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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 the cognitive biases of the intelligence agencies be exploited by our enemies?


National intelligence has been a hot topic lately. That’s a bit weird given that I have been posting on artificial intelligence . Does national intelligence come even close to AI? Can we trust its analyses? OK so I have a tiny bit of first-hand experience in this. In my callow youth I was actually a junior diplomat for a small power allied to the U...
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AI is heading in a wrong and terrible direction!


My recent post on AI argued that currently AI is not interesting because it’s really just more incremental thinking based on current, boring,  paradigms, in effect party tricks (“AI – Let’s move beyond party tricks!” ). Yep, I’ve seen the latest celebratory article in the new York Times about the amazing things they’re doing with Google Transl...
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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...
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Are celebrities better venture investors than the professionals?


We Americans are obsessed by celebrities. Many of them have lots of moolah. So I’m sure you took notice of the recent announcements that Leonardo DiCaprio has joined a Boston VC firm . Maybe you also happened to notice another recent announcement that Kobe Bryant had launched a $100 MM VC fund, with one Jeff Stibel . This is just the tip of the ice...
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Is real behavioral change ever possible?


Well this is taking a different view. There is a huge supply of companies and methods to make you a better person, a better leader, a better manager and so on. And the vast majority, if not every last man-jack of them, are based on the assumption that people can change their behavior, if not a lot, then at least a little. Aren’t we humans just a li...
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AI – Let’s move beyond party tricks!


Right now AI is really hot. But to me it’s boring, showing no imagination. Siri still performs at the level of a very dumb 5 year old. Self-driving autos work but the tech is soooo incremental. Basically AI is all about performing party tricks. When will it get truly smart, even shocking? I am sure you have heard of the famous American science fict...
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There’s a better alternative to the UN!


Nikki Haley has just been appointed the new US Ambassador-Elect (??) to the UN. Another day, another dollar. Elections have consequences & etc. But she’s an impressive person. So how come she is allowing herself to be appointed to be the US representative to a body which, by wide agreement just doesn’t work? One that just has not been capable o...
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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...
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etedprince
Thx James for your thoughtful comments. You obviously know a lot about this topic and certainly far more than I do. However the ma... Read More
Sunday, 27 November 2016 00:11
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Are universities obsolete?


So I’m sure you’ve heard about the MOOCs – massively open online courses? There’s a bunch of them now like Udacity and Coursera. Many universities are adding new online course offerings powered by them. So the MOOCs are already doing a little to disrupt the university scene. But so far they haven’t had a fundamental impact, notwithstanding recent m...
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Being overweight is not your fault – and how to cure it


So yep a majority of people are either overweight or obese. And it’s a commonplace that they need to diet and exercise to fix the problem. The subtext is that for such people it’s their own fault. If they only had the willpower they wouldn’t have the problem. I beg to differ. Sure, for many if not most people a lack of exercise or poor diet is a co...
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Robo-Etiquette by Emily Roast


  Have you noticed the recent explosion of robots? There are robo-soldiers , robo-advisers , robo-vacuums and so on. To my great shame I’ve even added to the clutter ( Robo-coaches ), so I’m part of the problem too. We have a rapidly-emerging existential crisis, namely how to communicate with these robos. I mean no-one teaches you at school or...
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Can we unify traditional and behavioral economics?


So active investing is dead. Even the investment literati have finally figured that one out even though the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. I’ve been heralding the issue (“ An Inconvenient Truth - Alpha Financial Styles Beget Ginormous Returns ” and “ Less Algebra More Fudge Brownie - What Will Managed Investing 2.0 Look Like ?”)....
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Head transplants – body optional?


So you haven’t heard of head transplants? Get with the times, dude! Believe it or not an Italian medical research team is planning to do a head transplant in 2017 . And yep, they even have a volunteer. Takes all types. There’s considerable skepticism however that the operation can go ahead let alone succeed. Most mainstream surgeons think it’s impo...
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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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Leadership gurus lose to Robo-Coaches!


Did you know that the classic book “Moby Dick” has been translated into emojis? Yep, to wit, “ Emoji Dick ”. What’s the world coming to? I guess like almost everyone in the world you use messaging on your phone. Maybe you have even been known to use emojis, but only with your kids, right?. Same here, but I have also been known to use them (suitably...
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Do you have Pre-Alzheimer’s?


It being Presidential silly season, what better than to write a post about past presidents. So I read the latest magnum opus on said topic recently ( The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton 1st Edition by William E. Leuchtenburg ). Warning: it’s a bit of a slog, but it’s worth the trek. The chapter that really caught my attenti...
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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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ECB Should Push Issue of Refugee Bonds to Turbocharge EU Growth!


Useless factoid for the day: the European Central Bank (ECB) recently let it be known that it will likely start buying equities as part of its radical approach to quantitative easing . Apparently there aren’t enough bonds around for it to be able to buy. Mario Draghi, its head, really meant it when he said the ECB will take all steps to jumpstart e...
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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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The end of the wheel - wheel-less cars the next humongous growth driver


Hmmm, no car drivers these days, so why not no wheels too? You can’t open any paper, blog or tweet these days without hearing about self-driving cars. Frankly I’m getting bored. How about something new for once? How about wheels? Wheels are terribly old-fashioned. They weigh a lot, cost a lot, need a heavy car to ride on, are very hard to stop and ...
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