Sex with a gorilla.

The quote goes: “XXXXX is like sex with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you want to stop, you stop when the gorilla wants to”.

As a child I loved the imagery of the ‘sex with a gorilla’ part.

Nowadays I struggle to recall which gorilla is taking its time with me.

Transaction-based approach vs Relationship-based approach

In business school we were taught that there were two approaches to conducting business; one that focused primarily on making the most of the transaction each time, and one that focused on building a relationship geared towards increasing number of transactions.

We were told that, broadly speaking, the relationship-based model was favoured in the ‘Orient’ (an example being the Asian corner-shop who will often allow a payment shortfall in the knowledge that the customer will clear it the next time around), whereas the transaction-based approach was synonymous with a ‘Western’ approach to business, (imagine Tesco doing that!).

In reality, of course, mixtures of both should be and are used. But is the situation read correctly each time?

The smart negotiator is one who makes sure the other party has a reason to come back to the table the next time. This would encourage a relationship-based approach. Unless there is a certainty that the other party will/can not come back to the table again. In that case, negotiate for the best deal possible at the time.

Recognising this, is it in the best interests of both parties to pretend to be in for the relationship while hoping to conduct a single transaction?

Between ‘Advanced Speciation’ and ‘Multi-disciplinary Generalisation’

More and more professions in the world are getting highly specialised. This is very true in the case of research and practical sciences; and therefore it seems that apart from any gains to be made from one particular field, progress is more likely to come from combining and borrowing works from several, probably disparate fields. These works can be for example technical advances such as measuring / detection methods, engineering advances such as materials / procedures as well as strategies and theoretical frameworks.

In such a climate it would seem that only ‘multi-disciplinists’ or ‘generalists’ will possibly be able to spot opportunities for ground-breaking collaboration between various fields by connecting the nodes at the ends of different branches.

If there is any advancement to be achieved in this manner, two things are required:

1. Each specialised field to contribute to a shared body of work that explains key concepts of their disciplines in a manner accessible to the layman and a updated register of key contacts within each sphere.

2. A mechanism to select and enable potential collaborative ventures and to allocate funding from a joint revenue.

Both of these will require the services of what I call “Sci-fis” (Science Facilitators) to bring about.

Seeing as it’s my idea, can I be one?

J.B.S. Haldane – An anecdote

Evolution sceptic: Professor Haldane, even given the billions of years that you say were available for evolution, I simply cannot believe it is possible to go from a single cell to a complicated human body, with its trillions of cells organised into bones and muscles and nerves, a heart that pumps without ceasing for decades, miles and miles of blood vessels and kidney tubules, and a brain capable of thinking and talking and feeling.

JBS: But madam, you did it yourself. And it only took you nine months.

-Taken from Richard Dawkins, “The Greatest Show On Earth: The evidence for evolution”