You’ve Been Hacked – The Psychology of Disinformation and How to Protect Yourself

Once seeded, viral misinformation exploits weaknesses in how the human mind determines what’s real.  Most people genuinely care about truth. I don’t mean that we tell the truth all of the time—though most of us mostly do—but that we very much want to know what is real. Reality can knock you flat if you don’t see it coming.

Source: You’ve Been Hacked – The Psychology of Disinformation and How to Protect Yourself

Severely disabled 64-year old man found starving to death – while billionaires get tax cuts

I have no words…

Pride's Purge

These photographs and this status was posted on Facebook by a law adviser on Christmas Eve:

Please spare a thought for this 64 year old severely disabled client of mine? Please share this post to see if we can garner a response from the Tories although, I doubt we will. 
My client was thrown off ESA by ATOS 18 months ago. Since then, he has been expected to sign on. Obviously, he’s been sanctioned and forced to go hungry. so much so he weighs 6 stone. On Friday, not surprisingly he was at death’s door with pneumonia. Fortunately, I was able to get him into hospital.Evidently, his left lung was full of fluid with his right not much better, he’s now on the mend.
He has been unable to heat or look after his home properly because his health has deteriorated which I suggest is obvious from the photographs…

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How not to be Stupid

Some years ago, I was working in the Netherlands for a client who shall remain nameless. I was in conversation with one of my team. How the conversation started or the detail of what it was about are lost to me. However, the topic was probably another act of incompetence by the client, or more likely, a partner on the project. We came up with the phrase “defining the cock-up blocker”. I was sufficiently taken with this that I jotted the words down in the “Whenever” category of my reminders app. There, the entry languished waiting for time and, more importantly, the inspiration to bring something to fruition.

Fast forward to a few days ago: an email appeared in my inbox from Farnam Street, How Not to Be Stupid. This was the title of a presentation by Adam Robinson to an investment conference.

I did a web search to find out more, but other than a presentation collection site that required a paid subscription for access to their archives, the only thing I could find was another brief interview on Something You Should Know.

Robinson’s premise is not that stupidity is not the opposite of intelligence. Stupidity, he defines as “overlooking or dismissing conspicuously crucial information”. This he apparently illustrated using a Gary Larson cartoon, but there are real-life examples.

Robinson identified seven factors that may cause us to make more stupid decisions than we might otherwise do.

1. Being outside one’s normal environment

2. Rushing—“the biggest trigger of all”

3. Being tired, physically or emotionally stressed

4. Being preoccupied or focusing on something intently

5. Suffering from information overload: talking while driving 

6. Being in the presence of a group of homogeneous individuals

7. Being in the presence of an authority: the junior pilot who doesn’t stand up to the senior pilot causing a collision on the runway. 

In any given situation not all factors need to be present, but they are additive: you’re in a new city, tired from the flight and rushing to make an appointment with your most important client.

So what can we do to reduce the chances of a cock-up?

“Mindfulness is the process of waking up to see what’s right in front of us.” (1)

1. Be aware that you are in a situation where one more of the seven factors might be operating.

2. Minimise the factors as much as you can.

3. Surround yourself by people who can give you honest feedback.

4. Once you are aware of the factors, don’t do anything that could have significant consequences.

(1) Ryder Carroll, The Bullet Journal Method

What’s wrong with the WTO Option?

One can say, unequivocally, that the UK could not survive as a trading nation by relying on the WTO Option. It would be an unmitigated disaster, and no responsible government should allow it. The option should be rejected.

Source: LeaveHQ

Sometimes Leavers talk sense…

WTO is the problem, not the answer, to trade under ‘no deal’

Brexiters say WTO rules make trade in no-deal Brexit easy. But they would hike up tariffs with the EU and could leave UK businesses exposed.

Source: WTO is the problem, not the answer, to trade under ‘no deal’

The Incoherence of Immigration Policy

‘We have become illiberal and lowered quotas at a time when we have an acute shortage of labour.’ So observed the cabinet minister Richard Crossman in his diaries in 1966, after the Labour government, fearful of public hostility, slashed Commonwealth immigration into Britain.

The conflict between those who see immigration as an economic necessity and those who fear its political consequences has long shaped immigration debate. One consequence has been incoherent policy. That’s as true of the home secretary Sajid Javid’s White Paper on immigration published last week as it was in Crossman’s day.


The Story of Dyngo, a War Dog Brought Home From Combat

I brought a seasoned veteran of the conflict in Afghanistan into my home—and then things got wild

Read on

Lovely story.

Week in Review: All May’s faults come home to roost

It is quite wrong to feel pity for her. Firstly, her current misery is of her own making. The deal is terrible because her red lines made any other outcome impossible. That is her responsibility. Secondly, she is still now lying with almost every word she utters. Her entire defence of the deal rests on the most grotesquely misleading characterisations of its contents and implications. Her every answer to any question is deliberately and instinctively evasive. She is a deception machine, a next-generation political mechanism which simply cannot be straight with people, whether it’s negotiators in Brussels, MPs in parliament, or the public on the doorstep. The fact she is so unconvincing when lying does not remove the moral responsibility for having done so in the first place.

Source: Week in Review: All May’s faults come home to roost

The Enormous Life of Anthony Bourdain, According to Those Who Knew Him Best

Chefs, artists, and loved ones pay tribute to the late culinary icon.

Source: The Enormous Life of Anthony Bourdain, According to Those Who Knew Him Best

Economic forecasts strike blow to Theresa May’s Brexit deal

Bank and Treasury predictions showing UK would be better off within EU undermine PM’s position

Source: Economic forecasts strike blow to Theresa May’s Brexit deal

Surprising? Not!