“The Man Who Planted Trees” is one of those inspiring stories that I have re-read dozens of time and I still get goosebumps while reading it.
Continue reading “The Man Who Planted Trees. In real life.”
The good is oft interred with their bones. Shakespeare, that great observer of the world that fallible humans inhabit, was right on the mark. Being imperfect creatures trying to survive in this material world, we end up doing a mix of good and bad. Sometimes the consequences of the bad bits reverberate through the passages of time — and the good just fades away in comparison. Mr Advani could have withdrawn from that fate but it appears that now the time for that has passed.
Continue reading “The Evil That Men Do Lives After Them . . .”
First day of Summer is here as today is the Northern summer solstice. Here’s a video nicely explaining the solstice. (Of all places, from the Kurdistan Planetarium.) The description below the video is taken from YouTube.
The Summer Solstice occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is closest to the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. Though the Summer Solstice is an instant in time, the term is also colloquially used like Midsummer to refer to the day on which it occurs. Except in the polar regions (where daylight is continuous for half of the year), the day on which the Summer Solstice occurs is the day of the year with the longest period of daylight. Thus the seasonal significance of the Summer Solstice is in the reversal of the gradual shortening of nights and lengthening of days. The summer solstice occurs in June in the Northern Hemisphere, in December in the Southern Hemisphere.
At the Tropic of Cancer (23°26’N) and all points to the north, and at the Tropic of Capricorn (23°26’S) and all points to the south, the sun reaches its highest position in the sky on the day of the Summer Solstice. However, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, the highest sun position does not occur at the Summer Solstice, since the sun reaches the zenith here and it does so at different times of the year depending on the latitude of the observer. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the Summer Solstice occurs some time between December 21 and December 22 each year in the Southern Hemisphere, and between June 20 and June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere.
Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but most cultures have held a recognition of sign of the fertility, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time.
The word solstice derives from Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).
The Congress has been arguably extremely successful in maintaining its stranglehold on India despite — and perhaps because of — its evident failures of governance. At the time of India’s political independence from British rule, the Congress inherited a very poor country. Roughly speaking, around 80 percent of the 300 million Indians then, or 240 million, were desperately poor. After 66 years, today that number of the desperately poor in India has more than tripled to around 900 million. For much of that time, the Congress has dominated the political control of India at the center and therefore has dictated those central (and state) policies that are directly responsible for this abominable state of underdevelopment. The Congress’s inability to provide good policies is matched only by their ability to hang on to power. How they manage to do that is fascinating and instructive.
Continue reading “The Reasons that the Congress Survives”
Preeti Rathi was the victim of an acid attack on May 2nd at Bandra Station in Mumbai. After excruciating pain and suffering, she died on June 1st. I signed the justice for Preeti Rathi petition. Please consider adding your support. Thank you.
Two quotes (hauled from this Dec 2012 post) that are worth remembering.
“Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them . . . The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” Frederick Douglass (1818 – 1895), American abolitionist.
“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.” Edward R Murrow (1908 – 1965), American journalist & broadcaster.
Political parties are like firms in the marketplace. The same principles that drive the behavior of firms drive the behavior of political parties. They collude if they can, and gain from their collusion at the expense of the consumers.
Here I will outline my conjecture about the two major national political parties in India. If you are a supporter of either the Congress or the BJP, you may be disappointed by my analysis. Especially if you are a BJP supporter, you may wish to skip this post. BJP is complicit in Congress’s crimes.
In the following, I will lay out briefly how markets are structured (to take up where I left off in my previous post on the matter) and then reason analogically that the BJP and the Congress are not competing but rather they are colluding.
Continue reading “Market Structure, Political Parties and Collusion”
I maintain that the idea of markets ranks amongst the greatest inventions of humankind, up there with the wheel, fire and zero. It is also among the most misunderstood and underappreciated of ideas. That’s unfortunate since the misunderstanding of the idea of markets has negative consequences, primary among them being missed opportunities for human welfare.
Continue reading “Markets are the Greatest Invention”