Churchill on Mohammedanism

Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) was no saint. The English should thank god for that. He was a patriot.

He served in the British army and was a writer before he entered politics and eventually became the prime minister of Britain in 1940. He was instrumental in the victory of the Allied Powers (UK, US and USSR) over the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy and Japan) in World War II. He suffered electoral defeat in 1945 but was re-elected prime minister in 1951.

All in all, a remarkable man. He hated Indians, particularly Hindus, with a white-hot passion. Not an uncommon affliction among the colonial rulers of India, past and present. He despised MK Gandhi and called him a “half-naked fakir” — in my opinion, a description that is more accurate than Churchill intended or realized. I suspect stooges however useful cannot possibly earn the respect of those they serve.
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Of Prizes and People

Prize
First Prize

We humans instinctively categorize, especially people. We are amateur primitive set-theoreticians. There are infinite ways to categorize people since humans have a humongous number of characteristics.

Consider the categories of people who award prize and people who win prizes. In my view, people who institute prizes belong to the most prestigious set. I order the sets as:

  1. People who institute prizes.
  2. People who win prizes.
  3. People who don’t win prizes.
  4. People who award themselves prizes.

For example, Alfred Nobel belongs to the first set; Einstein to the second set; ordinary grunts like us, who never come within shouting distance of any prestigious award make up the majority of humanity, belong to the third set. We are mostly harmless and generally unimpressive. Continue reading

Private Goods, Club Goods and Public Goods

Lighthouse at Point Reyes
Lighthouse at Point Reyes

Charging home owners’ association dues based on the size of the property is common practice in many places across the world. Is that economically efficient and is it equitable? The short answer to the question raised by reader Mr Baransam1 is yes. The longer answer needs to start with distinguishing different categories of goods that are produced, traded and consumed.

Private Goods

The most common category are called “private goods.” These are formally defined by being “rival” and “excludable.” The rivalrous characteristic arises from the fact that one’s consumption of the good precludes any other person from consuming it. If you eat an apple, that apple is not available for consumption by others. Excludability means that one can be prevented from consuming the good. You can lock up the apple and exclude others from consuming it.
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AMA Reply: Feminism

We can and we should
Just do it

Keshav Bedi asked my opinion on “the topic which is very fashionable these days here at Varsities in India, ‘Feminism’.”

I’m not familiar with what’s fashionable in Indian universities, unfortunately. I assume they’re leftist pinko swamps. I will not go there, even metaphorically. But let’s discuss femimism.

I’d like to use the Wiki description of feminism: “a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.”

I would not want to live in a society where there is a need for a feminist movement because it implies that the society (and thus the state) discriminates against a female person based on a biological characteristic that is irrelevant in the context of some particular activity, and which characteristic the person has no control over. Continue reading

AMA Reply: Universal Basic Income

Money, money, money. Must be funny. It's a rich man's world. Aki asked, “What are your thoughts on universal basic income?”

We could start with the definition of “universal basic income” (UBI) which the Wiki says is “a form of social security in which all citizens or residents of a country regularly receive an unconditional sum of money, either from a government or some other public institution, in addition to any income received from elsewhere.” Continue reading