On developing a Contrarian Mindset

Original Photo Photo by Masaaki Komori on Unsplash

I’m fascinated by the concept of outsized returns – be it in business, daily life, relationships, investing, or personal happiness – and how they are realised. I believe that to earn an outsized return dictates that you reject the status quo, throw conventional wisdom to the kerb, and embrace the non-obvious. In this essay I’ll make the argument for embracing a contrarian viewpoint and provide a few examples of my own where I believe a contrarian view may lead to a whole set of new opportunities.

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How to Write more Effectively

I’ve been thinking quite a lot recently about how I write. Specifically, what the tone and style of my writing says about me and how that reflects on the person/people I am writing to. What appears below is an attempt on my part to summarise and distill my thoughts around a few conclusions I’ve come to. As I publish this I’m aware that it also serves to keep me accountable those I communicate with in the future. So, if we’re trading emails and I start writing in long convoluted sentences, or baffle you with jargon, then feel free to call me out on it!
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On Wing Area and Aspect Ratio

This article was first published on my website AeroToolbox.net and is a part of a series of fundamental aircraft design articles which I have authored on that site. In this post I introduce wing design with a focus on Wing Area and Aspect Ratio, and show why it is a great place to start when conceptualising a new airplane.

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On the Decline in Research Productivity

Photo by Nicolas Thomas on Unsplash

We live in interesting times. Technology continues to advance at breakneck speed and the fourth industrial revolution is upon us. What were once concepts relegated to science fiction have become integral to our everyday lives. Our smart phones allow us to connect with virtually anybody in the World in real time, and I’d bet that most of us are completely unaware of the extent that artificial intelligence and machine learning pervades the interactions we have with our phones (you can read more here).

One might assume that this advancement may in part be attributed to the compounding effect that newer technologies have in raising our productivity levels. That would seem to make sense; with access to the World’s body of knowledge at our fingertips and virtual collaboration ever easier, surely the large strides that we are making are being facilitated by the improvements made in the past which compound our future output?
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On the disproportional benefits of developing a Side Project

Photo by Nathan Shipps on Unsplash

I have long been fascinated with the power that the internet has to connect like minded people from every far flung region of the globe. While human movement is still fairly constrained between self imposed borders, information is not so, thanks to the proliferation of the internet. Even more exciting is that with the multitude of tools available today, anybody can develop a voice and tell their story.

This is the story of how and why I have spent the last year or so developing AeroToolbox.net, an aerospace engineering website built to serve an existing audience of engineers and hopefully to inspire the next generation of aerospace and aviation geeks to pursue a career in this exciting field.
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