As I write this page, I’m about five and a half years into a Ph.D. in computing science. So yes, I can write code; I can design databases (particularly if you give me a few hours to dust off my eight-year-old textbooks); I can analyze algorithms for time and efficiency; and since you’re going to ask, I can even fix your goddamn wireless network. I’ve learned plenty of math: topology and calculus and geometry and linear algebra. Mostly, I’ve learned how to learn, and how to research a subject and prepare an argument well enough to satisfy a half-dozen anonymous reviewers who — all things being equal — would rather that their papers got into the conference (or journal, or workshop, or book) instead of mine.
So, even though I’m not formally qualified to write in-depth treatments of some of the topics that interest me, I’m fuckin’ well going to do it anyway. Those treatments won’t be at the same level as something by an honest-to-balls expert in the field — not because the arguments suck, but because I don’t have the kind of background in, say, economics that Bryan Caplan brings to his books. These rants are worth at least what you’re paying for them.
The Glib Dilettante explains the credit crisis:
- Governments are dangerous and markets are naive
- The road to a housing bubble is paved with (bipartisan) good intentions
- Secondary markets, investment vehicles, and single points of failure
- Struggling will only make it worse (working on it)
- Sources and references (incomplete ’til 4. is done)