Economic Growth, Population and Poverty Numbers

I normally don't do numbers. But in this post, I will have to refer to numbers because wealth and poverty have to be understood quantitatively too. So let's do the numbers. It is an amazing fact that extreme poverty has fallen both in absolute and relative terms. The world’s population living in extreme poverty has … Continue reading Economic Growth, Population and Poverty Numbers

On the Distress of Indian Farmers – The Introduction

Of the three major sectors of any economy, agriculture is the primary sector. It is prior in time and naturally enough forms the basis for the other two sectors -- manufacturing and services. Without a solid foundation provided by an efficient agricultural sector, no society can prosper. Everybody -- factory workers, quantum physicists, doctors, programmers, … Continue reading On the Distress of Indian Farmers – The Introduction

Which Countries Win the International Mathematical Olympiads

I was asked on twitter how students of Indian origin do in the maths equivalent of the US spelling bee contests. (I had written a blog post on how students of Indian origin appear to have cornered the market on US spelling bee contests.) @atanudey How do Indians do in the US Math Olympiads? Are … Continue reading Which Countries Win the International Mathematical Olympiads

Domestic Predation began in 1947

If you were an employer, and your employee was inefficient, incompetent, irresponsible and arrogant, you would fire him. There are other people who can do the job. If you were an employee, and the work was demeaning, the boss irascible, the pay miserly, you would quit. There are other jobs in other companies. If you … Continue reading Domestic Predation began in 1947

On Technology, Prosperity and Dysfunctional Ideologies

We take it as a given, almost a fact of nature like the seasons or the geography of continents, that different parts of the world enjoy different levels of prosperity. But there's nothing "natural" about this since this is almost entirely within human control. The differences are stark, and at one end of the scale, … Continue reading On Technology, Prosperity and Dysfunctional Ideologies

A Misplaced Sense of Pride

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, polymath, inventor, scientist, writer, diplomat, etc., etc., Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790) observed that “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” An analogous statement about nations could be that all nations are born poor but it requires hard work to … Continue reading A Misplaced Sense of Pride

Violence and Development

A couple of quotes related to violence and development. ". . . all societies must deal with the problem of violence. In most developing countries, individuals and organizations actively use or threaten to use violence to gather wealth and resources, and violence has to be restrained for development to occur. In many societies the potential … Continue reading Violence and Development