Knut and the Crowds

Posted by on Sep 18, 2007 in Uncategorized | No Comments

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Very excited.

A few excellent speakers here. Wendy and Caroline bringing human interaction and some simple but useful lessons in how to apply the learnings of neuropsychology to research. Good to see Caroline in top form again – Wendy looking and being as fabulous as ever. What a skirt!

Lou Marinoff did a great piece emphasising the importance of the Buddha (yes, really) in understanding ourselves and promoting happiness, stressing the interconnectedness that Aristotle forgot. It’s his next book, out in a month or so in the US. Can;t wait loved the first two (and not just for their challenge to traditional therapy assumptions)….Also, fascinated to discover he’s also done quite a bit of work on behavioural cascade modelling to check his assumptions…

Fortunate enough to meet him at dinner last night hosted by John Kearon – charming fella…AND…

James Surowiecki – Mr Wisdom of Crowds. Again, funny, interesting, smart and great company. Did a brilliant keynote this avo on the central themes of the book and was almost as good a speaker (no notes 45 minutes to a multilingual audience dying for a drink at the end of day 2) as he is a writer.

He told this great story to illustrate how crowds are really useful.

Next door to the conference hotel is the Berlin Zoo. Young Knut – a polar bear – has been drawing in the crowds for a while now so when JS popped next door to have a look, he just watched where folk were gather and that told him where to go.

Great comment from someone (George?) at Harris online: we’ve known how much better folk are at reporting on others’ behaviour than they are on themselves for years but we haven’t bothered to ask them questions this way…

Seems like there’s a behaviour that’ll get copied!