Category Archives: Human nature

Today’s Quote, 25 December 2016

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

– Luke, 19.10

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Filed under Christmas, Freedom, Human nature, Religion, Today's Quote

How to Change the World

I saw someone save his own life today.

Some things happen slowly, but conversion can be fast. That moment when someone’s entire frame of mind changes and they can’t continue to act as they did before.

When someone walks into the office and you’re not sure if it’s their twin.

The formal word for it is metanoia.

If people are stuck in the wrong mindset, these moments are how they save their lives, all at once.

And when they save themselves, they create more space to save others too.

If you can change people’s minds, you can change the world.

We don’t think enough about how that happens. We forget it’s even possible.

But it’s real. I saw it today.

Here’s Scott Adams on the art of persuasion. Self-recommending.

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Filed under Human nature, What I'm Reading

Forget free market selfishness: It’s socialism that turns us into liars and cheats

Markets make people better. Not many people seem to think so these days, but the idea got a boost from a recent piece of research by Dan Ariely and others, which compared moral behaviour in Germans brought up in East and West Germany.

The team found that those with an East German background cheated twice as much as those raised in the capitalist West. The East Germans regularly lied about their success on a task throwing dice. Older subjects, with more experience of life under socialism, cheated the most. Those who had lived for 20 years or more under socialism were 65 per cent more likely to cheat than West Germans. This supported earlier work showing East Germans approved far more of cheating on taxes, although that criminal propensity appeared to be eliminated after seven years of reunification. Continue reading

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Filed under Economics, Freedom, History, Human nature

Finding Garcia: It’ll take pluck to liberate yourself from micro-management

CAN YOU carry a message to Garcia? Do you even know what it means? The phrase used to be household currency, at least in America, but seems to have rather dropped from view. Yet since it was coined by an inspirational essay in 1899, it has been the subject of two feature films and it inspired an indie rock album as recently as 2009. It’s time for another revival. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Freedom, History, Human nature

It’s not enough for Tories to love liberty – Britain needs two parties of freedom

FREEDOM doesn’t get many shout-outs from politicians in today’s Britain. The hustings of the nation whose proudest boast used to be “it’s a free country” now echo with little but shades of paternalist reassurance. Have a problem? There ought to be a law to sort it out – and if you vote for us, by God there will be.

Disquiet at the major parties’ lack of interest in political freedom drove this week’s inaugural Margaret Thatcher Conference on Liberty, hosted in the City’s Guildhall by Conservative think tank the Centre for Policy Studies. It was cheering to hear a ringing Tory reaffirmation that liberty matters, but it is not enough. We need a cross-party equivalent. Continue reading

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Filed under Freedom, History, Human nature, Politics

This is how elites die: The establishment bubble has no answer to Ukip

IT IS time to give up the pretence that Ukip is an anti-establishment party. Clearly, the UK Independence Party is the power behind the British establishment’s throne, its secret master. How else did it persuade bien pensant opinion-formers to coordinate a series of cheap, alienating broadsides on its candidates and policies that have served only to push it ever-higher in the polls? Continue reading

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Filed under Human nature, Politics

How open innovation will transform the Great British pound

Farewell to the pound coin’s familiar golden nugget design. Here comes the dough-decagon in its stead. The new 12-sided quid, modelled after the old threepenny bit, got plenty of attention this week. But the most interesting part of the design is what was left out. The flipside of the coin will be opened to a public design competition. Continue reading

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Filed under Freedom, Human nature, Innovation