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Consistency depends on the context

Consistency is the defining principle of rational choice theory. John looks instead to Ralph Waldo Emerson 'a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds'.

The Deal, New York blog

Today Robert Teitelman in New York wrote a blog on The Deal called Appreciating John Kay.

Even a filthy habit deserves a fair hearing

Sophistication of method is used to torture data to reveal conclusions that do not obviously follow from them, but which fit either the researchers’ preconceptions or the sponsor’s policy objectives, or both.

Robber barons of the Rhine

The distinction between the creation and the appropriation of wealth is vital, if not always clear. But our ability to recognise it will determine, not just the fate of individuals, but the future of modern capitalism.

The cash comes second

The richest men are not the most materialistic. Nor has it ever been otherwise.

Ideas for modern living: Obliquity

Why happiness and profit are best achieved indirectly

RSA Lecture

In March 2010 John delivered a lecture to the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce on the concept of obliquity. Click...

How to make money without trying

It is particularly sad for me that James Black, the Nobel prize winning chemist, should have died in the same week that my latest book, Obliquity, is published. I am indebted to Black for helping to frame the idea – and for proposing the term “obliquity” to describe it.

Decision-making, John Kay’s way

Successful decision-making is more limited in aspiration, more modest in its beliefs about its knowledge of the world, more responsive to the reactions of others, more sensitive to the complexity of the systems with which it engages. Complex goals are generally best achieved obliquely.

Think oblique: How our goals are best reached indirectly

Obliquity recognises that there are no predictable connections between intentions and outcomes. Problem solvers cannot evaluate all available alternatives: they make successive choices from a narrow range of options.