Michael Y. Zuo

Engineer + Designer + Bookworm.


I write about interesting topics by focusing on their fundamental nature, usually whatever that can be derived from first principles. I intend to write as simple as possible, but no simpler. My end goal is to maximize the potential futures of civilization.

My background is in mechanical & electrical engineering, computing, and architectural design. My writings also include thoughts on design, mathematics, and philosophy. I sometimes review things I personally appreciate ranging from rare books to modern architecture.

The header image is that of an artist’s rendition of the interior view of a hypothetical space construct known as an O’Neill cylinder.

Minimal & Maximal, the name of my blog, is meant to have multiple meanings though perhaps the most broadly applicable is 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.

Also check out what I started at queenshyperloop.ca

Previously worked at vathys.ai, and served the public as the NPI administrator 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 WW2 tanks and I can give at least a partial answer and probably know where to find out the rest.


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

Technical Details

If your browsing through any major browser this site automatically adapts to your screen’s resolution. The max. size of regular images is 1500 x 1500 pixels, with some being even larger. Fear not high res. mobile users! The backend is smart enough to automatically adapt to your mobile bandwidth.

If the images do not appear pin sharp either your using a 5K+ screen, zooming in, or there’s an error on the site, if so please contact me!

This site uses HTTPS for secure browsing.

To view images some types of content blockers need to be turned off. There are no adds or trackers on this site that I have influence over. I promise!

This site should load fast though images heavy posts can take a few seconds.

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,”