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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.

Is AI too left-brained to ensure global survival?


I’m thinking that you think you have a brain. Nope. Actually, you have two. We all have two brains . As in two hemispheres, the left and the right. They both do very different things, although there is some overlap. The left hemisphere does logic, process, rules and analysis. The right does envisioning, emotion, empathy and social stuff. So what? I...
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140 Hits
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Could hackers launch a global nuclear war?


I guess you are all aware of the US decision to withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Weapons Treaty (INF)? In defense of the decision its clear that the Russians have flouted it for many years. So, does this make nuclear war more likely, or less? Well, Putin just threatened the US with its new hypersonic weapons if the US puts more weapons ...
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159 Hits
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Two wheels good, four wheels bad (as long as they’re octonionic)


It seems that Americans, especially millennials don’t want to drive any more or own cars. Part of the problem is that the average commuter spends three times as much time in their annual commuting that they do on vacation. Hmmm but how about those Teslas? But I get it. Muscle cars are out; electric vehicles are in. Metrosexuals for EVs right? But h...
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282 Hits
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Ban tourism to slow down climate change?


You’ve no doubt heard that Venice is flooding due to climate change. Now we know that it’s also being flooded by tourists. As a result, the locals are leaving as the tourists ruin the city with too many people. A similar thing is happening in other tourist cities of the world. Santorini, the Forbidden City, Florence and so on an on. Tourism is rapi...
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The imminent Great Global Final Biological Collapse; can reverse gene drives prevent it?


That sounds like an overly alarmist headline, right? So get this: “ Hyper alarming’ study shows massive insect loss ”. Apparently over the past 20 years insect populations have declined on average 50% and in some cases even higher. We’re all seeing it. Have you noticed that these days the number of love bugs plastered over your windscreen and headl...
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310 Hits
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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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749 Hits
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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...
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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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1318 Hits
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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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1619 Hits
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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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1753 Hits
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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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1556 Hits
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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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1713 Hits
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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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1569 Hits
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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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1785 Hits
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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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1881 Hits
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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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2130 Hits
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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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1658 Hits
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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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1782 Hits
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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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