Ask me Anything — Viruses and Ideas Edition

I trust you are well and keeping yourself safe from the Chinese virus. Here’s an old post from four years ago about viruses for your reading pleasure. It’s titled “Viruses, Ideas and their Life Expectancy” which is topical.


… there has been a secular decline in all types of violence across the world, and this is true across time scales of decades, centuries and millennia. A compelling case can be made that the world is getting better along many other dimensions, not just in terms of violence. People are better off in terms of education, nutrition, longevity, health, lifestyle choices, freedom of the individual, etc etc.

No doubt new and different viruses — biological, computer and ideological — will infect humans but they will only endure for a short while. The good will endure for much, much longer. And that is worth remembering and celebrating.

Be well and ask me anything.

Author: Atanu Dey


6 thoughts on “Ask me Anything — Viruses and Ideas Edition”

  1. Is wealth and prosperity of a nation largely related to the percentage of the country’s population paying income taxes and filing income tax returns?


    1. bhadra:

      Wealth and prosperity of a nation has to do with the production of wealth by the people of the nation. That does not have anything to do with income taxes. Nations have risen out of poverty. How do we know that? Because at some point, all nations were pathetically poor. Now some nations are rich. So that means some nations emerged from poverty. Did that have anything to do with income taxes and filing returns? No. Because some nations became rich before the idiotic idea of income taxes was introduced. The US began taxing income in 1913, much after it had become prosperous.

      In fact, for India to prosper, one policy proposal is to abolish income taxes, and another is to drastically cut all other taxes.

      Thanks for asking.


  2. With almost half the world completely shut, the mother nature has healed herself. The ability of nature to undo the so called wrong committed over past 100-150 years seems to be reversing in 30 days. I read your posts on climate change & your views. Do you think this lockdown has demonstrated that this entire climate change theory was nothing but another way to scare people. Do you think all these activists/ NGO will bypass the issue again and come up with some different arguments? (let me phrase it in Hindi – Enki dukaandari band ho gayi ya ho jayegi)


    1. It can cut both ways. The counter-argument can be “Human actions can indeed observably alter the well being of mother nature. Hence let there be a lockdown every year for n-days to heal mother nature”. कोइ भी दुकानदारी इतनी आसानी से बन्ध नही होती। As a wise man once said: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”


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