Some days whilst you're on a Landmark Forum course, it's all,
"Hello trees, hello street cleaner, hello homeless person, hello all you people on the train, in shops, and on the street, I love you all."
And there are other days when I believe you are all a bunch of corrupt dishonest fucking Weasels.
Today was one of those days, where I stare in wide mouthed amazement, and wonder is it just me or is the rest of the world out of step.
I'd better not get too specific, but what goes through people's minds when they know what they're doing is wrong, or they're doing the wrong thing, or they're lying to themselves.
And then this crops up today to explain it all. Freakonomics.
Steven Levitt's three-year-old daughter, Amanda, had not long finished potty training when she decided she actually preferred nappies. Levitt's wife, Jeannette, used all the methods she knew to convince the toddler otherwise but to no avail. Levitt, the author of hit book Freakonomics, intervened. He promised Amanda some M&M's whenever she used the potty.
For the first few days it worked well with sweets changing hands in return for timely toilet visits. On the third or fourth day Levitt, 38, took Amanda to the toilet. She passed just a dribble and took the sweets. A few minutes later she was back on the toilet, passing yet another dribble and putting her hand out for yet more sweets. She'd rumbled the system. Levitt smiles.
"I never thought my three-year-old daughter could outwit my incentives in just three or four days," he says. "But it's a great example of how incentives can have unpredictable effects."
What he's saying is that we are an incentive based society, and if
we can find a way of beating the system then we probably will.
And that usually means Money. Well why wouldn't you? If
you can further protect your gene pool by playing the system, why not?
Quite why someone needs $1Billion instead of $100m goes a bit beyond the gene pool, unless of course you're building the Chelsea gene pool!
But I digress. Today I witnessed several examples of people being "Economic with the truth".
Why does that still shock me.
Oh and I met Dave Brent today.