Kill Your Status Quo


Vital Signs

Rants "Sir, What are your Hobbies?"

Photo by Thomas Schlijper

Email: dzetland AT gmail DOT com

Skype: davidzet

Web Personae
CV and pre-PhD resume
SSRN, ORCID and Google scholar
LinkedIn and Reddit


Most of my opinions are on my blog
The Annual Report summarizes 2013 (and later years)
Adventures of a postdoc reports on 2008-2012
Making of a PhD describes the ups and downs of 2002-2008


June 19 - Someone else rants
June 18 2002 - Letters to/from National Geographic Society
12 Sept - 9/11 - my opinion
12 Sept - Your Reactions
12 Sept - Other Reactions
18 Aug - Going Faster but Where?
4 Jan 2001 - Letter to NGS
7 Oct - Turkish Genocide
9 Apr - Wedding Letter and Photos
26 Mar - Outdoor Cafes in Italia
28 Jan 2000 - Personality Questionnaire
1995-2000 - reflections on many countries
"Hobbits? I love hobbits -- nice furry feet they have..."

I read books, magazines, and the internet (besides my academic reading -- oy vey!). I also like movies (film noir and fantasy) and electronic music.

Favorite Funny Stuff

Politics: I am a libertarian who thinks that government can be useful to coordinate the solution to externality problems. (I oppose monopoly and abuse of power in both the private and public sector.) I also like anarchy, using my definition of unguided autonomy -- what Hayek called "spontaneous order" and Smith called the "Invisible Hand"  Read this PDF.

A Little Family History

My father Hugh was born in India and moved to England, Canada, and then the US. He met my mother Marty in NYC. They moved to San Francisco before I was born.

My mother died of breast cancer when I was 18.

Here's a photo of her and me at my high school graduation:

Here's a photo of me and first car, an MGC that looks similar to the MGB that my dad had when he was young (middle). Oh, and that hottie in the bottom photo is my mom; she lived in Hawaii before she met my dad :)

In 2006, we were surprised to find that my dad had another son, my half-brother Gary. (His mum is Sylvia). Gary lives near London; he was very happy to meet his biological father... after 46 years!

About "Zetland"

My father was born Hubert Cecil Zetland CHICK. He says his "crazy aunt" suggested his third given name. By coincidence (not!), this name also belonged to Lawrence Dundas, 2nd Marquess of Zetland, a noble whose family lived in York, and who was very involved in Anglo-Indian politics and therefore likely to have had an influence over the career of my grandfather who worked in Delhi until Indian Independence in 1947.

The title of Zetland can be traced to the Shetland Islands in Scotland, where it was considered a mis-spelling of Yetland (previosuly Hjetland), which was written as "Ȝetland" when the Scottish Yogh was used as a first letter but later written (and mispronounced) as "Zetland."

My "family name" in short, was neither my father's (he legally took it just before I was born), my grandfather's boss's, nor the name of the place where that boss was not from. Beat that!

That didn't stop me from visting the Shetlands, where I got this article [JPG] describing "This Absurdity -- Zetland."

Update Sep 2015: I had my DNA tested to find where I am from. I'm mostly from N Europe (Germany) on my mother's side but 17 percent from S. Asia (India) on my fathers. Thoughts on identity.

Update Dec 2015: My oldest ancestor (so far) with "Zetland" in their name is James Zetland Wight (18291903), my 2nd great grandfather (on my father's side).

Update Apr 2016: My dad's side of the family is "Anglo-Indian" (rather than "pure" English), probably as a result of living in India for generations and intermixing at various points.