The Gervais Principle

The Sociopaths enter and exit organizations at will, at any stage, and do whatever it takes to come out on top. They contribute creativity in early stages of a organization’s life, neurotic leadership in the middle stages, and cold-bloodedness in the later stages, where they drive decisions like mergers, acquisitions and layoffs that others are too scared or too compassionate to drive. The Losers like to feel good about their lives. They are the happiness seekers, rather than will-to-power players, and enter and exit reactively, in response to the meta-Darwinian trends in the economy. But they have no more loyalty to the firm than the sociopaths. They do have a loyalty to individual people, and a commitment to finding fulfillment through work when they can, and coasting when they cannot. The Clueless are the ones who lack the competence to circulate freely through the economy (unlike sociopaths and losers), and build up a perverse sense of loyalty to the firm, even when events make it abundantly clear that the firm is not loyal to them. To sustain themselves, they must be capable of fashioning elaborate delusions based on idealized notions of the firm — the perfectly pathological entities we mentioned. Unless squeezed out by forces they cannot resist, they hang on as long as possible, long after both sociopaths and losers have left.

The Gervais Principle is this: Sociopaths, in their own best interests, knowingly promote over-performing losers into middle-management, groom under-performing losers into sociopaths, and leave the average bare-minimum-effort losers to fend for themselves.

Read the article: The Gervais Principle, Or The Office According to “The Office”

‘Younger wife’ for marital bliss

The secret to a happy marriage is choosing a wife who is smarter and at least five years younger than the man, say Bath University (UK) experts.

The story lacks to report the reasons why this is so. Do you think its because it is believed that women are, in general, more mature than same aged men? But then why smarter AND younger?

Read the article: ‘Younger wife’ for marital bliss (BBC)

The New Untouchables

In our subprime era, we thought we could have the American dream — a house and yard — with nothing down. This version of the American dream was delivered not by improving education, productivity and savings, but by Wall Street alchemy and borrowed money from Asia. A year ago, it all exploded. Now that we are picking up the pieces, we need to understand that it is not only our financial system that needs a reboot and an upgrade, but also our public school system. Otherwise, the jobless recovery won’t be just a passing phase, but our future.

Read the article: The New Untouchables

The Economics Of Fear

Scientific studies have shown that you can destroy a child by calling them “smart.” Even when they’re very young, little kids know that being “smart” is what makes them special – and so, the first time they encounter something they don’t understand immediately, it’s a threat. Their specialness is in danger of being stripped away. And if they lose that smartness, then what are they? Kids who are called smart take fewer chances. Why risk all that glorious social acclaim for a stupid test? And if you don’t really try, then you can still be smart – you may have potential, but even a six-year-old knows that having the potential to be smart gives you more benefits than finding out that no, you’re not really smart at all. Far better to tell a kid that they’re hard working. Hard work is something you can’t take away. Hard work is something that can always be improved. Smart can just… vanish.

Read the article: The Economics Of Fear

India is world diabetes capital

Here’s some news that’s not ‘ sweet’ at all: Every sixth diabetic in the world is an Indian, making the country the world’s diabetes capital. New data released on Tuesday shows India has over 50 million diabetics out of the world’s 285 million. The disease is affecting more people in the working age group and is proving to be an economic burden, according to the figures released by the International Diabetes Federation. With 50.8 million diabetics, India tops the global tally. China with 43.2 million patients comes second, followed by the US where 26.8 million people suffer from the disease. The disease will cost the world economy at least $376 billion (over Rs 17 lakh crore) in 2010.

Read the article: India is world diabetes capital

0° 0′ 00″

The imaginary line now known as the Greenwich Prime Meridian not only allows us to navigate the globe but also keeps the world ticking to the same symbolic 24-hour clock. But it has not always been so. Until the 19th Century, many countries and even individual towns kept their own local time based on the sun’s passage across the sky and there were no international rules governing when the day would start or finish.

How did Britain get to be the centre of all time and space? The real reason the meridian is at Greenwich is that the Astronomer Royal at Greenwich was the first – indeed, really the only – person to have done the research required to calculate navigational tables. He naturally took his own telescope as the baseline, and once the nautical almanacs which resulted were published no-one could be bothered to do the research all over again merely to establish a different base. It’s important to note that the meridian is at Greenwich, not Charing Cross: so it honours a great scientist rather than Britain. And who was that scientist? None other than Nevil Maskelyne, the villain of Dava Sobel’s popular book Longitude, but arguably the real solver of the longitude problem.

Read the article: At the centre of time

New work by Archimedes discovered

A long-lost text by the ancient Greek mathematician shows that he had begun to discover the principles of calculus. The top layer of writing in this 700-year-old book describes Christian prayers. But underneath, almost obliterated, are the only surviving copies of many of the works of the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes. Two of the texts hiding in the prayer book have not appeared in any other copy of Archimedes’s work; one of them, titled The Method, has special historical significance. It could be considered the earliest known work on calculus. Archimedes wrote The Method almost two thousand years before Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz developed calculus in the 1700s.

Read the article: A Prayer For Archimedes

Android to grab No. 2 spot by 2012

Android to grab No. 2 spot by 2012, says Gartner; global forecast puts Android ahead of iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile. The complete Gartner forecast for smartphone OSes by the end of 2012 puts Symbian on top with 203 million devices sold, and 39% of the market. Android will be second with nearly 76 million units sold, and 14.5% of the market. Coming in a close third, the iPhone will ship on 71.5 million devices in 2012, giving a 13.7% market share. Windows Mobile will finish fourth, with 66.8 million units sold, or 12.8% of the market. Very close behind Windows Mobile, the BlackBerry OS will sell on 65.25 million devices in 2012, Gartner forecasts, making it fifth with 12.5% market share. Various Linux devices will sell 28 million units, at 5.4% market share, in sixth place. Palm Inc.’s webOS will sell on 11 million units in 2012, about 2.1% of the market, in seventh place, Gartner says. Android will have moved up the most from 2009 to 2012, from sixth place to second. BlackBerry will have moved down the most, from second to fifth, while iPhone will remain in third position and Windows Mobile will remain in fourth position, Gartner says.

Read the article: Android to grab No. 2 spot by 2012