Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I'm always amazed how the prospect of an exam quickens my attention and learning.

Four mid-terms for me this week. In previous quarters I tended to have mid-terms in only a few of my classes and often not all in the same week. So 4 at once (3 in 2 days) is a little bit of a shock.

Commercializing innovation (the bane of my existence) is a take home. We are feverishly working to put something together but this class is impossible and I have lost all enthusiasm for it.

Competitive Strategy has a case-based in-class exam which will be interesting. Been a long time since I wrote essay questions in a test situation. Also not a class that gives me much joy. (Too much talking! And jargon.)

I struggle with my love for Time Series and Portfolio Management. While both are painful in some respects, I love the succint answers; snippets of code; obvious sense of completion; spare formulas and spreadsheets; amusing terms such as heteroskedasticity and leptokurtic in lieu of confusing terms such as"value chain" and "isolating mechanisms".

On the other hand, I am not sure that mastering Time Series does me or the world a whit of good. With each passing day I am more sure that the quantification of finance sheds little light on the mystery within. It was ironic to sit in the Berkshire Hathaway meeting with Buffett and Munger ridiculing business educations and the mathematical approach, Time Series textbook in lap, straining to keep my phi's and thetas and rho's straight.

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