Saturday, September 28, 2013


More into Facebook these days, some recent links from there.
An overview of Indian economy and Raghram Rajan from Caravan Magazine by Mark Bergen
Chris Blattman on an interesting paper on development "Continued existence of Cows Disproves Central Tenets of Capitalism"
Highlights of a document on development via Duncan Green
NY Times portrait of Bhaskar Sunkara Taking Marx to the Main Stream and Bhaskar Sunkara about himself in The Guardian
Loosing is Good for You
How stress can make things smell bad from ScienceDaily

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Smart pots for gardening
This esplains how to make your own smart pot
I started with this one about seven weeks ago in a plastic green house and the tomato plants are already 3 feet tall.

Traffic in Hyderabad

Recently, I eatched traffic at a T-junction in Hyderabad while smoking outside on the stairs. The picture below was very early in the morning when there was little traffic. After 8 AM or so, the atreets were full of cars on all the three sides. The partition on the left only made it to some extent two way traffic on both sides and there were also U-turns. There were no traffic lights or traffic cops but I did not see any accidents during the week I watched. I wondered whether there is some self organizing mechanism at work. Ed Yong has a popular artcle on such phenomena, and I am sure that there are many books and articles studying various aspects of swarms and applications. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Links, September 24

Interesting discussion on argument in 3quarksdaily. Behind all this, I think, is a basic disease of humans: trying to understand complex things where neat formulations may not be possible. It gets even worse in physics concepts which go beyond everyday experience. Nevertheless worth looking at.
I am suspicious of that vision thing from big minds. From the ever interesting Chapati Mystery Facebook
Rajiv Sethi on Information, Trading and Beliefs "If there's a message in all this, it is that markets aggregate not just information, but also fundamentally irreconcilable perspectives. Prices, as John Kay puts it, "are the product of a clash between competing narratives about the world." Some of the volatility that one observes in asset markets arises from changes in perspectives, which can happen independently of the arrival of information. This is why substantial "corrections" can occur even in the absence of significant news, and why stock prices appear to "move too much to be justified by subsequent changes in dividends." What makes markets appear invincible is not the perfect aggregation of information that is sometimes attributed to them, but the sheer unpredictability of persuasion, exhortation, and social influence that can give rise to major shifts in the distribution of narratives. " "The potential of the surveillance state goes way beyond anything inGeorge Orwell's 1984, Alan Rusbridgerthe Guardian's editor-in-chief, told an audience in New York on Monday."
The Logic Behind Assad's use of Chemical Weapons (via Naked Capitalism) "Using chemical weapons didn’t help Assad make gains on the battlefield. It didn’t signal to Syrians that he was willing to use these weapons — he’d already proved that he was willing to use them. What it did do was provide hard evidence that the United States was not coming to the defense of Syrian civilians under any conditions, and that the US would allow Assad to continue to fight to remain in power. Both of these signals would have the effect of undercutting support for the opposition."

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Yves Smith on Obama

This seems right to me. Yves Smith comment on Obama responding to Krugman:
The Crazy Party Paul Krugman. True only up to a point. First, crazy is a very good strategy. Kissinger promoted the idea of Nixon as crazy (before Watergate really did make him paranoid) to improve US bargaining leverage. What is more scary than a rabid crazy anti Commie with nukes? Second, when Obama had more power (as in was less lame-ducky) he used Republican craziness as his air cover for doing what he wanted to do. That rewarded and encouraged super extreme behavior.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bollywood's Jewish Sounds

from including a link to this deleted song from C.I.D.
The song starts from 4:27

With Abinandanan of nanopolitan

FP on research in International Relations

mainly in USA "Why does so much of the academic writing on international affairs seem to be of little practical value, mired in a "cult of irrelevance"? Is it because IR scholars are pursuing a misleading model of "science," patterned after physics, chemistry, or biology? Or is it because many prominent academics fear criticism and are deathly afraid of being controversial, and prefer to hide behind arcane vocabulary, abstruse mathematics, or incomprehensible postmodern jargon?
Both motivations are probably at work to some degree, but I would argue that academics are for the most part just responding to the prevailing incentive structures and metrics that are used to evaluate scholarly merit. " from via 3quarksdaily. FP has also a list of top tren books on IR recommended for students.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Alternatives to DSM developing

A revolution in mental health from The Chronicles of Higher Education via a MindHacks post which has a summary. There have been several posts related to DSM efore; here are two of them.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Two big picture articles

One an old review of Landes book 'The Wealth and Poverty of Nations' byJoel Moykr and a recent article, in part a review from N+1 Slave Capitaliosm (via Chapati Mystery Facebook). The concluding paragraph frpm the second "The enlightening, progressive force of liberalism has carried us far from slavery, we like to think. We are not those people and never could have been. In River of Dark Dreams, we are reminded that between the slave empire and our own age lies only a handful of generations. Johnson shows the historical meaning of this proximity. We are connected not just through the shortness of time but through the persistence of the liberal capitalist tradition itself. The form of freedom fantasized by the slaveholding South, in turn, is the freedom of our own society: ensuring a standard of living sufficient to confirm our self-image and limit domestic conflict; built upon ecological degradation, the conquest of darker nations by international bureaucracies, their enslavement by debt, their forcible integration into a global commercial network; enforced by our own armies of the night, surveilling, killing, torturing without oversight. The myth of our great distance from slavery—of the old South’s fundamental illiberalism—exists precisely to give us a way of managing our experience of this continuity, and to let us continue to enact it."

Back home