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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.

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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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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Are birds aesthetes?


Yep, it’s true. Some species of birds can actually distinguish between Monet, Picasso and other painters. They can even distinguish between art styles painted by unknowns. Can your dog do that? Maybe that performance beats 90% or more of humans given the same task? So if you want to get the skinny, and confirm that I didn’t make it up check out “ T...
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Does Big Data Diminish Leadership Purpose?


Big data is really big. So is analytics. Our interns all want to get a job in those areas, so they can hit one out of the park. The big idea is that Big Data can help us uncover insights especially into how consumers act, so we can get them to buy more, and, to be fair, to better meet their needs. Big Data is transforming business, companies and ev...
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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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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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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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“Happy Feet” - can animals fall in love?


OK so I went whale-watching recently, my token conversion to greenery. I actually saw several whales! Humpbacks actually. The interesting thing is that all the ones I saw were in pairs. Our helpful guide told us that these were always couples, male/female. But, she added disapprovingly, the male escort was always temporary; they have their way with...
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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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Space will be the New Driver of Global Economic Growth


So Yellen and the Fed just wimped out of raising interest rates, yet again again. What does that tell us? The world is in an economic funk. Nothing's working. China’s about to crash big-time so its role as a growth driver has definitely ended. The emerging markets are in an even worse pickle – Russia a total mess about to implode yet again, the Bra...
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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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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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Gluten is not the problem – herbicides are


See all those gluten-free foods at your local supermarket? Think you’re gonna lose weight when you eat them. Fuhgit about it. The skinny is that they are a useless fad. Don’t take my worthless opinion for it – instead check out the respected Consumer Reports’ article “ 6 Truths about a gluten free diet ”. The conclusions are that gluten-free diets ...
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Climate Science Useless: the Real Problem is Behavioral

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It has now become painfully obvious that all the climate science in the world isn’t going to do anything useful to change the climate. That’s because the problem is behavioral rather than primarily physical. In fact it’s probably the case that the more gloomy reports the climate scientists produce, the more people become inured to them and screen a...
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The Ice-Bucket Challenge – Leadership for Sissies?

I’ve been watching all the celebrities getting involved in the ice-bucket challenge . It’s quite a sight. And you can’t gainsay the fact that so far it’s raised over $40 million for the fight against  Lou Gehrig’s disease. That’s genuinely impressive. But isn’t the thinking behind it less so? The idea is that someone pours ice cold water over ...
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How do Exoplanet Leaders Create Highly Sustainable Worlds? The 9 Leadership Principles of Really Prescient Aliens

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