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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.

Can AIs have will-power?


With AIs it’s all about intelligence and smarts. Can they think better than us? Will they make better decisions? And so on. Probably the answer to all of these questions is yes, eventually if not sooner. I’m a (poor and slow) runner so I like to read books about running to see how the really good ones perform. I just read the semi-autobiography of ...
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Why don't risk managers worldwide not use behavior as a component of financial and investment risk?


Perth Leadership Institute and its founderE.  Ted Prince do a new take on an old issue. See the article by Katherine Heires in the Global Association of Risk Professionals:   
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How about the new amazing intermittent fasting pescatarian diet?


Paleo, keto, Mediterranean, Dr. Atkins, Weight-Watchers. So many diets, so little time to lose weight! What’s a girl to do? Your company might help you out by making you a vegetarian, as the phenom WeWork has done recently. The company will no longer serve any type of meat nor reimburse you for a burger. Tough right? It’s officially now a vegetaria...
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Are electric scooters the next mega-extinction event on Earth?


  I suppose you have seen the latest techno-phenomenon, namely electric scooters (" Electric scooters are invading. Bird's CEO leads the charge "). Now you can go to work on them by just getting their app and unlocking the contraption. They are supposed to be leading to reductions in traffic and maybe they even are.   When I go to China I see the d...
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Deepfaking neuroscience


  Have you heard about deepfaking? Yep it’s a real word, albeit very new. Deepfaking is about how you can modify a video in such a sophisticated way that it’s impossible to tell it’s a fak e.   That’s gonna put the cat amongst the pigeons right? Who will ever know what anyone ever said about anything once this stuff goes global, which is happening ...
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Can you edit your own genes – by thought alone?


So the talk of the town, biologically speaking anyway, is CRISPR Cas9 (ok dumbbells, here’s the Cliff Notes version ). It’s the new way to slice and dice genes. Actually it’s unbelievably amazing, at least to my tiny mind. Now scientists can cut and paste genes like word-processing bread (HUH?). Anyway you get the idea.   Now we are the verge of be...
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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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Will AIs Commit Suicide?


There’s been a spate of news about suicides by some well-known celebrities. That got me to thinking about suicide itself. I’ve done a lot of thinking about AIs so I wondered what this all means for AIs in the future. From there on I meandered into thinking about free will, as in, will AIs have it? Esoteric, yes, but nothing is more immediate than s...
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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 somewher...
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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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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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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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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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Could gene editing solve the online privacy and security problem?


Facebook has been roasted lately due to its user privacy issues, not to mention its hosting of those infamous fake news feeds. No good deed goes unvarnished…   But I guess they’re not the only ones to have that problem: how about the Federal Office of Personnel Management where 4 million personnel records were stolen by hackers , including probably...
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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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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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Self-driving cars – just blame the victim


So now several people have been killed in accidents in self-driving cars. What gives?   I’ve been driving for many years but I don’t regard myself as a good driver. For one thing I've got poor eyesight. I get easily confused at night and sometime in heavy traffic conditions. Here are three of the driving situations in which I feel most uncomfortabl...
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Is free trade obsolete?


So we’ve had a little excitement about the US imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum and now we’re into a global frisson about the possibility of a global trade war. As we know, they lead to depressions, or so it is said. But here’s the question I want to ask: if a world has declining population growth rates, does free trade still promise the same ...
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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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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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