Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film goes to … The Shore

Don’t worry, I’m not claiming credit for it. But great that a short film called The Shore, set and made in my native Northern Ireland, won an Oscar last night. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m of course heavily into shore metaphors and a sucker for anything Ulster-ish, so I expect at the veryContinue reading “Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film goes to … The Shore”

Motivating performance: Dan Pink and some thoughts on “bonus culture”

The debate about earnings, bonuses and fairness rumbles on and isn’t going to end soon. With the financial squeeze most of us are feeling, it is inevitable we look at the City in particular and wonder why they are still paying themselves so much, after all we now know about their endemic failures. Yet thereContinue reading “Motivating performance: Dan Pink and some thoughts on “bonus culture””

Katy Brand, John Gray and the folly of pinning all our hopes on science

Here’s a quote and a half – from the brilliant Straw Dogs by John Gray (Professor of European Thought at LSE), written ten years ago now: Modern humanism is the faith that through science humankind can know the truth – and so be free. But if Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true this isContinue reading “Katy Brand, John Gray and the folly of pinning all our hopes on science”

Capello: single-minded success, social awareness failure

  So Capello walks from the FA, in a serendipitous sequence of events in which Our ‘Arry, until a few hours earlier about to get banged up good and proper, rises majestically to become the people’s favourite to manage England to a glorious footballing summer expedition to the lands between the Baltic and Black Sea.Continue reading “Capello: single-minded success, social awareness failure”

How (Not) To Party: the bizarre ending to last night’s Andrew Neil show

If you want to laugh at people who have held some of the highest offices of state, dancing to Underworld’s Born Slippy, read and view on … Picture the scene: you’ve just come home from moderating a discussion group across in Peterborough, you’re a bit tired and you flop down to watch the end ofContinue reading “How (Not) To Party: the bizarre ending to last night’s Andrew Neil show”

Britney Spears: harder to stalk than I had imagined

This might bring a whole new audience to Strangers On The Shore and (another) one that will be bitterly disappointed. I went into t’ Smoke yesterday for a meeting on AQR ambassadorial business and had a spare half hour afterwards before my schlepp back to Jericho (in Oxford, not the West Bank). So I poppedContinue reading “Britney Spears: harder to stalk than I had imagined”

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel (Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train)

  One of my favourite song titles (from Half Man Half Biscuit‘s Cammell Laird Social Club album) seems appropriate today, given the economic news. As an individual micro-business, the bigger patterns of the economy kind of don’t matter – and kind of do. It can be hard to make the connection sometimes. At one level,Continue reading “The Light At The End Of The Tunnel (Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train)”

An Old Git Remembers: The Last Time Youth Unemployment Was This Bad

Youth unemployment in the UK went over the 1 million mark this week. It’s not been this bad, we hear, since the early 90s: see the chart in the BBC News story on it: Youth unemployment. As this shows, the peak was really in 1992: and it just happens, that’s when I first came ontoContinue reading “An Old Git Remembers: The Last Time Youth Unemployment Was This Bad”

Everybody will be doing behavioural economics in qual

Do you see what I did there? The title’s speculative, but no more so than the communication to the American public by Barack Obama’s team two weeks before the 2008 Presidential Election, to get the vote out: “A Record Turnout Is Expected.” The Obama campaign realised that, at that stage in the campaign, detailed messagesContinue reading “Everybody will be doing behavioural economics in qual”

From Behavioural Insights To Chris Moyles

Required listening for anyone in research, I think: All In The Mind Special: The Behavioural Insights Team. Interesting contributions to Claudia Hammond‘s Radio 4 documentary from the likes of Prof. Richard Thaler, Dr. David Halpern and Warwick University psychologist Neil Stewart as well as the more sceptical Nick Pearce of the IPPR. It’s all aboutContinue reading “From Behavioural Insights To Chris Moyles”