Welcome to the machine.

My name is Alexander Nicholi. I am an American computer scientist residing in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, where I spent a fair part of my upbringing. On September 1st, 2016, I founded a software company online that would come to be known as ARQADIUM; On December 7th, 1941, a day which will live on in infamy, 2017, I got married to my wonderful husband, whom I live with to this day. I have other projects both newer and older which you can find below, and I serve tables at a local pizza sushi cocktail bar. When I’m not slaving away, my pastimes include dining out, cycling, and peoplewatching. Beyond that, the rest are a conversation away! The best place to find me these days is on Twitter. I am also active on Discord, particularly the guild for ARQADIUM. You can also reach me by [encrypted] mail by sending to ‘me’ at my personal domain. ;-)

My affiliations and projects


Long-form content

Computer science


A lost art, and its lonely master.

Transcending Poor Governance Through Syndication

A practical lesson learned from the decay of IRC networks.

What’s the deal with decentralisation?

Is it really the end of monopoly and tyranny, or something else altogether?

Our Own Tyrell Corporation

The code we write is increasingly dependent on the infrastructure that only exists in “the cloud”.

A Snapshot of Software Decline

Software has steadily been getting worse. Here’s what it looks like and why.

How Could This Be Wrong?

The difficulty of motivating my fundamental research with sustainable computing.

Law & Order in Software Engineering with C*

A new paradigm for scalably sustainable systems programming.

Memory Safety is a Broken Idea

A poor solution for memory errors, and an even worse one for bugs.

Benchmark: GZip, BZip2, LZMA/2, LZ4 and LZO

A thorough benchmark comparison of GZip, BZip2, LZMA/2, LZ4 and LZO algorithms.

RE: Early Work

A response to Early Work by Paul Graham.

An Ethos for Sustainable Computing

An essay to assert what I have learned from my research about the fundamental nature of computers.

Re-Evaluating HALO’s Language Choice

My experiences with novel issues in Golang, and a failed attempt at applying Scala.

The Injustice of Complexity in Computing

A criticism of the state of modern computing, and a prescription for a return to problem solving.

OAM: A fundamentally new approach to imaging

His name was Jan Sloot, his system was called the Sloot Digital Coding System, and I believe I have independently rediscovered what he created, under the name OAM.

Abusive Relationships with Programming Languages

A closer examination of how the authors of programming languages foster unbalanced relationships with their users.

Rage against the locale

A look through one Rust developer’s inline rant about C/POSIX locales.

Six Tiers of Reasoning in Programming

Originally conceptualised by Dan Garfield. Paraphrased and reformatted here.

Existential problems with Rust

A case study in the relationship of performance and memory management, and risks posed to the scientific method in computing.

Systemantics: Application trumps intent

What you plan and what takes place needn’t be exactly similar.


Goodbye, John McAfee.

I’m sorry that your world has seemingly come to this.

Mine Primordial

There is an ancient part within me that smiles with the universe.

I am translucent

I don’t see a path out of here without somebody else coming along and giving a damn too.

A certain Alice

As every great friendship of mine begins, ours started with a great bounty of mutual candidness.

A Charmander’s tail

Weathering the storm, to not be swept away to a golden temple in the sea.

I went to Creedmoor.

It was the opposite of what I normally do.


A funny t-shirt and a trip down memory lane.

A Breakdown of Time’s Biggest Lie

A great exposé from Time about a grand orchestra of Lies.

The Great Reconciliation

Understanding my beginning, my world, my values, and my people.

Our Own Tenson Kōrin

I was so captivated by it all that it has become the greatest story I was ever told.

Some thoughts on the COVID–19 pandemic

A good understanding about the severity of the crisis need not beckon existential dread.

The Field of Reeds

There is a primordial field of reeds, in an endless expanse of unforgiving desert and dust.


Empathising with a god who doesn’t understand herself.

The Anthology of NiceRx

A collection from Twitter to characterise NiceRx before it is inevitably mischaracterised by others.

An imaginary struggle for power

…the belief that power is not only mutable, but also a static property of those who have it and those who do not…

Equity in the office, and so on

The Western white collar working world finds itself very occupied with human equity at the office, often in an intersectional sense. What’s the point?

The Singularity

One of the steps we are to take in pursuit of Universal Unification, showing we are more similar than different to the world around us.

Zoomer Generation

Understanding Generation Z.

The distressed psyche of a wunderkind

A waking dream I had by hypnosis.

Good morning, Vietnam!

A new weblog moved from the Cave of Origin in December, 2017.