It is virtually impossible to find any example where leaders are not acting in their own self interest. If you are a democrat you want to gerrymander districts and have an electoral college. This vastly reduces the number of votes a president needs to win an election.

Then tax very highly. It’s much better to decide who gets to eat than to let the people feed themselves. If you lower taxes people will do more work, but then people will get rewards that aren’t coming through you. Everything good must come through you. Look at African farm subsidies. The government buys crops at below market price by force. This is a tax on farmers who then can’t make a profit. So, how do you reward people? The government subsidises fertilisers and hands it back that way. In Tanzania vouchers for fertilisers are handed out not to the most productive areas but to the party loyalist areas.

Evidence has long shown that getting a group of people to think individually about solutions, and then combining their ideas, can be more productive than getting them to think as a group. Some people are afraid of introducing radical ideas in front of a group and don’t speak up; in other cases, the group is either too small or too big to be effective.

But according to a recently published study, the real problem may be that participants’ [sic] get stuck on each others’ ideas. On Monday, the British Psychological Society highlighted a recent study by Nicholas Kohn and Steven Smith, two researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington and Texas A&M; University. [...] As expected, the “nominal” groups, or those made up of individual ideas that were later pulled together, outperformed the real chat groups, both with the number of ideas and the diversity of them.

Why do large companies more successfully acquire instead of innovate? They certainly have the talent, the money and the existing market share to launch startups with ease, yet they don't do it very well. What's clearly missing is something in their DNA, but also something in the numbers. As big companies look at growing internally or via a shopping spree, it's important to consider the underlying motivations and math.

While today’s Redditors want you to think they’re enlightened savants bringing us the truth against the wishes of an oppressive right-wing government, the truth is that they have declined much like “Anonymous” did at 4chan. They lost their impetus because they became inward looking. On the internet, they’re superstars. In reality they’re boring people with boring jobs, selfish hobbies, inflated self image and an unquenchable anger toward anyone who has more than they do.

The illusion of asymmetric insight makes it seem as though you know everyone else far better than they know you, and not only that, but you know them better than they know themselves. You believe the same thing about groups of which you are a member. As a whole, your group understands outsiders better than outsiders understand your group, and you understand the group better than its members know the group to which they belong.


In a political debate you feel like the other side just doesn’t get your point of view, and if they could only see things with your clarity, they would understand and fall naturally in line with what you believe. They must not understand, because if they did they wouldn’t think the things they think. By contrast, you believe you totally get their point of view and you reject it. You see it in all its detail and understand it for what it is – stupid.

What it says on the label: facts and details about Japan, in lots of different categories like Japanese customs, history, religion, and even an article on those cool snow monkeys.

Isn't business a lot like Monty Python's search for the Holy Grail? Think about it. We have Arthur as the celebrity CEO, searching for best talent to fill his leadership team. Then the next thing they do is embark on the quest for the elusive strategic objective, I mean, the Holy Grail.  On the quest, they bring in a consultant, Tim the Enchanter, encounter some nasty competition (the French), decentralize and then re-centralize, and eventually get rounded up for fiscal irresponsibility. Isn't the scene where they determine the woman is witch by weighing her with a duck a lot like the way we make decisions in corporations? We'll rationalize anything to justify what we want to do. What about the guards in Swamp Castle who can't quite understand what they are supposed to guard?  Haven't you had conversations and emails just like that?

I have been living in Japan for close to 20 years. I hold an M.A. in Japanese Language and Society from Sheffield University and I have attained Level II of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Still, because my face doesn't fit, waiters and waitresses in shops and restaurants look to my Japanese wife for confirmation of what I have asked for, in spite of the fact they have already complimented me on my language ability. In addition, I am told in all seriousness by people who have known me for years that I use chopsticks well and am asked whether or not I can eat Japanese food.

Tetsunari Iida, a former nuclear engineer who currently heads the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, says that the industry is dominated by a closely-knit nuclear establishment. Those who graduate from universities and graduate from schools with degrees in nuclear power engineering go on to work at power companies, energy-related manufacturers, or municipalities that host nuclear power stations. Everything comes down to personal networks, and who the graduating students go on to work for is largely influenced by the connections and interests of the students' professors. Regardless of whether the employers are public or private organizations, the newly inducted engineers are raised to become full-fledged members of the nuclear establishment.

Recently I came upon a fascinating study by Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire. Wiseman surveyed a number of people and, through a series of questionnaires and interviews, determined which of them considered themselves lucky—or unlucky. He then performed an intriguing experiment: He gave both the “lucky” and the “unlucky” people a newspaper and asked them to look through it and tell him how many photographs were inside. He found that on average the unlucky people took two minutes to count all the photographs, whereas the lucky ones determined the number in a few seconds.

How could the “lucky” people do this? Because they found a message on the second page that read, “Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” So why didn’t the unlucky people see it? Because they were so intent on counting all the photographs that they missed the message.

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