Category : Opinion

Beamer Boredom

In one of my earlier posts, I described my thoughts on why LaTeX is a superior alternative to word processing packages (like MS Word) for creating written documents. In short, it is a system that more or less makes all the formatting decisions for you so that you can just focus on writing. It is also indispensable for those that want to use mathematics or technical symbols that are a pain in the ass to get right in other programs. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why does scientific interest die?

Earlier in the summer, I decided to visit the Science Museum in London – one of my favourite destinations as a kid, but one that I had not been to in some time. I’ve always been curious about the world and the universe, and so the museum serves as a fix for my addiction. Apart from taking in information served to me by curators, I also began to observe the demographics of the other museum-goers around me. It didn’t take […]

Pupillary Protest

‘Pupillary Distance’ is an ophthalmic term. It means, quite simply, the distance between your pupils. If you wear glasses, then you may remember the optician putting a strange metal frame on you and rotating some markers on the top of it before you have a pair made. This is how they measure your pupillary distance (hereafter, ‘PD’). The PD is an important measurement, because the curvature of the lens must be centred around your pupil in order for you to […]

Quantum of Solace: quantifiably shambolic

Spoiler warning: There isn’t much of a story to be revealed anyway, but if you still want to watch this film (which I strongly advise against – for your sake not mine), then stop reading now. I’m not much of a cinema person (I don’t even watch many films unless they’ve been out for years and achieved near-classic status). The whole idea seems like a complete waste of money to me. Yet last night I thought it might be nice […]