Derek Sivers

What I’m doing now

(This is a now page, and if you have your own site, you should make one, too.)

Updated May 19th, 2024, from my home in New Zealand.

Final edits to “Useful Not True

If you want advance access to my next book, buy “Useful Not True” now at

I’ve been working on this almost full-time for two years, and I’m so excited to be almost done. I’m super-happy with it.

surprised at the comfort of Shanghai

Just spent five days in Shanghai, China, and it’s so nice! Especially the French Concession, one of the nicest neighborhoods I’ve ever experienced in any city in the world. Cycling around every day on shared bicycles.

The people are kind. The trains are efficient and not over-crowded. The streets are clean. Trashcans (+ recycling) everywhere. The AliPay and WeChat systems for QR mobile app payments are surprisingly great.

And biggest surprise of all: it’s quiet with relatively clean air thanks to every motorcycle and most cars being 100% electric. The motorbikes especially are absolutely silent. 50 of them will go right by you, completely inaudible. Amazing. Intriguing. Makes me want to learn Chinese and spend more time there, getting to know many of the cities. But especially retuning to that adorable French Concession.

redesign of

I visited all 2000 /now pages to see who’s current, and deleted the dead ones. Then I changed the home page to browse by location or search profiles for text.

learning the Go programming language

I’ve used mainly Ruby for 20 years now. But for the next 20+ years I think Go is for me. (Combined with the PostgreSQL database and its built-in PL/pgSQL functions.) I’m learning from the book “Let’s Go” and loving it.

Why? Mostly for a change, since the two languages are quite opposite. But also for the simplicity. Ruby is succinct to type, but a bit too complex (for my tastes) to manage on the server. Go is verbose to type, but much simpler (standard library + single binary) on the server. I like that Go’s built-in stdlib seems to have everything I need.

pet mouse and rats

Our pet mouse is now three years old! That’s like 100+ in mouse years. Her younger siblings have all died of old age. She seems to have arthritis or something. She wobbles when she walks, and her tail is permanently pointing down, but she doesn’t seem to be in pain. She’s on my desk next to me all day as I work.

Two weeks ago we got two pet rats — twin brothers. What a difference. They’re so cuddly! (See these videos for examples.)