Author in natural habitat. Perching atop sun heated rocks is commonly observed in late spring when the author incubates essays. This behavior is known as “working.”

I’m Henrik Karlsson, a Swedish writer who lives on a small island in the Baltic Sea. I have two daughters whom I homeschool together with my wife and editor, Johanna. In a previous life, I was a programmer and before that, a poet.

My writing has appeared in WIRED, been reprinted in The Spectator, and featured on Marginal Revolution, Substack’s highlights and the HackerNews front page.

When I asked a friend who he describes my Substack, he said that I’m essentially a daddy blogger. To this I want to add that I’m the kind of dad who knows how to find the eigenvectors of a matrix and will often spend my nights reading the correspondence of obscure Renaissance philosophers. But it is true: I write from within my life. I write about ideas grounded in my lived reality.

I aspire to live a rich, meaningful life, and I aspire to be a person who gives others the space to unfold—especially, my wife and my kids. So I write about that. You’ll find essays about everything from the childhoods of exceptional people to how to find a good life partner, from an analysis of the notebooks of Ingmar Bergman to notes on why the culture of schooling will limit the impact of AI tutors.

My philosophy is that a blog post is a very long and complex search query to find fascinating people and make them route interesting things to your inbox. If you reply to any of the emails I send out, you are routed to my private email. I try to answer every email I get.

I publish to the free list ~1-2 times per month, whenever I feel like I have something interesting to share. Paying subscribers get twice as many new essays and access to full archives. But mostly, I want you to see subscriptions as a vote for a world in which I do this work. I’m not yet funded to a level where I can do this work without financial sacrifices (though that is my choice! so don’t worry if you don’t feel like supporting the blog, I’m happy to have you here anyway.)

You can also find me on X/Twitter, where I tend to incubate ideas before they are ready to spawn here.


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Notes on relationships, writing, parenting, and so on. Essays sent when I have something to say (usually a few times a month).