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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.

One Person, One Vote…One NFT


Prove it! Let’s not get into politics but I don’t have to tell you that election fraud has been occupying a lot of minds, whether or not it is occurring. And, clearly not just in the US. How about in every country with a voting system, democratic, quasi or not? Even if you don’t have any fraud, how do you prove it? Technology to the rescue, this ti...
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204 Hits
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The Second American Civil War?


I recently wrote about the potential number of Black Swans waiting to swoop in on us. Would a Second US Civil War count as one? Very likely I guess. Divided We Stand I don’t think the US has been so divided since the US Civil War, arguably anyway. Sadly, one of the causes of that war is still the same, namely racial. But of course, there are others...
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746 Hits
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BREXIT is just a sideshow – the main act is European disintegration


It looks like BREXIT is a mess. It’s fiendishly complicated. I already posted on this in 2016 (“BREXITed - UK Gain, EU Pain”). My thesis was that BREXIT would hurt the EU far more than the UK. Now I’ve had more time to consider the issue what’s my lowly opinion now? My opinion last time concerned the short-term, what would happen in the next 5 year...
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1246 Hits
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Could augmented reality save affordable housing?


Did you see the one where 95 affordable apartments were offered for rent in Ye Olde San Francisco recently and 6580 people applied? So much for being poor in the richest city in the US.   In a similar vein, I keep on seeing all this stuff about foreign heads of state being entertained at Mar a Lago. Hmm, that sounds like there’s a tin ear somewhere...
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China has just leapfrogged the US in a big way


I just arrived back from one of my regular business trips to China. Here’s my tally: air pollution is even worse, water in rivers is filthy. Yet the built environment is even more impressive and the Chinese people have made giant steps forward over their American and European counterparts in the convenience of their lives. How so?   It’s called WeC...
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1422 Hits
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Is authoritarian leadership inevitable?


We’ve just seen China approve a lifting of term limits on their leader, an epochal decision. Clearly there’s a move to authoritarian leadership globally. As well as China there’s the usual suspects like Russia, Belarus and North Korea, but now there’s some new/newish members of the club including Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Venezuela, Malaysia and Mya...
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How about “Nuclear Winter Olympics” World War 3 playoffs?


We’ve just had the latest Winter Olympics in South Korea. Of course it was overshadowed by the nuclear threats hurled at each other by the US and North Korea. Olympics are supposed to be about peace but this clearly wasn’t a very peaceable atmosphere. Now the Dear Respected Comrade is on an ostensible peace offensive, let’s see how long that lasts....
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Robocracy – for when democracy doesn’t work any more


For lovers of democracy, what’s not to dislike? Dystopian news from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Ukraine, North Korea and so on. Not to mention German, Hungary, Myanmar. Even (especially?) the US! Could things get worse? You remember “The End of History” by Francis Fukuyama? Liberalism and democracy triumph, nothing left to do until mankind reache...
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Self-driving vehicles – less crime, more social control


Just some idle speculation on my part while I was flossing my teeth. You know, thinking about life when I’m not allowed to drive a car, which looks like it could be soon. Ah well… So it looks like self-driving cars are well on the way. Doesn’t that mean there will be a lot less accidents? The statisterati say that 95% of motor vehicle accidents are...
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1930 Hits
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Should nuclear proliferation be encouraged?


I guess you might have seen that the UN has just opened up for signature a treaty that would ban all nuclear weapons? The big (nuclear) guys have already announced they won’t sign it. What a great start! Dream on. So nuclear proliferation is bad right? We should ban all nuclear weapons? Nonproliferation has been the core principle in international ...
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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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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 t...
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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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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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2498 Hits
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Self-driving democracy?


We’ve seen some strange things lately in the political arena, what with Brexit, Trump, and the upcoming political upstarts in Europe and so on. So strange in fact that African leaders are now warning global leaders not to copy the West’s political systems, as did Rwanda’s Paul Kagame recently. So strange that Russia’s Putin is now seen as a rock st...
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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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2469 Hits
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Can the cognitive biases of the intelligence agencies be exploited by our enemies?


National intelligence has been a hot topic lately. That’s a bit weird given that I have been posting on artificial intelligence. Does national intelligence come even close to AI? Can we trust its analyses? OK so I have a tiny bit of first-hand experience in this. In my callow youth I was actually a junior diplomat for a small power allied to the US...
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There’s a better alternative to the UN!


Nikki Haley has just been appointed the new US Ambassador-Elect (??) to the UN. Another day, another dollar. Elections have consequences & etc. But she’s an impressive person. So how come she is allowing herself to be appointed to be the US representative to a body which, by wide agreement just doesn’t work? One that just has not been capable o...
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Are universities obsolete?


So I’m sure you’ve heard about the MOOCs – massively open online courses? There’s a bunch of them now like Udacity and Coursera. Many universities are adding new online course offerings powered by them. So the MOOCs are already doing a little to disrupt the university scene. But so far they haven’t had a fundamental impact, notwithstanding recent m...
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2827 Hits
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Sleeping with the enemy – should central banks adopt bitcoin?


Hands up anyone who hasn’t heard of Bitcoin. No takers of course. So far it has been a qualified failure. Its most faithful users are the wrong kind of people who use if for money laundering and criminal activities. Yet bitcoin has many good uses and there are even legitimate companies that are starting to use it. But there is a use for bitcoin whi...
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