November 20, 2019

Tokyo Gophers Meetup - Notes from the Meet and Greet

We had a smaller gathering last evening at Shibuya Stream. Just two of us were able to attend, but we had a very detailed conversation nonetheless.

In two weeks, we will conduct our first lightning talks at Shinagawa SPACES – please join us if you can!

Despite being just two of us, our conversation hit on a number of deeply fascinating topics.

  • using Docker for reproducible builds, integration tests. If you’re unfamiliar, check out the official guidance or my own sample repositories
  • monetary theory and central bank activities, notably (1) the phenomenon of near-zero or effectively negative interest rates and (2) US Federal Reserve response to the 2008 financial crisis. More reading can be had in The 2008 Federal Reserve transcripts
  • Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), and the basic concept of printing money specifically to purchase government bonds, floating the central government’s balance sheets.
    • I’m personally a skeptic here; at the same time, I am definitely not an expert in any sort of monetary theory. My naive critique, which I raised at the time, was that MMT risks either strong negative externalities in the public marketplace or over-extension of central government power and authority. Central planning based economies are a warning here, as are total market failures like Venezuela.
  • quantum physics and quantum computing
    • I have a toy project to show on this topic that I’ll blog about soon, but I shared my code-in-progress at the meetup
    • we chatted about the Shrodinger equation as an idealized model of a (closed) quantum system
    • mentioned the use of QuTip by scientists to model open quantum systems
  • brief mentions of Thomas Kuhn, and of social science as a science
  • blockchain, certain disappointments in its usefulness

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