Friday, November 06, 2009

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Monday, November 02, 2009

Travel on my mind

I can by no account be called a traveler, for I have been to very few places in this world; although in my mind, I am a wanderer, a person who likes to explore and a person who knows geography - as it is shown in maps and recounted in the numerous travelogues and history books, I have read.

But more or less, since the time I last posted on this blog, my travel quotient has been higher - I have had the opportunity to go to few places, and all these have left me with richer knowledge, unforgettable experiences and above all a great sense of being!

I do not know when I will get around to writing a travelogue for all these journeys, but here are some photographs which tell the story as well -

  1. Journey in the Konkan - Ratnagiri, Guhagad, Ganapatiphule, Chiplun
  2. In Durian Land - Kuala Lumpur
  3. Amongst the Rajputs - Jaipur
  4. Rooftop of the World - Leh
  5. Beach cocktail - Goa
I came across this wonderful article by Pico Iyer (amongst many books, the author of The Global Soul; which I think is a superb book every traveler should read) about Somerset Maugham, titled The Perfect Traveler.

Here is a superb description of what I agree should be the characteristics of a perfect traveler, from this article -


The perfect traveler must be a perfect contradiction. She should be open to almost everything that comes her way, but not too ready to be taken in. He should be worldly, shrewd, his feet firmly on the ground; but he must also have the capacity to give himself over to moments of real wonder. He or she must be curious, observant, spirited and kind—ready to spin a spell-binding tale of adventure and irony at the Explorers’ Club, and then throw it all over for a crazy romance in the South Seas.


The above characteristics and an attitude as described by Robert Frost in "The Road not taken"(in its philosophical but also in its literal sense) are my prescription for a traveler!

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

If half the world were sterile...

I came across this interesting article by David Brooks in the New York Times. It talks about a scenario where one half of the entire population of the Earth, is rendered sterile due to some hypothetical, freak Solar 'incident'. What would happen in such a situation? I tend to agree with the author that the fabric of society would disintegrate - majority of the human race lives on the premise that "I am living today, to make my tomorrow better". In a situation where entire populations of a continent does not have a tomorrow, there will not be any shards of moral fabric left in them, to help them distinguish between right and wrong.

I found this particular excerpt very powerful -

Instead there would be brutal division between those with the power to possess the future and those without. If millions of immigrants were brought over, they would populate the buildings but not perpetuate the culture. They wouldn’t be like current immigrants because they wouldn’t be joining a common project, but displacing it. There would be no sense of peoplehood, none of the untaught affections of those who are part of an organic social unit that shares the same destiny.
.....
But, of course, that’s the beauty of this odd question. There are no sterilizing sunspots. Instead, we are blessed with the disciplining power of our posterity. We rely on this strong, invisible and unacknowledged force — these millions of unborn people we will never meet but who give us the gift of our way of life.

It is in this context that we should view crackpot schemes which are usually proposed by crazy, dictator wannabes. It has been said rightly that "Power corrupts; And absolute power corrupts, absolutely". Those who are power hungry, even for the sake of the 'common good' (the main raison d'etre of most governments around the world) are easily corrupted by this very same 'common good'.

Distrust those who claim to offer these global panacea. There is a rot of corruption behind them.

Hat Tip: Marginal Revolution - where the discussion first started!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Identity politics...

(Click on Image to enlarge)

Big government?

(Click on picture to enlarge)

I am obviously not that great at pencil sketching... but metaphorically, this above sketch of mine came out right!

As Robert Samuelson rightly asks in this article, what are the consequences of this growing obesity of the government? Here is an exercpt...

The question that President Obama ought to be asking -- that we all should be asking -- is this: How big a government do we want? Without anyone much noticing, our national government is on the verge of a permanent expansion that would endure long after the present economic crisis has (presumably) passed and that would exceed anything ever experienced in peacetime. This expansion may not be good for us, but we are not contemplating the adverse consequences or how we might minimize them.

We face an unprecedented collision between Americans' desire for more government services and their almost-equal unwillingness to be taxed.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The State of the Blog

It has been quite a while since I made a post and there are are a few of reasons for this. One - there has been way more significant work at office, and I haven't been able to devote any quality time on blogging/writing. Two - I blame twitter and facebook also for my lacuna towards blogging. While I am still new on twitter, it is addictive and I have close to 280 tweets in the past two months as compared to close to 98 blog posts in the past four years. Facebook on the other hand has been a good find - while I have been 'active' on facebook for over an year now, getting in touch with old friends and classmates, has started off now, more earnestly, as its been close to an year since I have been out of college now. And three - given points number one and two, I have become extremely lazy on the internet. Staring at the computer screen is not really what I want to do at the end of a hard days work, and hence blogging has suffered.

The basic premise of this blog has not changed - it will still be 'Wittily, for free markets' (although it seems, that only I find the witty part). Also, I intend to be more frequent in my posts (once, everyday is the dream!) - so I intend to make small opinion posts, instead of long well, researched articles - a development, arising surely out of the twitter addiction I have been having. But, it will defintiely be longer than 140 characters and will NOT have status message kind of posts (after this one, please)-  I need to keep my twitter stream active as well.

In terms of content of the blog, as I have mentioned the main focus will be 'Free markets', but I wish to examine not only theory and numbers (stuff wehere I try to be a pseudo-intellectual, trying to decipher what economists are saying), but also focus on some real world examples I happen to see everyday. To quote an oft quoted phrase - "(Free Markets) are an idea whose time has come, and nothing is more powerful than that!"

On other developments which I want the reader to take notice is that, I have found that my hardly used wordpress blog- Idea Architecture - has always generated more comments than the more frequently-posted-at blog, here. But, this is the domain I want active - so I will be using the wordpress page as a surrogate. I will be cross posting every post I make here on the wordpress account with a 'click here' to read more link. Hopefully, I can bring all the wordpress readers to view my blog at this website. This won't be happening immediately, as I need to take care of a few things before I do that,  but yes - it shall be done!

Well thats it then. Mind Sparks! 
  
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