“The Nobel laureate, Francis Crick, is well known for his discoveries about the double helix of our genes, but he later worked in the field of neuroscience. He and his colleagues postulated that humans needed to develop what he termed ‘zombie thinking’ in order to deal efficiently with the massive sensory input we continuously receive about the external world. This mode of thinking is thus necessary to allow us to react rapidly to external events, so that these cognitive illusions are ‘built in’ to us, almost certainly for evolutionary reasons. None of us is immune to them, not even those trained as scientists or judges. Our capacity for rational thinking is limited. Propagandists and advertisers are all too well aware of this.” Neurologist Simon Gandevia

Game theory in Business

“Undaunted, we assembled a panel of 30 respected game theorists around the world, and we sent them a survey asking, ‘Can you think of any examples of real, live companies that have consciously applied game-theoretical concepts to a real business problem?’ The response was … a deafening chorus of head scratching.” Martin Kihn, Fast Company

B.S. Detector

People are our most important asset.” Businessman Paul LaFontaine, on the most common lie in business today

Humor Formula

“Calvin and Hobbes is widely considered the best comic ever… Whenever it combined Calvin and Hobbes (both exceedingly cute), with some witty dialog (clever), a dangerous wagon ride (cruel), Calvin acting like a typical kid (recognizable), and thinking about adult philosophy (bizarre) it fired on 5-of-6 humor elements, which is virtually unheard of.” Dilbert creator Scott Adams, on the core elements of humor

Your best life now

“Houston megachurch pastor and inspirational TV host Osteen offers an overblown and redundant self-help debut. Many Christian readers will undoubtedly be put off by the book’s shallow name-it-and-claim-it theology; although the first chapter claims that ‘we serve the God that created the universe,’ the book as a rule suggests the reverse: it’s a treatise on how to get God to serve the demands of self-centered individuals… Theologically, its materialism and superficial portrayal of God as the granter of earthly wishes will alienate many Christian readers who can imagine a much bigger God.” Publishers Weekly, on Joel Osteen’s book, “Your Best Life Now : 7 Steps to Living At Your Full Potential”

Why don’t people work hard when it’s in their best interest to do so?

“This is actually a question I’m obsessed with: Why don’t people work hard when it’s in their best interest to do so?… The (short) answer is that it’s really risky to work hard, because then if you fail you can no longer say that you failed because you didn’t work hard. It’s a form of self-protection… Most of the psychological research on this is focused on why some kids don’t study for tests — which is a much more serious version of the same problem. If you get drunk the night before an exam instead of studying and you fail, then the problem is that you got drunk. If you do study and you fail, the problem is that you’re stupid — and stupid, for a student, is a death sentence. The point is that it is far more psychologically dangerous and difficult to prepare for a task than not to prepare.” Blink author Malcolm Gladwell

Beckham + Tesla + Hughes

“When I was researching Batman, I saw that other creators were playing him as a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Mr. Spock… I wanted to present a new take on Batman, who is without a doubt a mythic figure in our pop-psyche. My Batman is not only totally science fiction, he’s also a very physical superhero: he bleeds, he sweats, he eats… someone with the body of David Beckham, the brain of Tesla, and the wealth of Howard Hughes… pretending to be Nosferatu.” Alternative graphic novelist Paul Pope

Hitting and jabbing

“Did I find the moment? How do I hit them? Where do I jab that they’re not protecting?” Writer/director Joss Whedon, on scripting Serenity


“President George W. Bush and the neocons have so successfully brainwashed Americans that even they can’t understand the extent of the hate and suspicion now.” Canadian Muslim Civil Liberties Association General Counsel Faisal Kutty, on reactions to the Arab ports’ deal

Modern cynicism

“But rest assured, with this generation, it’s all just a put-on. Because when a twentysomething uses the language of skepticism, irony, sarcasm and cynicism, he or she may be afraid — but most aren’t genuinely angry. They’re just talking tough… When you read between the lines of this generation, the stinging tone of their cynicism can be stripped away like a protective veneer, a façade, revealing something much more honest, more hopeful.” San Grewal, Toronto Star