The Daily Paradox

When capitalism smells

Something has gone badly wrong when major companies pay dividends that are five times the amount they spend on supporting their under-financed pension schemes. The BHS (British Home Stores) saga, brought to our attention by its former owner Philip Green, has focused the plight of hundreds of pension schemes hit by low interest rates. Their…
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A laugh a dollar

I know the Financial Times is no longer the most serious newspaper on the block – indeed, I think it is better for not being so. But I have to admit to a certain shock when I read their articles on keeping cash under your mattress and reopening the Cornish Tin Mines. Silly season it…
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Student-driven learning

The useful article “Revolution in the classroom” (The Straits Times 11 Aug 2016) is one of a number of initiatives that will change education fundamentally. Need for this new approach is the availability of virtually all existing information on the internet. Never before have we had access to so much stuff – and I use…
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A father’s heart

There is something very touching about a bride being given away by the man who received her father’s heart when her father sadly died several years ago. Judging by the number of people who have watched the YouTube clip, you think so too. We all want a little bit of immortality and this is a…
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Survival of the busiest

Darwin showed us the way species developed. He explained that the survival of the fittest strengthened the line and the battle for the harem was not just opportunity to make massive whoopee but a necessary calibration of stock quality. From the emergence of the first amoeba the struggle has been survival and growth. It is…
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Spin to win

Cotton spinning has returned to Lancashire, England after 30 years – longer if you take the real date most spinning was lost to China. Why is it coming back? There are two reasons. First, the quality of Chinese spun cotton does not meet the stringent requirements of richer and more demanding clients for their shirts…
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Your brain is not a computer

We have started to think that our brain is some sort of computer. It isn’t. We don’t know a whole lot about the brain yet but we do know that both human and animal brains are remarkably adaptive, learning and changing to help us achieve our primary ambition – to survive. We can reorganise our…
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Two questions about debt

What are the chances of recovering an unpaid debt? What are the chances of recovering an unpayable debt? You may not like thinking in trillions any more than the rest of us do but today you must learn to do so. If you don’t you will not be able to take part in or influence…
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Countering violent extremism

Urgent calls are being made to increase funds to counter violent extremism. In the wake of so many atrocities this is understandable. But violent extremism is not solved by having money thrown at it. Certainly more resources are needed to improve intelligence, provide weaponry and train those whose job it is to handle potential or…
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What if we ask employees what they would like to do?

The biblical reference to labour is that I tell a man to go and he goes and to come and he comes, because I am the boss. All our employee relationships are based on this concept. Today, however, enlightened companies like Google and Microsoft realise that employee engagement is more subtle than that. The employee…
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