This blog is a collection of the work of Jamie Freestone and Mathew McGann. The two have worked on various projects over the years, the results of which can be found by exploring the menus.
Jamie Milton Freestone
Jamie’s currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Engineering at the Australian National University. He’s investigating some philosophical underpinnings of automated systems.
Check out his Substack which is focused on AI and includes ideas from his forthcoming book about science and meaning.
Previously, he held a postdoctoral position at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland, investigating the legacy of Darwinism. Some academic work here.
He has experience as a radio presenter and managed 2XX FM in Canberra. He was once the editor of the ANU student newspaper, Woroni and a long time contributor to the paper (most of his work is archived on this site), until certain religious figures were besmirched and his position became untenable (see his graduation speech for more details). Previously he worked as a high school teacher for eight years, used to lecture at the Centre for Public Awareness of Science at the ANU and was for a few years heard on ABC radio providing the latest science news.
He wrote his first honours thesis on the millenarian beliefs of evangelical Christians and their overlap with secular conspiracy theories. His second, gratuitous, honours thesis was on the affinity between Wordsworth’s views of geometry and the views of the 19th century mathematicians who later developed non-Euclidean geometry. He’s interested in the history and philosophy of science (and maths) and in approaching modern science from a literary point of view, via four key literary categories: narrative, irony, meaning, metaphor. His PhD thesis was a study of the popular science genre, as a way of applying this kind of analysis to the most mind-blowing scientific ideas.
N.B. The views expressed on this blog are not those of my current employer or any of my former employers. Why would you think they were? It’s clearly a personal blog so if you read something controversial or offensive on here, it’s me being offensive, not my employers past or present… possibly future ones though. But only if two conditions were satisfied: 1) an organisation emerges which has, as a subset of its views, my views on all issues expressed in this blog and 2) they have employed me. I must concede that, in such a case, the views expressed here would indeed be those of my employer.
This is a combined blog because these two fellows are inextricably linked by a history of collaborations.
Founder and CEO, Health Horizon
Creator, Roam for Teamwork
PhD Theoretical Physics
Mat has a PhD in theoretical physics at the Australian National University in 2014. After getting about as many qualifications as one can to be a scientist, he’s decided not that science isn’t for him, but that he isn’t for science. He lacks the patience for real research and so Mat fits better with in the intersection of science and society. The two main intersections are how research and technology is injected into the world (through business and innovation), the how it is injected into each of our lives (through media and philosophy).
Mat’s research was in Hamiltonian mechanics, in particular his cherished chaos theory. Nonlinear physics, complexity science and emergence are next on his list. He is a fan of Taleb’s ideas of black swans and antifragility, which both amount to an articulation of what he felt was wrong in the world but couldn’t put his finger on.
This main distractions through his PhD revolved around innovation and entrepreneurial activities, including running the university’s business planning competition and tutoring the subject. He then worked for the university’s consulting arm. He finally delved into start-ups full time. Which industry? Well the health industry of course.
N.B. The views expressed on this page are those of my employers. That’s right, every single person who is above me in the organisational hierarchy have the same opinions as me on all topics. This may seem surprising considering the important notion of individuality in humans. Doubly special is the fact that, even though an organisation lacks agency, a brain and personhood, the opinions of the organisation are also my opinions. It’s quite extraordinary.Follow @MatMcGann