Any dispassionate observer of India would agree that India is underdeveloped in practically every sense of the term. What’s worse is that India has always had the potential to do much better. India’s failure to develop is a disappointing tale of how disastrous lack of able leadership can be. India does not lack any of the factors – material, social, cultural – necessary for development, and yet it consistently failed to reach an easily attainable goal. For decades on end, India has been on the verge of changing course but slides back into the status quo. One is forced to the inescapable conclusion that the political will to develop is missing.
Continue reading “Shri Narendra Modi and India will Prevail”
If you know of anyone traveling from Mumbai to the SF Bay area in the next week or two, I need a very small favor. Please get in touch. I am atanudey at gmail.com. Thanks very much. (This is a sticky post. I will remove it shortly.)
People value freedom. Actually, not just humans, all sentient beings want to be free. But only in human beings does the impulse to enslave others find expression so widely across space and time. The desire to control others is a primitive instinct which I believe will be with us for a long time. That instinct lies at the foundations of organized religions and organized crime. It is also that same instinct that motivates the power-hungry to promote a command and control government.
Continue reading “Stealing is a Bad Thing — Part 7”
There are two broadly defined systems of organizing the production and allocation of goods and services in a society. One system is called the market and the other command and control. We all have first-hand experience with both systems since childhood. As kids when we traded stuff with our friends, we were using the market. At home, we were under the command and control system of our parents. Both systems worked in the limited contexts of family and friends. Do they work equally well in when the context is a large, modern-day economy?
Continue reading “Stealing is a Bad Thing — Part 6”
When you find that there’s a disconnect between expectations and reality, it is no use denying the reality. It may be time to question the assumptions that underlie the expectations.
Continue reading “Question the Assumptions”
Time to head south from the SF Bay area. I will be in LA Friday and Saturday evening and return on Sunday afternoon. Just FYI.
My good friend CJ is a contrarian. Being contrarian perhaps explains why we are friends in the first place. My conversations with CJ usually give me a different perspective. Today we were on the phone and we ended up talking about my favourite Indian politician, Shri Narendra Modi. Narendrabhai, I told CJ, is the only principled Indian political leader of any standing in Indian politics.
Continue reading “Truth Through Innuendos and Assertions”
Counterfactuals are generally instructive and entertaining. But in some cases, it can be deeply distressing to consider them. Those leave us sadder although wiser. And at times they provoke us to anger and outrage because we finally understand what might have been. That outrage could motivate us to act and thus change what we can. As Omar Khayyam, the lovable old wino and polymath wrote about the sorry scheme of things, “Would we not shatter it to bits and remold it nearer to our hearts’ desire?”
Continue reading “Stealing is a Bad Thing — Part 5”
There comes a time in every endeavour when it becomes imperative that one does a bit of arithmetic. As the late John McCarthy used to say, “Those who refuse to do arithmetic are doomed to speak nonsense.” Doing a bit of arithmetic is important not only to avoid nonsense but also to get a feel for what we normally would miss since our brains are not naturally attuned to figuring out the state of the world without the help of numbers. In this piece I lean upon a few sums to help me understand the broad implications of one facet of economies — their growth rates.
Continue reading “Stealing is a Bad Thing — Part 4”
Different parts of the world have different degrees of prosperity, as is clearly evident if you look around even cursorily. Indeed that fact is so obvious, persistent and ubiquitous that it is not the least surprising to us. It is almost as if it is an unalterable feature of nature and therefore there’s nothing we can do about it. But why is it so? Why do some groups of people do better than other groups? What are possible factors that determine the fate and fortunes of various groups?
Continue reading “Stealing is a Bad Thing — Part 3”