Fuel “panic”: when laissez-faire crisis management met the rational herd

We’ve seen over the last week a great illustration of why government and companies ought to listen to behavioural economists – and social researchers generally for that matter. I bought fuel on the way into my meeting in London on Friday, though my tank had enough petrol to get me there and back. Why? NotContinue reading “Fuel “panic”: when laissez-faire crisis management met the rational herd”

“Sign On” Of The Tynes

A sign of the high unemployment times we find ourselves in, from the terraces of St. James’s Park. Newcastle Utd, at the time of writing, are beating Liverpool and the Geordie faithful are starting to indulge in some taunting of the travelling Liverpool support. Their choice of taunt is the old pastiche of Liverpool’s ‘You’llContinue reading ““Sign On” Of The Tynes”

An evening in A and E: a stitch in space-time

Having just listened to Melvyn Bragg‘s In Our Time (In Our Time, 29th March 2012: The Measurement of Time) – discussing the history of the measurement of time, appropriately enough – here I am posting about the ultimate time-devouring black hole, an evening waiting in A&E. It was nothing major, just a bad wrench ofContinue reading “An evening in A and E: a stitch in space-time”

Knocked unconscious

Last night’s Horizon on BBC2 was really fascinating – throwing some light onto the unconscious mind. Thanks John Habershon of Momentum for alerting me to this through the ICG email group. Horizon: Out of Control? Some great stuff to show how unaware people are of what their brain is making them do: an experiment whereContinue reading “Knocked unconscious”

White Light, White Heat: A Social Experiment

Like the BBC’s flagship new drama series White Heat, I’m thinking just now about being young again. No, I’m not consulting Goldie Hawn‘s face doctor, I’m just doing a little job for the AQR. Having noticed that my youth has slammed the door on me, the AQR is involving me in a little initiative toContinue reading “White Light, White Heat: A Social Experiment”

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”

Public image limited – and metrosexuals’ kindly uncles

Stuffed like a museum coypu with fieldwork last month, January was a vintage period for methodological learnings for me: new experiences and new twists on familiar ones in front of the Great British Public. Unlike the coypu, I’ll be living off the experiences for a while. The first one to muse on is this: howContinue reading “Public image limited – and metrosexuals’ kindly uncles”