Why Do Some Societies Make Disastrous Decisions?

“The idea that you should let a fire burn, and destroy valuable forest, was so counter-intuitive that it took the U.S. Forest Service a hundred years to realize the problem and to change the strategy and let the fire burn.” Jared Diamond –Why Do Some Societies Make Disastrous Decisions?Edge) Hit “page down” three times to get to the actual start of the article. Diamond complains that “Our president is still…

Mosaic Blows Out 10 Candles

“Mosaic wasn’t the Web’s first browser. It wasn’t even, as it’s so often been described, the first browser to sport a graphical user interface. Tim Berners-Lee’s “WorldWideWeb” was the first graphical point-and-click browser, followed by Pei Wei’s Viola browser.|But for most people, Mosaic was the easiest browser to use. It installed easily, and allowed people to effortlessly surf the World Wide Web, which had been conceived of and developed by…

Which Price is Right?

“A company is making two versions of the same product… One has a little more gold and foil on it, but they’re essentially the same. One is $14.95; the other is $18.95.” Not surprisingly, the $14.95 item is selling better. It’s also the lower-profit product.|”Then a competitor comes in with a third product. Again, it’s essentially the same thing, but a fancier version. And it’s much higher priced: $34.95.”…”[W]hat becomes…

Polish Perceptions

Robert Frezza writes: I ran across an interesting passage in a book about the native peoples of Siberia called “The Shaman’s Coat.” In the 19th and early 20th centuries, a lot of well-educated Polish revolutionaries were exiled to eastern Siberia where they acquired a certain reputation among the natives. As one of them put it: “When the inhabitants learned that I was Polish, they came to me for solutions to…

Apple's music: Evolution, not Revolution

“For all the glitz surrounding the unveiling Monday of Apple Computer’s new music service, a quick look suggests that it’s a solid, but hardly revolutionary, addition to the market….The integration between the one-click purchase service, Apple’s iTunes music jukebox software and the iPod player goes well beyond what any other music service has done. It will genuinely make paying for music online easy, even an impulse buy, and artists and…

WARNING: Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin have been stolen in UK

One of several paintings that were, according to a spam I received Sunday, stolen from a museum in Manchester, England. WARNING: Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin have been stolen in UKE-Mail) When I went online to check the validity of this spam I found a BBC story which reports “The paintings – Van Gogh’s The Fortification of Paris with Houses, Picasso’s Poverty and Gauguin’s Tahitian Landscape – were found the next…