For decades, economists have pointed to 17th-century tulipmania as a warning about the perils of the free market. Writers and historians have reveled in the absurdity of the event. The incident even provides the backdrop for the new film Tulip Fever, based on a novel of the same name by Deborah Moggach.

The only problem: none of these stories are true.

What really happened and how did the story of Dutch tulip speculation get so distorted? Anne Goldgar discovered the historical reality when she dug into the archives to research her book, Tulipmania: Money, Honor, and Knowledge in the Dutch Golden Age.

But down at the end of one block, there’s a sign things are changing. Scaffolding surrounds a vacant house on a corner and workers from Daiwa House are clanging away inside. They’re not demolishing the house but refurbishing it – reorganising the floor plan, knocking down walls, opening up the kitchen and enhancing the insulation. Rather than tear down the house so the next buyer can build something new, they’re rebuilding it from the inside and putting it back on the market. It’s a relatively rare commodity, but something that is increasingly common across Japan: a secondhand home.

“For the first time, Japanese people are beginning to appreciate living in older homes,” says Noboru Kaihou, a Daiwa House public information officer.

A lot of evidence suggests that in cases of this kind, employers will stubbornly trust their intuitions — and are badly mistaken to do so. Specific aptitude tests turn out to be highly predictive of performance in sales, and general intelligence tests are almost as good. Interviews are far less useful at telling you who will succeed.

StyrelseAkademien är en ideell förening som verkar för ett bättre styrelsearbete i svenska företag. Vår mission är att öka kunskapen om styrelsearbetets betydelse för lönsamhet och utvecklingskraft. Vi arbetar med utbildning, nätverk, rekrytering och opinionsbildning.

StyrelseAkademien Sverige har arton medlemsföreningar med över 6 000 individuella medlemmar. Vi utbildar ca 2 000 personer om året i styrelse- och ägarfrågor.

Thanks to the “smart” revolution, our appliances, watches, fridges, and televisions have gotten a computer-aided intelligence boost. But where there are computers, there is also copyrighted software, and where there is copyrighted software, there are often software locks. Under Section 1201 of the DMCA, you can’t pick that lock without permission. Even if you have no intention of pirating the software. Even if you just want to modify the programming or repair something you own.

After years of warning that the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership would be devastating for Internet freedom, intellectual property experts have finally gotten to look at the final draft of the proposed treaty.

And they say it’s as bad as they feared.

Sedan Kim Jong Un besteg tronen 2011 har investeringarna ökat kraftigt – i nöjesparker, hockeyrinkar, badanläggningar, ridskolor och i en sprillans ny skidanläggning. Här handlar det inte om bröd och skådespel åt vanligt folk, utan om att försöka släcka törsten efter välstånd hos en framväxande ekonomisk överklass.

Tro mig, det kommer inte att räcka. Därför blir det inte landsbygdens fattiga och undernärda som kommer att revoltera mot ett system som inte förmår att leverera livets nödtorft. Det blir huvudstadens rika som kommer att förändra ett system som inte klarar av att leverera livets guldkant.

I guess the first question is why, why has one style swept across the web design world and been implemented across so many websites? I’ve thought and thought about this and never really come up with a single answer. Initially I looked at the huge theme market that exists where creators sell their themes to any number of customers. The theme market is massive, and as a result creators mimic the best selling work in an effort to make more money. You’re not going to make a lot of money in the theme market by going out on a limb and creating something incredibly unique and personalised. Generic wins out every time.

To run a test that asks an important question, that uses a large enough sample size to come to a reliable conclusion, and that can do so amidst a minefield of different ways to be lead astray, takes a lot of resources.

You have to design the test, implement the technology, and come up with the various options. If you’re running a lean organization, there are few cases where this is worth the effort.

Why create a half-assed “A” and a half-assed “B,” when you could just make a full-assed “A?”

The cashiers I interviewed all agreed that the trays are convenient because there’s less risk that someone will drop a coin and set off a scramble to retrieve it. The trays also make it possible to spread out the bills and coins so customers can see at a glance that they’ve been given the correct change. And as one shopkeeper explained it, offering change in a tray feels more polite than simply placing money in a customer’s hand. “Japanese prefer not to touch other people’s hands and the tray creates desirable distance,” he commented. “So you could say that using a tray is an expression of reserve as well as an extension of good customer service.”

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