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Expat wanderer

“Illusions Driving Market Havok”

A fascinating article in today’s BBC News sheds light on our cascading stock markets. . . it isn’t rational, but it is explainable:

‘Illusions driving market havoc’

City traders may be seeing patterns that ‘aren’t really there’

The mind naturally creates illusions and superstitions at times of stress – and this could be adding to the global financial crisis, say scientists.

US researchers say feeling “out of control” makes us more likely to misinterpret information as we search for signs of order.

The study in the journal Science found investment decisions of volunteers were adversely affected by these feelings.

Simple psychological techniques might improve their performance, they said.

The researchers, from the University of Texas and Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, believe that humans cope with feeling out of control by trying to impose order subconsciously – even in situations where there is none.

At a simple level, they demonstrated the principle by asking volunteers to look for images embedded in “snowy pictures”.

Those whose feelings of control had earlier been undermined were more likely to claim to have seen an image, even where none existed.

However, the researchers believe that other kinds of illusion, from conspiracy theories to superstitions, stem from the same basic subconscious problem, and that it may be contributing to the current havoc on the world’s financial markets.

Read the entire article Here.

October 7, 2008 Posted by | Community, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Interconnected, Living Conditions, News | Leave a comment

600 Speeding Tickets Issued over Eid Holidays

600 speeding tickets issued over Eid

From today’s Al Watan staff

KUWAIT: Highway Traffic Police launched a campaign against reckless and speeding drivers during the Eid holidays, which was aimed at eliminating tragic car accidents. According to instructions passed by Major General Mahmoud AlـDousari, Highway Traffic officers set up surprised checkpoints along the King Fahed Expressway.

They succeeded in handing out over 600 speeding tickets and seized 20 violating vehicles.

A reliable source said: “A reckless motorist driving a German car was speeding on the safety shoulder of the highway bypassing all other vehicles, which were lined up at a security check point. Highway patrols pursued the speeding driver before arresting him.”

I wish they had the police out regularly. The roads yesterday were full of people weaving in and out, too fast. We watched one car clip another entering the speedway, neither of them slowed a bit.

October 7, 2008 Posted by | Community, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Law and Order, Living Conditions, News | 4 Comments

Cough! Cough!

I was out enjoying the weather yesterday, when I noticed around noon I had a little tickle in my throat, and I was sneezing a little, too. Thought it was just the dust. By evening, I had a deep-chest cough, the kind that makes you sore after you cough a few times.

I don’t know if I picked something up or if it was just the dust. I am hoping it passes quickly, and inconveniences me very little.

Is there something going around in Kuwait? Is this just the time of year for health challenges?

October 7, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions | 7 Comments