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jerryking : myths   70

The myth of green growth
October 24, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Simon Kuper.

voters tend to place their personal interests ahead of their political ideals.
aviation  carbon_emissions  climate_catastrophe  climate_change  de-growth  electric_cars  energy  environment  fuel-efficiency  green  growth  myths  One_Belt_One_Road  reality_checks  renewable  shipping  Simon_Kuper  society  tradeoffs  William_Jevons 
october 2019 by jerryking
For some in Brazil, commemorating slavery is vital - Giving up the ghosts
Print edition | Books and arts
May 23rd 2019| RIO DE JANEIRO
Brazil commemoration life-changing myths Senegal slavery waterfronts
May 23rd 2019| RIO DE JANEIRO
Africa  Afro-Brazilians  ancestry  Brazil  commemoration  life-changing  myths  Rio_de_Janeiro  Senegal  slavery  waterfronts 
october 2019 by jerryking
How the modern office is killing our creativity
March 14, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Pilita Clark.

Roger Mavity and Stephen Bayley, the design guru, have published "How to Steal Fire", ....a book on one of the most eagerly sought qualities in the business world: creativity. Companies buffeted by a storm of digital disruption and competitive pressures have embraced the need for creative thinking with gusto in recent years, which marks a turnaround......CEOs have talked ....about the importance of innovation (i.e. the implementation of new ideas), but far less attention has been devoted to figuring out how to foster creativity itself.....“The first thing that helps creativity is solitude,” “Creativity is essentially an individual rather than a collective activity.” Sir Isaac Newton was a case in point....The great thoughts that helped him go on to formulate the theory of gravity came after the Great Plague closed his university (Cambridge) and he spent nearly two years shut away in his home in Lincolnshire......When he was running Microsoft, Bill Gates used to head off by himself to a secluded hideaway twice a year for what he called Think Week.....Mavity says: “If you need to produce an idea, isolating yourself can be enormously beneficial.”......“How you do that in a big open-plan office with 100 other people trying to be creative at the same time?.......Solitude is in hopelessly short supply at a time when companies are captivated by the financial allure of the open-plan office and its evil twin, hot-desking. ....The idea that great creative thoughts come from teamwork, brainstorming and the ever-present away day is one of the “great myths” of creativity......the Ringelmann effect, named after a French engineer, Max Ringelmann, who first observed that individual productivity falls as group size increases. Away days can be useful for helping people get to know each other better, but not for generating ideas, said Mr Mavity. As his book puts it: “Brainstorming produces, at best, a light, irritating drizzle of complacent mediocrity.” companies understand the need for focused concentration [JCK: sustained inquiry]...what should executives be doing to foster creativity?....“They have to walk the talk,” ....leaders need to set clear goals and then give people doing creative work the time, resources and autonomy to achieve them....Managers must be genuinely open to new thoughts and make sure good ideas are fostered. “None of it is rocket science or brain surgery,” “But you have to pay attention on a regular basis to whether people have these things.”
advertising  billgates  books  brainstorming  creativity  disruption  ergonomics  innovation  Isaac_Newton  myths  pay_attention  solitude  sustained_inquiry  teams  workplaces  ideas  open-plan 
march 2019 by jerryking
Beware these management myths
November 2, 2018 | The Globe and Mail HARVEY SCHACHTER
goals  Harvey_Schachter  myths 
november 2018 by jerryking
Silicon Valley Myths Aside, Time Is on the Side of Aging Entrepreneurs - CIO Journal. - WSJ
By Irving Wladawsky-Berger
Aug 31, 2018

Are young entrepreneurs more likely to produce high-growth firms? Can middle-age founders in their 40s be successful?

Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship, — a recent working paper by economists Pierre Azoulay, Benjamin Jones, J. Daniel Kim and Javier Miranda — aimed to answer these questions.
aging  ageism  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  high-growth  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  midlife  myths  Silicon_Valley  founders 
september 2018 by jerryking
Music’s ‘Moneyball’ moment: why data is the new talent scout | Financial Times
JULY 5, 2018 | FT | Michael Hann.

The music industry loves to self-mythologise. It especially loves to mythologise about taking young scrappers from the streets and turning them into stars. It celebrates the men and women — but usually the men — with “golden ears” almost as much as the people making the music....A&R, or “artists and repertoire”, are the people who look for new talent, convince that talent to sign to the record label and then nurture it: advising on songs, on producers, on how to go about the job of being a pop star. It’s the R&D arm of the music industry......What the music business doesn’t like to shout about is how inefficient its R&D process is. The annual global spend on A&R is $2.8bn....and all that buys is the probability of failure: “Some labels estimate the ratio of commercial success to failure as 1 in 4; others consider the chances to be much lower — less than 1 in 10,” observes its 2017 report. Or as Mixmag magazine’s columnist The Secret DJ put it: “Major labels call themselves a business but are insanely unprofitable, utterly uncertain, totally rudderless and completely ignorant.”......The rise of digital music brought with it a huge amount of data which, industry executives realized, could be turned to their advantage. ....“All our business units must now leverage data and analytics in innovative ways to dig deeper than ever for new talent. The modern day talent-spotter must have both an artistic ear and analytical eyes.”

Earlier this year, in the same week as Warner announced its acquisition of Sodatone, a company that has developed a tool for talent-spotting via data, another data company, Instrumental, secured $4.2m of funding. The industry appeared to have reached a tipping point — what the website Music Ally called “A&R’s data moment”. Which is why, wherever the music industry’s great and good gather, the word “moneyball” has become increasingly prevalent.
........YouTube, Spotify, Instagram were born and changed the way talent begins its journey. All the barriers came down. Suddenly you’ve got tens of thousands of pieces of music content being uploaded.......Home computing’s democratization of recording removed the barriers to making high-quality music. No longer did you need access to a studio and an experienced producer, plus the money to pay for them. But the music industry had no way to keep abreast of these new creators. “....The way A&R people have discovered talent has barely changed since the music industry began, and it’s fundamentally the same for indie labels, who put artistry above sales, as it is for major labels who have to answer to shareholders. It’s always been about information.....“We find them by listening to new music constantly, by people giving us tips, by going out and seeing things that sound interesting,”.....“The most useful people to talk to are concert promoters and booking agents. They are least inclined to bullshit; they’ll tell you how many people an act is drawing,” labels, publishers also have an A&R function, signing up songwriters, many of whom will also be in bands)....“Journalists and radio producers are [also] very useful people to give you information. If you know you’ve got particular DJs or particular writers who are going to pick up something, that’s really good.”
.......Instrumental’s selling point is a dashboard called Talent AI, which scrapes data from Spotify playlists with more than 10,000 followers.....“We took a view that to build momentum on Spotify, you need to be on playlists,”....“If no one knows who you are, no one’s going to suddenly start streaming a track you’ve just put up. It happens when you start getting included on playlists.”......To make it workable, the Talent AI dashboard enables users to apply a series of filters to either tracks or artists: to sort by nationality, by genre, by number of playlists they appear on, by the number of playlist subscribers, by their industry standing — are they signed to a major? To an independent label? Are they unsigned?
.......What A&R people are looking for, though, is not totals, it’s evidence of momentum. No one wants to sign the artist who has reached maximum popularity. They want the artist on the way up....“It’s the direction. Is it going in the right direction?”....when it comes to assessing what an artist can offer, the data isn’t even always about the numbers. “The one I look at the most is Instagram, because that’s the easiest way for an artist to express themselves in a way other than the music — how they look, what they’re into,” she says. “That gives a real snapshot into [them] and whether they really have formulated a world for themselves or not.”......not everyone is delighted with the drive to data. “[the advent of] Spotify...became the driving force for signings...“A&Rs were using their eyes rather than their ears — watching numbers change rather than listening to music, and then jumping on acts....they saw something happening and got it out quickly without having to invest in the traditional A&R process.”... online heat tends to be generated by transient teenage audiences who are likely to move on rather than stick around for a decade: online presence is a big thing in electronic dance music, or some branches of urban music, in which an artist might only be good for a single song. In short, data does not measure quality; it does not tell you whether an artist has 20 good songs that can be turned into their first two albums; it does not tell you whether they can command a crowd in live performance..........The music industry, of course, has always had an issue with short-termism/short-sightedness: [tension] between the people who sign the cheques and those who go to bat for the artists is built into the way it works..........The problem is that without career artists, the music industry just becomes even more of a lottery. It is being made harder, not just by short-termism, but by the fact that music has become less culturally central. “It’s so much harder to connect with an audience or grow an audience, because there’s so much noise,”
.......Today the A&R...agree that the new data has its uses, but insist it still takes second place to the evidence of their own eyes and ears.......As for Withey, he is not about to tell the old-school scouts their days are done....Instrumental can tell A&R people which artists are hot, but not which are good. Also, there will be amazing acts who simply don’t get the traction on the internet to register on the Talent AI dashboard.....All of which will come as a relief to the people running those A&R departments. .....when asked if data will become the single most important factor in scouting talent: “I hope not. Otherwise we may as well have robots.” For now, at least, the golden ears are safe.
A&R  algorithms  analytics  data  dashboards  tips  discoveries  filters  hits  Instagram  inefficiencies  momentum  music  music_industry  music_labels  music_publishing  Moneyball  myths  playlists  self-mythologize  songwriters  Spotify  SXSW  success_rates  talent  talent_spotting  tipping_points  tracking  YouTube  talent_scouting  high-quality  the_single_most_important 
july 2018 by jerryking
China Started the Trade War, Not Trump
March 23, 2018 | WSJ | By Greg Ip.

Even free traders and internationalists agree China’s predatory trade practices—which include forcing U.S. business to transfer valuable technology to Chinese firms and restricting access to Chinese markets—are undermining both its partners and the trading system....starting in the 1980s, economists recognized that comparative advantage couldn’t explain success in many industries such as commercial jetliners, microprocessors and software. These industries are difficult for competitors to enter because of steep costs for research and development, previously established technical standards, increasing returns to scale (costs drop the more you sell), and network effects (the more customers use the product, the more valuable it becomes).......In such industries, a handful of firms may reap the lion’s share of the wages and profits (what economists call rents), at the expense of others. China’s efforts are aimed at achieving such dominance in many of these industries by 2025.
China  China_rising  comparative_advantage  Donald_Trump  Greg_Ip  increasing_returns_to_scale  myths  network_effects  predatory_practices  protectionism  tariffs  technical_standards  trade_wars  U.S.-China_relations  winner-take-all  WTO 
march 2018 by jerryking
Fintech Fictions, Fallacies, and Fantasies
July 20, 2015 | Subscribe to The Financial Brand for Free

A Snarketing post by Ron Shevlin

There’s No Debate

Towards the end of the Great Debate (referenced at the beginning of this post), I suggested that the question at hand–Who would rule banking: fintech or banks?–was the wrong question to ask. There is no one or the other. Banks need fintech, fintech needs banks. And banks become fintech, as fintech become banks.

In many ways, fintech is a–or the–path to reinvention for many banks. This is why a Capital One acquires design firms, or a BBVA acquires a Simple. It’s not simply to acquire the technology, and certainly not to “usurp the threat of FinTech by co-opting it.” It’s to inject new thinking and new capabilities into the company.
fin-tech  myths  fantasies  financial_services  banks  symbiosis  large_companies  new_thinking  start_ups  capabilities  Fortune_500  brands  Capital_One  design  Simple  BBVA 
march 2017 by jerryking
7 Myths (and Truths) About Olive Oil - WSJ
Updated May 15, 2015

The only olive oil worthy of consideration is extra-virgin. Anything else, whether labeled pure, light or just plain olive oil, has been heavily refined into a pallid, flavorless substance to which a little extra-virgin oil is added for color and flavor. It’s an industrial product, made to industrial standards. If that’s all your supermarket offers, opt for one of the other oils on the shelf.

Extra-virgin olive oil should simply be the oily juice of the olive, minus the water also contained within the fruit. It may have been filtered, but it has not been refined. Because it is not standardized, extra-virgin varies enormously in aroma and flavor from bottle to bottle, producer to producer. The taste depends on many factors, from the variety of the olives pressed to their state of maturity to the speed and care with which they’ve been processed.
fats  olives  oilseeds  cooking  best_of  mens'_health  myths 
may 2015 by jerryking
Canadian economy suffers from the myth of comparative advantage - The Globe and Mail
Canadian economy suffers from the myth of comparative advantage
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Mar. 05 2015

Consider the recent bid by China to assist in the design, build and operation of high-speed trains in Ontario, perhaps in return for preferred access to raw resources. China is seeking to displace Bombardier, one of our foremost innovative companies, in our own domestic market.

Just as instructively, Bombardier is entering into joint aerospace production deals with Chinese companies, in large part because that is the key to access to the Chinese market. China wants to import our raw resources, not out trains or our planes, and wants to build up a competitive aerospace industry.

The key point here is that China has a competitive advantage based upon still relatively low wages (though they have risen a lot) and is also creating a competitive advantage in sophisticated industries through active industrial and managed trade policies. While we talk about comparative advantage, they are shaping trade and production in their own developmental interests.
industrial_policies  China  Bombardier  high-speed_rail  competitive_advantage  competitiveness_of_nations  comparative_advantage  myths  international_trade  economics  HSR 
march 2015 by jerryking
Check out these mobile shopping myths - The Globe and Mail
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Feb. 08 2015
m-commerce  mobile  retailers  myths  McKinsey 
february 2015 by jerryking
Ontario PCs offer a bit of doable, a lot of dreamland - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 30 2014

Conversely, there are two very doable and sensible ideas in the Conservative arsenal. Private clinics of the kind that operate in other public health systems, authorized, regulated and reimbursed by the state, should be allowed to do routine, repetitive surgeries. And arbitrators, when settling public-sector disputes, must take into account the “ability to pay,” instead of just ratcheting up settlements based on comparisons with other groups of workers.
Jeffrey_Simpson  elections  myths  Ontario  Tim_Hudak  transit  provincial  Progressive_Conservatives  Queen’s_Park 
june 2014 by jerryking
The Impossibility of Reparations
JUN 3 2014 | - The Atlantic | DAVID FRUM.

If “reparations” means remembrance and repentance for the wrongs of the past, then let’s have reparations. Americans tell a too-flattering version of their national story. They treat slavery as ancillary rather than essential. They forget that the work of slaves paid this country’s import bill from the 17th century until 1860. They do not acknowledge that the “freedom” championed by slaveholding Founding Fathers, including the author of the Declaration of Independence, included the freedom to own other human beings as property. They can no longer notice how slavery is stitched into every line of the Constitution and was supported by every single early national institution. The self-reckoning we see in Germany and other European countries does not come easily to Americans—and is still outright rejected by many.
slavery  myths  origin_story  reparations  Ta-Nehisi_Coates  African-Americans  racial_disparities  execution  affirmative_action  race_relations  David_Frum  slaveholders  Founding_Fathers 
june 2014 by jerryking
The long-term benefits of short-term investing - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 27 2013 | The Globe and Mail | FINN POSCHMANN

Markets, in the near term or long, work in the interests of shareholders – so long as they are unfettered by overseers who bet otherwise.

In this sense, short-term investors offer a great example of how markets are supposed to work. And this understanding explains the fact that the share price of rivals typically goes down when a firm in their sector is targeted and why, even if leverage goes up after a buyout, so too does productivity.
private_equity  hedge_funds  myths  short_selling  long-term  short-term  investors 
october 2013 by jerryking
Who's Your Daddy?
July 20, 2013 | NYT |By MILES CORAK

Better job opportunities for the children of the top 1 percent deepen our cynicism about how people get ahead....Hard work and perseverance will always be ingredients for success, but higher inequality has sharply tilted the landscape and made having successful parents, if not essential, certainly a central part of the recipe....THE Danish and Canadian top 1 percent certainly have their share of privilege: the Gus Wenners of the world, talented or not, are not rare. A recent study published by the Russell Sage Foundation showed that about 30 percent of young Danes and 40 percent of Canadians had worked with a firm that at some point also employed their fathers. This is more likely the higher the father’s place on the income ladder, rising distinctly and sharply for top earners. In Denmark more than half of sons born to the top 1 percent of fathers had worked for an employer for whom the father also worked, and in Canada the proportion is even higher at nearly 7 of every 10.

This is on a par with the United States, where, according to a 2006 study, up to half of jobs are found through families, friends or acquaintances, with higher wages being paid to those who found jobs through “prior generation male relatives” who actually knew the potential employer or served as a reference.
nepotism  movingonup  income_distribution  self-perpetuation  winner-take-all  inequality  privilege  myths  opportunities  The_One_Percent  income_inequality  hard_work  compounded  upper-income 
july 2013 by jerryking
A Popular Myth About Running Injuries -
June 26, 2013, 12:01 amComment
A Popular Myth About Running Injuries
injuries  running  fitness  exercise  myths 
june 2013 by jerryking
Shuggie Otis: Was it worth the 39-year wait? -
Apr. 15, 2013 | The Globe and Mail | BRAD WHEELER.

Shuggie Otis - Strawberry Letter 23 ( Shuggie Otis appeared at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto. The former whiz kid releases his first album in nearly 40 years this week. The last we’d heard from him was in 1974, when the exacting singer-guitarist released Inspiration Information, a masterpiece of chill blues and strawberry-scented funk-soul and light psychedelia. Soon after, Otis disappeared, his cult status simmering and his legend growing as fans waited upon the return of the magic man with the marvellous ’fro and sharp cheekbones. As a guitarist, his reputation took on Hendrix-like proportions. And heck, he was probably fluent in the pompatus of love, just like Steve Miller.
'70s  music  myths  funk  soul  musical_performances  psychedelic 
april 2013 by jerryking
Doug Saunders: Killer quinoa? Time to debunk these urban food myths - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 19 2013 |The Globe and Mail |by Doug Saunders.

Behind the killer-quinoa meme you’ll find three modern fallacies of food. First is the idea that success must be bad for the poor. Surely, we think, the quinoa-eating people of the Andes are going to be hurt if they can no longer afford their own crop. There is the second fallacy: That people are better off consuming food grown near them. The “locavore” ideology holds that Montrealers should eat Quebec potatoes and people in La Paz should consume quinoa – and that if they don’t, because their success has made it expensive, they should be forced to eat some other local crop.

But why wouldn’t they use the rising incomes to purchase imported beans, rice, cheese and chicken? In fact, this is exactly what they do. Food is expensive everywhere this year; Peruvians and Bolivians are economizing....That leads to the third fallacy of food: Authenticity. The Incas ate quinoa centuries ago, so their descendants should. Now the whole world wants to eat their healthy crop, and they’re turning to chicken. Doesn’t that somehow make them less authentically Andean?

I have relatives on the Nova Scotian side of my family who can remember when lobster was strictly for the dirt-poor – in the eyes of better-off maritimers, it was akin to eating insects.
quinoa  Doug_Saunders  myths  food 
february 2013 by jerryking
Too many first nations people live in a dream palace
Jan. 05 2013 | The Globe and Mail | JEFFREY SIMPSON.

Large elements of aboriginal Canada live intellectually in a dream palace, a more comfortable place than where they actually reside.

Inside the dream palace, there are self-reliant, self-sustaining communities – “nations,” indeed – with the full panoply of sovereign capacities and the “rights” that go with sovereignty. These “nations” are the descendants of proud ancestors who, centuries ago, spread across certain territories before and, for some period, after the “settlers” arrived.
Today’s reality, however, is so far removed in actual day-to-day terms from the memories inside the dream palace as to be almost unbearable. The obvious conflict between reality and dream pulls some aboriginals to warrior societies; others to a rejection of dealing with the “Crown” at all; others to fights for the restoration of “rights” that, even if defined, would make little tangible difference in the lives of aboriginal people; and still others, such as Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, to go on a hunger strike....Stephen Harper was correct in refusing a face-to-face meeting, since a prime minister should not be blackmailed into doing what any group or individual wants....Much of the rhetoric surrounding Chief Spence is of the usual dreamy, flamboyant variety, a mixture of anti-capitalism and anti-colonialism, blended with the mythology (blasted by the reality of what one actually sees on too many reserves) about environmental protection and the aboriginals’ sacred link to their lands....To imagine that isolated communities of a thousand or so people can be vibrant and self-sustaining, capable of discharging the panoply of responsibilities of “sovereignty,” is to live within the dream palace of memory.
aboriginals  Jeffrey_Simpson  self-delusions  protests  economic_development  emotional_blackmail  Stephen_Harper  myths  anti-capitalism  anti-colonialism  self-reliance  self-sustaining  sovereignty  anti-development 
january 2013 by jerryking
Goodbye Stranger, It's Been Nice
October 4, 1999 | Forbes ASAP pg. 255 | by Regis McKenna. Pushing a myth that technology will make obsolete the marketer.

"As marketing and IT continue to converge, practitioners of the old traditions of marketing— reach and push—will play a smaller role. IT applications and systems don’t require middlemen to work."..."Who is responsible for developing and implementing the
infrastructure for this e-marketplace? Not marketing. Marketing is being marginalized to the “creative"
functions. such as promotion and advertising. All marketing’s other functional areas are vanishing into the network."
marketing  e-commerce  IT  myths  software 
december 2012 by jerryking
Debunking the myths about post-Sept. 11 Canada
October 2, 2001 By EDWARD GREENSPON.

The high anxiety, even hysteria, that marked the early days after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon has given way to more sober deliberations about the new, post-Sept. ll reality. But that hasn't stopped the growing circulation of a distressing array of myth, historical revision and downright soft thinking. A quartet of examples:
The soft thinking of a sovereignty-versus-security tradeoffs. There's no doubt that Canada enjoys the sovereignty to maintain weak defences against terrorism just as the United States enjoys the sovereignty to clamp down on the border between us. It certainly would represent a resoundingly dumb use of Canadian sovereignty to both ignore the security of Canadians and imperil access to the American market. Being different from the Americans is not by definition an affirmation of sovereignty. Doing what is right by us -- now there's a mature exercise of sovereignty.
Unfortunately, the government has played into this false dichotomy of sovereignty versus security by thumping its chest that nobody will be allowed to dictate terms to Canada. The better approach from the start would have been to say that Canada intends to exercise its sovereignty by raising our security standards to the highest level in the world. That might require pooling some sovereignty with the United States but only in the greater interest of protecting Canadians. And nothing prevents us from keeping out prohibited firearms.
myths  9/11  Canada  Edward_Greenspon  tradeoffs 
september 2012 by jerryking
10 things farm stands won’t tell you - MarketWatch
Sept. 17, 2012, 10:02 a.m. EDT
10 things farm stands won’t tell you

By Charles Passy
myths  farming  farmers'_markets  agriculture 
september 2012 by jerryking
King and the Jews -
April 30, 2008 | WSJ |By CLARENCE B. JONES.

As Martin wrote in 1967, "Negroes nurture a persistent myth that the Jews of America attained social mobility and status solely because they had money. It is unwise to ignore the error for many reasons. In a negative sense it encourages anti-Semitism and overestimates money as a value. In a positive sense, the full truth reveals a useful lesson.

"Jews progressed because they possessed a tradition of education combined with social and political action. The Jewish family enthroned education and sacrificed to get it. The result was far more than abstract learning. Uniting social action with educational competence, Jews became enormously effective in political life."

To Martin, who believed the pursuit of excellence would trump adversity, Jewish success should, and could, be used as a blueprint and inspiration for blacks' own success rather than as an incitement to bitterness.
African-Americans  MLK  judaism  values  myths  anti-Semitism 
august 2012 by jerryking
The Myths About Niches
Aug 1, 2004 | | | Norm Brodsky
niches  myths  Norm_Brodsky 
july 2012 by jerryking
U.S. vs. Islam: A Belief That Makes No Sense -
October 24, 2001 | WSJ | Gerald F. Seib.

Throughout the time the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon were being planned, U.S. troops were on the ground defending Muslims from persecution in Bosnia and Kosovo. In fact, for almost a decade, young American lives have been put at risk in the former Yugoslavia to prevent abuse of Muslim populations at the hands of more-powerful Christians.

As terrorists were learning to fly planes into American buildings, the U.S. wasn't ignoring the plight of the Palestinians. Rather, it had helped them come closer than ever before to achieving an independent state of their own. Then-President Clinton, sometimes working around the clock, had persuaded Israel to accept not only a Palestinian government next door, but to share at least some sovereignty over the holy city of Jerusalem with Palestinian Muslims.

The one person on Earth responsible for the deaths of more Muslims than anyone else is himself a Muslim. That would be Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who has ordered his troops to invade three Islamic nations: Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. All told, the murderous Iran-Iraq war he started may have taken as many as a million lives; it's safe to say the killing of Muslims in a few intense weeks of that conflict surpassed all those killed during Israel's years of occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

THIS ISN'T TO say there aren't legitimate complaints about America in the Islamic world. Surely, there are.
myths  Gerald_Seib  Islam  U.S.foreign_policy  OBL 
july 2012 by jerryking
The Management Myth
June 2006 | ATLANTIC MAGAZINE |By Matthew Stewart

Most of management theory is inane, writes our correspondent, the founder of a consulting firm. If you want to succeed in business, don’t get an M.B.A. Study philosophy instead
skepticism  management  curriculum  business_schools  MBAs  philosophy  philosophers  myths 
june 2012 by jerryking
The Organic Myth
OCTOBER 16, 2006 | Business Week | Diane Brady

Stonyfield still cleaves to its organic heritage. For Chairman and CEO Gary Hirshberg, though, shipping milk powder 9,000 miles across the planet is the price you pay to conquer the supermarket dairy aisle. "It would be great to get all of our food within a 10-mile radius of our house," he says. "But once you're in organic, you have to source globally."

Hirshberg's dilemma is that of the entire organic food business. Just as mainstream consumers are growing hungry for untainted food that also nourishes their social conscience, it is getting harder and harder to find organic ingredients. There simply aren't enough organic cows in the U.S., never mind the organic grain to feed them, to go around. Nor are there sufficient organic strawberries, sugar, or apple pulp -- some of the other ingredients that go into the world's best-selling organic yogurt...For Big Food, consumers' love affair with everything organic has seemed like a gift from the gods. Food is generally a commoditized, sluggish business, especially in basic supermarket staples. Sales of organic groceries, on the other hand, have been surging by up to 20% in recent years. Organic milk is so profitable -- with wholesale prices more than double that of conventional milk -- that Lyle "Spud" Edwards of Westfield, Vt., was able to halve his herd, to 25 cows, this summer and still make a living, despite a 15% drop in yields since switching to organic four years ago. "There's a lot more paperwork, but it's worth it," says Edwards, who supplies milk to Stonyfield...But success has brought home the problems of trying to feed the masses in an industry where supplies can be volatile. Everyone from Wal-Mart to Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST ) is feeling the pinch. Earlier this year, Earthbound Farm, a California producer of organic salads, fruit, and vegetables owned by Natural Selection Foods, cut off its sliced-apple product to Costco because supply dried up -- even though Earthbound looked as far afield as New Zealand. "The concept of running out of apples is foreign to these people," says Earthbound co-founder Myra Goodman, whose company recalled bagged spinach in the wake of the recent E. coli outbreak. "When you're sourcing conventional produce, it's a matter of the best product at the best price."

Inconsistency is a hallmark of organic food. Variations in animal diet, local conditions, and preparation make food taste different from batch to batch.
food  organic  local  globalization  Wal-Mart  supermarkets  grocery  Danone  yogurt  Stonyfield  dairy  myths  variability 
june 2012 by jerryking
Racial equality looks different from behind bars - The Globe and Mail
Jun. 09 2012 | The Globe and Mail | by Doug Saunders.

What if the statistics are wrong? What if, instead of solving its greatest social problem, the United States has quite literally removed the victims of inequality from public records and put them in a box?...All of the data used to measure the social well-being of the country, from the national census on downward, is collected by surveying households. It does not count anyone who is not in a household – that is, who is in military service, in medical institutions or in prison....starting with the hyperbolic sentencing policies of Ronald Reagan, the U.S. prison system expanded at an astonishing rate. Before, prison was for violent and repeat offenders. After the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 broadened its use, the prison population expanded fivefold....Prison has now supplanted education and welfare as the main social service provided to the disenfranchised. Blacks are seven times more likely than whites to be in prison. It’s self-perpetuating, because imprisonment increases rates of criminality, poverty, educational failure and family breakup.

But Americans do not see these effects. Prisoners don’t appear on the census, the unemployment-rate, educational-attainment records or the voting rolls.

What happens if you include them? That is exactly what Dr. Pettit has done in her new book, Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress...There genuinely have been great gains for black Americans with education. But instead of expanding these gains, the United States has used prisons to freeze half the black population out of them. Canada is in danger of doing the same to its native population under new tough-on-crime laws – and as the U.S. example shows, sticking a country’s social problems in a box does not make them go away.
race_relations  African-Americans  statistics  prisons  undercounting  incarceration  Doug_Saunders  books  racial_disparities  mass_incarceration  myths  self-perpetuation 
june 2012 by jerryking
Schumpeter: Built to last
Nov 26th 2011 | The Economist |

WHY do some companies flourish for decades while others wither and die? Jim Collins got his start as a management guru puzzling about corporate longevity. Given that Mr Collins has remained at the top of his profession for almost two decades, it is worth applying the same question to him.

How has he produced one bestseller after another?...Part of the answer lies in timing....Another part of the answer lies in Mr Collins’s mastery of the dark arts of the management guru. He bases his arguments on mountains of data. His recent books come with several appendices in which he discusses his methodology and challenges possible objections....His central message, which has remained the same through global booms and recessions, is admirably humdrum. He seeks to describe, in detail, how great bosses run their companies....Mr Collins challenges some common beliefs. Do turbulent times call for bold and risk-loving leaders, as so many people think? Probably not. Most of Mr Collins’s leaders are risk-averse to the point of paranoia....A second myth that Mr Collins punctures is that innovation is the only virtue that counts. Mr Collins’s companies were usually “one fad behind” the market.
Jim_Collins  gurus  management_consulting  data_driven  fast_followers  leaders  myths  turbulence  virtues  CEOs 
january 2012 by jerryking
Why Should Anyone be Led by You
September-October 2000| HBR | by Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones
leadership  HBR  myths  tough_love  tough-mindedness  empathy  mindsets 
november 2011 by jerryking
Can Small Businesses Make America Prosperous? :
October 31, 2011| The New Yorker | by James Surowiecki.

There's an ongoing veneration of small business...But the truth is that, from the perspective of the economy as a whole, small companies are not the real drivers of growth....small businesses are, on the whole, less productive than big businesses, and though they do create most jobs, they also destroy most jobs, since, while starting a business is easy, keeping it going is the U.S. the connection between size and productivity is, as a 2009 study showed, especially close. In part, this is because big businesses are able to enjoy economies of scale and scope. Big businesses are also better able to make investments in productivity-enhancing technologies and systems; in the U.S., for instance, big companies account for the vast majority of R. & D. spending....It’s harder for small businesses to innovate in these ways, particularly when credit is tight, as it is now. More important, most small businesses aren’t necessarily interested in expanding or innovating. A recent study by the economists Erik Hurst and Benjamin Pugsley shows that only a tiny fraction of small-business owners have any interest in becoming big-business owners, or even in bringing a new idea to market. Most are people who simply want to run a small company, do work they enjoy, and have some control over their own financial lives.

Those are admirable goals, but they’re not going to make companies more productive....greater productivity is the main driver of long-term economic growth and higher living standards.
small_business  James_Surowiecki  productivity  owners  myths  illusions  large_companies  economies_of_scale  economies_of_scope  managerial_preferences 
october 2011 by jerryking
Our fascination with the well-to-do: The money myth;
Feb 12, 2002 | National Post. . pg. SR.1.FR| Deirdre McMurdy

Inherited wealth continues to be relatively rare. About 80% of the country's millionaires represent first-generation wealth.

It's worth noting that it isn't the option-soaked corporate fat cats or the sharp-shooting lawyers who earn the biggest bucks: small business owners and entrepreneurs are four times more likely to be millionaires than those who work for others. They usually do it, furthermore, by retaining a narrow focus on their objective and working extremely hard in low-glamour Old Economy industries like packaging, auto parts or waste disposal.

For the most part, these are frugal folks who live modestly among us and quietly manage their holdings. And that's not just the case in Canada. American sociologists Thomas Stanley and William Danko -- who wrote the 1999 bestseller, The Millionaire Next Door -- found that most millionaires live in homes worth less than $300,000, drive three-year-old U.S.-made cars and never pay more than US$400 for a suit....Within the genus of millionaires, the Bay Street and Wall Street crowds are a distinct species. Those who have coined it in capital markets are a breed apart -- and certainly not representative of most millionaires...But our admiration for wealth is not without its caveats. Some forms and display of money are more inspiring than others. We may aspire to the toys and the lifestyle, but stock-market fortunes are subtly less respected than those garnered through manufacturing or more traditional methods. Accurately or not, the view tends to prevail that market millionaires have been lucky in a game of chance.
ProQuest  high_net_worth  myths  small_business  entrepreneur  owners  capital_markets  unglamorous  modesty  frugality  hard_work  focus  obsessions  industrial_economy  fascination  inheritors  first-generation  founders 
october 2011 by jerryking
Some investors finding China full of fool's gold
24 June 2005 |The Globe & Mail pg 10 | Geoffrey York.

"Despite all the evidence that only the tiniest minority strikes it rich in the Chinese domestic market, there is never any shortage of corporate gamblers," Joe Studwell (editor-in-chief of the China Economic Quarterly) writes in his book The China Dream , which tackles the age-old myth that China's vast population is a paradise for investors.

"For 700 years, ever since outsiders first started writing about the place, the Western world has believed that there are untold riches to be garnered in China," he says. "No nation in history has ever been promoted as a surer bet for investment returns. Yet history also teaches that time and again China has failed to fulfill the promise that foreigners ascribe to her."

John Gruetzner, a Canadian business consultant in Beijing, believes that investors can still make money in China, but they need intelligent research and planning.

"A portion of Canadian investors think you can fly in and pick some cherries and leave," he says. "That might have been okay in the 1980s and early 1990s, but now you need a high level of representation, just as you would in Buffalo or Ottawa or Paris."

The China dream is an alluring one. China today is attracting more foreign investment than any other country in the world. A record $61-billion was invested in China by foreign firms last year, and a staggering total of $570-billion has been invested since 1980. Of the world's top 500 multinational corporations, more than 400 have invested in China. Everyone seems to believe you have to be in China.

Yet the actual level of profits in China is surprisingly small. A survey last year by the China Economic Quarterly found that the affiliates of U.S. companies earned only $8.2-billion in profits in China in 2003. By comparison, they earned $7.1-billion in profits in Australia and $14.3-billion in Mexico -- two countries with far smaller populations and much less hype than China.

Joe Studwell, editor-in-chief of the China Economic Quarterly, says the profits in China have been concentrated in a small handful of foreign companies, including fast-food chains (which face no competition from state interests) and telecommunications firms (which he says were the recipients of "lucky breaks" by gaining entry to heavily regulated industries).
Geoffrey_York  China  ProQuest  risks  investing  dairy  corruption  piracy  rule_of_law  myths 
october 2011 by jerryking
[no title]
June 9, 2011 Globlogization |Thomas P.M. Barnett. Europe that
has lost ground to emerging south-south trade (emerging and developing
markets trading with each other)....Referenced from:

The relationship between China and Africa is complex and rapidly
evolving. Deborah Brautigam in her book "The Dragons Gift" dispelled
many of the cliches, stereotypes and myths that prevail in the Western
media. There is a lot of lazy reporting in the Western media about China
and Africa and she picked apart an article from "the Economist" that
was full of inaccuracies about China's role in Africa. (Please read her
blog article:

China  Africa  Thomas_Barnett  books  blogs  South-South  clichés  stereotypes  myths 
june 2011 by jerryking
Gladwell’s Brain
08. Jan 2007 | Washingtonian Magazine | By Chris Wilson.
Malcolm Gladwell, the quirky author of Blink and Tipping Point, writes
bestseller after bestseller. He got his start in Washington, and
Washington hasn’t been the same since... In May ‘87, Gladwell debunked
what he believed were 3 myths of the burgeoning domestic computer-chip
mkt. That journalistic strategy—to prop up and then bowl over the
conventional wisdom—has become his trademark….Since joining the New
Yorker in ‘96, Gladwell made a name as a journalist who translates
psychological research into accessible terms. His articles take a
low-altitude/high-altitude approach, beginning with narratives populated
with quirky characters and ballooning into examinations of broad social
phenomena…. “Malcolm was thoroughly unconventional,+ “a person of
natural curiosity”
Malcolm_Gladwell  profile  journalists  writers  unconventional_thinking  curiosity  myths  debunking 
june 2011 by jerryking
Debunking the myth of specialized running shoes - The Globe and Mail
Alex Hutchinson
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011
Alex_Hutchinson  running  injuries  shoes  myths  sneakers 
april 2011 by jerryking
Tiny Kenyan island questions tale of the Dragon - The Globe and Mail
SIYU, KENYA— From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2011
Kenya  Africa  China  history  myths  Geoffrey_York 
april 2011 by jerryking
Startups Create Most New Jobs -
October 02, 2010 | Newsweek | by Robert J. Samuelson. If
you’re interested in job creation—and who isn’t these days?—you should
talk to someone like Morris Panner. In 1999, Panner and some others
started a Boston software company called OpenAir. By 2008 they sold it
for $31 million. The firm had then grown to about 50 workers. It turns
out that entrepreneurship (essentially, the founding of new companies)
is crucial to job creation. But as Panner’s experience suggests, success
is often a slog...It’s all about risk taking. The good news is that the
entrepreneurial instinct seems powerful. Americans like to create;
they’re ambitious; many want to be their “own bosses”; many crave fame
and fortune. The bad news is that venture capital for startups is
scarce and that political leaders seem largely oblivious to burdensome
government policies. This needs to be addressed. Entrepreneurship won’t
instantly cure America’s job deficit, but without it, there will be no
strong recovery.
start_ups  job_creation  myths  entrepreneurship  Kauffman_Foundation  Paul_Kedrosky  gazelles  small_business  bad_news 
october 2010 by jerryking
The 15 Minutes that Could Save Five Years
June 16, 2010 | Harvard Business Review | by Michael Schrage.
We're facing the end of retirement as we know it — an emerging
unpleasant reality that will (re)shape the quality of life and standard
of living for billions. we all need to start dealing with it.
Now....Forget the "saving for retirement" shibboleths. Strategically
addressing those 60+ months after age 65 may be the most significant
long-range planning investment in your human capital portfolio....Who
are the 70+ year olds whose presence, energy, and effectiveness might
profitably serve as the benchmarks for your own?
invest_in_yourself  Michael_Schrage  retirement  HBR  personal_finance  aging  human_capital  role_models  Kauffman_Foundation  Zoomers  long-term  shibboleths  savings  planning  myths  strategic_thinking  JCK  endgame  Second_Acts  long-range 
june 2010 by jerryking
Bret Stephens: Seven Myths About Iran -
FEBRUARY 1, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by BRET STEPHENS
Bret_Stephens  Iran  myths 
february 2010 by jerryking
CorpU Weekly: Learning Myths Busted
September 16, 2008
CorpU research reveals the realities

From the desk of Marcia Dresner.
myths  corporate_universities  Freshbooks 
november 2009 by jerryking
Let's Have a Student Uprising
2005-08-26 | Time Magazine | Book excerpt from "Crash Course"
by Chris Whittle. To improve our schools, put children in charge of
their own learning
education  reform  myths  students  schools 
june 2009 by jerryking
Will the truth finally set Galileo free? - The Globe and Mail
Jun. 03, 2009 | Globe & Mail | Michael Valpy. Reviews
"Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion",
edited by Lesley Cormack, Simon Fraser University's dean of arts and
social sciences,
Michael_Valpy  myths  science_&_technology  religion  book_reviews  Galileo 
june 2009 by jerryking
Myths of Angel Investing
OCTOBER 28, 2008 Wall Street Journal | by KELLY K. SPORS
Kelly_K._Spors  investors  investing  myths  angels 
may 2009 by jerryking

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