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Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category

Lung Menu Anyone?

While some scientists are growing some lungs, this guy loves loves eating them.

World works somehow.

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Correlation or causation:

While childlessness has risen for all racial and ethnic groups, and most education levels, it has fallen over the past decade for women with advanced degrees. In 2008, 24 percent of women ages 40-44 with a master’s, doctoral or professional degree had not had children, a decline from 31 percent in 1994.

Read here.

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Interesting study on the Economist: US and Russian sentiments as reflective of each other.

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While I honestly don’t think that humans must deny the beastly programmings for survival, balance, health and feet-on-the-ground purposes, it is interesting to note that jungle principles aren’t the answer to many questions regarding the solutions to the current world problems, and that we do not even know how jungle we are when we are being that. 

 

The following article made me laugh, although not heartily.  “In athletics there’s always been a willingness to cheat,”  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was quoted as saying, “if it looks like you’re not cheating. I think that’s just a quirk of human nature.

 

A Highly Evolved Propensity for Deceit

Published: December 22, 2008

When considering the behavior of putative scam operators like Bernard “Ponzi scheme” Madoff or Rod “Potty Mouth” Blagojevich, feel free to express a sense of outrage, indignation, disgust, despair, amusement, schadenfreude. But surprise? Don’t make me laugh.

 

Toni Angermayer/Photo Researchers

 

Sure, Mr. Madoff may have bilked his clients of $50 billion, and Governor Blagojevich, of Illinois, stands accused of seeking personal gain through the illicit sale of public property — a United States Senate seat. Yet while the scale of their maneuvers may have been exceptional, their apparent willingness to lie, cheat, bluff and deceive most emphatically was not.

 

Continue reading here: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/23/science/23angi.html?_r=3

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On MarketWatch, an interesting recap of Alan Greenspan’s testimony regarding the financial crisis:

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — In one of the most dramatic moments in the global financial crisis, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testified before Congress in October 2008, just weeks after the collapse of Lehman Brothers spread fear and panic around the world.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) bluntly asked him, “Were you wrong?”

“Partially,” replied the humbled Greenspan, who once sat at the commanding heights of the world’s economy.

Read the rest of the account here.

We were witness to this fateful testimony before and with interesting discussion as well. Just as the exercise of juxtaposing Greenspan’s execution against the tenets of Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy. Hubris is a virtue to Objectivists, arguably the same hubris that brings us ever closer to the brink with every new crisis.

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Just gleaned from Wired and Mashable, a Utah execution covered blow by blow on Twitter.

Ethical and moral questions aside, is this the direction of social media?

Pervasive, invasive, we are truly in the Matrix now.

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Working in his first job in a stockbrokerage, one of the first things this blogger learned was that there were two kinds of people: brokers and analysts. Brokers were paid by commission, analysts had a fixed wage. Brokers spoke to clients to make them buy stock, analysts wrote reports for clients to read. Although the differences in work ethic and method were vast, both types were united by one goal: to sell an idea.

This was a significant insight that was not too obvious at the time (the blogger was of the broker variety). There were actually two more kinds of people in the firm that the blogger would meet: traders and bosses. These latter two types were paid differently–they managed profits and losses: the traders for their own account, the bosses for the company’s. And since their pay were tied to the results of investment decisions, their goal was different from the brokers and analysts–they needed to buy an idea.

The differences between a sell side and buy side opinion could be subtle at first glance, but the implications are vast.

Seeking Alpha had a related idea referring to Wall Street research which touched on this briefly:

It’s easy to keep recommending a falling stock as a “Buy” when you don’t feel the pain of the losses personally or have to explain them to the portfolio manager you work for. In addition, sell-side analysts are often forced to adopt a “house style” by the banks they work for. That makes their research reports more formulaic, less enjoyable to read, and less creative. And in many cases, SEC rules and compliance concerns crimp the ability of sell-side analysts to publish real-time, pithy research.

Read more here.

This blogger does not mean to demonize any side of thinking (especially having been in the sell side once). It is however the “motive” behind the opinion that matters. Both sides are ultimately motivated by profit, but it changes the dynamic if that profit comes at the benefit of the client or at their expense.

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