What I’m Interested In
My professional interests lie at the intersection of data, markets, and technology.
📀 Data: As a species, we are defined by our ability to manipulate information: language, writing, software. It’s not a coincidence that the word we associate most strongly with human evolutionary advantage — intelligence — means both raw data, and the capacity to act on it.
🏪 Markets: Markets are the most effective and resilient mechanism we have found to solve a hard problem: how should society allocate resources in the face of incomplete information and uncertain outcomes?
📡 Technology: Writing, agriculture, government, cities, money, industry: these and other technologies have impacted humanity in profound (and still evolving) ways. We’re living through another technological revolution right now: software. And we’ve barely scratched the surface of what it can achieve.
If you’re also interested in these themes, I strongly recommend subscribing to my newsletter, Pivotal.
While I believe in the ability of markets, data and technology to make the world a better place, I’m also keenly aware of their limitations.
😑 Data can be noisy, messy or incomplete; more dangerously, it can be misleading, biased or falsified. Not all questions can be answered with data. High-quality decision-making under uncertainty with imperfect information is hard, and therefore valuable.
🏴☠️ Markets can be imperfect, incomplete, non-competitive, regulated, corrupt, captured, rigged or otherwise flawed. Flawed markets lead to information errors, poor incentives and inequitable outcomes.
💣 Technology is vulnerable to incompetence, malice, misuse, indifference, bias and unforeseen consequences.
The optimist (and ex trader) in me says that every inefficiency is an opportunity; the humanist in me cares for the individuals affected by these inefficiencies. Using data-markets-technology to make the world a truly better place is not easy. But what better way to spend one’s life?
I’m currently exploring ideas in the AI/ML space, especially around data, data tools, and data business models. Some things I’m looking at:
💎 Proprietary, latent, golden and small data assets; and how to build, connect and capture value from those assets.
🛠 Data infrastructure, especially tools that help generative models become first-class consumers as well as producers of data.
🤝 Trust hierarchies and the confidence chain: signatures, provenance, identity, curation, quality.
🤖 The compute explosion, software-in-the-loop, ubiquitous agents, matching versus ranking, productivity versus distribution.
🔑 New areas of abundance and scarcity, especially energy, hardware, and “atoms not bits”.
If you’re working on any of these, I’d love to hear from you.
I have a number of hobbies and interests that keep me pleasantly busy:
📚 I’m endlessly curious and an unapologetic bibliophile
📷 I like to take photographs
✈️ I like to travel, both physically and in spirit
🎲 I like to play Euro-style board games
🎨 I haunt galleries and museums whenever I can
🍱 I like to cook, and also to eat well
🎶 I like to discover new music of almost every genre
🏅 I over-analyze sports, using data of course
🎾 I play semi-competitive tennis (NTRP 4-5)
🔠 I used to play tournament Scrabble, but haven’t for a while
🌸 I used to curate a rather popular poetry newsletter
🏋🏾 I work out, sleep well, and practise happiness
📋 I’m a prolific list-maker, curator and reviewer
✒️ I like to write, as this website makes abundantly clear 🙂
The Greek philosopher Anaximenes asked: “Why should I study the stars, when there is suffering and misery here on Earth?”.
Today, we know the answer. The best way to alleviate suffering and misery is through progress. Scientific progress to expand the productive frontier; economic progress to balance equity and efficiency; and societal progress to enable not just surviving but thriving. Studying the stars and investing in the future: that’s, ultimately, what I’m interested in.