Monday 12 November 2007

New Blog.

The online repository of all knowledge, especially the history of it, has been launched. While it still needs many tweaks, three of the four authors have confirmed participation. The third will be writing about the scandals that avataram's grandfather was involved in --when he was teaching mathematics and lording over tenants in Trichy. The fourth, one hopes, will be the dutiful grandson defending his grandfather's honor.

Sunday 11 November 2007

Dear American voter,

Fight over what you get. Personally. Like a free color TV.


Mount Road Marx

If one had the time, one could have written this yesterday to just check if all was well in the world, the following morning.
The role of Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi has, for a second time, come under the spotlight. In March 2007, he clearly stepped out of line in publicly airing his philosophical and tactical differences with the State government over Nandigram. He does not seem to have learnt any lessons from that experience and, in fact, his latest speaking out of line has had the effect of adding fuel to the flames. Let us concede that Nandigram represented a situation where the moral urge not to remain silent came into conflict with the restraints imposed by the constitutional office. Yet, of the restraints imposed by the office, there would seem to be little doubt, and a public statement critical of the government’s handling of the issue could not have been made without transgressing them. The Hindu has consistently regarded this as a major question of principle in the constitutional realm. The classic 1867 exposition of the role of the British monarch by Walter Bagehot applies equally to the office of the President and the Governor: “To state the matter shortly, the Sovereign has, under a constitutional monarchy such as ours, three rights — the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn. And a king of great sense and sagacity would want no others. He would find that his having no others would enable him to use these with singular effect.” The right to advise and the right to warn are to be exercised in private and in confidence, and not through public statements. This restraint required of the head of state is not a mere constitutional formality but is based on sound democratic principles. In the first place, the head of state must not, through statements critical of its functioning, place himself or herself in conflict with the representative government, which has a greater democratic legitimacy. Secondly, the head of state should appear non-partisan and remain above the fray when controversial and divisive questions are being debated in the political sphere, and avoid any public statements that could give comfort to one side or the other. The Governor’s public statements on Nandigram both challenged the wisdom of the government’s approach and came down on the side of the critics of its action. Further, Mr. Gandhi laid himself open to the charge of remaining silent when the supporters of the Left Front were at the receiving end. His conduct through this crisis has been constitutionally indefensible. Yet the Left Front government must not get distracted by this. Its top priorities must be to re-establish peace, ensure human security, and resume development work in Nandigram. The CPI(M) has a special responsibility in this regard — among other things, to be manifestly fair in its dealings on the ground, and to restrain its cadre from any campaign of reprisal.
This must be the rare case where an entire argument can be condensed into one name: K R Narayanan.

Saturday 10 November 2007

Jaya, the modern day Gangaikonda Cholan

AIADMK should acquire Trinamool and arm them with aruvaal.

Friday 9 November 2007

Dear Bullish Analysts,

The next Prime Minister will be Mayawati.


Wednesday 7 November 2007

Why India works

The bubble is not deflated by Dr Reddy but by some judge in a consumer court.

The good part about having an ineffective system is, ineffectiveness lends itself to growth better than some structured system thought about by a human. The cost is ugliness -- but that's hardly a cost to people and countries already ugly.

Tuesday 6 November 2007

There are rules, you just don't know they exist

When one was 11, one always asked questions like 'Do you want to pick a team and then the Captain or vice-versa'. One even thought one was very clever. One then grew up and realized many things. 15 years later, one has a Dhoni to figure.

Monday 5 November 2007

Puke of the Day

People older than 12 discussing religion make me want to throw up.

About ethics and growth

In a country without a single national identification number to track individuals and their credit, why is a bank employing goons to recover loans, news? Physical intimidation is a much better deterrent against a bubble than bad credit history can ever be.

Sunday 4 November 2007

Puke of the Day

I told you so. Giving an award away has serious consequences.

This post makes one puke at so many different layers. Whether the intent was sarcasm or humor or straight faced reply or a combination of any or all of the above -- the result seems stunningly similar. And, we need to define our middle class person such that half-Bong mongrels don't claim to be one.

Friday 2 November 2007

Why Paul Krugman is P Sainath's idol

The man whose fundamental argument for many years has been, 'I am a Professor at Princeton and you are not', writes,
Let’s start with the facts: Mr. Giuliani’s claim is wrong on multiple levels — bogus numbers wrapped in an invalid comparison embedded in a smear.

Mr. Giuliani got his numbers from a recent article in City Journal, a publication of the conservative Manhattan Institute. The author gave no source for his numbers on five-year survival rates — the probability that someone diagnosed with prostate cancer would still be alive five years after the diagnosis. And they’re just wrong.

You see, the actual survival rate in Britain is 74.4 percent. That still looks a bit lower than the U.S. rate, but the difference turns out to be mainly a statistical illusion. The details are technical, but the bottom line is that a man’s chance of dying from prostate cancer is about the same in Britain as it is in America.

So Mr. Giuliani’s supposed killer statistic about the defects of “socialized medicine” is entirely false. In fact, there’s very little evidence that Americans get better health care than the British, which is amazing given the fact that Britain spends only 41 percent as much on health care per person as we do.
So, yes, the point is, you can't cite statistics without source. Unless, you are Paul Krugman. If you are, you may even go on to argue,
But here’s what I don’t understand: Why isn’t Mr. Giuliani’s behavior here considered not just a case of bad policy analysis but a character issue?

Thursday 1 November 2007

Why Free Market Fundamentalists are Dumb

The movement's mouthpiece, The Economist, says,
How frightening (or inspiring) is this prospect? As our special report explains, the idea that religion has re-emerged in public life is to some extent an illusion. It never really went away—certainly not to the extent that French politicians and American college professors imagined. Its new power is mostly the consequence of two changes. The first is the failure of secular creeds: religion's political comeback started during the 1970s, when faith in government everywhere was crumbling. Second, although some theocracies survive in the Islamic world, religion has returned to the stage as a much more democratic, individualistic affair: a bottom-up marketing success, surprisingly in tune with globalisation. Secularism was not as modern as many intellectuals imagined, but pluralism is. Free up religion and ardent believers and ardent atheists both do well.
Unless there is deep thought and an unwavering belief in Him, we are doomed.