I really shouldn’t let myself watch Q&A. Don’t get me wrong, the ABC’s flagship weekly panel show is usually compelling viewing. But after just a few minutes I end up with the systolic blood pressure of Yosemite Sam and so fired up I can’t get to sleep for ages afterwards. Good thing it’s on when the kids are in bed, or they’d pick up all sorts of funny new words from Daddy yelling at the screen.
I’m expecting more of the same this week when physicist and author Lawrence Krauss is on the panel. Krauss is an entertaining commentator and science populist – if often quite provocative, especially on matters of religion. He should be fun to watch.
Today’s announcement of a national network of marine parks is really a memorable day for Australian nature conservation.
The political rhetoric and self-congratulation associated with major events is often overstated. But whilst there are qualifications about aspects of today’s declaration of a very substantial suite of marine protected areas (MPAs) it is truly a global milestone and does place Australia back at the global forefront of marine conservation and marine-protected-area declarations.
This is a very positive outcome for current and future generations and should be viewed as major step forward for marine conservation both in Australia and in the world.
Ask any good salesman the key to making a sale, and they will tell you that there are two parts to a successful sales pitch. The first step is to create or highlight a problem in the mind of the customer. The second step is to provide a “logical” solution to the problem, thus dissipating any anxiety.
The key to the solution being accepted is that the customer has to feel some degree of trust in the salesperson, which makes it easier for the customer to believe that what is being offered will work. Once that happens, the belief becomes an integral part of their identity, so it becomes very difficult to dismiss it.
It’s pretty basic stuff, but it works most of the time.
Most of us like to think that we make decisions in a rational, sensible way. We prefer to believe that when it comes to making choices, whether to get out of bed, buy a Powerball ticket, turn left at the next set of lights, or even buy that house, the choices we make typically reflect our desires; we choose what, all things considered, we want. The process by which we make choices is pretty straightforward. We consider the pros and cons of a particular choice, or perhaps even do a more formal cost-benefit analysis. After weighing up our options, we choose the product we want the most. For the most part, it is a process that is carried out in the conscious mind. Pretty straightforward.