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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.

Blockchain – A Revolutionary New Way to Stop Corruption in its Tracks, Everywhere!


You’ve probably heard of bitcoins, which are now, once again a hot topic. A US company (Coinbase) has just started up the first bitcoin credit card in the US, so I guess if it has a piece of plastic behind it, it must be good. But bitcoin is getting to be old hat these days. The really hot ticket is the blockchain which is the technology model unde...
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Tinderizing Leadership


I guess you’ve heard of Tinder ? New Age dating app: see photo, swipe left for reject, right to accept. You’re on. Major sensation amongst singles. Tinder recently announced big news . In future it will have a special space to list your job and education. Yep, never had it before. I guess that’s why it has had the reputation of being a hookup site ...
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Is the immune system the seat of consciousness?


Bill Gates is constantly in the news but his erstwhile partner-in-crime in founding Microsoft, Paul Allen, doesn’t get as much press. But he’s used his untold billions for a succession of causes, some quixotic, some not. At this stage it’s not sure where his Allen Institute of Brain Science fits into this spectrum. But its recent announcement, that...
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Will Robots Have a Problem with Mental Health Too?


The march towards robots taking over our everyday lives moves ahead inexorably. Self-driving cars are just the latest manifestation of the trend. Recent research now shows that in order to make them more human,, we need to give the similar flaws to real people so that we take them more seriously ( How perfect is too perfect? Research reveals robot ...
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Could a Cloud Attack Lead to a Global Depression?


Tech earnings were up significantly in the last quarter. This was at least partly due to significantly increased earnings from the Cloud by Microsoft , Amazon and Google. When Microsoft gets earnings from anything other than its legacy products it’s worth sitting up and taking notice. This time it aced the market for the first time in a long time. ...
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Are Narcissistic, Uncaring People the Most Successful Leaders?


I just saw the Alex Gibney’s documentary about Steve Jobs, “ Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” . It’s more true to the man than Danny Boyle’s “ Steve Jobs ”, also showing now. I’ve already showed my hand in my blog post on the 2013 film “ Jobs ”: “ Can a Narcissistic Bully be a Good Leader ? So what’s the message? Jobs was a visionary, bullying, ...
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Climate Scientists Are from Mars, Deniers Are From Venus (and Earth)


So I just saw “ The Martian ”. Coincidentally NASA just announced its discovery of running water on Mars . If NASA had told Matt Damon about that he could have grown grapes instead of potatoes and made his own hooch. Perhaps then he wouldn’t have wanted to have been rescued, given how utterly risky it was. There were some great Mars-scapes in the f...
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Can a Master Algorithm become the Next US President?

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I just read “ The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World ” by Pedro Domingos. Fair warning: it’s not for the faint-hearted. Domingos is a leading researcher in the area of machine learning and he’s a zealot for his subject. It’s pretty technical so the book is kind of heavy going. On the other hand i...
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Insiders, Outsiders and Trump Mania – Can a Successful Leader in One Career Always be Successful in Others?

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I guess like everyone else I have been following the GOP candidates show closely. Because of my interest in leadership, I am less focused on the ideological issues than of which of the candidates are most likely to be successful in the top leadership position of the US Presidency. The age-old issue is this; if you have been successful in one leader...
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What have Octopuses got to do with Leadership?

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Well, you gotta think outside the box occasionally right? I got the idea from the Economist that recently published an article on how octopuses think. Apparently they don’t really have a central brain like we humans. Instead their neurons are dispersed around their body, especially in their tentacles. So actually they think with their tentacles not...
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From the Internet of Things to the Internet of Brains

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The Internet of Things (IOT) is all the rage right now. Certainly it’s exciting. But is there something even bigger just as close, if not closer? I think so. You probably know that the Internet had been running out of IP addresses. So natch that’s been fixed, with the new IPv6 schema . With this new approach we get a lot of IP addresses. I know you...
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Does Work-Life Balance Reduce Innovation?

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Did you notice that Goldman Sachs (of all companies!) has just forbidden its interns from working after midnight ? Seems like their HR people, if not the pooh-bahs, have just suffered an attack of political correctness aka social responsibility. So even if one of their starting interns wants to work his version of overtime (like into the wee hours)...
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Do employee engagement surveys filter out potential great leaders?

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Did you see the recent article “ Working at Amazon Is a Soul-Crushing Experience "? It was written by an ex-employee so he should know, or should he? It’s raised much controversy ranging from the defenders of Bezos to those who say I told you so. We have other poster-boys for alleged employee abuse including Elon Musk (seeAshlee Vance’s “ Tesla, Sp...
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Alien Emails Blocked by Government Cybersecurity!

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Did you notice that Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner just joined up with pop icon Stephen Hawking to make a $100 million donation to SETI – search for extraterrestrial intelligence? As you probably know that search has, so far, used big telescopes. They are hugely expensive so the SETI guys don’t get to use them much. The gift will allow them to ha...
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Do girls outperform boys mentally – and what does it mean for neuroscience?

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Did you know that most university graduates in Saudi Arabia are women? That’s something; even where they can’t drive a car and can’t go outside without a male guardian of some kind, they still beat the pants (or whatever they call them) off the Saudi guys at university. And not just in Saudi Arabia. In most countries , including almost all develope...
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An Air Freshener that Helps Mental Illness?

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A couple of blog posts ago I discussed the huge problem of mental illness (“ The Invisible Pandemic ”). I pointed out that we still don’t know how mental illness is caused which put a severe limit on what we can currently do to help people suffering from it. But we do know something that can help, although as usual there are constraints here too. T...
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Is our brain really a quantum computer? Idiots savants may know the answer

Is our brain really a quantum computer? Idiots savants may know the answer
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You’ve probably heard about Obama’s big brain project , the BRAIN Initiative? Also the European Union Human Brain project ? You might be tempted to think that these are just one last big push to figure out exactly how the brain really works. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reigning theory is that our brain works something like a comput...
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The Invisible Pandemic

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I guess you’ve all been reading about MERS, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. It’s hit South Korea and we don’t know where it will go next. It’s not an epidemic though. For the media that’s kind of a pity, they all love to talk about an impending epidemic, preferably a pandemic. Of course, there’s not too many of those. Or are there? The Econom...
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Are 3 meals a day unhealthy?

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Have you ever seen the TV show “ Naked and Afraid ”? A man and a woman go (naked) into the wild with no food or tools and have to survive for 3 weeks. If they make the full 3 weeks it they usually come back emaciated. Guess what? That’s the norm for mammals, humans included. When you live in natural state, you don’t get 3 meals a day. Maybe 3 meals...
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Psychobiotics – The New Behavioral Weapons of Mass Digestion?

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I’m sure you have heard of the microbiome? That’s the trillions of bacteria in the human gut whose functions we still only dimly understand. But one thing has recently become very clear. That is that the microbiome has a huge impact on our feelings, moods and mental functioning generally. Here’s the interesting part. It’s also become clear that the...
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