So how does an SQL background help you survive 2.5 years as a hostage?

Peter Moore delivers final Reg lecture of 2015

Tim Worstall victory dance at his Reg lecture

Reg events If you’ve ever wondered how you’d cope under the sort of pressure that can crack the hardest of military nuts you’ll want to get along to our final lecture of 2015 on December 1.

That’s because long-time Reg reader Peter Moore will be telling us how he went to the office one day in 2007 to work on a finance system for the Iraqi government, and finally made it home over two and a half years late after being taken hostage by one of Iraq’s many militias. Ticket details here.

During his captivity Peter endured what he describes with admirable understatement as “unnecessarily harsh” treatment, including mock executions and beatings. Peter sat it out, mentally designing new computer systems and a metro transport network, and putting up with being handed just an Xbox for entertainment.

As usual the formal lecture will be followed by a no-holds barred Q&A session, before we all wind down over a couple of beers. We guarantee it will be our most gripping lecture yet.

Peter is just one third of our excellent speaker lineup this year.

On December 17, Anders Sandberg of The Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, will be covering the ethics and technology that will allow us to live forever, as well as touching on global catastrophic risk, cognitive biases, cognitive enhancement, collective intelligence, neuroethics and public policy. Ticket details are here.

On 24 November, Professor Nick Reed of the Transport Research Laboratory will be separating fact and fiction on driverless cars. And you may be surprised just how much fact there is. Details here.

So if you want to stimulate your grey matter before subjecting it to the rigours of the festive season, you’re going to want to get along to one or all of our talks. See you there. ®

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