Andrew Odlyzko

Recently one of my personal projects spurred me to revisit the work of another one of my intellectual heroes, Andrew Odlyzko. He made his name as a mathematician at Bell Labs in the 1970s and 1980s, but I found out about him from his 2001 essay “Content is Not King”, in which he argues that people are more interested in using a new medium for communication than for entertainment.

From there I discovered Odlyzko’s writing on network economics, a subject I was thinking and reading about intensely around 2006. He has also written some fascinating essays on market bubbles.

I was and am deeply impressed that one individual could produce such original thought and thorough research in so many areas, from mathematics to economics to history.