Hi there! Welcome to my blog and thanks for reading. I’m a robotics engineer by day and I write for free at night, so every reader means a lot to me. I like writing about African music, politics, and culture, about robotics and hardware engineering, about the mixed experience, and occasionally random things in my daily life which inspire me.

I also recently joined the Medium partner program. Here’s my working policy for what is and is not metered:

I used to write for MIT Admissions, and we had a section for the “best of the blogs”. I thought I’d…

*taps mic* is this thing on?

I’ve decided, since joining the partner program, to start regularly doing this new type of post called “Process”. In “Process”, I’ll give you a little unedited insight into my thoughts and writing process, because now that I’ve tried to formalize my writing on Medium a bit I’ve been hit with a barrage of things to “process” myself.

First, as soon as I made my posts eligible to earn money, I noticed a couple different things:

  • I started checking Medium notifications, stats, and earnings slightly more obsessively
  • I started reading a lot of “how to x as a medium writer” posts…

The biggest joke in the industry.

My great-great-grandfather worked framing and varnishing art pieces in 1870s Shanghai, China. He also had a terrible opium addiction. He was this highly skilled madman that many well-known artists (of which there were many in Shanghai) would go to varnish their paintings. What they didn’t know was that, at the step in the process that involved peeling back a layer of resin, the resin would take a thin layer of paint wiht it, leaving a ghost of the underlying painting on the resin. My great-great-grandfather was skilled enough to peel the resin off in a single layer. …

Let’s stop using this word.

This is how you cancel a person:

You invite the best and brightest from around the world to your university. You allow them to learn and grow for 4 years, building skills and potential. Then, you tell them that unlike other 22 year olds with endless time to putter around and decide what to do with their life, they have just a year before they’re forced to leave the country. It’s accepted as normal, a matter of course. They sit looking out of plane windows and wondering what could have been.

This is how you cancel a person:

After running from violence, they find a safe place…

An update and an explanation, as well as my policy on metering posts.

A couple weeks ago I published a blog post called “Selfishly Writing” which flew under the radar. It was about how I write primarily for myself, and that I loathe the idea of my writing being beholden to others, since it’s a hobby that’s uniquely mine. At this particular point in my life, I don’t want to have to try super hard to meet deadlines or be nitpicked by editors etc., even if it would probably make my writing better — I get enough of that sort of thing at my day job! …

Music to keep you going (and gqom-ing)


I haven’t blogged about music in quite a while, but I felt the need to “cleanse the timeline” and what better way to do that than with the music that keeps me going, GQOM! This always works because usually my particular brand of haters are deeply uninterested in learning more about how unique and diverse modern pan-African cultural dynamics are (hmmwonderwhy) which I find most fascinating to dissect through music.

Though my most read posts are, unfortunately, the posts-that-must-not-be-named, what’s comforting when I look at my Medium stats for all-time views and reads, is that the next five or so…

Including a vegan restaurant.

— ON TUESDAY I was eating lunch outside my favorite vegan lunch place that I go to when I want to treat myself during the week. It’s Lent, which means ‘fasting’ the Ethiopian Orthodox way — abstaining from most animal products except fish (think ‘dairy-free pescatarian’). Vegan restaurants are a safe haven for odd dietary restrictions.

I was eating as one does when alone, comfortably and without concern for appearances, noshing contentedly while a podcast blared on my car radio. A man who was parked in front of me came up to my window, I rolled it down partly,


Why I Do This

— OCCASIONALLY AND INEVITABLY, someone will ask me why I don’t pursue writing as a career, or suggest a litany of magazines I could submit to, or tell me I should workshop my material with a group. Many of my friends are very successful in the traditional sense, with well paying jobs in engineering and flourishing side projects. It is natural that this is where their mind goes — and I love that this encouragement is how they tell me how much they respect my writing, that they believe I deserve more from it. But my writing is not one…

Documenting what modern solidarity looks like

(Note: on the last day of my bad luck lunar year, medium decided to not let instagram embeds work anymore 🙃🙃🙃 so I just did screenshots and put the links to instagram posts as the caption. But like I said, this post ain’t about convenience anyway.)

This has been a difficult week for me (like every week since February 2020, yes I know) fraught with extremely complicated political issues that do not have straightforward solutions. And yet, in all of the tragedy and despair, I still see a faint glimmer that something good may be borne of this. Change is difficult — it is more painful, more gut-wrenching than people anticipate. But it is also necessary, if we ever want to be anywhere other than here.

Recently, there have been an elevated number of attacks on Asian people and businesses. Multiple Asian elders have suffered serious…

keeping it together.

Ever since I can really remember needing to get through anything — probably since 7th grade — a big motto for me was to “keep on keeping on”. Immigrant values of determination and grit were deeply distilled in me by my parents and other authority figures in my life, and as a child I was determined to please. This motto took me many places, including excelling in AP science classes and later to MIT. It was only after I graduated college, fully independent and with total control over my own life, that I was finally able to relax for a…

Selam G.

MIT grad, robotics engineer, mixed. A place I write.

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