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This is the official Perth blog site for posts, comments, and other contributions about leadership, behavioral finance and economics, and about management generally, as well as other related topics that take our fancy.

Could China be North Korea’s True Nuclear Target?


It looks like North Korea really has it in for the US. But what if the Dear Leader’s real target is China? Now that sounds crazy right? China is North Korea’s closest ally. Moreover it is North Korea’s main trade partner. As the media constantly remind us, China will never move against North Korea because it needs the Hermit Kingdom to keep the Kor...
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Are human writers becoming obsolete?


Before we knew better it was predicted that the Internet would make newspapers and magazines obsolete. But now we can see that most people who read these things do so on their smartphones. It’s starting to look like the Internet has resulted in more reading rather than less. But does that mean that we now have more writers? And if so, what are they...
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A Third Way for AI: Cognitively-Augmented Animals?


Not everyone believes that AI is God’s gift to humans. Two noted gurus Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk beg to disagree. Musk is trying to stop what he believes is a lemming-like rush to fall over the cliff ( Elon Musk’s Billion-Dollar Crusade to Stop the A.I. Apocalypse ) and Hawking thinks that AI will kill the human species ). Well now the issue is...
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Does streaming music reduce productivity?


Well, whadya know? US worker productivity growth rose sluggishly in the last quarter (at 0.9%). So what? This is kind of boring stuff after my usual posts on quantum brains, love force-fields and the like. What could possibly be of existential interest here? Productivity growth is usually said to be caused by eye-glazingly boring phenomena such as ...
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Is love a physical force-field?


Did you hear about the recent wedding of two people in their nineties ( She’s 98. He’s 94. They Met at the Gym ). Tells us that you can have love even when it might be thought you were past it. Put it in the sweet news column. It used to be thought that love was a spiritual phenomenon (as distinct from being a spiritual feeling). Then we discovered...
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Bitcoin meets behavioral finance – what happens next?



So now Bitcoin has split between two camps , the miners and the rest. That gives us a bit of insight into the psychodynamics of the Bitcoin community. Can we figure out more of them? How about a behavioral finance analysis? To wit, what are the cognitive biases of the Bitcoin crowd? That is, both the rational and the irrational ones, more of the la...
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Can gravitational wave detectors read human thoughts?


Just been reading a couple of books about human consciousness ( Douglas Hofstadter “I am a Strange Loop and Dan Dennett, From Bacteria to Bach ). What’s the bottom line? In a word we still don’t have a clue how the brain really works and what consciousness actually is. Hmmm. Notwithstanding,  we smart-alec little pieces of terrestrial carbon, as of...
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Wagbits Revolutionizes How Pets Feel About Their BMI!


Obesity is old news these days. But what about our pets? It’s now become the topic du jour. naturally they’re getting fatter , just like we humans. The scientists are getting in the act, coz pet obesity (hereafter PO) is now big business, and of course we need to work out its genetics . Now the race is on to find healthier lifestyles for them, like...
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The End of Restaurants?


I just returned from one of my regular trips to China. Air quality worse, even more traffic. BUT a Cambrian-like explosion of bikes and bike-sharing (see Ofo ) and now, lots more yummy takeout. Americans invented takeout right? How dare the upstart Chinese try to beat us at our own game? But they have: massively. China and the US are on different p...
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Amazon Eats Whole Foods – Are Authentic Leaders Too Predictable?


So we didn’t expect Amazon to do the Whole Foods thing right? Bezos is an unpredictable guy. Reminds me of Elon Musk, Richard Branson, even (especially) Donald Trump. Unpredictable to a fault. Never know what they’re gonna do next. The traditional leadership canon teaches that leaders should be predictable; authentic they call it. But what I see is...
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Quantum Biotech Completes the Cure for All Cancer!


Did you see the truly amazing news that there’s now a drug that can actually cure all cancers no matter their location ? And it’s been approved by the fusty old FDA so it really must work! Yep, it only works in about 4% of the population who have the right genetic makeup. But the writing is on the wall. Soon scientists are going to figure out all t...
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Uber-Leading - Are empathy and disruptiveness incompatible?


So Travis Kalanick of Uber has been given the boot. What’s that all about? He’s promoted a hostile and sexually harassing culture. He needs to be reformed. Is his departure going to kill the company? Probably. I can think of several leaders who totally lacked empathy; more; they were unsympathetic, bullies, sometimes narcissistic and unappealing hu...
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A Radical Fix for the North Korea Problem


I don’t have to tell you how serious the North Korea issue is. It’s clearly getting even worse. We are close to the level of severity of the Cuban missile crisis, even beyond. Is there anything to be done about it? So far all strategies have failed. Talks, sanctions, negotiations, threats, hacking. The only thing left is war. But if that happens we...
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What’s wrong with quant approaches?


You know the old story: when a celebrity gets to be Time Person of the Year, it’s time to short them. Obama received the honor twice, in 2008 and 2012 and look where that got him! Trump was Time Person of the Year 2016 so look out! In the same vein I notice that the Wall Street Journal now has a new and separate section on quants. Does that mean th...
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Terraforming the Cosmos


If you’re a sci-fi buff you know all about terraforming . That means changing a planet’s “atmosphere, temperature, surface topography or ecology to be similar to the environment of Earth to make it habitable by Earth-like life.” In your dreams right now, but the reality is probably almost on us. It sounds kind of far-off, if not far out, in all sen...
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Can we calm the global mood with sound?


Recently I posted on the huge impact noise pollution is having on human moods globally, including making us all incredibly crabby. (“ Does noise cause global dysfunction in human mood? ”). Coincidentally (?) the Washington Post followed my article with its own about noise pollution, even in the national parks (“ Human noise pollution is everywhere,...
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Quantum is the new digital


If you’re a regular reader of this blog you might have noticed I have a disproportionate number of posts about quantum stuff. Case in point my recent post of “ Social Science is the study of entangled brains: Discuss ”. Not to mention “ High Frequency Trading Trashed by Quantum Computers? ” And so on. Yep, it’s very nerdy. But isn’t it a little bit...
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Are dynasties the future of democracy?


So I know I don’t have to remind you that we have a family running the US of A. Let’s say that it continues, with or without a gap between other family members also getting into the saddle. That’s what a dynasty is, in both cases. And this is hardly new. In modern times we’ve had the Kennedys, the Bushes and the Clintons. The Roosevelts before that...
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Do trees have brains?


I’m sure you noticed (or maybe not) a little news item that deforestation in Brazil increased 30% in the last 12 months ? So what? Does anyone care? Why should we anyway? There’s inconsequential reasons like forests create rain (through the action of emitting terpenes , inter alia) and stabilize terra firma. I have a more selfish reason; when you’r...
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Shouldn’t leadership be about business outcome, not about traits?


Did you notice that Tesla is now worth as much as General Motors? Quite a milestone given the fact that Tesla sells 80,000 cars a year versus GM’s 2 million plus.  Does that tell us something about leadership? My go-to reference Wikipedia defines a leadership style as a way of “providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people ”. ...
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