An interview with a data artisan

J.D.Long is the current AVP Risk Management at RenaissanceRe and has a 15 year history of working as an analytics professional. I sent him an interview recently to see what he would say. Good questions Peadar. Here’s a really fast attempt at answers: 1. What project have you worked on do you wish you could go back… Continue reading An interview with a data artisan

Observations on the connectedness of our world.

Scientifically focused geeks like myself,have a tendency to speak highly of the web. We see Skype, MSN, and Facebook as great technical marvels. Yet as someone like Tim Ferris or Cal Newport observe there is a price to this connectedness. Today for instance there was a family wedding in Ireland. I wasn’t able to attend… Continue reading Observations on the connectedness of our world.

Programming as an essential skill

In discussions about jobs and the future. We sometimes make references to skills. In educational communities people speak of ‘transferable skills’ and ‘critical thinking’. Recently its become fashionable to discuss STEM. On this blog I’ve written some things about this. The following articles re-inspired my interest On Reviews in Depth: Why everyone should learn to… Continue reading Programming as an essential skill

Twitter co-founder on Computational Thinking

I’ve long been a fan of Jack Dorsey, and I came across this excellent article about an interview on Charlie Rose. Gary Stager a school reformer and Educational reformer speaks very well about Jack Dorsey. When we speak of using Computing in education, we often forget that in the words of Mitch Reznick ‘the computer… Continue reading Twitter co-founder on Computational Thinking

Control theory in Financial Markets

I unfortunately know very little about Control Theory however what I do understand about it, is that in some sense it deals with feedback in complex systems. Since the financial markets are complex systems, and very difficult for human beings to regulate. Not to mention the huge explosion of Algorithmic Trading. Certainly it doesn’t seem… Continue reading Control theory in Financial Markets

On Technology without Borders

As a naively minded Scientific type, I often make the mistake of imagining that merely developing technology is enough to better the world. As the developing world especially faces huge humanitarian challenges: for instance Malaria, Climate Change, HIV, and diseases such as TB, there are problems with the market conditions of the First World. Peter… Continue reading On Technology without Borders

How to become an Astronaut or a Rhodes Scholar

I’m a fan of Cal Newport’s blog. He reverse-engineers student success and also more recently looks at what constitutes professional success. His recent article on Rhodes Scholars is very interesting. When reading some of these bios, one can be overwhelmed. Yet Cal once again reminds us that these aren’t parallel achievements. A friend of mine… Continue reading How to become an Astronaut or a Rhodes Scholar

The truth as a blessing

Obviously it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss, ‘what is truth’. I leave that problem for people a lot smarter than me. But I came across a beautiful quotation by A.N. Kolmogorov a great Russian Mathematician. ‘I have lived being guided by a principle that the truth is a blessing, and our… Continue reading The truth as a blessing

Cognitive toolbox

Each year the Edge foundation has a question. This years has been more interesting than most. I’ve been asking people about this for some time, hence the need to blog about it. “What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?” Or, to paraphrase, how might people alter the way they interpret the information they take… Continue reading Cognitive toolbox

A Level Playing field and the attitudes of the Educational Elite

This is the mindset of the ambitious educational elite: You go to Harvard (or Stanford), maybe to Oxford (or Cambridge) for a Rhodes (or Marshall), then to Goldman (or McKinsey, or TFA), then to Harvard Business School (or Yale Law School), then back to Goldman (or Google), and on and on. You keep doing the… Continue reading A Level Playing field and the attitudes of the Educational Elite