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Perthblog

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.

Does mindfulness hurt business performance?


Mindfulness is hot. Google is a big proponent of mindfulness training, so that gives it the ultimate good management seal of approval? Nothing to question, right? You know I’ve got to respectfully disagree.   So what if a couple of respected researchers have evidence that mindfulness training reduces motivation? Check this out: “ Hey Boss, You Don’...
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Can AIs suffer from mental health issues?


So the movie “2001 – A Space Odyssey” has just been re-released . I saw it when it was first released and I didn’t understand it even then. No doubt I will be none the wiser this time around. But one thing still sticks in my mind; HAL, the mission computer had a bad case of mental ill-health.   “2001” was a prescient work in so many ways. I think t...
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What if exercise and brain training don’t help Alzheimer’s?


  I recently read an obituary of someone the town in which I live. He had died from complications of Alzheimer’s at the age of 73. What had caught my attention and stimulated my curiosity was that he had been a runner.   I’m a runner too so I read the lengthy obituary just out of curiosity about the rest of his life, and yes, what sort of life had ...
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Are viruses the biological equivalent of dark matter?


Did you get the flu? I was so lucky, I got it twice! So lots of stuff about influenza in the news. Other than that, how could you ever get excited about it?   Influenza is a virus . Everyone knows that too. Nothing exciting there either, right?   But what if there were many more of the little critters than we had imagined? What if they were literal...
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Exercisers are the new 1%


  So many articles about how good exercise is for you that it’s become positively nauseating. Even a confirmed curmudgeon like me can’t find anything wrong with it.   Yet the CDC says that only 20% of adults actually meet their do-good exercise guidelines (both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity). That means that 80% of Americans don’t do en...
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We urgently need a Manhattan Project for Alzheimer's!


Here’s some really bad news. Pfizer has just terminated its work in developing a drug to cure Alzheimer’s . Obviously Pfizer has thrown in the towel. Here’s some more grim news: Axovant has just announced that’s its Alzheimer’s drug just failed its trials . There have been a long series of failures in this area (“ The List of Failed Alzheimer’s Dru...
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Alcohol causes cancer – and the news gets even worse


A true shock! Alcohol causes cancer. No, it’s not a fake news story. It’s been validated by respected cancer researchers internationally as well as UK government committees . It causes cancer in at least 7 sites - oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breast. And it’s likely that it also causes cancer of the skin, prostate and pan...
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Are smartphones an even bigger aging and health threat than obesity?


We’re so worked up about obesity (rightly so, though) that we forget about all the many other things that are out to get you. Count amongst these your trusty computer and your indispensable smartphone. The big problem is that we are either hunched over our computers at work or over our smartphones everywhere else. I’m sure you all know the problem ...
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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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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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Humans can thrive on a totally polluted planet!


Did you see the news piece about pollution at the bottom of the Marianas Trench? It’s the deepest place on Earth. Turns out that the crustaceans at the very bottom are 50 times more contaminated by toxic pollution byproducts than fish in the most polluted Chinese rivers. So congratulation humans! We have succeeded magnificently in polluting absolut...
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Maybe Alzheimer’s isn’t a Brain Disease?


So I guess you saw that latest failure of an Alzheimer’s drug ( verubecestat from Merck )? Scratch yet another Phase III Alzheimer’s drug hopeful. Of 244 drugs tried out for Alzheimer’s between 2002 and 2012 , only one was approved and it is of tiny effectiveness anyway. It’s got a 99.6% failure rate in this area. As you probably know, the reigning...
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Does noise cause global dysfunction in human mood?


Music streaming is hot. Everyone’s doing it. So why is it so popular? Well, the music is popular and varied, often relaxing. You can live in your own world. What’s not to like? Outside there’s a lot of hurly-burly and especially a lot of noise. Is music streaming a way to get away from the noise? We are all bathed in a constant tumult of noise, unc...
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Exercise is being way overhyped!


So you know what I mean? Can’t open any magazine, blog, newspaper, social media without being bombarded by how great exercise is for you. Nauseating right? Full disclosure: I wear a Fitbit (Blaze) permanently, run every day, walk whenever I can. I’ve drunk fulsomely of the Kool-Aid. But that doesn’t make me right. Nor does it mean that I am totally...
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Being overweight is not your fault – and how to cure it


So yep a majority of people are either overweight or obese. And it’s a commonplace that they need to diet and exercise to fix the problem. The subtext is that for such people it’s their own fault. If they only had the willpower they wouldn’t have the problem. I beg to differ. Sure, for many if not most people a lack of exercise or poor diet is a co...
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Head transplants – body optional?


So you haven’t heard of head transplants? Get with the times, dude! Believe it or not an Italian medical research team is planning to do a head transplant in 2017 . And yep, they even have a volunteer. Takes all types. There’s considerable skepticism however that the operation can go ahead let alone succeed. Most mainstream surgeons think it’s impo...
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Do you have Pre-Alzheimer’s?


It being Presidential silly season, what better than to write a post about past presidents. So I read the latest magnum opus on said topic recently ( The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton 1st Edition by William E. Leuchtenburg ). Warning: it’s a bit of a slog, but it’s worth the trek. The chapter that really caught my attenti...
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A New and Practical Pathway to Immortality?


Well here’s an intriguing piece of research. It turns out that at least some genes in both animals and humans are still alive even after the animal itself is dead. So far it looks like they can remain active for up to 48 hours after their host has given up the ghost. ( New Scientist, “Hundreds of genes seen sparking to life two days after death ”)....
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Is widespread pill usage actually making us more disease prone?


Did you see that employers looking to hire are having a hard time finding them free of drugs , especially marijuana? Meanwhile the House of Congress looks like it’s going to pass a bill to help recovery by drug addicts , especially those who use prescription drugs. But for the moment, it looks like Congress is focused more on helping people to reco...
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Could Genetically-Modified Humans Re-Ignite Global Growth?


I’m sure you’ve heard about the Vermont law that says that all foods that include genetically-modified ingredients must be disclosed on the label starting July 2016. Of course most of Europe doesn’t allow GM foods. China officially bans GM crops, although in fact the vast majority of them are in fact GM . So the movement to ban all GM foods is pret...
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