Friday, December 16, 2005

Core Dump for the week ended 16/12/2005

  • I took part in the Seth Walchand Hirachand Memorial (or somesuch) Competition for Elocution on an Economic topic last week. I wasn't actually going to take part, but when I found that there were only two participants competing for three prizes, I changed my mind, and spoke about the "Changing Role of the World Bank". Although six people ended up speaking eventually, my hastily prepared speech (I actually wrote it as the first participant was speaking) found favour with the judges, two teachers from our department (another advantage of having a pro-free-market faculty, I'd say), and I won. Final Year luck strikes again!
  • I attended a lecture by Prof. Akeel Bilgrami of Columbia University on "The Gandhian Critique of the Thick Notion of Scientific Rationality and it's antecedence in the Opposition to the Enlightenment by 17th Century English Radicals" at the Philosophy Dept. of the Pune University. The lecture, despite its torturous name, was quite good, inspite of being quite leftist. The professor theorised that although rationalism is a good thing, it is perhaps going too far to view nature and inanimate objects as, well inanimate. We must view them as full of value, as this makes ethical and normative demands of us, and ultimately leads to (insert leftist goal here). Note: I must say here that this is a very inadequate summary and Prof Bilgrami put the point forward much more convincingly (he would; I doubt Columbia just hands out Johnsonian Professorships of Philosophy to just any T, D or H).
  • I learnt a Spanish Christmas Carol (Los Peces en el Rio) that our class is supposed to sing at the Department Christmas Party. I also learnt to change orders given in the past into reported speech using the imperfect subjunctive tense. Yeah, my Spanish course is a lot of fun, thank you very much.
  • I attended my Economics Special II lecture after a couple of months and was shocked to realise that I'm totally out of touch with my course (must.... study.... now!!). To make things worse, my professor took digs at me all through the lecture, using the probability of my attending lectures to show the shortcomings of the Frequentist School of Probability, for example. Being ridiculed in front of your entire class is bad enough, but being ridiculed in a friggin sum is more than one can take.


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