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FirstRand is recognised as a highly innovative business that encourages and rewards original thinking from its people. It has created Perspectives, a portal of original, specifically commissioned content, to provide writers, authors, artists, thinkers, academics, researchers and visionaries a platform to share new ideas and unique concepts.

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The dark side of leaf blowers, the windscreen effect and insect extinction

09.2020 | Athalie Russell Besseling

Imagine this.

You are in the grounds of a leafy upmarket South African housing estate.

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We date like we shop

As much as this is such a tired cliché, there is some truth to the widespread millennial observation that dating in this generation is harder and more complicated than it used to be.

The Ivy League and other elite schools- can you get in?

There is no obvious, fail-safe method to being accepted into a school in the Ivy League, but there are some definite patterns exploited and strategies adopted by top performing, successful candidates.

Pyramid schemes and multilevel marketing

How many people feel completely assured that they will retire comfortably?

Anger Series: When domestic violence comes to the office

Anger and male-perpetrated violence are a pandemic in this country. How do companies approach the sensitive issue and are there policies in place to help employees who are victims of violence?

In defence of millennials: Speak to us, dammit

Another day, another article about the supposed habits of millennials written by older generations, with contributions from other members of the same generation. It is hilarious.

How to host a conversation

Everyone hates meetings. Most of us concede that they are a waste of time and an opportunity for the preening and posturing of only the most powerful and obnoxious.

Detecting forgery, down to the letter

Before the commodification of art as a store of wealth, forgeries were not as big a deal as they are today.

No laughing matter

2019’s Joker was about a failed comedian, Arthur Fleck. Fleck tells people he has a laughing disorder. Although it was not actually mentioned what the disorder was, it was most likely based on what is known as pseudobulbar affect (PBA).

Moral Money Series: Christianity

The problem in examining ‘Christianity’ – as with most religions – is that when you use the term, it refers to a wide variety of ideologies and aesthetic expressions.

Can mindfulness treat depression?

Psychiatrists are pragmatic people. There’s compassion and empathy, yes, but there’s also extreme firmness – especially when it comes to biopsychosocial treatment protocols for patients with depression.

A cut and paste tool for human DNA

Genetic engineering is one of those fields of science that make people feel queasy.

Determinants of civil war

The last three years have seen a downward trend in deaths from armed conflict. Still, the world has seen 280 distinct conflicts since 1946, with the vast majority being intrastate or civil wars.

Liespotting Series: Decoding the language of lies

Paul Ekman was named one Time Magazine’s Top 100 most influential people in May 2009.

Physics for the philosophical investor

A good share of modern physics is based on the laws of thermodynamics, which help us to understand how matter and energy relate to one another in closed systems, such as the universe.

Will machines ever become conscious?

The nature of consciousness is something that has been debated for centuries by philosophers, neuroscientists, ethicists, biologists and the like, with very little progress having been made.

The bully in the boardroom

If you see bullying as essentially a playground problem – one that doesn’t affect adults in the course of their working lives – you couldn’t be more wrong.


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