Jinnah

Jinnah was quite clear about the role of Indian politicians. They must never mix religion with politics: one was a private matter, the other public service. Political differences should be settled by debate and not taken to the streets to create mob…Continue Reading →

Interesting Links

“Naipaul was not a bridge burner, he wrote, but a “mushy soul afflicted with a cruel streak, and like many severe men, something of a sentimentalist. He cried easily.” He was, said Theroux, also a mean freeloader who rarely paid…Continue Reading →

My Book List

This is not a list of the best books of 2014, but the books I read, or reread in 2014, and liked. —————————————– Steven Pinker-The Sense Of Style Alain de Botton-The News: A User’s Manual  Antonio Damasio-Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason…Continue Reading →

Facebook, My News Editor

A decade ago, while debating capitalism and socialism in an Orkut forum, I shared a journal article of Murray Rothbard. This evoked response to this effect: “I don’t care about what some guy on the internet says about economic depressions.” It…Continue Reading →

Nabokov On Philistinism

Nabokov’s is the most nuanced and psychologically perceptive analysis of neurotypical communication I have ever read. This fits normal human beings to a T: “Philistinism implies not only a collection of stock ideas but also the use of set phrases, clichés,…Continue Reading →

How Inflation Fell

More than a year ago, I wrote: “In professions in which perceptions matter, real skills are not valued much. But, no amount of rationalization can change the fact that real skills do matter. In economics, theoretical competence matters. Intelligence and…Continue Reading →

Is The World A Good Place?

The people who read the newspapers believe that people are at each other’s throats. But, the probability of I being murdered, or your child being kidnapped is way too low. The reason is, of course, that the media discusses journalistic concretes, but not fundamental…Continue Reading →

Real Women Get Raped

When I read in a news report that a court said that forceful sex on post-menopausal women is not rape, it was obvious to me that they were misinterpreting the judgment. When journalists hear something bizarre, they do not have…Continue Reading →

Prejudices

I think many, perhaps most Indian writers find Rushdie’s claim controversial: “The prose writing – both fiction and non-fiction by Indian writers working in English, is proving to be a stronger and more important body of work than most of what has…Continue Reading →

Patience And Passion

Ethan Casey, in a speech on why we should bother trying to change the world, quotes Paul Rogat Loeb: “Sometimes we achieve the impossible sooner than we expect. Knowing that can stiffen our resolve. But relying on quick victories can…Continue Reading →

The Dead House

Much of the ideological debates in India remind me of this: “The two children of the family were divided on the question. June Sanborn, aged nineteen, had always thought that all architects were romantic, and she had been delighted to learn that…Continue Reading →

The Nobel Peace Prize Fraud

If you think that Kailash Satyarthi—and his Bachpan Bachao Andolan (ROTFL)—deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, consider this: You have bronchitis. The doctor examines your symptoms and writes a brilliant report. The doctor is very “sincere”, fraudulently so. The report is…Continue Reading →

Your Privilege, Check It

The quality of the debates on blogs—or even Facebook—is much better than the quality of the debates in the mainstream media. This is true even of the debates among non-academics. Today’s pick: Maureen Smith I’m starting to think the men I…Continue Reading →

An Act So Strange

“Oppenheimer, by all accounts, was a child with a mind very much like Chris Langan’s. His parents considered him a genius. One of his teachers recalled that “he received every new idea as perfectly beautiful.” He was doing lab experiments…Continue Reading →

The Missing Men

Journalists are supposed to report “facts”. But, I have always maintained that journalists are stupid, and do not have the brains to know what the facts are. Journalists do not know that a lot of the unpopular truths that they…Continue Reading →

Why The West Won

A wide gulf separates the Indian and western thinkers. This is hard to miss. Indian thinkers are abysmally read, shallow and superficial. They do not understand the concept of abstract reasoning. When I read Indian and western nonfiction, I feel…Continue Reading →