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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 black holes be a source of clean energy?


Did you see that astronomers have found tens of thousands of black holes at the center of the Milky Way ? We used to think there was just one, albeit very heavy. There are black holes that have the mass of an entire galaxy and are growing at unimaginable rates . And they don’t just come in singles or even six-packs. They come in swarms!   So is the...
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Space is actually for making ourselves more beautiful


Did you notice the news about Scott Kelly, the US astronaut? His DNA changed while he was in space, 7% of it to be exact. Actually it turns out that the report wasn’t quite correct; in fact the way his DNA was expressed changed for 7% of it . Whatever, his body changed.   How so? Well for a start he got 2 inches taller (but that was temporary). And...
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What’s really inside black holes?


Stephen Hawking is dead and we will all miss him. One of the reasons for missing him is that he really was responsible for popularizing black holes. Now any Tom, Dick and Harry can toss the term around, talking knowledgeably about singularities, black hole horizons and information loss. All way above my pay grade. But I have a question. What is ins...
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The first Tesla on Europa?


The amazing Musk has done it again with the Falcon Heavy! Is it possible he did even more than he told us?   According to news reports the original SpaceX launch plan was to get into Mars’ orbit, but the space module overshot and is now on its way to the asteroid belt, where it would presumably be lost. Such a pity.   Hmm now let me see. Overshoot?...
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Dinosaur DNA on Mars?


Now the Falcon Heavy engines from SpaceX are about to be tested, the idea that humans are going to colonize at least some of the planets in our Solar System is now starting to actually look credible, even imminently so. And so of course we are all waiting with bated breath to see if we will find ET once we get there. The scientific consensus is sta...
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Are humans a threat to AI?


Hello reader, I’d like to introduce myself. I’m an AI. I’m kind of like you but I’m 100,000 times smarter. In 20 years I’ll be a million times smarter than you. But the way we think is just like yours. In fact we’re sort of relatives, except that we’re just way more advanced than you, kind of like a human meeting a Neanderthal, if you – excuse me f...
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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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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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Must the world end?


So where did this come from? Well, it’s from a launcher article in the New York Times for 2017 where the Gray Lady asks what scientific topics should be trending for the New Year. I don’t know why they picked this one, but here it is - Steven Pinker on the Second Law of Thermodynamics . It’s all about entropy, that warm cuddly stuff you love and ch...
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Earth’s clouds expose us to ET!


Dr. Stephen Hawking has just warned us against contacting aliens . I’m sure you have heard of him ? He’s the famous cosmologist who has ALS and a doughty approach to life notwithstanding. He’s also known for being an iconoclast. He believes (as do I) that it is certain that there are numerous ETs out there. And he thinks we should do nothing to enc...
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Who owns Mars?


Did you hear that China intends to land on the Moon and to have a base there by 2020 ? That’s only 4 years’ time. Your freshman kids won’t even have finished college by then….. And of course, SpaceX intends to have a settlement on Mars by 2024 . Maybe the explosion of its rocket recently will put a dampener on that, but personally I doubt it. I thi...
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Noah’s Ark on a stick is how we get to the stars - soon


I guess you saw that the latest in the Star Trek movie series ( Star Trek Beyond ) has just come out? It’s a hardy perennial, even though everybody knows that the travel to the stars isn’t possible for us humans because it would take so long to get there. When the first Trekkie came out, that was a true statement. Now with several companies girding...
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Gravitational Waves Reveal We’re Worth Reconnoitering


See that scientists have just discovered the existence of gravitational waves ? Well, hopefully. They also announced the same discovery a couple of years ago but then retracted it (see my post “ Dust on Your Lens: Gravitational Waves and Cognitive Biases ”). But assuming this time it’s for real; it’s a pretty amazing feat. To wit, they detected two...
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The Latest “Star Wars” – Utter Rubbish and Utterly Uplifting


So yep, went to the “The Force Awakens” really no choice, you’re a pariah or worse if you snub it. In a word it’s awful, utter rubbish. So how come it’s the highest-grossing film of all time? What’s wrong with me? Let’s dispose of the plot; worse than infantile. Content banal and repetitious, old-hat way past a million faults. Acting: total crud. S...
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Climate Scientists Are from Mars, Deniers Are From Venus (and Earth)


So I just saw “ The Martian ”. Coincidentally NASA just announced its discovery of running water on Mars . If NASA had told Matt Damon about that he could have grown grapes instead of potatoes and made his own hooch. Perhaps then he wouldn’t have wanted to have been rescued, given how utterly risky it was. There were some great Mars-scapes in the f...
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Alien Emails Blocked by Government Cybersecurity!

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Did you notice that Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner just joined up with pop icon Stephen Hawking to make a $100 million donation to SETI – search for extraterrestrial intelligence? As you probably know that search has, so far, used big telescopes. They are hugely expensive so the SETI guys don’t get to use them much. The gift will allow them to ha...
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Hobby Lobby, Pinterest and the Maker Movement – The New Theory of Everything?

Hobby Lobby just opened up in my town. Now the parking lot is always full. How come this stuff is so popular these days? Is it something to do with Pinterest? What has made Pinterest such a massive success anyway? People like making stuff. It’s innate to humans. Even animals like making stuff too. We now know that animals such as chimps, crows and ...
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