I respect two former prime minsters of India — Shri PV Narasimha Rao and Shri AB Vajpayee. If only they had had the mandate to make those fundamental changes that they wanted to make. Both, unfortunately, did not have the necessary popular support in the parliament. And equally unfortunately, those prime ministers who did have massive parliamentary support did not have the vision to put India on a path to prosperity. Indians collectively suffer very bad karma.
But I am thankful for small mercies. Today I learned that Shri Vajpayee supported the right to self defense and wanted Indians to have the right to bear arms. (Hat tip: Akshar Prabhu Desai.) Continue reading
I confess that I am a youtube glutton. If ever there was a reason for my lack of progress at work, it’s youtube. But as they say, wasting time doing what is fun is not a waste of time. There are hundreds of topics that interest me, and scores of amazing people whose videos I simply love. Too many musicians, thinkers, teachers, and on and on. One of those people is Stephen Fry. He’s funny, wise, interesting, a brilliant raconteur and an
One of my favorites is where Stephen Fry opposes the motion “The Catholic Church is a Force for Good in the World.” in an Intelligence2 debate. It’s 20 minutes of sheer delight. The man’s eloquence is breathtaking. Watch. Continue reading
The trolley problem posits the scenario that the trolley would kill five unsuspecting people along its tracks but by pulling a lever it can be sent along a different route where only one person would get killed.
Would you pull the lever?
The trolley problem is a hypothetical intended to provoke discussion and to illuminate moral dilemmas that people face in real life. In my view, it is good to work through hypothetical so as to arrive on general principles that could be applied if the situation arises. It could spare one pointless agonizing and indecision. Continue reading
I am so thrilled to be forwarded on Whatsapp a bunch of pictures with the caption, “First Tank Delivery By L&T under “Make In India”. The message approvingly said, “Proud Moment For India.” Here are the pictures: Continue reading
Whom do you really respect that most people don’t know about? Who is your hero that very few of your friends and family know about? For me, that’s Lysander Spooner. Let me introduce to you Mr Lysander Spooner. Why? Because he recognized the true meaning of human freedom and dignity. That means he was justifiably suspicious of majoritarian democracy. “The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority, practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters, and which of them slaves.” Continue reading
Sky Map comes with no warranties! If you choose to use it to navigate the high seas and you hit an iceberg, it’s your responsibility. If you tell your kids that the bright thing in the sky is Jupiter and it turns out to be a UFO and you are subsequently kidnapped by aliens – not our responsibility. If your kids subsequently fail their science homework – not our responsibility. If it wipes all the data in your phone, including the photos of the UFO that were going to make you rich – not our responsibility. If it causes your phone to tear a hole in the fabric of space and time, OK – that one is on us. Any other calamities not listed above — not our responsibility. Don’t use it while driving or carrying scissors.
In a comment to a previous post, Happy 4th of July, Akshar wrote, “in 1789 George Washington became the first democratic president of such a large nation directly at odds with the largest empire on earth.” What caught my attention were the words “large nation” and “democratic.”
Today when we talk of large nations, we figure hundreds of millions of people. But things were different in the past. By today’s standards, the newly minted United States of America was tiny, Around 1776, the total population of the 13 former colonies was around 2.5 million people. That’s less than the present population of Pune (a moderately big city by Indian standards), which is over 3 million people.
And how big was Great Britain at that time? Estimates of the population range from 7 to 10 million. That means the combined population of England, Scotland and Wales was less than half the present population of Delhi or Mumbai. Those countries had tiny populations. ∇