Mathias Brandewinder on .NET, F#, VSTO and Excel development, and quantitative analysis / machine learning.
by Mathias 20. May 2008 06:48

If you always wondered what life is like in a start-up (maybe before starting your own?), "Start-up junkies" might just be the show for you. It is a documentary which chronicles the growth of a real Seattle-based start-up, "Earth-Class Mail", in 24-minutes installments. Earth Class Mail's vision is to deliver your postal mail through the web. I have watched 3 episodes so far, and found it pretty entertaining to watch. It was especially interesting to me, because it provided a window into two aspects I haven't experienced, even though I spent the previous five years working in a start-up in the silicon valley. Applied Strategies was fully self-funded, so it never had to go through the whole VC funding mating dance - and after watching it unfold, I am glad it didn't... The other aspect I enjoy is the click-and-mortar nature of their business, which mixes cutting-edge technology with old-school artifacts like giant mail warehouses; it introduces a nice extra level of complexity: adjusting a software prototype is way easier than modifying the way a physical "factory" operates!

by Mathias 16. May 2008 12:29
I was looking into some information on simulation techniques a few days back, and stumbled across this quote about social sciences in a presentation by Prof. Klaus G. Troitzsch.
“the problems which they try to answer arise only in so far as the conscious action of many men produce undesigned results, in so far as regularities are observed which are not the result of anybody’s design. If social phenomena showed no order except in so far as they were consciously designed, there could be no room for theoretical sciences of society. . .  It is only in so far as some sort of order arises as a result of individual action but without being designed by any individual that a problem is raised which demands a theoretical explanation.”

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