Obligatory Introductions

Introductory blog post, here.  Blah blah blah and all that.  I need to keep the saw sharpened and I have what I think is a unique perspective.  If you’re here, you’ve probably seen the portfolio, but let’s do introductions and then we can get on with a really fun second post – jumping into the deep end with autonomous car fatalities and how each one matters to the industry and society.

I would like to begin by stating why I haven’t done this before.  It’s not because I can’t, but because I always felt like I wasn’t the best qualified to speak.  Well, it’s time I got over that.  I’m a Master of Science in Robotic System Development, a past and future government employee, an amateur political analyst, and a newbie entrepreneur with a business degree on his Bachelor’s of Engineering.  I’m sure there are many analysts out there but there’s only one other autonomous robotic systems professional I know personally who is so deeply interested in the policy and industry of robotics, and that’s Professor Bourne of my alma mater, Carnegie Mellon.  He tends to be more cautious about offering opinions on technology, while I’m usually more circumspect in my political analysis.  It’s a difference of approach that’s probably down to our backgrounds.  I’ve worked in the government in the midwest where the prevailing opinions of my co-workers were quite different from my own, and we were all subject to the Hatch Act, so we dealt in issues rather than personalities.  I rarely meet a policy wonk who cares to learn how autonomous systems really work, and on the flipside, it’s vanishingly rare to meet a roboticist (especially a robotics STUDENT) who cares much about policy unless it hits them directly (immigration policy is an especially looming issue when more than half your Master’s class is from overseas).

So great.  I’ve got experience in several fields that touch each other, been around the block once as in the government, and I have an affinity both for the tech side and the policy side.  That’s what this blog will mostly be about.  I’ll be trying to explain why the tech is important to the policy people and how policy impacts the tech people.  I plan to find a level of abstraction where the two can meet with as much understanding as possible.  I’ll try to cite a few sources as I go, and – weather permitting – put out a piece regularly.  I may – as I go – do a post occasionally that isn’t in the core theme of tech+policy news and how one impacts the other, but that’s where this will mostly be going.



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