FTOTW Feb 24, 2007 – Walmart, Birds can “Plan” ..

1. Priya Raju picked the documentary Walmart: the High Cost of Low Price. Some of the things that Walmart does per this documentary are downright shocking. My main question to this documentary maker is – if you are so convinced that Walmart is evil, how come you didn’t give even one chance for Walmart to offer an opinion in the documentary?  The end result is that, the documentary comes across as a one-sided bashing of Walmart. Doesn’t Walmart do anything good?  The lack of a balanced perspective makes this documentary less credible, in the same way Fahrenheit 911 was less credible by its one-sided bashing of George W. Bush. 2. In a recent research report, Scrubjays have been shown to “plan”. We have long thought planning to be another uniquely human capability. The way this is headed, it is going to turn out that whatever we can do, some animal or bird or insect out there can do it, probably with a lesser finesse. Goes to show that we are not something special – just an artefact of the process of evolution. I am sure this fact is hard to digest for many humans. 3. It is widely believed that during sleep, some special brain processes kick in and sort  out the day’s happenings and file them  away for future use.  Recent research reports seems to corroborate this view about sleep.  As such, we yet don’t understand sleep or the brain for that matter that well for us to be sure. But we are getting there slowly. 4. Ian Landsman has some excellent insights on customer service and sales. Must read.


  1. Anonymous said March 5, 2007, 6:12 pm:

    Regarding Wal-Mart bashing, the Wall Street Journal ran a front page story today on Wal-Mart’s recent successes in Mexico.

    Here’s a quote: “Most families [in Juchitan, Mexico] live on less than $4,000 a year. Little wonder that this provincial corner of Oaxaca, historically famous for keeping outsiders at bay, welcomed the arrival of Wal-Mart.” And another: “Like Wal-Mart fans in less affluent parts of America, most shoppers in developing countries are much more concerned about the cost of medicine and microwaves than the cultural incursions of a multinational corporation.”

    Just a thought.

    April Holladay

  2. Anonymous said March 7, 2007, 9:50 am:

    Thanks April. That is my whole point, Walmart must be doing something good as you have pointed out. I think the documentary maker could have created a better impact and created a better incentive for Walmart to change its bad practices by producing a more balanced view.