The world in 500 words - image for article by Greg Alder

The world in 500 words


Imagine you are asked this question a generation from now. What was the world like in 2016? I have read no more succinct, accurate, potent or depressing description than one in Ian McEwan’s latest novel, Nutshell. The narrator is an…

Choose happiness - image for article by Greg Alder

Choose happiness


Why is it that some people who seem to have everything don’t have happiness? And why do those who seem to have nothing often have a broad, irrepressible smile? Some time back, I was in the weekly market at Zaachila,…

The cleverest person you know - image for article by Greg Alder

The cleverest person you know


This week, something a little different. This week I am going to introduce someone I introduced at a business awards dinner last week. Someone inspiring, and infinitely clever. Someone you should know well. Someone you should trust to guide you…

Ex Machina - image for article by Greg Alder

Ex Machina


I watched the film Ex Machina on a flight yesterday. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s essentially about the manipulation of one human by another. At least, that’s what it appears to be. In the film, a programmer named…

The Me Manifesto - image for article by Greg Alder

The Me Manifesto


Social researchers believe they have discovered an important difference about social attitudes in Asian and Western societies. According to their studies, in Asian societies individuals are more likely to make decisions that benefit society. In Western societies, individuals are more…

Kafka and the doll - image for article by Greg Alder

Kafka and the doll


Franz Kafka is sick. Terminally ill. He is living the last year of his life before tuberculosis kills him. It’s 1923. Kafka is 40. Every afternoon, he walks in a park near his home. One afternoon, he encounters a young…

Twins under the skin - image for article by Greg Alder

Twins under the skin


Some truths about us humans. We are motivated by basic needs, such as companionship, shelter and self-esteem. We are plagued by fears. Death, poverty, loneliness and public speaking are common ones. We’re more open to messages from those we like…

Bird set free - image for article by Greg Alder

Bird set free


The sheriff gallops into town. He slides his horse to a stop and dismounts. He doesn’t exactly tie the horse’s lead to the hitching rail, but hastily and casually drapes it over the rail. He enters his office. The horse…