Who am I and why should you care what I write?
First I am writing for myself, to clarify my thoughts and make them complete. It is one thing to just think about a topic and another to write a finished post on that theme.
Still I am also writing to both get better at the art of writing and to learn, to gain new knowledge. This means I do want comments, constructive criticism of my arguments, so that I can review, revise, replace or, even, reject them. However, at this stage, I will not be actively promoting this blog, nor writing to an audience – whenever you arrive – that is writing more on topics that gain more hits and comments than on other topics. For now, I will write on topics as I feel fit.
The articles that I write should stand and fall on the quality and exposition of my arguments, not on who I am. Still I am not writing academic papers here to be proof read and refereed. Some of my articles will be heavily referenced, others not at all. The latter may just be rants but, I hope, will still have evidence and arguments to support whatever point I am making.
Anyway my background academically is in engineering and artificial intelligence. My commercial background is in quantitative finance, as a start-up entrepreneur and as a programmer.
My interests that I will mostly focus on have been diverse but also time-consuming and in-depth. If I have just read a few pop books and/or a few blogs this will not usually warrant a post or I will note my superficial understanding of the topic. What I have spent much time and effort on in the past includes, in order of relevance to this blog:
- Economics – this is the main topic that currently interests me and I will apply most of my prior interests listed below in sceptically examining this field.
- Ethics – this was the result of many years work in the past. I am not sure whether I will write directly on this or use my prior analysis to inform my new commentary. I still have my old blog on this topic – called No Double Standards – which abruptly stopped due to work commitments and google mucking up their Blogger platform. I will ensure I better manage things here should this blog grow.
- Vaping/Public Health – Apart from the benefits that I have gained from this over smoking, this gives me a specific angle and special interest in the benefits and abuses of Public Health and National and International Regulatory processes.
- Programming/Computer Science – related to my degrees and also many years work experience. I might look at programming in general or undertake specific projects here. Using the category mechanism one can follow or not this as a sub-blog.
- Quantitive Finance/Mathematical Modelling/Statistical Analysis. From exploring derivative design, trading algorithms and platforms through to using non-linear dynamic models and statistical analysis this gives me a way, in conjunction with my interest in general scepticism noted below, to hopefully credibly critique many topics a little bit more than just an informed layman. We shall see.
- Artificial Intelligence/Neuroscience/Linguistics – an incomplete academic path, I have an MSc in Intelligent Systems from Brunel. I still follow this and there is much popularly and seriously written today that I find highly dubious. Expect some commentary on this.
- Scepticism and Philosophy of Science – another academic path I nearly took I was accepted to an Masters programme in that (Logic & the Scientific Method at LSE). Scepticism is an intrinsic part of the scientific enterprise however for many years I was interested in applying it in areas where it was unjustifiably lacking such as alternative medicine, religion and psychology and then, later, areas in finance such as technical analysis. I still think this is lacking in mainstream economics!
- Quantum physics and cosmology – one of the academic paths I nearly took, I was accepted to an MSc programme in that (at Birkbeck). I doubt I will write much on this but will provide interesting links. However my maths background will be useful in gaining insight in the topics that I am currently interested in.
- Theoretical Biology – Long fascinated by the internal debates over selection and a staunch critic of religious corruption of science which particularly applies here. Again expect some but not much comment in this area.
Having written this brief summary this looks quite a list. Still this all counts for nought as it is what I am capable of and have the time to write that is important nothing else.
Finally the title of this blog is “Debugging Economics” but IANAE – I am not an economist!