How to Contact Me

Email Addresses

  • simon@simonxiang.xyz
  • simonxiang@utexas.edu
  • My Public GPG Key
  • On Cell Phones

    If you know me in real life, you probably know my cell phone number or someone that has my cell phone number. The quickest way to contact me is by call. I won't respond to texts quickly because my phone doesn't alert me if someone texts— by nature they convey less important information and are more prone to sucking you into a spiral of distraction. If you do insist on using text, it would be nice if you used Signal though.

    On Email

    The second best way to contact me is by email, which you can find at the top of this post. I've also attached my public GPG key if you want to send me encrypted emails, you can read my posts on RSA Encryption if you don't know what a GPG key is. If you want to contact me for academic purposes, I've listed my UT email address as well. Be aware that Gmail is the email provider for UT, so don't include anything that you wouldn't put on a Times Square billboard in any email you send to my UT email address.

    If you have the time, I would like you to read Donald Knuth's epic stance on email. I too, make an effort to be on the bottom of things— although I may not be as cool as Knuth, doing mathematics still requires intense concentration for long periods of time. The average office worker checks their email once every six minutes. If a mathematician was as easily distracted, they wouldn't be able to prove a single thing all day.

    On Social Media

    Something I do not have is social media of any kind, including Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Linkedin, etc. There are a plethora of reasons not to use these services and the reasons to use them are few and far between. Setting the strongest case for not using social media aside (privacy), they cause massive damage in other areas of your life by the concept of instant gratification through dopamine hits.

    Everytime you refresh a Facebook page, you're pulling the lever for a slot machine, anticipating the possible arrival of a shiny new burst of dopamine. Your phone will light up at every new like, follow, or text message, all bringing successive and random hits of dopamine. This conditions you to check your phone as often as possible in order to maximize the chance of receiving the next hit sooner. As expected, this is disastrous for our brains and our ability to concentrate and produce meaningful work. If you want to read more on this topic, I highly suggest reading Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport.

    In Short

    My email is at the top of the page, and if you know me you most likely have my phone number. Response times will be slow, but it's not a personal thing— if I respond quickly, I'm probably not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I don't use social media and you shouldn't either— hating social media isn't a boomer exclusive mindset. Finally, thanks for reading this and have a nice day.