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Rashomon


Total Posts: 165
Joined: Mar 2011
 
Posted: 2017-01-29 22:58
I’ll start the thread for this year. Came across Roddy Doyle and then checked out The Snapper and The Woman Who Walked Into Doors.

Bell Hooks: The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love

rftx713


Total Posts: 73
Joined: May 2016
 
Posted: 2017-01-30 05:39
I really enjoyed Red Plenty by Francis Spufford

HitmanH


Total Posts: 413
Joined: Apr 2005
 
Posted: 2017-02-07 09:51
I've just read two books.
One was "The Fix" - which is non-technical - by two guys at Bloomberg Press - on Tom Hayes / UBS LIBOR woes. A personal friend was caught up in it (not charged in anything - but named) so have heard his side - wanted another view. Wasn't that sympathetic to the industry as a whole - but very easy to read and I did learn a bit too...
Also Weapons of Math Destruction - VERY GOOD Cathy O'Neill - I read an essay of hers and decided to get the book. How all this data doesn't level the playing field - but potentially can have people stuck on poor incomes / lower social classes. Especially Insurance, Health etc. Interesting read.

Ed Throp's book arrived yesterday - that's next on the list...

chiral3
Founding Member

Total Posts: 4977
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2017-02-07 12:37
I am surprised you liked WoMD. I didn't read it. I've read her blog / essays and she sounded very sensational and bombastic. I also didn't think it was possible for her to have been involved in anything meaningful during her incredibly short tenures at places outside of academia. This is something many of us have witnessed more than a few times - she likely didn't have a seat at the table and probably didn't do anything other than provide support. I am going out on a limb here, but I wouldn't be surprised if she was considered a low performer. I fail to see how she is considered authoritative. It is more likely that she had pre-existing cognitive biases and she's pulling a Gladwell.

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ

rod


Total Posts: 357
Joined: Nov 2006
 
Posted: 2017-02-07 21:27
chiral3: "I've read her blog / essays and she sounded very sensational and bombastic"

A collection of some of her posts, for the interested Nuclear Phynancier who stumbles upon this thread:

Working with Larry Summers (part 1) (2011)

Working with Larry Summers (part 2) (2011)

Working with Larry Summers (part 3) (2011)

It sucks to be rich (2012)

chiral3
Founding Member

Total Posts: 4977
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2017-02-07 22:54
Rod, I don't want to assume whether you posted those to support or refute my statement Smiley

I read the first couple before. I stand by my statement that there is no way she got within a $1 market order or anything strategic in her short tenure; which, if I recall, was 2 years at DE and 2 years at some app dev shop. I have PhDs on my team that have been doing killer work for 10 years and they aren't ready to write a book yet about what we're doing. Regardless, a quantitatively-minded person would approach this like a data scientist. Yes, there is data that supports income inequality. Yes, there may be theoretical underpinnings that could point to algos (unintentionally) discriminating. On the other hand, while there has been some bad, the data overwhelmingly supports that capitalism has built wealth and nations, reduced or eliminated disease and death, provided for education and social welfare, etc.

She has blue hair. Blue hair will cause you to lose an academic chair to Lane Hughston (I know, I know.) She quit working after four years to blog and support Occupy. Granted, a prerequisite for Occupy appears to be unemployment, but they also require a biased chip on one's shoulder. I am not trying to be mean here but, since her work isn't serious, I suspect that what she's been searching for is acceptance, and she's found it.

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ

rod


Total Posts: 357
Joined: Nov 2006
 
Posted: 2017-02-07 23:20
chiral3,

O'Neil went from academic to activist. Quoting an NP-er who shall remain unnamed, "an activist is an attention-whore looking for a purpose in life". O'Neil wants influence, i.e., power without accountability. Personally, I prefer those who are sufficiently self-aware to recognize and accept their non-saintly selves. I have seen enough destruction unleashed by those who merely sought to be angels.

jslade


Total Posts: 1059
Joined: Feb 2007
 
Posted: 2017-02-08 09:25
I know it's blasphemy around here, but I would rather read the latest Taleb stemwinder than further excretions from the artist formerly known as "mathbabe." Those blogs Rod linked cause me physical pain from the entitlement and whininess. It gets worse, but like Miz O'Neil talking about the towering indignities of working for a former Sec-Treas while fresh out of school in her late 20s, I will stamp my feet and declare that I can't even talk further about it.

Speaking of unimaginable suffering, the greatest thing I have read this year, likely to remain the greatest thing I read this year: the "Memoirs of Sergeant Bourgogne." Memoirs of some poor Frenchman who followed Napoleon into Russia, and actually managed to make it back. Probably the craziest war memoir of any kind I have ever read, just for the sheer suffering that was compressed into such a short period of time. Great reading for work on new ventures. For perspective. The copy on archive is pretty good; he doesn't need the money: Sgt Bourgogne

"Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious."

chiral3
Founding Member

Total Posts: 4977
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2017-02-08 16:15
Feelin' old. chiral today says

"I am not trying to be mean here but, since her work isn't serious, I suspect that what she's been searching for is acceptance, and she's found it."

chiral3 of yesteryear would have just called her an 'attention whore looking for purpose in life' and dropped the mic.

Anyway, this should be in books. I just finished Thorp. I found it dry and uninspired. No stemwinder there.

Starting Universal Harvester by Darnielle.

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ

HitmanH


Total Posts: 413
Joined: Apr 2005
 
Posted: 2017-02-13 18:03
Let me add more to Weapons of Math Destruction - what I ended the review with was interesting read.

I certainty don't agree with her (find some of her life choices very odd; don't even get me started on her politics; and some of her conclusions are questionable). And mathbabe? Just look the picture on the book - misleading...

But ALL THAT aside - the book to me at least really made me think; about bias build into models; about the lack of feedback in many models. What we do in this industry is have a constant feedback loop (and if the PNL continues negative there is someone over your shoulder pretty quick); and also some other industries which are becoming more data driven (sports) - but reading this made me realise that the rest of the world isn't always as on point - and model derived from (since discredited) academic papers can prevail - and in an unregulated manner.

You don't always have to like the author (or indeed agree with all the conclusions) to take a lot away from the book...

rod


Total Posts: 357
Joined: Nov 2006
 
Posted: 2017-02-13 18:13
Aaron's review of WoMD.

Rashomon


Total Posts: 165
Joined: Mar 2011
 
Posted: 2017-02-20 18:01

  • A Long Walk Home by Eli Paperboy Reed. Classic Americana and war photography

  • Africa by Leni Riefenstahl. Refreshing to have my preconceptions about L.R. challenged. She loved Nubians; they loved her. And you've got to admire anyone who travels abroad in their 90's.

  • James Turrell: A Retrospective

  • Gene Luen Yang: Boxers & Saints and American Born Chinese

  • Jose Montesinos: Classical Tesselations and 3-Manifolds (via Dror Bar-Natan)







jslade: how did you come across Bourgogne?

hitmanh: lack of feedback

You mean something like in an lm we spit out a table of model sanity checks, and there should be more of these and in more places?




Looking ahead to April: Rick Bookstaber's End of Theory. Review copies have gone out. From press.princeton.edu/titles/10972.html, it sounds like it will be yet another critique solving nothing. Will have to see the implementation, but I think of ABM’s as Santa Fe stuff producing more heat than light. Really disappointing when the people you think should know how to save the world roll out infotain-y ideas.
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