Perth Leadership Institute - Uncategorized Mon, 17 Feb 2020 03:05:59 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Is somatic cognition (come again?) being transformed by videogames?
OMG somatic cognition! What the *** is this guy talking about? And what has it got to do with me anyways? I’ve already written on this broad topic (19 September 2015  “ What have Octopuses got to do with Leadership?” ). The basis is embodied cognition, the idea that much of our thinking goes on in parts of our body other than the brain. Just like a...]]> (etedprince) Uncategorized Sat, 09 Nov 2019 14:57:25 +0000
How many post-history exoplanets are there anyway?
Mars is cool right now. Soon we will launch its inevitable colonization. And then what? Prior human settlements (here on Earth) have usually been economically successful but socially a shambles. Will Mars be any different? The reigning Mars thesis du jour is that it used to be inhabited by intelligent beings – maybe an earlier form of human – who t...]]> (etedprince) Uncategorized Sat, 26 Oct 2019 10:55:25 +0000
AI creates weapons of mass deception!
Voice control is hot. Amazon announced a voice-controlled microwave late last year, in fact it actually works with Alexa, the belle that everyone wants to take to the ball. But voice stuff even now is getting to be passé. Sure, Alexa can take orders and give you replies to everyday questions. But what if Alexa knew if you were angry, skeptical or e...]]> (etedprince) Uncategorized Sat, 19 Jan 2019 17:10:38 +0000
Are Big Data and happiness incompatible?
I don’t have to tell you that Big Data is hot. Almost Godly really. And happiness is a perennial as old as mankind itself. Wouldn’t it be nice if they both played nice together? Why shouldn’t they anyway? These thoughts come from after reading a book by Mo Gawdat, Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy . The author is a Google executive and the...]]> (etedprince) Uncategorized Sat, 12 Jan 2019 13:52:21 +0000
The California wildfires - Stay in your car in a wildfire – don’t get out of it!
The fires in California are tragic with a huge loss of life. I grew up in Australia in the bush and we used to get a lot of bushfires. They are very scary of course but the Australians have built up a hard core of safety knowledge based on bitter experience . I am doing this blog as a public service because I am surprised that none of that experien...]]> (etedprince) Uncategorized Tue, 20 Nov 2018 00:33:10 +0000
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...]]> (etedprince) Uncategorized Sat, 16 Jun 2018 12:29:24 +0000
Shouldn’t behavioral finance be a part of fintech?

Fintech is hot; as I’m sure I don’t need to remind you. I just went online to find the top 10 opportunities. Here they are. I can’t argue with any of the topics on the list.

  1. Mobile Banking and Financial Inclusion for Underserved
  2. Smart Personal Finance Management
  3. Affordable and Easy Accounting for Small Businesses
  4. Innovative Payment and Money Transfer Processing
  5. Peer to Peer Lending and Microfinancing
  6. Accessible Investing and Online Trading
  7. Simplified Crowdfunding
  8. Big Data and Predictive Analytics for Fintech
  9. Digitized Insurance Experience
  10. Blockchain and Digital Currency

But here’s the thing. When you check them all out there’s no mention of behavioral finance. And here’s me thinking this is all about FIN- Tech. Get it? Am I missing something?

Could it be that the fintech crowd doesn’t think behavior matters? That it is not an important variable? Or that psychology is just too soft and squishy a subject to be worthy of serious scientific endeavor, or too new to be taken seriously….? Hmm, that’s worth exploring further.

I wonder what could be going on here? This brings back some sensitive memories, like when it was topical to talk about the hard and the soft sciences, with the soft sciences receiving a small but discernible curl of the lip. Like, they’re not worth exploring if you are into the real hard stuff.

Now of course there would be many who don’t consider economics to be a hard science, its (pseudo?) math focus notwithstanding. But you would think that finance would just about make the cut, Black-Scholes falling from grace notwithstanding. But in this telling, finance is the hard science and behavioral finance the soft-science underbelly.

Here’s what I think is going on. The economics guys have teamed up with the MBAs, both of whom are actually closet positivists who think that psychology, behavioral and neuroscience are too imprecise to be worthy of their attention. What is worthy are Big Data, math with rigor (which excludes pure math of course) and algorithmic ways of doing things, souped up with AI as necessary. But behavior just doesn’t make the cut.

So the cultural divide still persists, almost 60 years after CP Snow coined the term The Two Cultures. Before, the dichotomy du jour was hard vs soft science. Now it’s fintech vs behavioral strategy and neuroscience. Plus ca change etc. etc.

What all of this seems to mean is that the fintech types see behavior as a step too far and they really are not going to go there, no matter what. They were never taught about behavioral finance because the academics largely have ignored it, 3 Nobel Prizes notwithstanding. Until it’s shoved in their face by dark reality, it’s going to remain in the shadows, at least for them.

Why would the fintechnorati feel this way? Could it be because behavioral finance takes formal account of irrationality and they still remember all the lessons which drummed into them that homo economicus always makes rational decisions, reality to the contrary? Or could it be that it just makes the math too hard? Who knows? In 20 years people will be writing books on this, just like the books that hundreds of years later excoriated the inquisition for being so crassly stupid about heliocentrism.

Ironically the popular writers have picked up the cudgels on this one even though the academics and fintech types haven’t. Authors such as Malcom Gladwell and Nouriel Roubini are writing for the people who have to use this stuff and that’s why they’re so popular. But the professionals are missing this boat in a really big and splendiferous way.

My sense is that more aggressive and innovative types of going to run with this ball and outwit the fintech traditionalists. The Chinese maybe? Anthropologists, God forbid?

Science has a nasty way of going in the right direction anyway and making hitherto sceptics look like know-nothings. Watch for it to happen with fintech too.




]]> (etedprince) Economics and finance Sat, 23 Dec 2017 14:12:53 +0000
Is blockchain primarily a medical breakthrough?
    Now we know that blockchain is revolutionizing not just digital currencies but also accounting and increasingly other areas of finance. So blockchain is fundamentally a financial technology right? I’m not so sure.   Check out my Sanctus Sanctorum, Wikipedia, and it will tell you that blockchain is a distributed ledger . As such it can give you ...]]> (etedprince) Uncategorized Sat, 16 Dec 2017 00:18:14 +0000
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...]]> (etedprince) Uncategorized Fri, 15 Sep 2017 11:26:22 +0000
Quantum is the new digital
If you’re a regular reader of this blog you might have noticed I have a disproportionate number of posts about quantum stuff. Case in point my recent post of “ Social Science is the study of entangled brains: Discuss ”. Not to mention “ High Frequency Trading Trashed by Quantum Computers? ” And so on. Yep, it’s very nerdy. But isn’t it a little bit...]]> (etedprince) Uncategorized Sat, 13 May 2017 12:28:48 +0000
Is reading bad for you?
As a book writer myself I’m always interested to see who might want to read my books, or for that matter, any books. The bad news is that the book market is essentially flat, so doesn’t look like I’m going to make out with my book, even if it were a best-seller, which it’s not. The slightly better news is that e-books are growing a little faster bu...]]> (etedprince) Uncategorized Sat, 31 Dec 2016 14:15:56 +0000
Was Darwin wrong? Why it matters
Hmmm, this sounds like a stretch, even for me. Surely natural selection is gold-plated, like the Bible, maybe even better? Nope, it’s starting to look like Darwin was barking up the wrong (evolutionary?) tree. But just so you know, I’m just the messenger, using info from the big guns, in this case a widely-published professor of biology Kevin Lalan...]]> (etedprince) Uncategorized Sat, 26 Nov 2016 14:18:11 +0000