Mark Sarney began writing science fiction as a geeky, contrarian kid in Rochester, NY. He created fantasy worlds while raking leaves, imagined that his elementary school was a rebel base, and gave the pilots of his Lego spaceships their own backstories. He went on to wear a Chuck E. Cheese costume, become a Washington policy wonk, find utopia, and pursue his lifelong dream of puking out words in an entertaining order.
- Name: Mark A. Sarney
- Race: Nerd / Gender: Male / Size: 5’7″ / Weight: 135 / Model: 1973
- Class: Writer
- Ability scores:
- Strength: Humor
- Constitution: Drinks water, washes hands
- Dexterity: 6th grade dodgeball champion
- Intelligence: Phi Beta Kappa
- Wisdom: WYSIWYG
- Charisma: Nice guy
- Alignment: Lawful Good / Deity: Flying Spaghetti Monster, Cthulhu
- Weapons: Dvorak keyboard layout, trackball, standing desk, tongue
- Languages: English, SAS, Python
- Skills: Writing, imagination, programming, reading, Legos
- Feats: Married, procreated, employed, published
- Personality: ENTJ
- Affiliations: Science Fiction Writers Association, National Academy of Social Insurance
My Nonfiction/Day Job
Why I am mentioning my nonfiction? In the internet age, there’s little use pretending that some easily Google-able part of your life doesn’t exist. And in my case, the fiction-writing and nonfiction-writing sides of my professional life tend to interact with and inspire one another. So why not be upfront and transparent about it? At worst, I’m giving my government agency’s websites some free publicity.
Plus, posting this info may answer some questions about how I came to being interested in projecting the future, and how I do it. And maybe it will take some of that impossibility glamour off of the concept, while at the same time inspiring some ideas about how much cooler these projections could become in the future.
My nonfiction publications are all collected here, but here are some highlights of projection-specific writing of mine:
Distributional Effects of Price Indexing Social Security Benefits – this paper uses MINT 5 model projections* to study the effects on benefits, income and poverty of doing some technical stuff to slow the growth of benefits. Its estimates are for the aged population in the years out to 2070.
Distributional Effects of Increasing the Benefit Computation Period – projections out to 2070 of the effects of changing how many years of highest earnings are used in calculating Social Security benefits.
A Progressivity Index for Social Security – a paper that introduces a measure built on lifetime earnings and benefits received for birth cohorts out to 2016. That’s right, we estimated the lifetime earnings and benefits until death for people who will not be born for a bunch more years.
*What is MINT? It is a microsimulation model that projects marriage, education, work, retirement and death for real people (and some simulated future people) through the end of the century. It is based on SSA’s administrative data on earnings and benefit levels matched to the rich survey data from the Census Bureau’s SIPP. Info about MINT 6 is here. Also, I should note that I don’t build the MINT projections, much smarter people than me do that. I simply use them to project how public policy changes could turn out in the future.
To Contact Me!
I’d love to hear from all interested humans! (spambots not welcome in my inbox, thanks)
Email: mark dot sarney at gee-mail dot com