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The high price of the herd mentality

Researchers at Leeds University performed group experiments where volunteers were told to randomly walk around a large hall without talking to each other. A select few were then given more detailed instructions on where to walk. The scientists discovered that people end up blindly following one or two instructed people who appear to know where they’re going. The results of this experiments showed that it only takes 5% of confident looking and instructed people to influence the direction of the 95% of people in the crowd and the 200 volunteers did this without even realising it. (Wikipedia) This was the herd mentality in action.

The high price of the herd mentality

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Archive and library #photography

My camera takes photos that are 24 Megapixel and often that translates to a file size of 12 Mb or more. I then resize the folder to a size suitable for the internet which is typically 1 Mb file size per image. The images take up a lot of space on my laptop and video takes up even more. It is essential then to move them onto some kind of removable storage. My archive consists of a 500 Gb external hard drive and I have just bought a 1 Tb flash drive which will become another archive for images, video and music. I can simply move the latest files from the library on my laptop to an archive and free up space.

SPRITUAL EARTH GIFTS (12)

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Episodic memory failure in a post-truth world

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I allow you into the darkest depths of my mind and share my thoughts about my continuing journey through life. I was out taking photos in the town centre yesterday as part of my role publicising the Business Improvement District. There was supposed to be a visit by an MEP but she didn’t turn up. I’m not surprised. It was cold and windy and our town centre isn’t very inviting on a summer’s day let alone on a chilly winter’s day. Perhaps she has episodic memory problems too?

episodic memory

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Never look back #finance #investments

One thing I have learnt about investing is never look back and regret your decisions. You can’t change the past so concentrate on the here and now and of course try to predict the future. I have sold a few shares a little too soon but who knows what will happen to them tomorrow? It is better to sell too soon and make a profit than sell too late and make a loss.

never look back

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Thrifty and frugal ideas #thrifty

As usual, I have had another week of trying to save money with thrifty and frugal ideas. I’m actually looking for another car. I have looked after mine but it is 20 years old this year and even I can’t make them last forever. It has a very slight oil leak but the main reason it has to go is it has started to corrode. It has virtually new brake pads and tyres and so I’ll hate to part with it. What a waste!

Thrifty and frugal ideas

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Fine tuning your camera #photography

In previous posts, I have mainly covered different apertures, ISO setting and shutter speeds but if you want great shots you have to dig deeper into your camera menus. I have a Nikon D3200 which is a popular and relatively inexpensive DSLR and so I have been looking at more advanced settings for fine tuning the camera.

fine tuning using this menu

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Surviving a crash in the market #investments

Sometimes it is the whole market that crashes and sometimes it is one or two share prices. To limit the damage, we need to diversify and have some investments not associated with the market.  Then a big drop in the part of your portfolio that is invested in the stock market isn’t quite so damaging. I have an investment in peer-to-peer lending through Zopa. Surviving a crash emotionally is a different matter. People get excited about making money and upset when they lose money but you can get used to seeing it as numbers on paper or on a computer screen. There has been a lot of excitement on the forums recently about Solo Oil and the price soared from around 0.3 up to 0.8 more than doubling the value of my investment and then this week the news from NT2 wasn’t quite what some investors expected and the market makers slashed the price.

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How to cheat and save money #thrifty

We often see very expensive products and want them for the prestige or just to fit in. It can be anything, an expensive car to impress at an event or designer clothes. It is always possible to cheat and create an impression that looks expensive but isn’t. We need to forget labels, a label doesn’t guarantee style. People who select clothing based on the label do so because they have no sense of style. It can be useful to just look around a website that sells the latest fashions and then decide on the look you want to create and then you can cheat. The way to cheat is to go to the budget websites like Matalan or Primark and look for the same style or a very similar style and create the look you want on a budget. I did this for a vintage event. I thought a linen suit would look good with a suitable hat. I ended up with chinos and a linen shirt from Matalan and a summer trilby. I got the look but I did cheat!

thrifty cheat

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Wide-open in low-light #photography

I’ve been taking photos at more events indoors recently and doing much less landscape photography because of the weather. Indoor photography poses its own problems with low-light. To get some scenes in focus you need a wide depth of field but struggle with the low-light at narrower apertures. The answer is to just stay wide-open and try to take close-up shots of people. After all, at events, it is the people who are the subject!

I kept the aperture wide-open for this shot.

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Is it still raining? #ramble

Is it raining?

Is it raining?

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I let you into the weird labyrinth where I keep my innermost thoughts. What’s on my mind this week? On a Sunday, I like to write this ramble in the morning and then after lunch, I like to do some landscape photography while I can drive about without facing mind destroying congestion. Of course, on Friday’s when the congestion is the worst we get the sunshine and on Sundays it’s always raining.

I was out last night taking photos at Churchill’s club where my brother was celebrating his 60th birthday. I have looked through the photos this morning and they are quite good. I deleted far fewer than usual and so I must be getting better at this event photography.
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Economics and the stock market #investments

Most people understand the basics of economics. Recently there has been a worldwide glut of oil and so there was competition among producers that led to the oil price falling to below $50 a barrel which meant many producers were selling at a loss. Supply and demand largely dictate prices but in the case of oil, we also had to look at how much oil was stored. It will take a while before those stocks are deleted. When oil stocks are low then the oil price could soar to new heights again.

FTSE 100 affected by world economics

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Food and entertainment #thrifty

Eating out and buying takeaways can work out expensive with 20% VAT on top of the bill and the same applies to entertainment. I follow a gluten-free diet and so rarely eat anything out and even buying chips is complicated because they have to be cooked separately. When I do spend money, I always look for value. I went to a community night this week and had an evening of entertainment for the price of a 50p cup of tea! Look for value when you want food and entertainment.

food and entertainment?

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