Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ghemawat: the world isn't flat

Strategy guru Pankaj Ghemawat, a long time opponent of "borderless world" or "flat world" view, pulled out some new evidence at TED:
Some cool statistics:
  • Cross-border information flow (world ratio of foreign to total voice-calling minute): 2%* 
  • Cross-border people flow (ratio of 1st generation immigrants to world population): 3% 
  • Cross-border capital flow (ratio of FDI to total investments in the world): 10% 
  • Cross-border goods/services flow (world exports to GDP ratio): ~20% 
What's more interesting is that, when people are asked to give an estimate of all the above measures, they all tend to overestimate them -- by 3 or 4 times!!!

* adding internet traffic to the picture, the ratio of cross-border information flow could go up to 6-7%

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Baldness is power?

Where does power come from? Some believe it comes from the critical resources or the access to the resources one has effectively controlled. Others argue that power could originate from one's personalities or certain unique abilities or traits -- such as the ability to compliment or flatter. One recent study is surely pushing the latter explanation to an extreme -- in a rather amusing way -- because it argues that power could also come from baldness.

Albert Mannes of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (also bald by the way) conducted a series of tests in which the subjects were asked to report their perceptional differences on photos of the same men with and without hair. In all tests, the subjects reported finding the men with shaved heads as more dominant than their hirsute counterparts. More specifically, men with shaved heads are perceived to be more masculine, dominant and, in some cases, to have greater leadership potential.

So does this study suggest that if you want to get yourself promoted, you should go directly to a barber? Not necessarily. One potential catch of this study is that, although baldness may be perceived to be more masculine, dominant and better to lead, it may also relate to one's level of intelligence, IQ, say. More specifically, it might be the case that smarter men could have a higher chance to become bald, particularly after certain years of age. If that's the case, then one's power may come eventually from his inner ability, rather than others' perception on his appearances -- whether tall or short, fat or thin, bald or covered up with hair.

Source: WSJ.