Why I left physics for economics

I recently decided to abandon the rules which govern nature for the rules which govern people and markets: economics. Why would I do such a thing?

I love physics. Brick-by-brick, you can build new theories from established ones and know that they will apply not just on Earth but throughout the entire Universe. The up-sides are incredible: I worked on the theory and simulation of plasmas (the stuff stars are made of) for nuclear fusion. If nuclear fusion succeeds in its objectives, it could mean the end of our reliance on fossil fuels, the end of climate change, and energy security for at least millions of years. The experiments in fusion push the limits of nature. Every time Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Ignition Facility fires its fusion laser, the world’s most energetic, material is heated from 18 degrees above absolute zero to hotter than the centre of the Sun in just a few nano-seconds. The work was as exciting and intellectually rewarding as you might expect.

As quantum mechanics brought down classical mechanics, the financial crisis has led to a re-appraisal of macroeconomics

Related: A new CERN experiment targets even higher energies (eventually)

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The Bustling Theranos Campus

From the Slope of Hope: I have made no secret of my disdain for Theranos and Elizabeth “Crazy Eyes” Holmes by way of these six past posts. While driving through town, I passed by the gorgeous and expensive Theranos building, and I decided to swing into the parking lot. I was curious, because the one and only other time I had been there, it was totally empty, which I found bizarre for a weekday. But I swung into again and…………

0622-parking

Yep. Not a soul. I tweeted out the photo with the caption, “Thought I would check out the Theranos parking lot to see how they were doing……you can draw your own conclusions.

I got a zillion Likes and Retweets, but one in particular made my day………….

0621-john

Mr. Carreyrou is the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who exposed Theranos to the world. When the company was still in a state of utter self-deception, there was a huge company-wide meeting, with Crazy Eyes at the front, and the whole company chanting “Fuck Carreyrou! Fuck Carreyrou!” as Holmes beamed.

Karma’s a funny thing, ain’t it? Anyway, I’m honored Mr. Carreyrou saw my little tweet, and I hope to sit down and chat with him someday.If we do, I’ll be sure to write about it, with his permission.