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.

Could brain phishing hijack a leader’s strategies?


Did you see that Microsoft has developed software and a website that can guess your age just by looking at a photo? No more lying about our age I guess. And I suppose you have seen the numerous reports about how researchers can now identify your emotions based on brainwaves seen from MRI scans? So now we’re cutting off yet another avenue for creati...

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Low EQ = High Business Acumen?


Well I’m sure that this post will get me flamed but here’s going anyhow. Emotional intelligence is hot. It’s supposed to make you a better leader. How so? By making you more sensitive to your fellow man, it’s supposed to make your followers more engaged, more loyal to you and so on. The same with customers. In this model high engagement and high lo...

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Should behavioral economics include animals?


Behavioral economics is gradually winning over more converts. It’s now – justifiably - being applied to the most unlikely facets of human existence. So the natural (to me) question arises: should it be applied to animals too. I interpret animals broadly. Not just the warm-blooded ones we know and love like dogs, kittens, dolphins, elephants and oth...

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Insects have economies too: Is there a connection between climate change and global deflation?


So we’ve got two megatrends going on in spaceship Earth. One is climate change. The other is global deflation. Are the two connected? The conventional view of deflation is that it is due to short term factors that lead to lower demand, absolutely or relatively. But there’s a growing suspicion that this may be a long term phenomenon spurred by what ...

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Climate Science Useless: the Real Problem is Behavioral


It has now become painfully obvious that all the climate science in the world isn’t going to do anything useful to change the climate. That’s because the problem is behavioral rather than primarily physical. In fact it’s probably the case that the more gloomy reports the climate scientists produce, the more people become inured to them and screen a...

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Is Astrology a Branch of Neuroscience?

I just read an article on astrology (Does Astrology Work? I’m Gonna Go With “No.” in Bad Astronomy). I’ve never believed in horoscopes and all the other astrological claptrap. How could the positions of planets possibly influence your personality and behavior? But hold on here. I pride myself on being open-minded to different ideas and thoughts, ev...

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Are cognitive biases contagious?


  So cognitive biases are the beating heart of behavioral economics and finance. But where do they come from? Are they innate or learned? Or are they epigenetic, some complex combination of the two where environmental factors trigger a gene for one or more of them? But there’s another possibility, namely that you catch them. Yep just like a co...

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Behavioral Accounting Transforms Green Eye-Shades into Empathic Intuitors?


So you haven’t heard of behavioral accounting? Wow you haven’t lived! It does exist and it has generally been defined as accounting for the differential impact of behaviors on the value of an organization. But I have a different perspective on behavioral accounting. As in, how does the behavior of the preparer of an accounting document impact its r...

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Make Behavioral Finance Useful – Alternative Investment Application is the Next Big Thing


So behavioral finance is hot these days. Authors such as Nouriel Roubini and Malcolm Gladwell have popularized it with the Great Unwashed. And academics are starting to catch on too, so that's progress. The problem is that for all its intellectual fecundity, behavioral finance suffers from a major problem. That is, that it hasn’t been useful from a...

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How Close is the Three-Person Marriage?


Was just reading an article about plummeting fertility rates in Europe. Seems like no-one wants kids any more. Just too expensive or too much trouble. But there’s another totally different possibility that almost no-one seems to have considered. What if women in developed countries actually really want more babies but they can’t? Because their sign...

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Is Deflation A Result of Exploding Global IQ?

Have just been reading more stuff about deflation in Europe, Russia and just about everywhere else, developed that is. The intelligentsia believes that it’s due to a number of factors especially the aging of the population and lack of policies to stimulate demand. Who knows, they might be right. But I have another wild idea. That deflation is due t...

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How many Dead People on the Internet? Reflections on Alan Turing and the Imitation Game.

I notice that Facebook has just announced a new policy concerning who owns a person’s account once they die. The issue of what happens to and who owns a dead user’s accounts is a huge and growing global issue as everything goes into the cloud. I had an employee who died about 3 years ago. I forwarded his emails to me since I didn’t want to lose bus...

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Tacit Knowledge – Another Type of Locked-In Syndrome?

I just watched a TV show about a guy with locked-in syndrome. That occurs when someone is paralyzed, and can’t speak or move and is diagnosed as being in a vegetative state. We now realize that many such people are indeed conscious and aware but can’t make anyone aware of that fact. It’s a tragic state but at least we are becoming more aware of the...

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Pop-Up Careers: The New Normal?

Did you see that miillennials expect to have about 15-20 jobs in their lifetimes? So the idea of one job for life has gone the way of the transistor. Out of the window with it goes hallowed virtues such as employee loyalty and company training. But I fear that even 15-20 jobs doesn’t get to the heart of the problem. Maybe 15-20 careers captures the...

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The Next Frontier in Diversity: Should Personality Discrimination be Legally Banned?

So many unfair behaviors are not legally discrimination, even if in real life they reflect unfair or unequal treatment. Discrimination against races, genders, disabilities, gay marriages and so on has all been legally proscribed. Could there be any forms of discrimination left? Well yes, although it hasn’t become fashionable yet, but maybe it will....

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Are Animals the Next Mass Consumer Market?

Did you notice that Skype/Microsoft has just launched its simultaneous translation service for Spanish to English? Believe it or not, in a real-life man-bites dog story, Microsoft beat Google to the punch. Pretty soon we can expect simultaneous translation between most major and even many minor languages. Who could have predicted that just a few ye...

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What Will a Driverless Car Look Like? Automodules Anyone?

I guess you have seen all the hoopla around driverless cars? But to me they look very passé. Antennae sticking out everywhere; otherwise old wine in bottles. And they look the same as they do now. What’s exciting about that? After all, when you have a driverless car you don’t need a steering wheel, controls, even a driver’s seat. That frees up a lo...

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There is a Connection between the “Nut Rage” Incident at Korean Airlines and the AirAsia Crash

The “nut rage” incident at Korea Airlines exposed once again the feudal leadership culture there. This was supposed to have been eradicated with the training given by Delta Airlines many years ago to eliminate the dysfunctional culture in the aircraft cockpit which had led to several crashes by KAL planes. Clearly this culture is still alive and we...

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Does Meat Cause Obesity?

Now here’s an interesting idea. Is the cause of obesity simply due to the antibiotics that every meat producer puts in the food supply for their animals? You might have thought that meat producers add antibiotics to their animal feed to prevent or cure disease. You would be wrong. They do it because it results in a significant weight gain for the a...

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Extreme Fracking Means the End of the Ruble as We Know It?

Did you notice that the NASA’s Curiosity Rover has just seen spikes of methane on Mars? People are already putting one and one together to get five, namely the presumed presence of life on Mars, inferred from the production of methane. But there’s another possibility. That is, that the methane comes from inorganic, non-biological processes. If so, ...

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