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The Diary of Anne Ku

23 August 2000 Wednesday


A tapas bar is a Spanish dimsum restaurant - not a topless bar, I explained to my American friend. We sat down and ordered a jug of sangria and four different tapas.

Several times a year when my friend visits London, we'd get together like this and talk. The topics range from the most immediate events, our personal lives, our professional lives, and ultimately analysis paralysis of what goes on. As I hadn't seen Trevor for a few months, we had lots to catch up.

He said: Anne, why are you trying to see patterns and create logic where none may exist? Have you ever considered that everything may just be random? Why do you have to model it?

I replied: But there is a pattern. There is logic. We can view this as an optimisation problem and that as a re-enforcing loop that needs to spin the other way. If it's free options we're looking for, why climb decision trees?

He challenged: But why not just accept things as they are? Why do you have to use all your education to model the different situations you get yourself in?

I replied: Is life about proving your hypothesis or falsification? Do you justify sunk costs? Or do you go through some experience just to realise you're not good at it or that you don't like it?

By the time we had our final glass of sangria, we were discussing philosophy. Then there was no turning back!