About

The Signal is written and produced by Olivier Simard-Casanova.

I am currently a PhD candidate in economics at BETA in France.

Why “The Signal”?

The name “The Signal” is a reference to the Nate Silver’s book The Signal and the Noise: what can you do to extract the relevant signals in that ocean of noise we call “the world”? Nate thinks statistics can help, through relevant predictions about the future (but also the past, and somehow the present). I think it’s a matter of critical thinking, and being surrounded by the right people – namely, the experts and the recognized researchers (and not only the “rogue” ones we hear and see all the time in the media, who are often at the fringe of their field).

Besides being extracted, the signal also needs to be understood. This is the second pillar of The Signal: explaining the signals to a non-specialist audience. You don’t need to be an expert in politics to read any politics story; the same goes for economics, amusement parks and roller coasters, and for virtually any story I write. The Never Ending Wiki is a great tool to achieve that!

Finally, a good signal also needs to be easily retrieved – or the conclusions based on its understanding. To do so, I heavily rely on deeps links, a very convenient feature to share only specific parts of The Signal content.

Mac apps

iPhone apps

Online services

Server software

The blog is hosted by Media Temple and is powered by WordPress.

I use as few WordPress plugins as possible. I notably rely on Admin Menu Editor and WordPress Helpers to heavily customise (i.e. simplify) the admin side of WordPress.

Analytics are provided by Google Analytics (sorry for that) and WordPress.com Stats. I use Feedpress to manage the RSS feeds.