What Tom’s Reading: Father of Information Theory, Lifelong Learning, and Annoyed Economists

Father of Information Theory | Lifelong Learning | Annoyed Economists


The most important man you’ve never heard of

In A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age, biographers Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman exhaustively tell the story of the life of Claude Shannon — the “father of information theory,” whose acumen informs every “computer built, email sent, video streamed, and webpage loaded.” Claude Shannon was a polymath, a tinkerer, and a digital pioneer. He constructed the first wearable computer, outsmarted Las Vegas casinos, and built robots. He also wrote what’s been called “the Magna Carta of the Information Age.” Along with Shannon’s contributions to the modern world, the authors also describe Shannon’s many eccentricities. This is the story of an unsung hero whose life’s work is fundamental to our world today. Kudos to Larry Siegel for turning me on to this one.

information theory

Being a lifelong learner

Great Courses lifelong learningI’ve personally purchased more than fifty Great Courses over the years. Their website offers engaging, immersive “learning” you can experience through video or audio, discs or digitally, on topics that range from Better Living to Finance and Economics, Fine Arts to History, Math, Science, Philosophy, and much more. Excellent teachers and experts collaborate on customized and entertaining educational courses that are comprehensive and fascinating. They’re outstanding for commuting, working out, or on long drives. And, the accompanying material is fantastic for refreshing the material or later review. Best part, there’s no homework or exams.

annoyed economists

Annoyed economists

Few things are as dangerous as economists with physics envy is the title of a recent article by University of Cambridge political economist John Rapley. He writes about how economists wonder why everyone feels free to join economic debates instead of leaving them to the experts, as they do with physics or medicine. “What economists don’t usually admit is that, on a range of topics they examine, they often had an answer to the question before they began their studies. Scientists are supposed to reach their conclusions after doing research and weighing the evidence but, in economics, conclusions can come first, with economists gravitating towards a thesis that fits their moral worldview,” Rapley writes. He goes on to discuss why economics has always been an ethical and social exercise, and why the reaction against economists is “understandable.” Click here for the entire article

Tom Connelly is the President and Chief Investment Officer at Versant Capital Management, Inc. His background is not only financial – he has considerable interests other than just making money. His broad curiosity informs and inspires Tom to create an expansive context to investment numbers, which leads to deeper and more strategic conversations with clients.

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