Michael Y. Zuo


I write about interesting topics by focusing on the essentials, usually those derivable from first principles.

My goal is to maximize the potential of civilization. I believe everyone is competent at something so sharing what I’ve learned, and learning from others, is my contribution to the progress of society.

My background is from mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering, and broadly, the physical sciences. My writings also include thoughts on topics such as design, mathematics, and philosophy. I sometimes review things I personally appreciate.

I’ve stopped using facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, and instagram for primary updates, everything will be centralized on this site going forwards. I do curate @minimal.pads as a hobby.

I do some freelance consulting as well on certain topics.

The header image rotates through a selection of curated art and artistic depictions of space objects at random, notably of O’Neill cylinders in several forms.

Minimal & Maximal has multiple meanings, notably that of minimax theory, which is of primary importance in escaping suboptimal Nash equilibriums. Examples thereof I will leave as an exercise to you dear reader.

This site does not use any tracking or other data collection systems, other than the mandatory statistical information that wordpress requires to function. There is no infinite scrolling either.

michaelz.ca, myzuo.net, and michaelyzuo.com redirect here. Those domains are also for sale, I went a bit wild at the registrar.

Cool facts about me

Founded queenshyperloop.ca

Served the Toronto public as the NPI administrator (effectively as the coordinator for all proposals) for the electrical grid at torontohydro.com


Reading history and biographies, particularly autobiographies of influential figures of the past. I also had a fascination with WW2 era armored vehicles during my high school years, you can literally ask me anything about those.


show: Yes, Minister

book: Poor Charlie’s Almanack

ballet: The Merry Widow

composition: The Four Seasons

opera: Turandot at the Forbidden City

popular song: Party in the CIA

film: The Matrix

architect: Zaha Hadid

astronomical object: Neutron Stars

Heard are the voices,

Heard are the sages,

The worlds and the ages;

“Choose well; your choice is

Brief and yet endless,

Here eyes do regard you,

In Eternity’s stillness,

Here is all fullness,

Ye Brave to reward you;

Work and despair not,”