Leaving in a Jet Plane

Airbus A380

The last time I was on a flight was the end of January 2020 — return from San Francisco Bay area after attending the Mont Pelerin meeting at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

Because of the Chinese virus, I have avoided flying. Because I like road trips, it wasn’t too much of a constraint for me, except of course I couldn’t do a road trip to Finland or India.

I am off to Austin, TX today. From Philadelphia to Austin on an American Airlines flight.

I am amazed at the big jet planes and the commercial aviation industry. Airliners are some of the most beautiful things humans have ever designed. The development of aviation surpasses all imagination. Just think: the first successful heavier-than-air powered aircraft flight in all of recorded history happened for the first time in 1903. The Wright Flyer took to the air in Kitty Hawk.

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The Change

My interest spans a wide range: music, philosophy, science (primarily physics and cosmology), technology, history, mathematics, poetry, literature, the visual arts, culture and religion. Within each of those topics, I have broad interests. For instance, I really like a wide variety of music. There’s Western classical on one end and there’s Hindustani classical on the other. In between there’s world music, modern composers like Philip Glass, trance, rock, pop, Hindi movie songs (only the old ones before the 1990ies), etc.

My main professional interest is economics. I continue to learn the fundamentals of economics. I have very little interest in economies although the basic question that motivated my study related to the Indian economy and what was the major barrier to its development. Now I believe I know why India is poor. So I no longer have to think about that. Now I just focus on continuing to learn the fundamental principles of economics — and to help others learn what I consider to be important principles so they can work out for themselves the answer to questions they may have about economics and economies that interest them. Continue reading

Time to Say Goodbye

“All things must pass. All things must pass away.”

That’s what George Harrison sang all those many years ago. I agree. All things do, and must, pass away.

I started my first blog in 1998 or thereabouts when I was a grad student at UC Berkeley. It was called “Life is a Random Draw.” That blog has since been deleted.

That’s understandable since the internet is ephemeral. Impermanence and change are the defining characteristics of the internet as much as it of the universe, as the Buddha realized about 2,700 years ago. Continue reading

India’s Republic Day January 26th

Today is the 71st anniversary of the Republic Day of India. On Jan 26th, 1950, the constitution of India came into force.

Here are a few posts from previous years. Last year’s post was “Whoever fights monsters …

Quote:

Around 1951 you could count the number of central government public sector units (PSUs) on the fingers of one hand: there were five. Twenty-five years later by 1976, that number had ballooned to 155. By 1984, there were 220. The central government added 70 PSUs in the following 30 years — for grand total of 290 by 2014. That’s a rate of increase was a little over two per year.

With Modi as the prime minister — and the de facto autocrat of India — the rate of increase of public sector units shot up to over 12 per year. In the four years 2014 to 2018, about 50 additional PSUs were added. Modi promised one thing — “government has no business to be in business” — and delivered precisely the opposite.

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Train driver’s view

Probably because I associate trains with holidays when we were growing up I love trains. One time many years ago I even got to ride a diesel-electric locomotive hauling a passenger train in India — a rare treat. Thanks to YouTube, these days you can get a virtual ride in a locomotive. My favorite train-driver’s view channel is one that goes by the handle HinduCowGirl.

The driver is a Norwegian lady, who I believe is also a sky-diving instructor. She has heaps of videos of the trains she drives. I confess that I spend an inordinate amount of time watching them. All of them are pre-recorded since they don’t have the internet connectivity to live-stream the videos but many are streamed with live chat. It’s fun to hang out with others who share the love of trains. OK, so here’s one of those videos.
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I Heart the 747 and the A380

If you ever saw me on a flight, you’d be convinced that I was a country bumpkin first time inside a plane. I look out the window (always a window seat, thank you) take pictures,  and always take videos of the landing and takeoff. On ground, I always look up when I hear jet engines. At the airport, I watch planes land and take off. I find airplanes fascinating — especially the big birds. The plane I love the most is the Boeing 747, the “Jumbo jet”, the Queen of the Skies.  Continue reading