Hi, I’m Thomas.
I write to make sense of the world, and to spread this sense with others.
I’m interested in strategy, collective behaviour, and understanding how the world actually works. My thoughts often fall between the cracks separating disciplines. One aim of this blog is to find a coherent theme to organise them around.
I like physics, philosophy, fiction, and finance. And lots of other things too. Eventually some of these things will be on this blog.
I’m a Third Culture kid, but despite growing up in several countries, I managed to retain the Britishness of my parents.
I graduated from University College London in 2019 with a masters in natural sciences. I studied a mix of theoretical physics, geophysics, and applied mathematics.
I currently work in consulting, focusing mainly on strategy with an analytics perspective. I also work with the Yak Collective. In my spare time I’m reading, writing, and researching how firms and individuals make decisions under uncertainty.
I also write Between the cracks, a newsletter about ideas I’ve found which are either surprisingly general, or generally surprising.
I’m currently based in Basel. Contact me if you are around and fancy a coffee.
You can also find me on Twitter, or for the professionally inclined, LinkedIn.
Some things I’d like to see in the world
If you want to discuss any of these, please let me know!
- A scaled solution to the Two-Sigma problem
- Something between The Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, and Aristotle as a live-in personal tutor
- Widespread nuclear power (especially nuclear powered container ships – did you know the biggest 15 ships emit as much pollution as all the world’s cars?)
- A company that absolutely nails moving. When you have to move you should be able to push a button, and all the paperwork, finding a house, finding schools, opening a bank account, is done for you.
- Voluntary Imprisonment as a service — a solution to the “flying productivity paradox”.
- People tend to be extremely productive on airplanes. This is in part because there is a lack of stimulation: no internet, limited room to move around, only sub-mediocre entertainment which is decided by committee, not tailored to your interests.
My favourite posts
The ones I enjoyed writing and thinking about the most. Usually inversely correlated with virality.
- Life, School, and the 80:20 Rule: School compresses the ups and downs of life into nice linear sequences. It gives the illusion of progress. But real learning is nonlinear.
- The economics of OnlyFans: OnlyFans is a billion-dollar company, but most creators lose money. Why?
- Minimum Viable Novelty: In uncertain times we crave order, and in the lockdown we have to impose it upon ourselves. Our routines need minimum viable novelty so we don’t go insane.
- Why does maths work?: A summary of Hamming’s The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics
- Wait Attentively: Why waiting for groups of friends is like an infinite series.
- Benford’s Law Basics: In which I finally understand Benford’s Law.
About this blog
This blog is emergent.
I write to think – I rarely have goals about what I want to write before I write it. Instead, I start with a thought and sometimes purpose emerges as I write. In time, maybe a theme for the blog will emerge too.
This blog is my answer to information overload.
Thanks to the internet, our brains are afloat in a sea of stimulation. Hopefully this site will be a walled garden, with some order imposed amongst the chaos.
This blog is between the cracks.
A lot of my writing is interdisciplinary. I like to apply frameworks from one area to another, hopefully giving unexpected results. You can find mathematical reflections on school, friendship, and groups of waiting people.
You can find out more about why I started it here.
I hope you find it useful.
It’s short, and I already owned it. Plus, excess-are-us is easy to say and remember. If you can think of any other good reasons for XSRUS, or anything it could stand for, let me know.