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IS DEMOCRACY SECURE?

IS DEMOCRACY SECURE?

Plato boiled political evolution down to a sequence of monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, and dictatorship.  There are many illustrations of the sequence in history – not least in the French Revolution, and what is happening in Russia today.  At the same time, democracy seems to be under strain in the United States, the United (for the moment) Kingdom, and in South Africa, not to mention the...

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THE LESSONS OF HISTORY ABOUT WEALTH AND THE 80/20 VIEW OF SOCIAL ENGINEERING

THE LESSONS OF HISTORY ABOUT WEALTH AND THE 80/20 VIEW OF SOCIAL ENGINEERING

“Since practical ability differs from person to person, the majority of such abilities, in nearly all societies, is gathered in a minority of men.  The concentration of wealth is a natural result of this concentration of ability, and regularly recurs in history.”   So said Will & Ariel Durant, distilling 5,000 years of history, back in 1968, in a short collection of essays daringly...

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BEYOND THE IMITATION GAME

BEYOND THE IMITATION GAME

Does the truth matter – in entertainment, business, politics, and life in general?   Yes, of course, you might say.  I was prompted to ask this question by the movie The Imitation Game, which I watched last week.  Billed as a historical thriller, but “based on a true story”, it tells how brilliant mathematician Alan Turing cracked the German enigma code to defeat Hitler at the time he...

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SIMPLE PRINCIPLES FOR A COMPLEX WORLD

SIMPLE PRINCIPLES FOR A COMPLEX WORLD

For the past 40 years I have searched for simple, elemental, elegant and parsimonious principles that can guide us to make money, have a successful and enjoyable career, live happily and nudge the world a bit further in the right direction. To qualify, a principle must be so overwhelmingly powerful that any ordinary mortal – like you or me – can use it to create extraordinary results from...

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WE ARE ANGELS, NOT VICTIMS

WE ARE ANGELS, NOT VICTIMS

Progress, man’s distinctive mark alone, Not God’s, and not the beasts’; God is, they are; Man partly is, and wholly hopes to be    Robert Browning’s words from the nineteenth century speak to us today.  The divine world exists and is perfect.  The animal world exists, and is immune to progress – even my dear brown Labrador, Tocker, does not read self-improvement books.  The human...

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EIGHT RULES FOR A RANDOM PLANET

EIGHT RULES FOR A RANDOM PLANET

“The brain sees the world as far, far less, random than it actually is … rare events explain more and more of the world we live in, yet remain as counterintuitive to us as they were to our ancestors … it is as if there were two planets: the one in which we actually live and the one, considerably more deterministic, on which people are convinced we live … Past events will always looks less...

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