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In the Penal Colony


Emanuel Derman, My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance, here. Dude, so I am like Steve McQueen as Henri Charriere in Papillion? I didn’t even know. That Chapter 7 is a doozy with a sort of Steve Buscemi/Billy Madison  yet archly Blakean aftertaste to it. Glad I am not on the list, but I suppose you cannot entirely rule out the possibility of My Life as a Quant 2: Columbia University – Feeling Lucky?

It consisted of about a hundred people in Building 5.

Everyone was disproportionately fearful of Downs.

Makes him sound like Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke. Let’s see what else is out there.

Michael S. Mahoney, Interview with Peter J. Weinberger, 1989,  here.

MSM: Now you say you joined Development and you pointed back and it was behind the building.Weinberger: Yes. There was a building back there.

MSM: That doesn’t exist anymore?

Weinberger: Well that particular Development organization isn’t there anymore. But yeah, maybe, yeah they moved somewhere else, but yeah, they’re still around. Doing quite different things as you would expect after 15 years.

MSM: Was that where the analytic computing group was? When I first visited Bell Labs, it was a fellow named Charlie Stenard.

Weinberger: Yes I think so. That’s right. That was in Building 5. It was a weird building up there. Yes it was. I knew Jim Downs. He was a peculiar person in many ways. Frequently I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about. But he had very enlightened personnel policies. If his people wanted to try something out, he would support them. Which is nice because frequently they’re fairly hard to replace. It was nice.


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