Entrepreneurship, prison, big pharma and meth

The sticky connection between smoking pot and being a super successful entrepreneur | Fast Company Entrepreneurs were more likely to engage in what the authors dubbed “illicit activities” in the days of their wild youth, with teenage pastimes like shoplifting, playing hooky, assault, drug dealing, and smoking marijuana. “The combination of ‘smarts’ and ‘aggressive/illicit/risk-taking’ tendencies …

Are Kiwis *really* that into downloads and marrying their cousins?

Noah Veltman has grabbed and compared Google search suggestions from the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Suggestions from Google in New Zealand for “Is it legal…” and “Is it illegal…” seem to be all about downloading movies, music and TV shows – along with marrying your cousin and having a pet sloth. Interesting …

‘Our instincts for privacy evolved in tribal societies where walls didn’t exist’

An interesting read over at Aeon about our innate sense of privacy and how it affects what we do online. Too much information: Our instincts for privacy evolved in tribal societies where walls didn’t exist. No wonder we are hopeless oversharers Over time, we will probably get smarter about online sharing. But right now, we’re …

Malala Yousafzai’s speech to the United Nations

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai’s speech to the United Nations on her 16th birthday – her first public appearance since she was shot by a Taliban gunman on her way to school in October 2012. Also worth a read is this rather haunting piece from Foreign Policy: Malala’s Forgotten Sisters | Girls as young as 5 are …

A few notes on innovation

I enjoyed reading The Medici Effect after picking it up on impulse. Frans Johansson’s 2006 book looks at how innovation is enhanced when people from different disciplines come together to tackle problems. He calls it the intersection. “When you step into an intersection of fields, disciplines or cultures, you can combine existing concepts into a …

Alain de Botton on success and failure

A few insights to chew on in this TED talk from Alain de Botton on why we might be feeling more and more anxiety about our careers and our standing in the world. He talks about how we think about success and failure, about envy, the dark side of meritocracy, and how tragedies such as …

My brother was shot in the head on a Monday night

My brother was shot in the head on a Monday night. He was shot pretty much between the eyes. And that was that. Small hole at the front, big hole at the back. But here’s a thing. Me and dad remember it differently. We were the ones who went into the Coroner’s Office to identify …

Startups: they’re emotional

I love the term Pandora founder Tim Westergren has for the emotional rollercoaster you strap into when you launch a startup – the wall of worry. “If you’re an entrepreneur you have to steel yourself… Unless you’re very very lucky and wind up on a fast trajectory, you’re going to [be] climbing the wall of …

Gibbets, dismemberment and Dickens’ account of an execution

Interesting to read Michel Foucault’s ‘Discipline & Punish: The Birth of Prison’ which traces punishment through several centuries as it moved from being focused on the body to being more focused on the soul. This passage stayed with me for a while: Even as late as the eighteenth century as 1772, one finds sentences like the …