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March 23, 2009


John Baker

Greetings Irving. Outstanding post. I think you likewise found the answer as to why the MIT Systems Design & Management program has a male/female ration of ~8/1. All the best.


Irving - you've clearly done a huge amount of digging into this subject and it's appreciated. Being peripherally involved in the Finance community the science jives with my anecdotal observations. And complements a second - finance types tend to derive their sense of self-worth from status symbols (bonus, car, office, etc.) more so than members of other communities. Darwin strikes again.

But there are two other major and complementary failures at work here. Socio-biological imperatives will always be with us and we've been struggling with channeling them for millenia. So one failure to further explore is institutional engineering; i.e. how to design the constraints and incentives to reward the right behaviors and punish the bad. (Books to consider are Drucker, "Management" and Mancur Olson, "Power and Prosperity").

A third socio-biological component is to remember we are not just individuals but are social animals. Our cohesion and effectiveness is utterly dependent on individuals trading off short-term self-interest vs longer-term broader, group interests. Both as individuals and as an industry one could argue that very short-term self-interest was put ahead of any larger interest. The result is poisoning the well. We live in a social ecology and the firestorm of anger over AIG is rooted in our evolutionary history and grounded in survival.
You might want to consider:

Kevin Acocella

Irving - I wanted to point out to you the following post on NY Times Bits Blog. It discusses two of your favorite topics - cloud and gaming.


I was curious if you have any view on how this model may have implications on some of the other areas of industry in which simulation and next-generation user interfaces will come into play.

It's exciting to think of an immersive experiences delivered via the cloud - ones with which we would interact as users in a very different way.


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Robert Pattinson Girlfriend

Not to sound too gender sensitive but these kinds of study only provokes the feminist!

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