May 2008

Puzzle type

The Indian National Congress, one can safely assume, will win between 125 and 160 seats in the next Lok Sabha. And the BJP, possibly 20 percent lesser. Or, the scenario could be vice versa. That leaves the other parties with about 240 seats. At least one fourth of that number will be mutually exclusive when [...]


You know capitalism is in trouble when it has to run to Botswana for validation and use Zimbabwe for comparison.


Musing on a few posts, like this and the other: The philosopher John Gray has thought through these issues as well as others. Since the 1960s, the future of the world has tended towards dystopia, rather than utopia. Philosophers and politicians have been the last to notice this, as they have been too busy constructing their own utopias. When the communists [...]

Berlin Noir

For years, my favorite crime novel was Philip Kerr´s “A Philosophical Investigation”. Picked up because it shared a title with Wittgenstein´s best work, it is very interesting, a cross between a Philip K Dick and a murder mystery with quotes from Wittgenstein and other philosophers. Kerr also came up with a character named Bernie Gunther, an old [...]

The poignant and the trivial

When one is paid to do something, one has an excuse. After all, Amit Varma is alive. Roger Ebert, therefore, writes thus on ‘The Lives of Others’, He doesn’t find a shred of evidence that Dreyman is disloyal. Not even in whispers. Not even in guarded allusions. Not even during pillow talk. The man obviously believes [...]


Why would people ever want a referral system in Cricket, like Tennis? The world now has PDA devices and wireless technology. If the Umpire needs information, as to whether the ball pitched in line or how high it struck the batsman, they can be made available real time. Almost. If at all one needs the [...]

Nine billion names of God

After reading “Nine billion names of God”, I have always been afraid of offending Buddhist monks. This cautionary tale hasn’t prevented others from underestimating Buddhists. The Taliban blew up the Bamiyan Buddhas and then found themselves in a war with the Americans within a year. Burma did, and got hit by Nargis. China did, and [...]

How I manage my investments

Just finished “Wealth, War and Wisdom” by Barton Biggs. Niall Ferguson was the only historian who looked at the confluence of war and financial markets, but now, Biggs has done a comprehensive study of WWII and financial markets. Biggs´s point is that every century, there is at least one event, which destroys (or re-allocates) wealth on a [...]

Aravind Adiga

Finally, someone takes my two indias theory, and writes an entire novel on it, while I found it difficult to sustain it through a single post. Predictably, the novel is crap.