Telkom, SBC and a few things suddenly making sense

Business Report is running a story about the shareholder agreement between government and SBC that impacted South Africa’s telecommunications environment. Ann Crotty (from Business Report) writes: The shareholders’ agreement signed by the government when it sold a 30 percent stake in Telkom to the Thintana Communications consortium placed both companies above South Africa’s laws, according […]

Deja vu and the myopia of our spirit

Amongst the stormy seas of markets recently (off the back of a credit and liquidity crunch apparently initiated by ongoing and deepening problems with sub-prime loans in the US and the related CDOs), bobs the grey and bloated bodies of a clich├ęd failure. Unwavering belief in trends, normal market conditions and trading rules developed out […]

Measures, targets and Alchemy

When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure. I first heard this quote when dealing with performance measurement and remuneration structures for senior management. In that scenario, the danger is that you get exactly what you measure rather than the good behaviours related to or driven by the metrics chosen. […]

Urban legends and cocktail conversation

I’ve had an idea to analyse some of the many topics that come up in conversation time and time again. Chances of winning the lotto, FNB’s Million a Month account, randomness of the iPod shuffle to name a few. I’ll try to get hold of some interesting datasets and perform some basic analysis. My aim? […]

Models: there’s wrong and then there is Wrong

One of my favourite quotes is by George Box: “All models are wrong, but some are useful“. If you work with models and understand their place in the universe, you may already agree with this too. However, there is more than one type of wrong, and while it is not always possible to tell which […]

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