Hi, I’m Joe. I like hard problems, engineering revolutions, and coffee.
While I have hacked around in lots of different languages and technology stacks, programming isn’t about syntax or style, it’s about finding the right paradigm for the problem at hand. I have a bias for simple, flexible scripting languages like Python, but if they get too slow then I’m all about the C (normally as an extension to a scripting language, for ease of use.) I’m a big fan of open source, because of the sheer leverage possible with open implementations, and also since open code means open bugs means no-more-bugs, especially with a good-capitalist approach to opening up professionally maintained projects (hat tips to Canonical, Novel, Github, the artist formerly known as Sun Microsystems, and many others.)
I’m a political junkie, of the optimist, social liberal, internationalist, conservationist variety. But because I like solutions to hard problems; I’m something of a practical idealist and an incrementalist, too. Some of the posts from my old political blog are salvaged here, for posterity, feel free to take them with a pinch of salt.
I currently spend my days at Imperial College, London, in Earth Sciences and Engineering. My PhD is trying to explain the behaviour of piles of objects like sand, under their own weight. I keep a list of publications over here, and a list of my open-source code over there, in case you’re interested in having a look.
My technical background and interest in politics lead me to comment on Business, Entrepreneurship and Economics occasionally. In particular, I’m interested in what can be done in not-for-profit companies that seek to compete with the big boys in for-profit dominated industries. When I’ve finished my PhD, I hope to get some real experience in these areas, beyond my current freelance work, to temper my wild theories with some first hand knowledge.
Because I’ve been blogging for a while I also appreciate good writing, and since I was small I’ve been addicted to characters and plotlines. My own meagre attempts at fiction will be touted here now and again, and I reserve the right to be opinionated about other people’s writing regularly.
That’s about it. If you want to contact me, my details are here.