Even savvy people who see through the above forms of advertising may succumb to more subtle versions. The most prevalent one is the nexus of news, media and advertising. Headlines are taken up by fear-inducing stories of murders, wars in far-off lands and the “despicable” lives of politically-weak sections of society.
Words in their various guises have been thought to be the primal force of humanity for thousands of years:
“In the beginning, there was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (Gospel of John, 1:1)
“The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” ( Genesis 11:6)
“And He taught Adam all the names…And (remember) when We said to the angels: “Prostrate yourselves before Adam.”(Quran 2:31)
In essence, words create a reality of their own; they set the context to which all will act within. Think about how “freedom-fighter”(eg Mandela) sounds compared to “terrorist” (eg Mandela), or how “entrepreneur” sounds compared to “wheeler-dealer”. Who decides which of the pair is used sets the tone of any subsequent discussion. Continue reading “In the beginning, there was the Word…”
Another excerpt from my book. Any feedback welcome! This bit is about derivatives:
What these examples [Great Depression, breakdown of Bretton Woods, the creation of the euro and 2008 crisis] show is that systems work for a while, but never endure. There is a constant need to reform, tinker and experiment. And with the world becoming ever more complex, institutions need a way to lock in some form of certainty. Derivatives can provide that. By far, the most common derivative is the interest rate swap, which allows one to switch from floating interest rates to a fixed interest rate (or vice versa). Your mortgage uses this! Continue reading “What To Do In A Complex World? (2 min read)”