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 co-writer, Johanna. In a previous life, I was a programmer and before that, a poet.

Johanna and I have had our writing appear in WIRED and The Spectator. The blog has been on Marginal Revolution, the top of HackerNews front page, and was one of Substack’s featured publications in 2023.

When I asked a friend how he would describe Escaping Flatland, he said that I’m essentially a daddy blogger. Except 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.

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 why the culture of schooling will limit the impact of AI tutors. Here is a summary of what I wrote in 2023.

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.

Thanks to the support and donations of subscribers, I can currently work part time on the blog. Most of what I publish is open to the public, but supporting subscribers get more essays, behind the scenes, and we do occasional video calls.

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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When my daughters aren’t hiding my notebooks, I write essays about relationships, writing, and being agentic and grounded in yourself