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The100: Local lenses, forms of stupidity & Americanization

The 70s are for the newly 70’d

When it comes to people, and our assumptions surrounding them, this caught me off-guard a little:

If you work with people who are now 70, they were 18 in 1970 not 1940. They listened to The Beatles, The Jackson 5 & Diana Ross. They wore flares and bright clothes.  They were *not* in the war nor listened to Vera Lynn.

Enter 12 strategists on breaking the echo chamber, stage right.


Rory Sutherland (hello again!) has been talking about how contextualising questions and reframing them with a ‘local’ lens gives completely different responses:

If you ask people “how happy are you with life in modern Britain?” you will get far more negative answers than if you ask people “how happy are you with life in Sevenoaks?”

You can argue there is a different nuance to the question by localising it , but equally, there are obvious implications for our research.

99% true

Some light, yet pointed entertainment from @dr_draper about consulting firms and their consumer survey insights. Funny.

Data needs you

Neil Perkin shared his latest Firestarters episode with Rishad Tobaccowala, who said a number of fascinating things around data and stories.

For companies to succeed, yes, they need data, but how you deal with that data is the key. Covid being a prime example: We all have the same data, yet very different decisions are being made off the back of it. 

I have never seen data drive the answer – it is people and data [together].

Well worth a listen. 

The future of qual

Founder of Deep Blue Thinking and friend of Watch Me Think, Nick Bonney wrote a very good post about the use of online vs. face to face qual research.

We need to ensure this debate is focused on embracing the best that both worlds can bring rather than distilling it down to a simplistic binary choice.

Nicely put. Bothism, anyone? 

Would you have beaten the rat?

There are some days where I feel about as sharp as a bowling ball, so reading Ian Leslie’s 7 varieties of stupidity was a delight. If I may draw your attention to the rule based stupidity section:

Stupidity isn’t derived from an absence of mental materials but from a superfluity of them. It is the product of all the stuff we carry around in our minds and absorb from others: powerful algorithms, bad theories, fake facts, seductive stories, leaky metaphors, misplaced intuitions. 

The rat feeding case study in the overthinking stupidity section is also an excellent anecdote to have in your repertoire, if you have time.

And finally…

Smooth out the lumps

The DO Lectures have published a list of 100 tools for an easy life. However, I can confirm that I’m ignoring number 1. 


If you are (bizarrely) not a fan of David Bowie, this superhero style trailer for the new documentary coming in September may convince you otherwise. 

Taking the hump

Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (and also The Meaning of Liff – one of the greatest books ever written) sent a fax in 1992 to US editor Byron Preiss, whose company at the time was producing a comic book adaptation of Adams’ work. Having noticed some unnecessary changes, Adams was keen to give some feedback: please don’t Americanise