Nelson Tang

Data Scientist

Why Am I Writing This?

In a previous career, I found myself leading convoys in Kabul during one of the deadliest years of the war. There were plenty of threats - especially bad guys hoping to hurt us and anyone nearby. As a convoy commander, I was ultimately responsible for my team's safety, and I relied heavily on our route-planning strategy to steer clear of danger.

We were lucky, I made it home and everyone under my command made it home safeyl...but was it because I was a good decision maker?

Was I really equipped to make sound decisions in such high-stakes situations?

After years of reflection, I realized that I relied too heavily on instinct and intuition. I didn't acknowledge the potential benefits of quantitative methods to help me form more effective strategies, spot alternative options, and better understand uncertainty and risk. Undoing this mental model has been a long and arduous process.

Today, I'm searching for advice and strategies I could have given my younger self, and to be a better decision maker as a mountaineer. What models can I use to make more effective decisions and manage risk?

I'll try to share the insights I've gained, along with other tips and tricks that come my way. If you're willing to lend a hand, let's connect and navigate this journey together.

Why Bandit Kings?

Oh, and if you're wondering about the name of this website, "Bandit Kings" was inspired by a Koei game that simulated historical events in ancient China - a game that was, in turn, influenced by the classic novel, "The Water Margin." The book is also responsible for the creation of the fantastic Suikoden series.