Kanthan's Blog

Cognitive bias holding you back?

Karikatur von Gerhard Mester zum Thema: Klima und Zukunft

A quick listicle from the World Economic Forum on cognitive biases that could be holding some of us back at work.

Reading into India's GDP growth

Growth in IT Revenue

Quite a bit of buzz today around the fact that India has overtaken the UK as the world's fifth largest economy.

India's GDP has clocked $2,94 trillion. The UK sits at $2,83 trillion followed by France at $2,71 trillion.

There's been a lot of grumbling from India's opposition Congress party who've pointed out that manufacturing has declined in its overall contribution to GDP (in spite of Prime Minister Modi's much-hyped "Make in India" campaign).

A plague on both your houses!

Locust

"And I miss you... Like the deserts miss the rain..." went the 90s track from Everything But The Girl.

Desert rains also bring chaos. An abundance of rain leads to an abundance of foliage, which encourages breeding of locusts.

These have wreaked havoc around the Horn of Africa.

A "small" swarm contains about 40 million insects, and they can eat as much food in a day as 35 000 people.

Not that there's anything unusual about this. Plagues of locusts have been documented in the Bible and the Quran among other sources for centuries.

Looking for the elevator in the gym?

Donald Trung Quoc Don (Chữ Hán: 徵國單) - Wikimedia Commons

Ever stop to observe the behaviour of vehicles entering a shopping center parking lot?

They will generally circle close to the entrance of the shop they want to go to. Frequently, they will stop in a row, hazards flashing, waiting for someone to leave their space.

Eventually, when someone does leave and another vehicle approaches from the other side, our driver waiting for the parking space will furiously flash lights or honk or wave or all of the above.

Here's my strategy for parking lots: I will generally grab the first unoccupied parking I find.

Up in my air balloon, air balloon...

Whenever I watch "Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade", I'm filled with longing for the majestic beauty of airships.

Three times longer and twice as tall as a 747 – to put that in perspective, the Hindenburg class machine was as long as the Empire State Building is tall – these magnificent machines had 25 cabins (yes, cabins) holding two passengers each, a dining room, a passenger lounge with a piano, a writing room, a smoking room.

Biting the bullet butter

A monk pours butter tea in Tashilhunpo Monastery, Tibet.

"Have you got any butter?" I asked the barista at the Slow XS Lounge in Lanseria. He had just passed me a double espresso. "Sure," he said, and passed me a couple of single serve tubs. He then watched in fascination as I tipped both into the espresso.

"I bet you've never seen this before," I said. He shook his head slowly.

"Is that Bullet Coffee?" asked the woman in line behind me. "Sort of a poor man's version," I said.

"Why?" asked the barista.

"It stops you getting hungry," said the woman. "Exactly," said I.

So Ramaphosa delivered, sort of...

Yesterday, I said there are three very simple things President Ramaphosa can do today that will immediately give an uptick to our economy:

  1. Let SAA fail
  2. Take the money that would be spent on SAA and use it to upgrade Metrorail rolling stock and stations
  3. Hand over control of Metrorail to the municipalities of Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban

Here's what he said in the State of the Nation address:

A key priority this year is to fix commuter rail, which is vital to the economy and to the quality of life of our people. 

My wishes for the State of the Nation Address tonight

There are three very simple things President Ramaphosa can do today that will immediately give an uptick to our economy:

  1. Let SAA fail
  2. Take the money that would be spent on SAA and use it to upgrade Metrorail rolling stock and stations
  3. Hand over control of Metrorail to the municipalities of Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban

That's it.

I could ask for an end to EWC, NHI, cadre deployment, PIC stealing workers' pensions, but I've learned to lower my expectations. 

The William Nicol interchange looks good, but it sucks

When the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project trotted out the new interchange at the intersection of the N1 and William Nicol, there were many oohs and aahs around how beautiful it was.

Actually, it's stupid. It is responsible for creating what is possibly the single biggest logjam on the road from Cape Town to Beit Bridge.

Here's the problem: Any intersection with traffic lights can only allow cars to pass through as lomg as the light is green.

(Minibus taxis have their own rules. We're not talking about them.)

RIP, Mad Mike

Mike Hoare, from his book

Mike Hoare, from his book "Congo Mercenary"

I found out this morning that "Mad Mike" Hoare had passed away on 2 February, aged 100.