I’ve decided to change the name of the site to Signal/Noise, rather than simply my name with a pipe in between. When the site was originally conceived last summer I was toying around with various names that would hopefully capture the general theme that would run through most–if not all–of my posts. In the end, I couldn’t decide on one and wanted to get the site up and running. So in the interests of expediency I launched billpetti.com. Now that I’ve had some time to reflect I’ve decided to rename the site Signal/Noise. So what’s the significance?
One thing that has always interested me, in broad and narrow terms, is how people can separate out pertinent, factual information (signals) from the enormous amount of data that is either irrelevant or inaccurate (noise). The term data is used broadly here, denoting all sorts of observations–it could be financial, behavioral, numerical, rhetorical, you name it. For any given situation we want the best information possible (factual and relevant), but separating that from all the data that exists at any given time is no trivial matter. In short, I am fascinated by how we might increase the signal-to-noise ratio in all sorts of areas: politics, economics, business, interpersonal relations, etc. And while I publish on all sorts of topics, this common thread can be seen in most of what I choose to write about or how I choose to comment on a story.
I am working on a post that will delve into my own little obsession at greater length, but it will be a while until I get around to publishing it.