This morning, I watched this RSA Animate clip on youtube (and here’s the link for the email subscribers, or you can watch it directly on

I think it’s worth the 10 minutes of your time, even if it’s a bit sickly sweet around the edges. My general feeling is that the word “empathy” gets dropped as a buzzword a little too often, and the “let’s change the world by building empathy museums!” vibe is cloying.

I’m not into that.

But what I do like is the idea of “cognitive empathy”. Which is neither warm, fuzzy nor emotional – but rather, the wilful attempt to swap footwear. Sharing emotions is one thing; understanding perspective is another, far more productive, thing.

It also makes you more clear-sighted and less prejudiced. Where sharing emotions seems to do the opposite.

Happy Tuesday.

Rolling Alpha posts opinions on finance, economics, and the corporate life in general. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, and on Facebook at