Finishing up Weapons of Math Destruction
Great news, you can now pre-order my book on Amazon. That doesn’t mean it’s completely and utterly finished, but nowadays I’m working on endnote formatting rather than having existential crises about the content. I’m also waiting to see the proposed design of the book’s cover, for which I sent in a couple of screen shots of my python code. And pretty soon I get to talk about stuff like font, which I don’t care about at all.
But here’s the weird part. This means it’s beginning.
You see, when you’ve lived your life as a mathematician and quant, projects are usually wrapped up right around now. You do your research, give talks, and finally write your paper, and then it’s over. I mean, not entirely, because sometimes people read your paper, but actually that mostly doesn’t happen for the published version but instead with the preprint archive. By the time you’ve finished submitting your paper, you’re kind of over your result and you want to move on.
When you do a data science project, a similar thing happens. The bulk of the work happens pre-publishing. Once the model is published, it’s pretty much over for you, and you go on to the next project.
Not so with book publishing. This whole process, as long and as arduous and soul-sucking as it’s been, is just a pre-cursor to the actual event, which is the publication of the book (September 6th of
next this year). Then I get to go around talking about this stuff with people for weeks if not months. And although I’m very familiar with the content, the point of writing the book wasn’t simply for me to know the stuff and then move on, it’s for me to spread that message. So it’s also exciting to talk to other people about it.
I also recently got a booking agent, which you can tell if you’ve noticed my new Contact Page. That means that when people invite me to give a talk they’re going to deal with her first, and she’s going to ask for real money (or some other good reason I might want to do it). This might offend some people, especially academics who are used to having people available to donate their time for free, but I’m really glad to have her, given how many talk requests I get on a weekly basis.