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Showing posts from February, 2015

anti-résumé, 2015

(Not a portrait of me by Frederic Leighton.)
Name: Not Clive James, Not Robin Hanson
Age: Missed most of the Twentieth Century
Address: Almost nowhere, really.

Nationality: Not a great deal. I don't participate in Scottish culture any more than I have to by merit of enculturation.

Languages: I can't speak Gaelic, Spanish, Cornish, Saxon, nor many many others...

Non-interests: Sport, war, conlangs, Tarski, collecting anything, scale-modelling, Dr Who, surfing, bell-ringing, spelunking.

Education lapses:
At Secondary level:
No economics, no philosophy, no gender, no business studies, no psychology, no politics, no French, no Chinese, no grammar (properly). I'm also quite bad at geography.

Tertiary: No law, no anthropology, no engineering, no geology, no medicals, no German philosophy to speak of.

Code: I don't know any functional languages (unless you count the pariah JavaScript). I've never used a static code analyser, or rigorous optimisation without one. I have never prov…

oh god the data miscellany

(c) Occupy the Amendment (2014), Jeff Hemsley

The reason to use quantitative methods wherever possible* is not that numbers are generally better representations — they're not, for psychological or social or art phenomena — but because of what they do to your method: first, they minimise the space that our raging biases get to act in; and, more, because they force the enquirer to think clearly about the Thing.

("What about this Thing can be counted?" implies the prior questions "What are the distinct features of the Thing?" and "From which of its features arise which features?")

* And they are possibly always possible.


The quantitative omits most of the lived world; the qualitative includes all of its bullshit. (The former is leashed to one rich dimension, numbers; the latter is leashed to an insensitive kludge, human perception and language.)