Author Archives: blueocean

Pause for Poetry

Circadia Whisper: Silence flows River of sorrow Drowning my woes Tension: Stress compounds Anxiety anew Apprehension abound Terror: Chaotic trepidation Cycle of dread Cognitive asphyxiation Release: Euphoria unleashed Reckless abandon Time to breathe Whisper: Silence flows Air of calm Chapter closed

Framing Mario

  Whilst watching a Mike Matei video on Super Mario 3D World (apparently the best game around at the moment), I noticed that he was hitting on a nerve. Watch the video above to listen to his argument. In summary, he is unhappy that after a few failed attempts at completing a level, you are given the option of using a ‘White Tanooki Suit’. This allows you to effectively become invincible for the rest of that level, taking all of […]

Ripping off the Imperial bandage

Adopting a different way of doing things – one that undermines the implicit way your mind has been conditioned to think about something – is painful. I’m not sure that there is much getting around that. When you have a bandage or plaster applied to a wound, you can peel it off slowly and feel every uncomfortable pull sequentially as unique signals, or you can clench your teeth and rip it off. The latter method tends to be the way […]

Are we imprisoned by growth?

Economic growth and technological progress have brought us many privileges, especially in the last 200 years or so. Inventions like computers and the internet have indeed completely changed the face of the world. But we owe a lot to ideas such as specialisation of labour. The modern economy has basically evolved from a series of fragmented (and primarily self-serving) tribes into a giant machine with many gears to be oiled and turned. The idea is that each individual has turned […]

The brain of Christian Linder.

Why Behavioural Economics?

It’s often difficult to describe exactly why you enjoy something over something else. Over the course of my education, I have been drawn from mathematics and classical economic theory towards psychology and behavioural economics. Whilst one is not better than the other, I like the latter approach much more these days. So, I’ll attempt to explain why I appreciate the behavioural approach more than the standard one. What is Economics? Ask my dad, and he’d say economics is all about […]

Kahneman’s Cabs: Solving Probability Puzzles

In 1981, Daniel Kahneman, along with his long-time sidekick Amos Tversky, wrote a study about a very smart experiment they did that exposed the lack of attention people give base-rates in quick mental probability calculations. It is now quite famous, and you might come across it in a mathematics, economics or psychology course these days. The Experiment A cab was involved in a hit and run accident at night. Two cab companies, Green and Blue, operate in the city. You […]

A License to Retire

A few years ago, in one of my first articles, I wrote about the shambles that was Quantum of Solace. Not only do I think that was a rubbish Bond film, it was a very confusing and poor film in general. As you can imagine, then, I didn’t have high hopes for Bond’s latest outing – Skyfall. However, I had heard at least more positive things about it than for Quantum of Solace. I figured it was only fair for […]

SPUC's campaign against destruction of unborn children.

Society for the Preservation of Uninformed Charlatans

Earlier today, my mail slot was rather firmly penetrated by this wonder of wonders. “Stop!”, it commanded. Apparently the Prime Minister is destroying Britain’s families! As you can imagine, I was quite alarmed by this. After all, we all come from some sort of family, no matter how broken. I wouldn’t like to think that there would be more breakage. I read on, wanting to know exactly how this destruction would be caused. Supposedly, it’s down to same sex marriage […]

Latexian for OS X

Why you should show Word the sword and try on some LaTeX

Whilst many academics and authors already swear by it, LaTeX is not a tool that has penetrated the realms of the average computer typist. The main reason for this, aside from a lack of awareness and Microsoft’s marketing assault on the world, is probably the initial technical barrier. It’s not pitched as user friendly, because it’s a ‘professional’ tool, and so its ‘selling point’ is normally related to its features. But that doesn’t mean that it is impossibly difficult to […]

Necessarily Sufficient or Sufficiently Necessary?

The best way to remember things, at least I find, is by association. If something reminds you of something else and you can make the mental chain that links them together when you come across something, you can easily recall what you need to. I’m sure those guys that can memorise decks of cards will tell you the same thing. Something that comes up a lot in economics, maths and anything else that involves some form of logical statement is […]

“Ma, build me a PC for Christmas!”

When our current (and soon to be previous) generation of games consoles released, it became apparent that the hardware was on track to converge with the kinds of things you’d find in a modern home computer. Both the 360 and PS3 use graphics cards that mirrored what was available in PCs upon their release, as well as the kinds of multi-core processors you see in desktop machines. The PS3 initially even allowed you to install Linux on it, before the […]

Quality Time

There seems to be this commonly held view in society that hard work and effort corresponds to time spent. Everyone’s always looking for the ‘experienced’. People are praised for ‘working hard’ because to the observer, they have just spent 12 hours at the office slogging away over a hot computer. Indeed, in the office-working culture, ‘face time’ is almost more important to the supervisor than productive output. Experience, duration, persistent repetition. From personal observation, these traits are rewarded and revered […]