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HOW TO SPEND LESS TIME ONLINE & BENEFIT MORE

HOW TO SPEND LESS TIME ONLINE & BENEFIT MORE

“What information consumes is rather obvious – the attention of its recipients.  A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”  So wrote the great social scientist Herbert Simon, and his comment applies in spades to cyberspace.  We are deluged by tidal waves of information, and there have been few convincing guides to how to avoid drowning in data or wasting our time...

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THE NEXT BIG IDEA?

THE NEXT BIG IDEA?

It’s not every day that you hand over a cheque for £50,000 in exchange for a ten-page essay, and feel that you have a bargain.  But I was genuinely thrilled to do this last Thursday night at a gala dinner celebrating the winners of the Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize at the Senate House of the University of London, organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs.  The young winners were Mark...

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BEWARE OF THE NARCISSISTIC LEADER

BEWARE OF THE NARCISSISTIC LEADER

I’ve been reviewing a study of the top 25 instances of corporate fraud between 1998 and 2005, and there are some fascinating lessons that still apply today.  The research, by Kees Cools, a professor at Groningen University in the Netherlands affiliated to the Boston Consulting Group, accounted for $25 billion of corporate malfeasance.  Some of the headlines: 21 of the 25 companies involved...

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THE RISE & FALL OF ORGANIZATION MAN

THE RISE & FALL OF ORGANIZATION MAN

One of the surprise bestsellers of 1956 – frequently reprinted throughout the 1960s – was an epoch-defining book by William H. Whyte called simply The Organization Man.  Those were the blessed days when books didn’t have to have subtitles to tell you what they were about.  One of my odd habits is re-reading important books of social commentary from the past.  The habit often reveals how...

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NINE THINGS YOU MIGHT CHOOSE TO BELIEVE

NINE THINGS YOU MIGHT CHOOSE TO BELIEVE

I keep coming back to the words of Leonard Mlodinow: “We choose the facts we want to believe.  Unlike phenomena in physics, in life, events can often obey one theory or another, and what actually happens can depend largely upon which theory we choose to believe.  It is a gift of the human mind to be extraordinarily open to accepting the theory of ourselves that pushes us in the direction of...

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WANTED: A NEW WAY TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

WANTED: A NEW WAY TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

America does need to be made great again.  But it cannot be done by warmed-up nationalism.  It has to be done through a new political ideal.  This is not an opinion.  It is written into the warp and woof of American history and American identity. The US is unique in many ways, but most importantly in this: it was settled by dissidents pursuing an idea.  The settlers were seventeenth- and...

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