About me

I grew up in the south of England, except for a year in Canada as a fourth-grader. After finishing three years of linguistics at Christ's College, Cambridge, I moved to America in 2017 for grad school. Half of my family are originally from Bangladesh. 

Wikipedia says there were about the same number of Brits as Haitians living in the USA in 2016 (696,896 vs 668,223), but "Haitian immigrant" USA gets four times as many Google hits as "British immigrant" USA, and "British expat" USA over 100 times as many as "Haitian expat" USA. But I'm an immigrant really.

Other things:

• I've been involved in teaching and organizing for the UK Linguistics Olympiad for the last few years, after competing twice for the UK in the International Linguistics Olympiad (but sadly I didn't win anything either time).

• If you're not at a fancy university that will buy things for you, isn't it annoying that most academic papers are behind a paywall? This is why I like Open Access journals in linguistics.

• We now have a simple, elegant, and deep framework for thinking about how we should think: it's called Bayesian inference, and it tells us why science works.

• I think the people doing the most good in the world at the moment are the effective altruist movement; 80,000 Hours has some advice on how to use your career to help.

• If you want to become vegan, here are some tips. If you don't want to be vegan (because, like, why) but want to do massively more good for animals, you could donate to the most effective animal charities and save dozens of animals per dollar.

• Most animal advocacy focuses on farmed animals and others that live around humans, but an underappreciated (and probably much bigger) problem is wild animal suffering.

• I'm a member of the UK Labour Party, who aren't perfect, but would be enormously better than the current British government.

• Be aware of privilege!

• Unfortunately, our democracies don't work very well, for lots of reasons; FairVote in the US and the Electoral Reform Society in the UK have ideas on how to fix them.

Letting people move around (don't we sound silly when you put it like that?) would probably end poverty, double global GDP, and be a morally good thing to do anyway.

• UK citizens currently don't get to vote for their Head of State, and the UK gives special status to particular belief systems. Both of these things seem unfair.

© 2023 by Nicola Rider.
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