Welcome to the machine.

Hello! My name is Alexander Nicholi. I was born Marshall Alexander Rose on March 6th, 1998 in Fort Sill, Oklahoma to parents native to Princeton, West Virginia. My mother was an active duty Army machinist when she had me, and is now a factory worker. My father is a musician and private tutor of guitar and piano. My paternal grandfather was among the last conventional labouring coal miners in West Virginia, and my maternal grandfather was a truck stop serviceman. I descend from a long line of poor, old stock Scotch-Irish Appalachian yeomen, who probably came to Virginia (as it were) under indenture to work plantations. I also have trace Melungeon ancestry, and am a sickle cell carrier.

As a child I was enamored with computers. I had countless old machines from thrift shops running various versions of Windows, and as I grew older I learned to use Linux over secure shell. I taught myself a great deal of programming technique, and by age 17 I was doing baremetal programming in C and assembly for the Game Boy Advance. This set the stage for my later research work concerning sustainable computing and the creation of C*, a programming language.

On December 7th, 1941, a day which will live on in infamy, 2017, I wed my husband from Indonesia, a former San Franciscan international student and the son of a Jakartan advertising magnate. He later attended college together with me and has had a presence in many of my business endeavours from the start, including ARQADIUM, which I started with him shortly after we met.

Most recently, I have gained employment at a presently-undisclosed Canadian startup, where I do low-level software engineering work on cloud infrastructure. Some day I hope we progress enough that I see it right to make public my role in the company, but until then it is not. You will see when the time is right.

I am the author of the above publicity photo, and I do release it into the public domain. To the extent that is not legally possible, I give anyone permission to use the photo for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

My affiliations and projects


Long-form content

Computer science

The Superoptimisation Trifecta

Syndication + Aggregation + Integration = Superoptimisation.


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.


Basic viewpoints

A short list of foundational beliefs and viewpoints of mine.

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.