A Writer’s Dilemma A Data Scientist’s Decision

CAM00682Writing sucks as a way of paying money. You have to constantly ask for gigs and favours so you can pay the bills, till your publisher sends you the royalties for writing statistics books (which is not much)

Recently I was approached by someone to do research on Indian nuclear policy . I mentioned my billing rates as 80 pounds per hour, but said person wanted me to raise it to 110 pounds per hour.

Only one small hitch. The  sub part of Indian nuclear policy that I was asked to write a report on – was to locate , interview and find out India’s top nuclear scientists for small reactors.

India has of course a big research interest in nuclear energy but we seemed to be going in for big reactors and thorium reactors.

The only two small nuclear reactors in India- and one of them is in INS Arihant ( India’s nuclear submarine launched last year). In effect I was being asked to make a list of top 20 likely candidates who had helped India with a nuclear submarine reactor.

I have said no to the person, I have been subjected to verbal insults, threats and innuendo.

But Data Scientists trust in God. Everybody else has to work harder for the data.

I hope this is a lesson for fellow researchers , data scientists because as I said, writing is a lousy way of making money.

Was I wrong? Am I just living in a fantasy land? Do you believe I am a criminal and a thug?

2015-1

Movie Review American Sniper

clint_sniper_illoClint Eastwood is a director I enjoyed as much as I did his acting chutzpah in his younger days. Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino and Unforgiven are some of his best works. Mildly disappointing is his treatment of the rather incredible story of an ordinary human being caught up in extra ordinary events to become one of the most celebrated solders of one of the most celebrated special forces teams of the planet. Ironically what is jarring is not the violence and the killing but the transition from war time to peace time. The drums beating in the background of the killing scenes, Bradley Cooper’s over reliance on his eyes while mangling his otherwise perfect method acting routine- all take away points from the fact that Chris Kyle was both a great human and a great soldier. Some of the scenes seem quite implausible, but war is as implausible to us sitting in the arm chair as peace is to savages. Watch it for how horrible war is, without the  expectations ofa  genius. Keep your expectations low and this is a still a really good movie.