The Regressive Justice
Up to 6 husbands, superstitions: For ST status, Gurjjars list their primitive traits
I can't recollect right now, but in one of the his books Arun Shourie noted the race by the communities to prove their backwardness and wretched state to secure entitlement.
Every community in the OBC/BC/MBC/SC/ST lists has to degrade itself, not only economically but also socially. Do we, both the supporters and opponents of the quota, even realize the impact of self inflicted humiliation on the collective psyche.
Damaged self-image demand assurance, low self-esteem demands reinforcement. Hence the need to be more assertive and in Indian context more aggressive. And this constant self-inflicted victim hood and assurance through aggression, creates a dissonance or a vicious feedback, the terrifying resonance of which can not but sunder the Indian fabric apart.
The Heart Of Darkness
Do we realize this, the task that must be undertaken, to think how lay of the road ahead lies . No, we don't ! And more we are not even willing to.
Institutions matter, state must do what is it is supposed to do, but institutions do not arise on their own, state is not a function of physics. We make the institutions, we make the state.
But who are WE ? What is our identity ? We don't know, or we are trying to construct it.
Balls, I say ! We have a history, we have a heritage, a conscious which has its roots in the beginning of human conscious. This sense of civilization gives us identity, a basis to create our institution. But heavens forbid ! To talk of Indic civilization, is to talk of religion, of faith, and that is communal! Instead let's make gods of fraudulent secularism and vacuous rationalism, and refuse to listen to wisdom of history. Course of human progress reduced to formula, copied without thought, and continuously applied even in the face of contrary evidence. And if we need to engage the people to you know actually create a polity then this must be done at a superficial level, never polluting self with the "irrationality", Pour platitudes about freedom, rights, only to convert the heathen to the correct path. Preach. Talk down. Be condescending. But never identify.
Of course this country comes to harm, but don't you know that nationalism is evil, and we have to make a cult, after all we are the immaculate savages.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
The Regressive Justice
Saturday, September 29, 2007
I think if aspiring politicians want to make their mark in politics, then the most crucial thing to follow is correct diet.To be more precise a politician must avoid any fibrous content such as leafy vegetables.I think it is clear that fiber facilitates bowel movement.
Hence it follows that eschewing fibrous intake coupled with lack of exercise (and occasional consumption of your Christian roommates) is a guarantee of constipation.
Now a chronically constipated politician, for all appearances, can substitute a politician who is sincere and perseveres. In fact, I will go as far as to assert that no statistikrieg by DataNazi can actually make a distinction.
There is a further aspect to it. As emphasized by my dearest (and purely irrational) mother, constipation causes white hair, and scientific research has established that a "salt and pepper" look is a perfect substitute for wisdom. In fact it is one better than that, Grey hairs gives an appearance of brilliance combined with hotness while being a complete dunce (in other words George Clooney).
A fearless streak of white in the hair is more effective in demolishing the best arguement of opponents as opposed to a reasoned debate.
What are you waiting for. Say yes to an unhealthy lifestyle, today !
Friday, September 28, 2007
When one comes to think of it, Prostitution and Socialism are eerily similar.
The core activity in prostitution is pimping bodies as a device to satiate carnal desires. Whereas socialism is wholesale business of manufacturing outrage by pimping pathos to stoke flaccid egos.
Both depend on the persistent advertisement, by pimps in former and bleeding hearts in later.
Of course there is a key difference, in prostitution guilt follows release whereas in socialism, guilt leads, in fact, is the cause of release.
It is therefore with more than a sense of delicious irony that one realizes how both the trades converge in that venerable publication called Tehelka.
Why in heaven's name are people surprised about what Shohaib Malik said inadvertently or otherwise ? There is a reason why Pakistan is called that. I am not a rationalist or have a scientific mind, though I wish I was, but I don't think that except for Pakistan any nation (even Islamic ones) have their names divorced from historical traditions. Pakistan is founded not on history. It was conceived on theological premises and it will die in a theology induced madness.
Seriously the so called secular, rationalist, yada yada brigade should read up on some history.
Now I am proud to be a Hindutva Fascist. But you know what, I have class*. Which is why I am not going to send SMSes like this.
"Pak ko sharafat sikha denge, Hind ki taakat dikha denge… Ae Pak, humse punga no lena varna, JOHANNESBERG main kya, LAHORE main TIRANGA lehra denge, jai hind."[BarbarIndians]
Goodness, so cheesy! Cheese should be consumed in moderation and with bread or on pizza, never through SMS. But I digress, try however hard I may, what exactly is anti-Muslim about the SMS, and why should some Muslim consider it so, unless of course, he/she considers Anti-Pakistan to be Anti-Muslim, a notion which frankly speaking I consider to be Anti-national.
I knew from examples that a lack of reading comprehension is a minimum prerequisite to become a Journalist. Apparently it is also sufficient to get award by CNN-IBN.
* Which is why I disseminate my bigotry in subliminal messages. Soon the educated readers would have turned Fascists. Have educated readers looked at mirror lately ?
Update: Like esteemed koolguy11ji I hold no brief for the concerned journalist (Mr Balakrishna), unless he is a communal bigot like me, then my full support is with him.
OH MY GOD !
Hindutva fascists low life scums have managed to infect the real America, and placed the dreaded symbol of bigotry in their typical sneaky way (via)
OMG! OMG! OMG !
WHAT AM I GONNA DO ! WHAT I AM GONNA DO ! WHAT AM I GONNA DO !
Please someone link the outrage on Desi Pundit !
Or may be, it is time to send Jagadguru signal !
Jagad-guru, Jagad-guru. / Does whatever a Jagad-guru does. / Can he swing / from a web? / No he *can't*, / cause he's a Jagad-guru. / Look out! / He is the Jagad-guru
PS The inspiring theme song, copied shamelessly from here.
PPS Yes I know I am mixing my superheroes. Who do you think I am, a fanboy or something !
Thursday, September 27, 2007
#1. How much truth in statement that after Kalaignar DMK is history ? Stalin doesn't excite me, is he able to excite local ?
Addendum: What about Vaiko ? I believe he is going to benefit most from any future internecine war in DMK, or will it be PMK again who gets to feast on the carcass ?
#2. What are chances of Captain emerging as serious contender ? I think victory of AIADMK led coalition and electoral success of PMK in face of appeal by Thalaivar should put vote appeal of Tamizh film stars in perspective. Even then DMDK won 10% of popular vote which is more than PMK *. I believe his appeal is in south TamizhNadu near Madurai, which traditionally has been a stronghold of AIADMK.
#3. Is PMK a vanilla casteist party or a Dravida casteist party? Can its election symbol (succulent mango) be declared vulgar and corrupting Indian youth ?
#4. Is there any possibility of Brahmin-Adi Dravida alliance, something like what happened in UP ?
#4B. If the answer to previous question is yes, then considering the fact the caste polarization of TamizhNadu occurred much before U.P., why hasn't this happened already? Does it have something to do with orthodoxy ** of Tamizh Brahmins, compared to those belonging to Gangetic Belt ?
#5. What should be the correct way that BJP, still having its base on the other side of vindhaya, to go about increasing its reach ? Anyone who can take place of Rangarajan Kumaramangalam ?
Any chance Dayanidhi Maran may go national after the power struggle in DMK breaks out ?
* However to put things in perspective, PMK did not contest all the seats, so it is perhaps incorrect to compare the two. For details go here.
** My perception. May be incorrect, however I doubt that.
I am hardly a fan of Indian Idol. A long long time back, when I was young and the blog was just a awkward and meaning less word, there used to be something called Meri Awaaz Suno, which used to be about music.
In contrast Indian Idol is about third rate melodrama, and second rate packaging, music is incidental (accidental ?). I find no reason why anyone should watch Indian Idol ( but then I don't know of any reason why one should watch TV in the first place.
However there has been one advantage of Indian Idol, it has managed to bring India together even if in a small way. The finalists Prashant Tamang and Amit Paul, both hailing from North East, the most overlooked region of the India and also most alienated perhaps. The win in Indian Idol brings out a feeling of assurance of their place in vast Indian family. We need to assure everyone, however few the number, every tradition, memory and past is counted in the Indian identity.
Perhaps that is the right way to build India.
PS. Can we go easy on pissing each other off ? First step of which would be perhaps resisting the temptation to call strangers Chinki, Madrasi or Bhaiyya.
BJP wishes to ride back to power on Ram Sethu
Extend rural job guarantee scheme: Rahul
Now I do understand that in a socialist country like ours even elementary knowledge of economics is a sin, but even then, considering that both parties are vying for votes, they should at least know something about law of diminishing returns.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Really, What can I say ! It must be havoc wreaked upon our ability to think "logically" by Indian education system that Jagadguru often bemoans, and from which only Jagadguru and Desi John Galt seem to have escaped. How else can one explain these absurd posts by otherwise normal (if not as gifted as yours truly) people!
Let me explain what this is all about. Cricket is a game, or rather malaise, introduced by our former gora sahibs, along with bad suits and even worse Jane Austen novels. A typical ODI (One Day International) on minimum takes, with actual play, drink breaks, altercations, bad decisions, bad light, English commentary and ad breaks, at least eight hours. Add to this pre and post match discussion both inside idiot box and outside it, and the man hours wasted on this obsession with cricket are plainly unacceptable for a developing country like India.
In fact it will not be an exaggeration to say that damage inflicted by cricket goes beyond waste of productive hours, considering that the time could also be put to use in general education (by reading this blog of course), further it is cricket which has enslaved the multitude to manufactured emotions and obstructed any substantial independent thinking (exceptions of course being Jagadguru and his parambhaktha).
It is here that Agarkar comes into the picture and imparts a great service to this nation. Make no mistake ladies and gentleman, it is not that he lacks the talent but he deliberately chooses to be inconsistent, every time he bowls an overpitch or fulltoss while attempting yorker or he sprays deliveries in a fashion reminiscent of Chicago gangster of 30's, he is trying to deliver the masses from slavery to this colonial blight. It is to unshackle the shackles of induced exuberance and to pull back Indians from hypnotic propaganda, that he selflessly toils.
Dear friends he is sacrificing his carrier and lucrative endorsement for a better future. Every time India is whumped by Poms, Roos or Babos*, she inches towards emancipation, the chains which have imprisoned us get released by a slight degree.
Promote freedom. Destroy Cricket. Support Agarkar.
* Brothers across the border.
Monday, September 24, 2007
What can one say to this ? All the old and rotting talking points of rationalist retards of Dravidian movement.
Ram a symbol of northern imperialism over south. Ravana, (a Brahmin versed in catur vedas) a Dravidian hero. Jan Sangh, Temple protection committee communal. Frankly speaking one wonders what happens in a society when this kind of cognitive dissonance has set in.
And of course this has to come in slimes
Friday, September 21, 2007
1. Who is Yuvraj Singh ?
2. Why is this useless fella going delirious over him ?
Thursday, September 20, 2007
MK cites 'drunkard' Ram, Advani spits venom
Of course, the only way statements of Shri Advani can be construed as venom is by defining venom as to be water.
But then CNN-IBN is a honourable channel.
PS: Hindus deserve this
PPS: I am getting pissed off now.
PPPS: Again I fail to understand, how can TamizhNadu elect this bastard ? Why ?
I am not a Mathematician (though I have absence of a social life, a necessary condition to be a mathematician), but aren't Godel's theorems a very strong arguement for validity of concept of God ? Why don't we hear of it ?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Yes I support Fred Thompson for 2008. Now I have no idea about American politics, or the key issues in presidential campaign. Neither do I have any idea about Mr Thompson's positions on any issue.
Now some people may question the rationality of my decision. But these people simply have got their priorities mixed up. Focus people focus ! Mr Thompson scores where it really matters. He is the most authentic presidential looking presidential candidate. Now obviously that takes priority over anything else.
What is worse
Should FAIL be banned from report cards?
So, NCERT wants to ban the word 'Fail' in student report cards and have unsatisfactory or repeat instead. It firmly believes that declaring a student 'Pass' or 'Fail' purely on the basis of a single three-hour exam is unfair, and that it should, in fact, be an overall assessment done over a period of a year. Besides, given the rising suicide rate among students, perhaps 'Fail' is too strong a word, feels NCERT.
Or the comments which follow. Like this !
Absolutely, the word "FAILED" is too strong.
The people who support the word "failed" how would be liked to be called "a failure" on your face?
We are all human beings who erred a lot, may be again, will.Who has the right to call an individual or pass a judgement about a person,as a failure for not making it in a three hour exam which you can clear by mugging up the chapters and vomiting it in an answer paper?
Failure is too strong a word, whose depressing depths, these guys wont understand;Till you are called a Failure.I wouldnt enjoy it, and I am sure any self respecting individual would share the same thoughts.
Now, there are problems with Indian education system, and they should addressed, but for heaven's sake splitting hairs over terminology ostensibly for its effect on children psychology is not one of them.
As alumnus of Kendriya Vidyalaya (and son of teacher in the same school), I have first hand experience of the misplaced priorities of the powers that be. It's a familiar scene, someone opines that the way students are being educated is not correct. There is agreement all over. People are sent on foreign junkets. Ideas are copied without any understanding of the purpose or needs. In the best case, these ideas are never followed and hence rendered harmless. Many times, however they do dig the hole deeper Indian education finds itself is in.
One such "bright" idea is to keep promoting students in primary. This being KV most of the parent don't give a hoot, which means teachers don't have to worry either. The result, when students enter secondary, many of them don't even have elementary knowledge of maths or language.
But all is good as long as degrees are churned, because India on her inexorable march towards her tryst with destiny needs degrees, and not education !
1. Sidney Sheldon is a guy. Shocking but true.
2. Bihari is not a language. Magahi is, Bhojpuri is (I should know), Maithili is (sound like some Bengali gent being tortured by Haryana Police), but not Bihari.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
"Captaincy: We need North Indian aggro"
No what we need to do, is to select someone from God's own country, and then quietly inform him about all the slanderous jokes a certain evil creature makes about those exceedingly fine people. The effect will be almost like second destruction by Parashurama. The article has nothing to do with North Indian "aggroness", which should not be surprising.
"Life in the Real India"
First the media goes into overdrive creating the hype, then they are earnest in demolishing it. Journalism kind of follows Keynes.
"Priyadarshan looked beyond my sex symbol tag"
Dear sir, your behaviour is most inappropriate. Dear Madam, we would like to assure you that we refuse to succumb to sinister designs of Mr Priyadarshan. Further we will not, indeed we can not, look beyond your sex symbol tags. We also appreciate your boots.
The best arguement against rhetoric of rationalism has been provided by his holiness.
This once again substantiate the arguments of Meera Nanda that the framers of Indian policy after independence, possibly excluding Nehru, are the culprits for the current situation with Hindutva right. Most of the yester year policy framers, except Nehru and a handful of few, were guided by spiritual thinking than rational thinking. This lead to their definition of secularism as one that includes all religions instead of excluding all the religions as in USA. Even with the exclusionary definition, US is having trouble containing the religious fundamentalists. An inclusionary definition of secularism is a good breeding ground for religious fundamentalism. That has resulted in fundamentalists of all religions holding the people at their dumbest level.
Verily Jagadguru works in mysterious ways.
Update: When barbar speaks, everyone listens.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I admire conceit, conceit being one of most remarkable qualities in a man.
Is it possible for us, safely ensconced in the constant and unvarying milieu which goes under the name of modern times, to appreciate the Faustian bargains struck by mere mortals with the furies of nature just after the fall, the exile forced by a petrified God, scared of its own eternity.
The banishment of beastly essence, by burying him within innermost recesses of human mind.
Disfiguring that freeborn with the brand of civilization until we had a monster roaming in the labyrinths of sub-conscious, prototype of a malevolent deity, or even, dare I say, yes I should, phantom of the opera. All the time, while this mutilation was being performed, artificial diffused into the natural until it became impossible to differentiate between perfidy of the civilization and imprisoned, but inwardly raging, truth.
Conceit as well as guilt are the marks of that diffusion, the tragedy twice perpetrated, biblical narrative inverted, exile and captivity.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Ram is mythical, Kumari Kandam on the other hand is authentic history.
PS: My objection per se is not that Dravidian politics is bonkers. So is socialism, whether of Lohia, Gandhi or Nehru flavors, which reigns UP. Socialism can be explained as a result of intellectual poverty which is the curse of Gangetic plains. However how can TamizhNadu, with her intellectual capital, endorse Dravidian politics ? I mean, I do get Hindi riots, but that happened forty years ago! But then I have never been able to figure why Malayalees support comrades despite the havoc they have wreaked upon Kerala. Second, Dravidian politics is essentially divisive in nature and as long as it is active, it will work against idea of India.
Update: Kalaingar may be old but exhausted he is not. Here he arrives like Rajaraja Chola*.
TN CM lashes out at Congress, insists Ram is 'myth'( via good folks from Signal)
""They (UPA Government) first said Ram was a fiction of public imagination and then the next day they've refuted that claim. What kind of self-respecting Government would do that? Ram is a myth - it was an Aryan God imposed upon the Dravidians. They (UPA Government) have said Ram was an imaginary person and now they've backtracked on that claim,” Karunanidhi lashed out."[IBN Live]
You go Doctor. Show truth to bloody Aryans.
Oops. I am a bloody Aryan. All right, that's fine.
Dear infraVindhayans (Dravidians)**,
Not withstanding the strides that you might be making in all social-economical indicators,I would like to remind you that as Aryans we supraVindhayans totally pwned you.Also I am blond, have a alabaster complexion and ice blue eyes.
So basically what I saying is I am hot and you are not. And if you hate that, you can suck on it.
* Is it Chola or Chozha? FiTWji comment please.
**This is with tongue firmly in cheek. Don't make it a rediff message board.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I have discovered a new rule, which because of my awesomeness should be called Gaurav's law (just like Blaire's law), and which is defined as, "The ongoing process by which the India's multiple idiocies unite to ensure that India remain in the rut".
Case in point, former communist and now swadeshi apparatchik Sudheendra Kulkarni.
Evidently he had the desire to reassert his pro-poor credentials, the result as can be expected is an exercise in breast beating. The article is virtually bleeding of self-righteous, with same old banal rhetoric of crushing poverty, shocking inequality and vulgar display of riches. Added to this is rather disingenuous quasi Marxist rhetoric of rich people, by virtue of being rich, having 'seceded' from 'real' India, which still toils in hopeless misery.
Now Mr Kulkarni, I sincerely hope you clarify what ails you, because you see (or could have seen, if you were not busy being so self-righteous), poverty, inequality and ostentatious display are not really related issues.
To be more clear, poverty is not caused by inequality, rich people are not getting riches at expense of poor people, economics is not a zero sum game.
If you are concerned about poverty, then chronic poverty in India is result of making socialism a cult, and embracing this dogma, in part due to atrophied intellectual discourse, and political expediency.The decades of following disastrous economic policies, not least wealth redistribution, and interventionist state controlled by venal netas and babus, thoroughly stigmatized wealth and activity of wealth creation. Absent wealth generation, any increase in prosperity has come at expense of either unwieldy expansion of bureaucratic machinery or dole out by government.
But pernicious effects of socialism, goes much beyond the tangible losses, of dismal decades or stunted GDP, which Mr Kulkarni will do well to note, a mark of Cain has been impressed upon enterprise, a halo has been placed upon victim hood and entitlement. This is the true extent of Nehruvian Penalty.
Now since we are clear (at least I am) that inequality is not the cause of poverty then what is inequality. I think it is important to make a distinction between inequality as vociferous rhetorics, and inequality in terms of hard data, now I am not sure, but I believe that data doesn't support the shrill lamentation about the extraordinary chasm. Keeping that aside, perhaps a case can be made for lack of dynamism in the sense post independence progress and social mobility has been underwhelming, that can be understood by insincere efforts to develop human resource, which is both a result of criminal scarcity in education and related field as well and siphoning off of any developmental fund by an overly centralized government.
Coming to "ostentatious display of wealth" which outrages Mr Kulkarni's ethos, now I admit even I used to be discomforted by this. However where does one draw the line ? If Mercedes is "affront" to poor, so is Maruti 800. , if having latest Nokia mobile is a sign of callousness of rich, so is having a land line, poor can afford none of these. This "outrage" may be ascribed to good old jealousy that one harbours against one's neighbour, partly to middle class sensibility formalized during the decades of shortages and Mai-baap governance. Considering the changed circumstances perhaps it is time to bring some changes.
Perhaps Mr Kulkarni wants to expiate his guilt, or perhaps he believe that self-righteousness is a viable substitute for a good idea. Whatever his motive, he is conjuring up, no, not the
straw man, bogeyman [forgive me I am illiterate] but the wicker man.
1. Reason Ayn Rand is so successful.
Atrocious writing covers up awful philosophy and vice versa. Result, as far as I can tell from observations, can be quite stunning. I have a future after all.
2. A humble prayer
Lord save reason from rationalists.
3. A sweet revenge
More people follow street car than INI.,
4. I am awesome.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
When I am benevolent dictator womyn will not be allowed to read or write. For their own good.*
Now that little matter is disposed of, it is possible to move on to things of more profound nature
1. Apropos this, I would like to clarify for once and all, that the reason I blog is because I hate people, or for that matter monkeys with keyboard. Therefore when I insult, humiliate, or abuse someone it is only for the sake of pure and innocent sadistic pleasure, merits or demerits of arguement doesn't come into the picture. Further any display of anger will only increase my pleasure. Therefore kindly don't expect any apology from me sooner of later.
2. You know, till today I thought that apples and oranges were, well apples and oranges. I admit, I was blinded by arrogance, led astray by the deceptions of cosmos which is nothing but mithya.
However Jagadguru the merciful made me see error of my ways, with his divine write up.
Apples and oranges actually represent secular and hindutva forces. Which taken together with his earlier insight means, that nuclear agreement must be opposed because oranges can use nuclear weapons to soak and ground the dates.
This is not all, Jagadguru further revealed that apples, even though amiably neutral when compared to oranges, are actually quite citric from the point of view of dates.
Now that our master has spoken we know what we have to do. Squash the oranges, preserve the apples, save the world !
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
As readers (accidental as well as unfortunate) must be aware already, I am commonplace ignoramus as far as general scheme of life is concerned, and quite profound (ignoramus that is) when field is Economics. As such this is comfortable existence, however the ignorance is a bit of impediment when I have to write about economics, and this time I have to. So appealing for mercy in advance and meditating upon Jagadguru, I proceed.
Article that concerns us is this and the ensuing chaos (caused mostly by repentant but still persistent dunali) in comments here. The crux of the issue is that Talented Mr Pai is not happy with the proposed exit tax , in fact he is feeling very bad. Let deconstruction begin. The article covers three issues, which must be kept separate.
1. The rationale behind subsidies: Mr Pai contends it is wrong to subsidize higher studies. I agree totally (My first DP link, such fond memories) , and this post by Incredible Mr Dey should be enough to convince . Related to this is the desirability or morality of preventing emigration.
If Mr Pai had kept this as main arguement, I believe there would not that much disagreement. However, discontinuing the subsidies is not the focus of the article, opposition to exit tax is.
2. Implementation of exit tax: Mr Pai contends it is a costly and difficult measure.
Now broadly implementation has two broads components, first the calculation of exit tax, How do we calculate tax ? Now to me a sensible way is to keep the tax at opportunity cost, which is the return which state would have got if it had invested the capital somewhere else. Assuming that economics does have some characteristics of steady state equilibrium (I am just borrowing the phrase I am familiar), I think this opportunity cost will be equal to the positive externalities that Government is expecting from investing in higher education. Of course what constitutes positive externalities in this case is not easy to decide. Or if we have too much of time, opportunity cost should be equal to returns from student working at country minus remittances sent by student from abroad.
Now I am not the best authority on this, so I may be wrong, however I agree that calculation of tax is a difficult and more importantly boring exercise.This being a fun blog, can not support any boring exercise.
Similarly the second problem how to actually extract tax, is also complicated as mentioned in the Economic Times article.
In short the implementation , as we see is not easy either. If Mr Pai had focussed on implementation, even in that case I would have no problem. However he didn't .
3. Loss of "guilt": Unfortunately this was the main arguement of the article, which started with this example from path breaking book Freakonomics
"Parents used to arrive late to collect their children, forcing a teacher to stay after closing time. We introduced a monetary fine for late-coming parents. As a result the number of late-coming parents increased significantly. After the fine was removed no reduction occurred. We argue that penalties are usually introduced into an incomplete contract, social or private. They may change the information that agents have and therefore the effect on behavior may be opposite than expected. If this is true, the deterrence hypothesis loses its predictive strength, since the clause ‘everything else is left unchanged’ might be hard to satisfy." [Link]
Incidentally I have just finished this book. Explaining the reason behind failure of best laid plans of day care center to enforce punctuality, Steven Levitt (author of the book) described importance to take into account moral incentive along with the remunerative incentive.
Moral incentive works as a social courtesy, or norm, and while its exact nature is dependent on the extant culture, as a general principle it is most effective when transaction is of personal nature and further when observance of social courtesy is disconnected from any financial cost. The problem then with the plan (of day care center) was that with introduction of penalty, in other words introduction of financial cost, the moral incentive (guilt arising out of inconvenience caused to day care center workers by delay in picking) was eliminated and the opportunity cost of penalty was so small (compared to pick the children at leisure) that more parents started picking late.
However, Steven Levitt clarified, if the penalty were high enough to exceed the opportunity cost of picking at leisure, it would have been possible to ensure that the delays are minimized.
Now drawing parallel from this case, Mr Pai asserted that imposing exit tax will eliminate moral incentive and actually encourage emigration, without backing up this assertion with any data.
But I am going to be frank, no amount of data could convince me of the "guilt". The reason for this is having "wallowed in the halls" of the concerned institute I can confidently state that "rare exception" apart, when choosing between staying put or going abroad, the moral incentive arising out of subsidized education plays no part in student's decision.
Cultural bankruptcy of middle class apart the impersonal nature of subsidy ensure lack of moral incentive, instead there is moral incentive due to attaching with the family or security in familiar surrounding, this is what I pointed out in the article.
On the contrary any significant exit tax will discourage emigration, as it will make emigration less attractive.
In brief IITians are shameless
But why I am writing about this. It is because, the reason that I respect and place importance on opinions of people, whom Jagadguru fondly calls free market fundamentalist fools, is because they have something more than courage of conviction, which is courage of reason, courage of informed debate as opposed to,and I say this without exaggeration, all too familiar and heart-breaking, hollow rhetoric which passes as discourse in India.
Unfortunately it is a common human failing to value form over content, a failing which is exacerbated by the exhilaration induced upon reading of Freakonomics. Which is why, sometimes a desire to shock and awe (utterly pwned here and here) prevails over dispassionate analysis. Result can only be termed as "Thinking it through".
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Commenting on UP CM Mayawati decision to order closure of Reliance Fresh outlet after protest by SP backed trader union, Gautan Chikermane had wondered why there was no lobbying in support of Reliance by political parties as entry of retail giants benefit farmers who constitute a bigger vote bank than traders. I was going to write a post explaining the absence. However as it turns out that lobbying in support has already started (via Rohit).
In an interesting turn to the controversy over the closure of the Reliance Fresh stores by the UP government, farmers of Lucknow and nearby districts have taken up the cudgels to fight for the cause of the retail industry in UP. Reliance sources its fruits and vegetables from these farmers.
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ambavat faction) today submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Mayawati and the district magistrate of Lucknow, demanding an immediate reopening of the Reliance stores in Lucknow and other places in UP.
The memorandum said the farmers of Lucknow and nearby were incurring huge losses due to the closure of the Reliance stores.
The BKU has also submitted a memorandum to the DM, Unnao, 65 km from Lucknow, demanding opening of the Reliance stores by August 31. Else, they would launch an agitation against the government.
The farmers protesting against the closure of the retail stores staged a demonstration in front of the Collection Centre opened by Reliance at Gosainganj, 15 km from Lucknow, on the day of Raksha bandhan.[Business Standard]
Perhaps politicians from TamizhNadu could take a hint. Kerala is of course out of question.
Rohit on another post , which was response to this article by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, comments,
Finally, Gaurav in his comment has talked about resolution. I would argue that apart from fixing the grand narrative of state failure, little else can be done. A non-violent society may not necessarily be the ideal one; absence of violence might merely signify that traditional structures of control–whether ruling elites or societal norms–continue to hold sway. A rapidly changing society on the other hand where old social structures are being broken down and new ones to replace them have not been erected as yet would continue to exhibit violence till a new equilibrium has been found. In the interim, perhaps the best that can be done is to attempt to moderate the violence; any attempt to stifle its expression which would necessarily take the form of rejection of the new might be counter-productive. I recognize that this might be a controversial point and a debate would be useful.
This is for most part correct, however I would like to rephrase in my words. Our first premise is that the society as it exists presently is not to our liking. We would like to see a different version. This is common, however the version we aspire to bring are going to be disparate, and as such source of difference.
Second any transition will be resisted by the entrenched, this is a given. Hence a certain amount of disharmony and even breakdown of order is expected in transition. However two things must be remembered. First that while progress may imply breakdown, breakdown as such doesn't imply progress. Is breakdown India witnessing an indicator of better things to come ? It is hard to say. Second while the breakdown is to be expected, nevertheless efforts must be made to minimize it, as any breakdown in order is in effect damages the foundation of society.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
To paraphrase Napoleon , There is only one step from being maverick to being dishonest hack. Exhibit A
So left is opposing US, not because of Marxism induced hallucination, and probably allegiance to China, but due to Hindu fatalism, and our convent educated and seeped in proletariat narrative comrades are actually Hindu spiritualist. Of course there is nothing intellectual in Hinduism.
Just like Indian poverty is not a result of that
skirt (and allegedly also flannel) chasing megalomaniac and incompetent tyrant romantic statesman Nehru, but Hindu rate of growth.
But lies of idiots like Chanrabhan Prasad go uncontested, because as Dalits they have the absolute moral authority, and hence if the Dalits continue to remain in a sorry state even after sixty years of independence and affirmative action, the full blame goes to the evil upper caste monsters like me who like nothing better than to kill and rape Dalits.
And the worthies who have prostituted the cause of social upliftment to secure their political fiefdoms, can not be, should not blamed, because this will expose our casteist bourgeoisie agenda which seeks to undo the progress towards establishing a socialist state.
Dear Karl Rove,
It is heartening to see that even your impending resignation has not dampened your resolve to further the neo-conservative cause, which is oppressing the poor, black,womyn and maintain the American hegemony over world.
However I have to ask, don't you think you are overdoing it? I mean you make Osama look like a liberal/progressive *.It seems to me that all that magnificent bastard stuff has gone to your head.
Do control your malice.
PS: What's with "no-tax" part ?
* Substitute with the latest
euphemism term, damn it is hard keeping up with the talking points.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
This world is a lunatic asylum and I am a control subject for Rosenhan experiment
Friday, September 07, 2007
If you are old (and unwashed) like me there is a good chance you would have read Suman Sourabh
(as opposed to TinTin, Archies or even Target).
Well around fifteen years back those guys plagiarized these two stories of Asimov. And I remember liking them.
By the way, are there any Indian science fiction writes besides Narlikar ?
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Now that US Presidential campaign is truly underway, it is amusing to see how candidates attempt to reconcile consolidation of the base, for primary, with overtures to floating, for elections. A sure shot way of placating base, weary of candidate's heresy, or tempting moderate, not too fond of orthodoxy, is the federal maneuver.
The trick is to state a position which is one part scotch mixed nine part soda* and then declare that actual legislative power regarding the issue resides with the state.
Of course this is not mere political creativity as division of legislative power between federal and state a fundamental feature of American constitution, and like other features its scope has always been subject to exhaustive discussion and commentary by constitutional expert.
In fact this was one of the most hotly contested topic in decades immediately following American Independence, one which will lead to first division between Hamilton led (and Washington blessed) Federalists and Jefferson led Republicans (the terms seem bit of misnomer to me).
However this appeal to state's right is based on convenience, and not on constitutional merit. So if you are a "moderate" Giuliani who wishes to score over conservative base, you can defer to states over abortion. Similarly a "conservative" Thompson can shield himself to assure the "moderates". Even though in America abortion is apparently the only single issue which divides a and modern male from a sadistic womb grabbing patriarchal Nazi male, or compassionate, god loving family oriented person and a heartless child murderer.
For the democrats it is the "gun ownership" which invokes this maneuver.
Added: Of course there is always gay marriage.
In fact state's rights has since long been a signal to the faithful. For example the political crisis before civil war was over the state right to retain slavery as institution. Similarly during the civil rights, segregation was embellished with state's right .
Of course the purpose is not to dismiss states right which are part and parcel of American constitution, and intrinsic to evolution of USA as a Republic, with colonies delegating their sovereignty. However a little honesty and admission of nuance over complicated questions, instead of religious fervour and assumption of self righteousness.
But then it is feature not bug.
*Conjecture, I am a teetotaller.
From now I am officially anti-common man. Whenever I have the opportunity,I will do everything within my power to oppress the common. I will treat a common Hindu with same contempt and scorn as I treat a common Muslim. Death to commonness.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
"Didn't quite get this. 'Hold great promise' as in : in terms of something to achieve - something specific that it has failed to do so far? or as in 'lot of things in yet to be discovered'?To me, i don't think a religion needs to prove anything to anyone - if it is a true religion."
I can answer it now.
Whether a religion is true is not the most appropriate line of inquiry. For the truth, if there is such a thing is not a matter of merely following doctrine, or ritual, far less a dogma.
The quest for truth is strictly personal one, a quest where one must be willing to contemplate, to reflect.This quest also demands perseverance to explore the uncharted, and to take dead ends in stride.
Most importantly it requires the willingness to confront the superstitions of others howsoever mighty they may be, and also to confront to one's own prejudices. Neither a scripture or a guru can bequeath the truth, at best they can guide, but the enlightenment can only be earned by own toil.
A religion which acknowledges that truth is realized is better than a religion which insists that truth is revealed, and the word is infallible. This condition is individual.
There is a further aspect to consider. The progress of life requires labour, physical as well as intellectual. Therefore the quest for truth that is concealed must be reconciled with fulfillment of necessities which are manifest.Spiritual must meet material. Also it acts in itself as a presence which transcends the group, attaches a significance to the social activities which is more than the sum of economic transactions. This is a condition which affects the collective.
A religion which is able to reconcile these elements is a positive force. It is my belief that Hinduism does that and hence holds promise for the future and progress of mankind.
Monday, September 03, 2007
What have you done, you foul creature !
Melodrama aside, it is hard to fathom what Ramu wished to accomplish by this blasphemy.
His audacity has left me, a recent convert to charm of Western genre, unspeakably aggrieved.
Like all good westerns, the main reason behind Sholay's timeless appeal is spectacular landscape, which just like period dramas, take a life of its own. The desolate and barren expanse is one of the most versatile medium for cinematic expression. Emotions like grit, honour, courage, even (especially) villainy can be raw and subtle in the same real estate.
Which was why it was a surprise when he announced that the remake would have Mumbai underworld as theme. It was a surprise, because even accounting for the fact that he is one of the best directors in Hindi film industry as far as Noir genre is concerned, it was almost impossible to consider the possibility of assembling and projecting the disparate substructures as a coherent narrative in the framework of Noir. My best guess was that the remake would be drastically altered to suit the mood that the particular genre demanded. To me that was a setback.
Considering how the things turned out, that hypothetical Noir adaptation would have been a masterpiece. For instead of sticking to what he does best, Ramu managed to create a confused, discordant, and to put it simply headache inducing fare.
The opening introduction is trademark Ramu, but from there it is a long winding road to nowhere. Finding that he had taken more than he can chew, Ramu forces action, drama, slapstick into the movie without any semblance to coherence or movement. Result is a disconnected and jarring experience.
His misdirection is more than matched by miscasting. For Heeru (Veeru of original) he has the one of most over rated actor of the current bunch (right after Aamir Khan). For Raj/Jai it is someone he caught from hinterland of Punjab. Sushmita Sen is dignified but wasted, as is Mohanlal, a fine actor. Nisha Kothari is of course the lady who makes Antara Mali look competent by comparison. The most bitter disappointment has been Amitabh Bachchan himself, let down by lukewarm dialogues as well as hamming (not as much as Black though, which is a relief), this is what happens one when sells his soul to Mammon.
In conclusion, one can just weep over the desecration of our most sacred icons.
PS. If for some reason you have not been introduced to Westerns, this is the right time. Start with Man with No Name trilogy and then perhaps Once Upon a Time in The West.
Update: Ban remakes? Yes please. Do it fast. In fact make it a capital offence.
Pratap Bhanu Meha on the topic well trodden by this blog*,
The focus on the state and economy is crucial. But they seldom on their own determine what the security or character of life and self is going to be like in any society. Despite the explosion of aspirations, and feverish activity, will we escape the charge that Muktibodh levelled against urbanising India decades ago: that it was a font of meaninglessness, disguised by divertissements [sic]? It would be premature to engage in pessimism. But the striking absence of self-reflection on emerging pathologies in society should worry us. Broken states can be fixed through collective action, economies can be energised through policy, but sick societies are harder to cure. [Indian Express]
I have a different perspective (than the article) on the churning that India is witnessing, or to be precise the churning at the moment, because since Independence India has always been churning, that it is not always too visible to commentators is a different matter altogether (one which deserves attention on its own merit). My rather woeful perspective will have to wait for another post but it is influenced by India:A million mutinies now.
* Yes this is self-plugging. Yes I have no shame, or self-esteem.
"Never go to a public lavatory in London," warned Professor Jackson. "I always pee in the street. You may be fined a few pounds for committing a nuisance, but in a public lavatory you risk two years in prison because a policeman in plain clothes says you smiled at him."