My 23 Favourite Podcast Episodes So Far This Year

I’m a huge fan of podcasts. Listening to them forms part of my daily routine and I get many of my insights from them. I typically list my favourite podcasts, but this time I thought I’d list some of my favourite specific episodes. These may give you a springboard to enjoy the rest of the episodes of those podcasts. So here they are for this year (episode name first, followed by podcast name): Continue reading “My 23 Favourite Podcast Episodes So Far This Year”

The James Comey Book – Be Afraid, Very Afraid (6 min read)

James Comey, the former director of the FBI, recently published his account of working under the Trump administration in the book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership”. It’s the second high-profile book of the workings of the Trump administration – the other being Michael Wolf’s “Fire and Fury”. That was revealing in parts, and Comey’s book is also revealing, though not in the way many reviewers have focused on. Continue reading “The James Comey Book – Be Afraid, Very Afraid (6 min read)”

21 Must-Read Articles From Around the Web From Blockchain Bubbles to Chinese Values

I’m constantly scouring the web for good material to read and here’s my latest curated list:

Big Brother

Life Inside China’s Social Credit Laboratory Yikes. China has started to quantify people’s trustworthiness based on their “behaviour”. They then get a social credit score which determines their movements and services they can access. Continue reading “21 Must-Read Articles From Around the Web From Blockchain Bubbles to Chinese Values”

Overcoming Fake News – Welcome To the Reputation Age (3 min read)

From the Establishment Age to the Information Age

Fake news, social media manipulation, government propaganda – the list goes on, so who do we now trust to understand the “truth”. In the old days, it was enough that it came from a reputable organisation like a top university (say Harvard or Cambridge), government body (say the FDA or UN) or large media company (say the BBC or NY Times). The internet and perhaps more importantly the social media era disrupted that. Continue reading “Overcoming Fake News – Welcome To the Reputation Age (3 min read)”

Are You Obedient To Authority? (3 min read)

The Set-Up

In a chilling experiment conducted in the early 1960s, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram set out to understand why Nazi soldiers followed orders to murder millions. The set-up of the experiment was clever. Members of the public would act as a teacher and test another supposed member of the public, the learner, on simple word association tests. A scientist, the experimenter, would oversee this.

The teacher was told by the experimenter to impart successively larger electric shocks to the learner when they made errors – the voltage started at 15V and would go up to 450V. Continue reading “Are You Obedient To Authority? (3 min read)”

How We Are Being Fooled By Words (2 min read)

Words have been a primal force of humanity for thousands of years. Take the famous line from the bible  “In the beginning, there was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God”  (Gospel of John, 1:1).This clearly emphasises the immense power of words.

Continue reading “How We Are Being Fooled By Words (2 min read)”

8 Articles From Around the Web That Caught My Eye

“President Chaos” and a return to Congressional government The piece argues that it has only been since FDR’s election in the 1930s that the US government has become so President-centric, before that Congress drove policy. The authors argue we could be seeing a return to that mode especially if the recent bipartisan core that ended the shutdown endures. Continue reading “8 Articles From Around the Web That Caught My Eye”

China’s Dream Factory (3 min read)

I recently read a striking front-page manifesto from the Chinese Communist Party published in China’s People’s Daily. I Google translated it, edited and picked out the following highlights:

Historic turning point

October 2017 will be remembered in history as the golden autumn. The Chinese Communist Party, one of the largest political parties and most successful Marxist ones, has brought the world’s attention to China’s new era. Continue reading “China’s Dream Factory (3 min read)”

The Most Curious Nation On Earth

(First picture: Golden Temple in the capital city, Elista, second picture: main square in Elista, third picture: Kalmyk Lama from early 1900s)

I’m well-travelled, I read a lot and I take a keen interest in the non-mainstream, yet until recently I had no idea that Europe had  a Buddhist nation. The Republic of Kalmykia is that nation. It is an autonomous region in Russia, the size of Scotland and has a population of 290,000 people. It is located near Ukraine (to its west), Georgia (to its south) and the Caspian Sea (to its west).

You may wonder why it’s Buddhist. It is not because nation recently discovered the wonders of mindfulness, Deepak Chopra and yoga, Continue reading “The Most Curious Nation On Earth”

What I Learnt From That Trump Book (“Fire and Fury”)

I get it, I get it. Donald Trump has no attention span, doesn’t read, doesn’t listen, obsesses about the media, eats fast food, watches too much TV, speaks before he thinks and acts impulsively. That’s what commentators have concluded on the release of Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House”. I’ve now read the book, and it’s certainly true that Wolff does everything he can to present Trump in that way.The trouble is no story is ever that clear.

Continue reading “What I Learnt From That Trump Book (“Fire and Fury”)”