Archive | August, 2006

The Death of Complexity and The Rise of Small Things

I have an obsession with simple things. Normally, we take pride in getting the complex stuff right. It is more glamorous, more prestigious; getting simple things right seems so mundane in comparison. The formulation of the grand overarching five year strategy traditionally occupy the finest minds in the company (or at least those with the […]

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Godot, the waiter

The aspect I hate to most about bars is not the queueing. It is the standing in an overcrowded bar, waiting for the bartender to get to me so that I can order my drinks. When you are queueing, you can at least talk to people. But when making your desperate grab for the elusive […]

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Ultimate vs. proximate causes

A mental framework that I have found useful is the distinction between proximate and distal causes – or, if you prefer, immediate versus ultimate explanations for things. The best way to illustrate the difference is to consider the following question: Why do we have sex? A proximate (or near) explanation is simply to say ‘because […]

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The Hedonic Threadmill

In the scientific study of happiness, a particularly interesting finding is that people quickly adjust to new-gained wealth – even major increases in income or life quality have only a passing effect on your basic happiness level. Lottery winners are in heaven for a month or two, and then it’s back to feeling averagely happy […]

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The Science of Happiness

Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile Author: Daniel Nettle Genre: Popular Science Happiness is an interesting concept – we spend much of our lives chasing it, yet very few people define themselves as being 100 percent happy, no matter the level of their material wealth. Actually, there is a reason for that, and the idea […]

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