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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.

Are some headaches caused by gravitational waves?


Yep, I know, this topic is way too out there to even consider. Whatever. There’s so much news now about black holes, gravitational waves and the like that you just can’t help thinking of weird stuff, right? After all, newspapers (the few left, that is) still publish horoscopes and millions of apparently sane people believe implicitly in them. Aren’...
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Is knitting the gateway to AI 2.0?


I’m sure everyone has heard of mindfulness. It’s the new religion for curing stress, of which there seems to be quite a lot. Salespeople are hardly known for being meditative, so when they pick up knitting as a (secular) religion , you know there’s something going on. The buzzword is mindful knitting, by the way. And that’s not all, not even the le...
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Is a War with Those Aliens the Ultimate Black Swan?


I guess everyone has seen the most recent reports by US Navy pilots about those UFO sightings. Sounds a bit more credible than usual. To my mind there’s so many galaxies and planets out there that if there weren’t any aliens, that would be the big surprise. Let’s assume for the moment that they were UFOs and real aliens. Why would they have come? M...
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Measles is so passé – how about disease-resistant humans!


So, measles is getting out of control again. Ebola is already out of control. All those diseases of childhood are making a return in some shape or form , like measles and chicken pox, even polio. Antibiotic resistant bugs are getting nastier. The cognoscenti is already parsing the meaning of the post-antibiotic era . Meanwhile the latest drugs for ...
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Could fintech replace government - in planetary colonies?


Fintech replace government? This seems fanciful, right? Even delusional? But get this: in China recently, a 5-year-old girl who needed brain surgery and had to pay what for her parents was an impossible sum to get, received the surgery courtesy of millions of people who each paid 0.03 yuan per person. They thus met the medical bills of around 300,0...
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DIY stem cells from bone exercise?


Stem cells are hot! They are being touted for being able to cure just about everything. Even off-the-shelf cures for cancer ! There’s a lot of quack remedies out there. On the other hand, stem cells are real and so is their potential to do good things for humans. Is there some thing we can do to help these good guys along? Well, first a couple of f...
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Your brain on Wi-Fi and LSD


What if the brain had a way of communicating within its own boundaries that we never suspected and knew nothing about? Well, it might just be here, see this (“Neuroscientists Say They've Found an Entirely New Form of Neural Communication”. On the face of it, it appears that the brain can communicate between different cells and neurons without any i...
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Do most leaders lack business acumen?


Uh oh, GE just warned of another year of falling profits . It recently sold off its BioPharma unit making investors feel a bit better, until they realized things were still getting worse. GE needed to do something after cutting its dividend and reporting a huge loss . Jack Welch would be turning in his grave except for the fact that he’s alive. Do ...
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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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Employers need to get serious about helping employees to exercise!


You can’t read anything these days without finding articles on how you gotta exercise. And it’s true. Exercise has enormous benefits, physical, mental, cognitive and so on. If you exercise you get all these massive benefits for free. So what’s not to like? Well clearly many people no like. The CDC estimates that only 20% of the population meet its ...
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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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Smoking 2.0: Will second-hand vaping lead to mass nicotine addiction?


Just saw an article that claims that e-cigarettes help people quit smoking . They were, it was reported, twice as effective as gum or patches. Beautiful right? But what about the fact that these people didn’t quit imbibing nicotine? They just switched to another method which is less likely to give them lung cancer. This study by the way was publish...
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Do black holes affect personality?


Do black holes affect personality? I guess black holes are cool and fashionable right now, at least to judge by the volume of black holes news being fed to me online these days. So, I feel the need to write about black holes, not that I know the slightest thing about them. But who cares, I say. And the news, such as it might go by that name, is get...
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What’s the strategy if we never find a cure for Alzheimer’s?


I posted on Alzheimer’s early last year (“ We urgently need a Manhattan Project for Alzheimer's! ”). My thesis was that we needed more out-of-the-box thinking. So far there’s no public hints of that happening either in the scientific community or the NIH. (OK, flash release: interesting research linking gum disease with Alzheimer’s , but still way ...
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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...
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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...
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There’s a way to solve the health problem of living alone!


You might have associated UK Prime Minister Teresa May with BREXIT. But she has another distinction. She appointed the first Minister for Loneliness ever in the UK early in 2018 . At the time I thought it was a weird idea. That shows you how little I know. The current fashionable buzz is about living alone and loneliness. The concern is that living...
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Can willpower be developed through exercise?


Science says you can be 30 years younger, read on! As a runner I keep my eyes out for uplifting articles on the effects of exercise. So recently I was greatly uplifted by this one: “ Regular Exercise May Keep Your Body 30 Years ‘Younger ”. And no, it wasn’t an ad, it was published in August in the Journal of Applied Physiology, by researchers at Ba...
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Does nose breathing enhance cognitive performance?


This sounds a little weird right? But the research I am talking about has been  published in a respectable journal ( Journal of Neuroscience 22 October 2018, 3360-17 ) by a group of bona fide researchers in Sweden. So, let’s take it on trust for the moment. The research tested two groups, one of which breathed through the mouth and the other throug...
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Will quantum computers kill AI as we know it?


Sigh, I can’t help taking aim at AI. It’s just so fashionable and politically correct. Ask anyone in leadership positions in politics or the private sector what the future is, and they will all tell you seriously it’s all AI, OF COURSE. I have this pressing need to knock down shibboleths, even it they are good ones. So here goes. Here’s my question...
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