You say cult, I say community

I feel like I’m living with a time machine in my studio. One day it’s 1951, then it’s 1980.  Now I’m back in this century, full speed ahead!

I did, in fact, finish reading Patterson’s, The Quants (Crown Publishing, 2010). It’s a quick read, big type font.  Patterson reduces technology to “supercomputers” and the “money grid.”  That’s fine.  I expect this approach sells well.

I almost forgot, the name of the game is to make lots of money.  Lots and lots and lots of money!   I’m kidding, my partner reminds me once a month or so.

Patterson mentions FORTRAN, close to the beginning of the book, but I didn’t think to mark the page and it didn’t even make the index.  So, I can’t find the exact reference at this moment.  He does use the word programming from time to time, but that’s it.

Still, I’m happy that I read this book, even with its substantial fluff factor.  I learned more about hedging and credit default swaps, even if Paterson’s presentation is more metaphorical than not.  And I have a renewed respect for Mandelbrot. I had no idea that he plays a role in the grand discourse of theoretical finance (of course, I know about his SET and FRACTALs).

I have since moved on to Richard Bookstaber’s A Demon of our own Design (Wiley & Sons, 2007). I’m only about 20% into the book.  It has a tiny, tight type font.

And look!  We get our own section.

He calls us THE APL CULT!

My vision of myself as a female Peter-Pan-Pied-Piper cross summoning the Jedi, CRUSHED!

I’ll say more about the book when I’m finished with it.  You just never know when something in the end contradicts one’s impression in the beginning.  And the last thing we all need is for me to brandish around some half baked opinion.  But what I will say now, is this:

So far, I find this memoir style analysis intriguing in its detail. The level of specificity is remarkable, actually.  And, If we do, in fact, fancy ourselves to be the champions of Kenneth Iverson’s tools of thought, then Paterson presents a valid corollary which deserves consideration.

Further,  if you are really interested, you can find more notes about Bookstaber’s critique of APL easily in cyberspace.

Ta, for now.

I’m off to train on my light saber.


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