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.

One Person, One Vote…One NFT

Prove it! Let’s not get into politics but I don’t have to tell you that election fraud has been occupying a lot of minds, whether or not it is occurring. And, clearly not just in the US. How about in every country with a voting system, democratic, quasi or not? Even if you don’t have any fraud, how do you prove it? Technology to the rescue, this ti...

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More Containers, Tighter Canals

Uncontainable? So, the “Ever Given” was refloated and the Suez Canal cleared. But isn’t that particular ship just too big for the canal? What happens if two container ships sink one at each end? Or are sunk by terrorists? Isn’t the canal just too narrow for the ever-growing mass of containers being squeezed through it? And note that the Ever Given ...

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How Near are Neural Patents?

Not Another Digital Currency! I’m sure you’re aware of all the buzz around what are referred to as Nonfungible Tokens (NFTs). These are basically a digital token that inherently attests to the fact of the existence of something, let’s call it an Object of Value (OOV) for the sake of convenience. The NFT provides an audit trail to support the attest...

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Are Mini-Black Holes Actually Aliens on Tour?

Just for Trekkies If you loved Star Trek the bad news is that it looks like Star Trek 4 will never see the light of day. The good news is that a practical warp drive might be on the way, well kind of. So, you won’t need to watch a movie to see the planet Vulcan in the star system 40 Eridani in the flesh. You will be able to go there and see it for ...

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Can Bitcoin Counter Climate Change?

Mars as Destiny I guess you saw those pictures of the Perseverance rover on Mars, truly amazing feat of engineering. But what I also registered was seeing the desert that is Mars. Maybe there was intelligent life there that reduced it to a wasteland a billion years ago, or maybe not. But it looks like what Earth will probably look like in a while, ...

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Are Some Asteroids Cunningly Disguised Alien Spaceships?


Why We Need Harvard I’m sure you’ve heard all the news about asteroid Oumuamua (rhymes with onomatopoeia, kind of)  that paid our inconsequential little solar system a visit in 2017. At the time it just looked peculiar, like nothing we’ve ever seen. That’s because it was cigar-shaped, not spherical. Since when were asteroids not spherical? Since th...

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Shouldn’t AI Apps be Just a Little Bit Conscious?

AI is So Passé I suppose you’ve seen that Google is having problems with it’s AI folks. Maybe it needs some AI to fix them? The cobbler’s shoes perhaps? It seems that everyone is using AI in their apps these days. Voice assistants like Alexa are touted for them and who can claim they aren’t getting smarter? If you have an app these days, it might b...

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Why Don’t We Rate Management Teams?

  Catching a Dream? I guess you followed the rise and fall of Quibi? Remember, the hot startup that was going to rocket to fame with short-form video streaming? Naturally, it was a gold-plated tech-icon. How couldn’t it be with the dream team of Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman at the helm? And naturally they had a team of up-and-coming executive...

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Will Quantum Computers Destroy the Bitcoin Economy?

China Again… You might have noticed that a city in China (Suzhou) is conducting a trial of digital money. They have given this money (but note, not Bitcoins) to regular people for free and are letting them spend them online and even in person. Its aimed at exploring the extent to which digital money can be introduced as a regular means of payment a...

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Does our DNA Have a Back Door Too?

I guess you’ve heard the US contention that Huawei chips have a back door that allows the Chinese government to sniff any and all communications through them. Maybe yes, maybe no. But no doubt its possible. I wonder if we are doing it too with the chips that American companies sell to companies overseas? Hmmm, interesting. Getting Deep into the Sub...

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Will Covid Vaccines Permanently Harm Global Health?

I don’t have to tell you that we now have a vaccine out there for covid-19 There is widespread jubilation and a feeling that we have it beaten. How the **** could that ever be construed as bad news? Too Tough to Croak? Well here’s one for starters. “Measles Deaths Soared Worldwide Last Year, as Vaccine Rates Stalled” People aren’t getting their kid...

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When You Have a Mask, Who Needs a Face?

There’s a lot of hostility to masks. There are many reasons for that, but the health issue is a priority for most people. They wear them for safety. I wonder if we’re all missing something big. Clothing for Deep Thinkers Only, Please WFH (working from home) is now changing the fashion equation. We dress up (on our upper body) so we can look busines...

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Does Pandemic Response Predict Military Performance?

Did you see that recently, Qingdao a large city in northern China found 13 new cases of coronavirus? So they immediately swung into action and tested all of their 9 million people. Say what? That’s something we couldn’t imagine in the US or Europe, nor even Russia or other authoritarian regimes. Out-Curing the US In China right now almost no-one is...

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Is Google the Next GE?

  I guess you’ve been seeing the reports that both the US and Europe are going all-out to nail Google and other tech companies for anti-trust violations. I wonder how Google will cope. That depends a lot on the character of its CEO, Sundar Pichai. A recent article by Rob Copeland in the Wall Street Journal referred to him as a “nice guy. Is that en...

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Are Masks Causing the Recent Increases in Violence?

  #Face masks are being blamed for a lot of things, chiefly about whether or not they work for covid-19. Is it possible they are also causing an increase in violence and social conflict, globally if not already in the US? Conflicts R’Us In the US at least it seems that violent crime such as murders has increased significantly this year. There has b...

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Musk’s Neuralink - Can Perps Be Imprisoned in Their Victims’ Body?

Neuroscience Theater? So, Elon Musk is at it again with another mind-bending venture. This times it’s #Neuralink. This is basically a chip implant in a brain that allows direct brain-computer links. Just like Musk’s other ventures, it probably indeed is the future, even if not right now. But there’s skepticism from the pros, which is to be expected...

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Could we actually see ET?

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” Arthur C. Clarke Thought I’d change pace for a post or two, so much bad news around, pandemic, fake news, elections. So, when I saw the article I’m going to tear apart (NOT), it looked like a welcome diversion. The article is about a spinning neutron star 4500 light-years from E...

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Too many (Covid-19) vaccines?

A Sputnik Moment Yep, 165 vaccines under development 27 in trials. I wonder if that includes Sputnik V (the esteemed Russian entry). So how could there possibly be too many vaccines? Shouldn’t we add even more? And no, I’m not talking about the temptation to accelerate the approval process so that the entries haven’t been adequately tested, althoug...

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An R-shaped “de-covery”?

So the latest GDP data shows the US economy fell 9.5% in the 2nd quarter of 2020. That’s the worst showing ever since the Great Depression. It doesn’t get worse than that right? Or maybe it does.

Hmmm, what is worse than a Depression? The economists now need to put their thinking caps on.

There was a time in those halcyon days of March this year when the argument amongst the econo-literati was about whether the economy was going to recover with a V-shape or a W-shape. Those discussions sound so quaint these days. We’re well into a second wave of covid-19 that looks very likely to extend into a third wave, and maybe to be transformed into a permanent wave – “WHO says COVID-19 pandemic is 'one big wave', not seasonal”. That doesn’t sound like a recovery to me, V-shaped or any shape. What’s the opposite of a recovery? It’s a de-covery of course, dummy!

Seems to me there’s a lot of things about to hit that will cause the “recovery” to be more like a continuing decline over several years. What else do we call that I wonder? A secular decline? A slow collapse? Wait! How about an R-shaped implosion?

What in the Earth is that? Put the R on its back (or side) and there you have it. First a steep lurch downwards, then a very gentle incline off the depths over a longer time. That’s the future, folks. What happens then?

For those people who caught covid-19 and lived there’s the unwelcome prospect of chronic ill-health. There’s the prospect of millions more business failures and a long-term process of rolling disinvestment globally. Protectionist sentiment rises quickly, a reminder of the protectionism and competitive devaluations in the 30s that exacerbated the global rot. We’re already seeing government instability on the rise in Europe and Asia, not to mention in the US just like we saw in the 1930s.

The last time the world had a depression it ended in a world war. GDP figures are actually going to show an even worse collapse of economic performance globally now versus then. That means a corresponding dramatic increase in poverty and political radicalism in both developed and developing countries. An R-shaped global decline doesn’t even start to capture the reality of it all.

It seems to me that the best case is for a long flat low plateau in global economic performance around 15% below before where the pandemic started. If all goes swimmingly, we come out of it in a decade. That’s unless other, ugly things don’t intervene. In which case we’re in a 20 to 30-year Dark Age.

Maybe a 10-year R-shaped recovery is the best case. Let’s pray for it.

BTW it’s looking like China is already well into it’s V-shaped recovery….









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We Need a New Discipline of Nucleic Economics!

Depressioned Out We’re just moving into the Second Great Depression courtesy of our bosom buddy covid-19. But how bad is it going to be? Globally we’ve had prior experiences such as the 1918 pandemic, but we don’t have any formal models to inform us of the likely outcome and how bad it will be. We’re all flying by the seat of our collective pants. ...

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