Non-financial: July - September 2012 articles archive home
Smart things …
… you don’t need a tertiary education to learn:

Without quality it doesn’t matter how good the ideas are. This is equally true for intangible plans. Imparting greatness requires a continuum of effort and attention, not just an initial brain-fuelled flurry to get exemplary ideas on paper.
Friday, September 28, 2012 ... more
To the left
I am a friend of the Left and my politics has been on the Left, but sometimes it’s difficult to recognise what is Left, what is Right. I am in favour of fighting today’s battles rather than yesterday’s battles. I think this gut anti-Americanism … is a problem.
Friday, September 21, 2012 ... more
Loeb's letter
In 2004, Dan Loeb's Edge Fund, Third Point, acquired a 7% stake in InterCept, following which he sent a letter to the chairman and CEO, John Collins, demanding that he resign, along with other board members. It was the type of letter that, at one time or another, most shareholders have probably wished they were in a position to write.
Friday, September 14, 2012 ... more
Honour yourself
Yes, it’s a bottom-line world out there, boys and girls. Everything – including education - has been commodified. Consequently, we think everything worth knowing is test-able, quantifiable, and measurable.
Friday, September 7, 2012 ... more
While the past few years have seen important advances in the study of optimism, one enduring puzzle remained. How is it that people maintain this rosy bias even when information challenging our upbeat forecasts is so readily available.
Friday, August 31, 2012 ... more
In every age …
… and at every time, there have been people who say we need more government. Sometimes they say we need it to protect exchange from corruption, to set the standards and police the rules – in which case they have a point, though often they exaggerate it.
Friday, August 24, 2012 ... more
It is a fundamental principle of economics that a person is always better off if they have more alternatives to choose from. But this is wrong. There are cases when I can make myself better off by restricting my future choices and commit myself to a specific course of action.
Friday, August 17, 2012 ... more
How smart?
We tend to believe that smart equals rich. But there is a mountain of evidence suggesting that being extra smart doesn't necessarily lead to being extra rich. The collapse of all-star hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management gave us one object lesson.
Friday, August 10, 2012 ... more
I revere them when they live in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche.
Friday, August 3, 2012 ... more
Seventy years ago …
… Asimov created the “first law of robotics,” a rule rooted deep in their programming that “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.”
Friday, July 27, 2012 ... more
No such thing
We should wipe two words from our vocabulary: gratitude and charity. In real life, help is given out of friendship, or it is not valued; it is received from the hand of friendship, or it is resented. We are all too proud to take a naked gift: we must seem to pay it, if in nothing else, then with the delights of our society.
Friday, July 20, 2012 ... more
Getting it wrong
The drama and excitement of improbable events make them appear more common. After 9/11, 1.4 million people in the U.S. changed their holiday travel plans to avoid flying. The vast majority chose to drive instead. But driving is far more dangerous than flying.
Friday, July 13, 2012 ... more
It’s all relative
We always seek to draw comparisons, and are often unaware as to how seemingly irrelevant factors such as the simple presentation of options, actually influence what we select.
Thus, given three choices, A, B (different but equally as attractive as A), and A- (inferior to A), we will almost always choose A, simply because it is superior to A-.
Friday, July 6, 2012 ... more
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