The Uncarved Block


People and stuff that have made this website fun to produce

This is a static website hosted on AWS using S3 and Cloudfront. The site is generated using zola, which is a very fast and no-nonsense static site generator written in rust.

I also use AWS to host DNS for my sites and use fastmail for mail hosting, which means mail just works and I don't have to spend any time figuring out why it's broken or why upstream sites aren't accepting my mail. For some time now people hosting their own mail and dns have been at a big disadvantage due to the way in which large network providers have chosen to conduct the war on spam.

My pages are written using the neovim editor, and I use a Planck ortholinear dvorak keyboard.

Note: Amusingly almost all of the above has changed since I wrote the first time I made this page, so I've kept the old one around for comparison.

permalink Updated: 2020-08-12

My Biog

Some stuff about me

I trained to postgraduate level as a Jazz bass player, but worked as a programmer to pay for my music postgrad and somehow ended up in a career in computer science. After various roles as a permanent employee and contractor I became the IT director of a dot com company. I then joined Goldman Sachs because the role I was offered sounded very interesting. I stayed there for 8 years, working initially on infrastructure for distributed pricing and risk, then in what would now be called devops, and then on a number of different trading desks. It was indeed a formative experience and I learned a lot although it was very challenging at times.

I eventually left GS and joined Palantir Technologies, a silicon valley software company that focusses on data analysis. Palantir attracts a lot of attention from conspiracy theorists due to work they believe it does for the US government however I worked on the commercial side, focussing on detecting rogue traders. This led to a joint venture they formed with Credit Suisse, called Signac, which I was fortunate enough to be co-head of. Unfortunately due to changes in the regulatory landscape the founding rationale for this startup went away and Credit Suisse and Palantir decided to dissolve this partnership.

I then joined OakNorth as the CIO of their platform business, which uses data science, tech and credit expertise to transform lending to medium-sized and growth businesses. It's been a very exciting journey so far.

I'm also on the panel of advisors of Antler, a hybrid incubator/vc and am an advisor to a startup called Kamayi. I'm first author on 2 patents in the field of fraud detection and wrote a chapter of "The Regtech Book" published by Wiley Press along with a number of other articles. I'm on the editorial board of the Journal of Digital Banking.

I've spoken at a number of large tech and fintech events both in person and on-line, including AWS Re:Invent, Money 2020, the MAS Fintech festival, the Inovate Finance Global Summit, Wired:Smarter, CogX and many others.

You can see my linkedin profile, and invite me to your network if we know each other. There are quite a few Sean Hunters though so I might not be the one you're thinking of. You can email me if you like and I will try to respond although I can't promise to be too prompt.

permalink Updated: 2020-08-05

I Ching

About the hexagrams on this site

My interest in the I Ching began when I was a music student. Studing John Cage, I learned that he was heavily influenced by the I Ching and used hexagrams as an aid to composition of aleatoric music. I bought a copy of the Richard Wilhelm translation and learned to cast hexagrams via the coin oracle. I revived this interest when I studied Tai Chi Chuan.

Every visitor to the front page of this website is greeted by a pair of I-Ching hexagrams, which are generated by this small python program. The distribution of results in the I-Ching is not uniform, and this page gives the same distribution of lines as the Yarrow Stalk oracle. The second hexagram is the first but with "moving lines" inverted in the traditional fashion. This website uses, and I incorporate the I-Ching reading into the Cheetah template for the homepage. The relevant snippet of template code looks like this:

#import ching
#set $hexes = $ching.get_hexagram_pair
#set $hex1 = int($ching.get_hexagram_number($hexes[))][0]
#set $hex2 = int($ching.get_hexagram_number($hexes[))][1]
#set $name1 = $ching.get_hexagram_name($hexes[)][0]
#set $name2 = $ching.get_hexagram_name($hexes[)][1]
#echo '<img id="hex1" alt="%d: %s" src="/static/images/iching/Iching
-hexagram-%02d.png" />' % (hex1,name1 ,hex1) #
#echo '<img id="hex2" alt="%d: %s" src="/static/images/iching/Iching
-hexagram-%02d.png" />' % (hex2,name2 ,hex2) #

...and the lovely hexagram graphics are in the public domain. I downloaded them from the wikipedia.

permalink Updated: 2020-08-04

Contact Me

Some people just really really want to know how they can get through to me. Sad but true.

If you want to email me to tell me that my website sucks or any other thing, email me at If you want to, you can contact me in utmost privacy by using my gpg key, which can be obtained from public keyservers.

Please note that I'm not interested in sharing links, hosting adverts, having my website optimised, having any of my body parts enlarged or the stack of money you just happen to have that needs someone trustworthy who'd be prepared to front some payments to help you steal it in return for some sort of kickback. Really, I'm not.

permalink Updated: 2009-06-12

Why Uncarved?

The name of this website has a specific meaning that derives from Taoism

The Uncarved Block is a common English translation of a Taoist concept called "pu". A block of wood that is not yet carved has no set form, it is thus infinite in potential and free from desire.

permalink Updated: 2006-04-21