power clouds ability to make good decisions, darger’s room preserved, wonder

Power and overconfident decision-making (pdf file)

Does power cloud one’s ability to make good decisions?
Study highlights common pitfalls of leadership decision-making

Grave consequences can result from bad decisions made by people in leadership positions. Case in point: the 2009 Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster. British Petroleum (BP) executives had downplayed potential risks associated with their oil well, claiming that it was virtually impossible that a major accident would ever occur.

That same oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers and causing a massive oil spill that’s costing BP an estimated $100 billion.

For USC Marshall professor Nathanael Fast and his co-authors, the BP case represents only one example that illustrates a fundamental truth the world of business: unconstrained power can hinder decision-making.

Fast’s recent study, “Power and Overconfident Decision-making” co-authored with Niro Sivanathan of London Business School, Nicole D. Mayer of the University of Illinois, Chicago, and Adam Galinsky of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, currently in press at Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, helps explain how power can fuel overconfidence, which negatively impacts decision-making.

“The aim of this research was to help power holders become conscious of one of the pitfalls leaders often fall prey to,” said Fast, an assistant professor of management and organization.

The overall sense of control that comes with power tends to make people feel overconfident in their ability to make good decisions,” Fast said.

A logical fallacy has become woven into the psyche of the highly paid elite. I got here so I must be right more often than most people, thus I’ll just keep doing what I have been doing . Alistair Smith once divided people up into the knowers – the executives at BP or the bankers on Wall Street – and the learners. The future should be owned by the learners, the people who evaluate events, see the real causes ( those who feel Freddie Mac and the working poor caused the financial collapse of 2007 would be knowers, not learners) and do not repeat the same mistakes over and over. How ironic that between the people who will not learn, the people who are knowers, those with memories that last about two weeks and those just too wrapped up in trying to survive.The knowers were rewarded in 2010 and might be again in 2012. Welcome to rinse and repeat nation.

Henry Darger might be the most famous outsider artist in the world. He may have had some kind autism Asperger’s syndrome perhaps. Which would explain both his obsessive collection of newspaper and magazine clippings, his self-imposed solitude and yet his high functional skills in graphic design and imitative writing. I was reminded of him today when I came across this link – Henry Darger Room. Where the room where he lived for most of his life has been recreated with much of his original furnishings.

Henry Darger room at the Intuit at the Intuit Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art

I was looking for some video about Darger since posting any of his work is problematic in terms of copyright. There was a documentary done on him – the trailer for In the Realms of the Unreal here. Though I like this short experimental title sequence that was done for a digital media film class. Henry Darger Film Title Project

Just to make things more confusing this is from the synopsis for the documentary:

Henry Darger was born in Chicago in 1892 and spent much of his childhood in a home for feeble-minded children. As an adult, he lived a solitary life, supporting himself as a janitor, living in a single room. Upon his death in 1973, hundreds of paintings, many of which were over 10 feet long and double-sided, a 15,145 page single-spaced novel, an autobiography, and thousands of pages from journals were discovered in his humble room. No one except Darger himself, had known this work existed.

Darger’s monumental novel of illustrations and words, The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion is a rich and complex imaginary world. The novel tells the story of seven sisters who are princesses of the Christian nation of Abbieannia who lead a child slave revolt against the evil Glandelinians.

Natalie Merchant wrote a song inspired by Darby’s work ( as have several music groups) called Motherland. While I like that song I like Wonder – an homage to women of which I think Darger would approve, even more. Drunk on the power of being the publisher and managing editor of this blog it is my possibly poor decision to go with this video instead – Natalie Merchant  – Wonder

Seven Famous Photographers Who Used Polaroids For artists such as Andy Warhol and Ansel Adams, the Polaroid SX-70 was the digital camera of its day

David Hockney, Imogen + Hermiane Pembroke Studios, London 30th July 1982

British pop artist David Hockney’s beautiful composite of 63 Polaroid SX-70 images sold for $194,500 at the 2010 Sotheby’s auction of the Polaroid Collection.

The other photographers are at the link. As usual Andy Warhol’s are the most derivative and boring.’