Friday, December 23, 2005


Will he now be suing these guys as well?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

And now... The longest comment in the American East Coast Collegiate Blogosphere

Josh McCabe recently put up a post on how English majors suck (linked to by the Indian blogosphere's most prominent FMS English Major). Predictably, he received a lot of hate mail intelligent criticism from liberal wieners NHBs. However, there was one amazing, incisive comment by this one punter called Mike Guerra. It was huge (though at 1483 words it is dwarfed by Chetan's bandwidth buster). So huge that Livejournal (the crappy service that Josh insists on using) couldn't handle the load, and Josh had to manually post it in three parts.

The answer, I think, is to stop being so damn ignorant, to start actually talking to one another, and trying to understand why it is that we don't agree with each other. We don't need Ann Coulter to explain to us how to talk to liberals, its easy...just visit one of our English classes and ask. And we don't need Michael Moore to teach us how to get in conservatives faces and twist facts and video to make them look like idiots, he can have that job all to himself. What we need is honest open conversation. Until that happens we will continue to be forced to choose between our cookie cutter two party candidates, and Josh will never have his libertarian president, and nothing will ever actually change.
Read them here.

Respect to Mike bhai, thats some mighty good writing.

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.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The All India Economics Students' Meet 2005

I just got back from the meet a couple of days back, and I am pleased to say that I have survived the experience successfully. Our team won the 2nd prize in the Paper Presentation (our paper was a monograph on why the Employment Guarantee Act is a piece of crap). I also won a prize for the best question asked in the same Paper Presentation.

I'll update this post to give more details, but I got to go now.

Ok, I delayed this a long time, but here's the version with slightly more detail:

  • The organisation of the event was very good. The Hindu College guys took very good care of the participants, except for a little snafu with the accomodation.
  • We presented a paper on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, and were one of eight teams to do so. Our stand on the Act was that it is fundamentally unworkable, and the government has a hundred better things to do with our money. Six of the other eight teams presented paper that said (generally) that the Employment Guarantee is a fundamentally good concept, but the act has been diluted by bureaucrats (the Jean Dreze viewpoint). The eighth team, St. Xavier's Calcutta, was, like us critical of the NREGA. They made some really strong points, and in the end beat us to the top spot.
  • I also won a prize for the best question asked (by a member of the audience) to a team making a paper presentation. The team in question was Ramjas College, who were presenting a paper on Energy Security. They said that India can rely on pipelines such as the Iran-Pak-India pipeline or the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline for energy security. My question was that since both pipelines pass through conflict zones (the Iran line through Baluchistan and the BTC line through Nagorno-Karabakh), how can India depend on staedy supplies through them. The guy tried to dodge the question with some crap about Musharraf's guarantee about regular supplies, but was unable to answer my point about Nagorno Karabakh (I strongly suspect I got the prize just for knowing that name). As it turns out, the BTC pipeline does not go through Nagorno-Karabakh at all, in fact taking a significant detour to avoid the region.
  • There was also an incident involving four girls, a three kilometer cycle rickshaw ride and a monkey, but I'm really pressed for time, so it must wait for another time, I guess.