Author Archives: blueocean

James Bond film tier list

Christmas was always associated with Bond films, back when I was a kid and actually watched regular TV. I understand why. They are generally fun and entertaining, and combine action with adventure and mystery. Also, Bond girls. Despite Bond being something of a relic of a character from a 1950s male fantasy, I still really enjoy watching the films and tend to watch a few every winter holiday period. I realised this year that I’d actually seen most of them, […]

Can you learn ‘pocket’? You have to define it first…

Rob Brown recently made a video asking an interesting drumming-related question: can you learn ‘pocket’? You might find it interesting to watch the video yourself before reading the rest of this article. The general message from Rob appears to be that he thinks it’s 50-50. In other words, it’s partly natural, partly practice. My short answer to the question is ‘yes, you can learn pocket but some people might find it easier than others’, which is somewhat similar of a […]

Digital camera manufacturers in 2020

Given that I recently upgraded my digital camera after spending quite some time researching the options, I thought I would share what I have learnt about the various camera systems available at the moment. I am generally company agnostic for the most part, so I was interested in learning what the relative strengths and weaknesses of the camera manufacturers are at the moment. I’ll leave the disclaimer here that I am not a professional photographer and I have not tried […]

Not sure who to vote for in 2019? Try my updated Python election model

Back in 2017, I made an election model in Python which took manifesto statements from BBC’s website and anonymised them in order for you to state your agreement level for each statement independently. I’ve done the same for the upcoming 2019 UK general election, adding two new parties that have formed since the last election. The script takes a database of statements that I got from the BBC’s 2019 party comparison website, which provides a small set of key bullet […]

Optimism in Europe

There’s a lot going on within the EU at the moment. Part of the anxiety is as a result of the EU referendum in the UK in 2016, but plenty of member countries have their own economic and social issues to worry about as well. I thought it would be interesting to map the ‘optimism’ in order to see how citizens in Europe feel about what may happen in the near future. The map above uses the latest 2019 data […]

Left-hand lead or right-hand lead? Matched grip or traditional grip? Why not all of them…

  A common topic of discussion among drummers is how ‘best’ to grip the sticks and the ‘best’ technique to use. Of course, the only correct response to all of these is that the ‘best’ technique is whichever allows you to play the music you want to play, as comfortably as it is possible for you to do so. For many people, this means picking an approach and learning how to do everything with that consistent approach. For right-handed players, […]

Preference manipulation is a big problem for competitive markets

Let me take you back to introductory economic theory for a minute. In a competitive equilibrium framework, it is assumed that consumers have some fixed preference ordering over goods. Firms produce the goods that people want in order to maximise profits, consumers desire goods that increase their utility, a price is determined for those goods so that markets clear, and everybody is happy. In theory. Embedded within this, at least to some extent, is that individuals have somewhat stable and […]

Should we be measuring quality adjusted employment?

In amongst the current hoo-hah in UK parliament regarding the EU exit, the government has been more than eager to restate the unemployment statistics to an opposition that has built its claim on helping improve conditions for workers. This is because unemployment has been on a fairly consistent downward trend since around 2012. Reducing unemployment has long been a target of governments, and it seems for good reason, as modern economic research has cemented the negative effects of unemployment on […]

macOS vs Windows vs Linux on the same hardware

I’ve found myself in somewhat of an atypical situation recently: I have three different operating systems (OSes) installed on my desktop computer. This gives me the ability to make somewhat of an objective comparison about how each system functions for the tasks I care about, and so I thought I’d use this opportunity to do just that. A couple of disclaimers before I start. First, this is not a comparison looking at technical details. Rather, it is designed to show […]

Present bias and store stock

Internet retail has been a big deal for quite a number of years now, and is ever-growing as a proportion of retail sales. Many traditional brick-and-mortar stores that were too slow to make the transition have died over the years. But there are a lot of stores that did adapt, and now do both internet sales and traditional in-store sales. Granted, the balance between these two sales channels can be tricky to get right. However, I think some stores at […]

243 personality types

People have been trying to categorise others into different personality types for thousands of years. Hippocrates described four fundamental temperaments (sanguine, choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic) that were thought to be induced by a difference in balance of bodily fluids. Since then, a plethora of other typing systems have been devised, such as the commonly used ‘Myers-Briggs’ system (MBTI). This applies theory based on the work of Carl Jung to create 16 personality types. Meanwhile, more contemporary psychology, which adheres more closely […]

Electric cars: how far is there to go?

The electric car revolution has been underway for a few years now. Elon Musk and Tesla have clearly had quite a lot of influence on the future of electric vehicles from a technology standpoint, whilst cars like the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, and BMW i3 have tried to bring electric motoring to the masses. Yet, we still have some way to go before electric cars become the norm. In this article, I want to briefly cover some of the main […]