Category: Anecdotes

  • Changing the story

    Insurance seemed like betting against your death or misfortune and some people don’t want to bet on your personal downfall so they don’t want to buy insurance. For years, the industry have been trying to change the story and they settled on the idea of protection, financial protection against those misfortune. In principle, that works…

  • Two-part tariffs

    In economics, when there’s even some monopoly power, the business can set prices and still have people buy their products. There is monopoly power everywhere; local convenience stores can price the way they do because there are some customers who are unable to switch providers or move. And so the businesses can price their products…

  • Externalities isn’t external

    An externality is deemed as a cost or benefit caused by a producer that is not incurred (financially) by the producer. The view is that because the producer is not paying for the portion of costs, or receiving the portion of gains from that economic activity, it is under or over-produced. Of course, there are…

  • Moving solar around

    You might have seen solar panels ground-mounting on vacant land in Singapore. Today I was on a cab when the driver told me about this and thought it is such a waste of land in Singapore. So I explained the idea that our government agencies had and the tender they designed. The projects are actually…

  • When you disagree

    I once argued that education should be reimagined and redesigned. It is no wonder why Einstein was attributed to say he doesn’t allow schooling to interfere with education. The content of our education is at its best when it is not prescriptive but more about the process that students get to go through. And along…

  • Inconsistent stories

    Storytelling is a wonderful skill when it comes to communication and helping others retain information. It is also capable of influencing behaviours to a large extent. And so it has to be used and received carefully. Stories that are attractive can be inconsistent. Just the other day, I came across this person who decided to…

  • When you know something

    When do you choose action when you’ve the knowledge? For example, when you know that your boss is saying something that is wrong to the client, when do you choose to correct him (or her)? What would you say? What about when you know that you’re generating more trash by using the disposable takeaway container,…

  • When you don’t know something

    When you don’t know something, what is your response? It depends very much on whether you expected yourself to know it. As it turns out, when you don’t expect yourself to know it, you’d happily confess not knowing. But when you expect yourself to know it, then you’d often times get angry. It is usually…

  • Downward counterfactual thinking

    Counterfactual thinking is a concept in psychology that involves the human tendency to create possible alternatives to life events that have already occurred. I’ve no doubt this is a sign of intelligence and it is a residue in our ability to project forward into the future. After all, if you can imagine the different possible…

  • What are prices for? II

    Can prices make the world better? Perhaps one could argue that it already did! Yet for the first in history, putting a price on something free could very well allow us to step into a future that’s remarkably better than the status quo. And that’s the price on carbon. For the longest time; perhaps for…