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April 17, 2013

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Earlier in my career I saw engineers use Excel for all sorts of modelling, including analysis of beam steering networks using FFTs and all. This was mainly necessitated by the lack of other suitable tools (such as Matlab) to do such modelling due to the organisations they worked for being too stindgy to invest in proper tools. I think this has changed with the open source revolution. There is really no excuse now for using a screwdriver to crack a walnut!

I'm continually amazed at the insurance industry, to name a big user of Excel, where an Actuary (one of those guys who's passed all the exams), who has to know all sorts of Higher Math and Math Stat in order to sit in that Aeron Chair, then uses something not much better than a Friden calculator to figure the numbers for billions of dollars of capital.

May be The Great Recession, which is viewed as a Black Swan Event, doesn't happen every other week by sheer luck. May be not having Great Recessions is the Black Swan?

How would we have done modeling without computers? In other words, how did we do it before computers? Excel? R Language? Blaming the software for poor modeling is illogical. Was the Excel model not verified before relying on it so heavily? Excel, or any other computer software is much faster and reliability accurate than calculations by hand; however, they must be verified as accurate.

What about "the finest command-line interface 1992 has to offer" for favourite lines?

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