Tag Archives: human behaviour

Rational or what?

It may be mid-Winter and it may be cold but there is a lot of heat being generated by all the media coverage the Malema is currently getting. Not sure whose agenda it is serving but someone is surely behind it all. In the light of this, there was an excellent interview with Professor Steven Friedman on 567 Cape Talk last night:

“Professor Steven Friedman says while much of the public debate portrays Julius Malema as an immensely powerful figure, all the evidence suggests that he largely does what he is told by senior politicians – and, perhaps, business people in the ANC who may also help him to afford his lifestyle. “Whether Zuma is challenged for the ANC presidency next year will be decided by senior figures who will convey their decision to the league.” Friedman says this may be the most over-cooked story in South African history, and it’s not analysis or commentary it’s hysteria on the part of journalists and political analysts.”

And just before you sound off about him being naive or that he has blinkers on, pause for a second to consider just how emotional and irrational our behaviour as humans often is.

“Did you know that in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March of this year, another event passed largely unnoticed in the western world. It was a mania of epic proportions, yet only lasted a week or two. The Chinese public, in the mistaken belief that eating iodised salt would help to prevent radiation sickness, bought up large quantities of such salt. This together with speculative entrepreneurs buying tons of salt, drove the price up by at least 900% within a matter of days. It took repeated statements from authorities before calm was restored, despite the fact that Beijing is almost 3000km away from the Fukushima nuclear accident. But at the height of the mania, the public even took to buying stocks of soy sauce as a salt replacement.”

Thanks to Atlantic Asset Management for the bit above about the Salt Bubble of 2011