions to socially productive use working at Cockroach Labs.

One major motivation for writing is that I miss the early days of blogs. Growing up in India, old-school blogging was my one escape to a different world, one that I desperately wanted to be a part of. I think its a pity that they're mostly dead, and this is one attempt to fight back against that current.

I also didn't blog because I felt that "everyone knew" what I was writing about. Dan Luu makes a great case for why you should blog anyway:

There's nothing here that most of my co-workers don't know (with the exception of maybe three or four posts where I propose novel ideas). It's just that they don't blog and I do.