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Entries from September 2011

Weekend Reading

September 10th, 2011 · 1 Comment

This week’s links:  Digital Classrooms, Stagnant Scores: from the New York Times.  “The digital push here aims to go far beyond gadgets to transform the very nature of the classroom, turning the teacher into a guide instead of a lecturer, wandering among students who learn at their own pace on Internet-connected devices…Hope and enthusiasm are […]

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For US travellers: $50 for unlimited talk, sms and web

September 9th, 2011 · 4 Comments

If you are travelling to the US, one of the big questions is what to do about a SIM for the mobile phone. Continuing to use the India SIM is out of the question with roaming charges at Rs 150 per minute. Of course, one could use the Reliance calling card, but that still doesn’t […]

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Used Bookshops

September 8th, 2011 · 1 Comment

During my recent US trip, I spent some time at a couple of used bookshops. One of them was Moe’s in Berkeley, and the other was Recycle Books in San Jose. These bookshops create an experience that is very different from surfing Amazon online or browsing through the collection of new books at Crossword and […]

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Oxford Very Short Introduction series

September 7th, 2011 · 3 Comments

I am a big fan of Oxford’s Very Short Introduction series of books. Each book is about 150-odd pages and covers one topic. It is a great way to come up to speed on a new topic in a couple hours of reading. As I read somewhere, there are the ideal companion for a short […]

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Board Game Reco: Qwirkle

September 6th, 2011 · 3 Comments

During my US visit recently, I picked up a board game, Qwirkle. It showed up on Amazon as one of the top selling board games. I played it with Abhishek and my sister’s kids (all three in the 6-9 years bracket). It was a hit. Simple rules that are wery easy to learn, and enthralling […]

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Corruption Case Study

September 5th, 2011 · 3 Comments

I heard this story recently. Not sure if it is true. Read and draw your own conclusions. The Supreme Court has banned iron ore mining in Karnataka’s Bellary region. A government-owned organisation is allowed to do the mining. The result: steel company barons are rushing to the appropriate Central minister with generous dollops of cash […]

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Blog Past: Palitana

September 4th, 2011 · No Comments

A year ago, I had visited the Jain temples in Palitana. From the last post in that series: Through the trip, I couldn’t help thinking about the role of religion in our life. As my in-laws told stories from the origins of Jainism to Abhishek, I realised how little I knew about the founding principles […]

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Weekend Reading

September 3rd, 2011 · 1 Comment

This week’s links: Small governments are likely to be more efficient: An article in Eco Times by Gopal Vittal. “there are four factors strongly correlated to state GDP. All of these factors point to one central issue: governance. These are the quality of human capital, the quality of infrastructure, the rate of private investment and […]

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The Right Fight – Part 5

September 2nd, 2011 · 7 Comments

This Right Fight for Real Freedom is not an easy one. It requires us to trash our existing ideas of freedom, the role of government, development, and the idea of India. It requires us to re-educate ourselves. It doesn’t require all of us at this moment – only a sufficient number to start with who […]

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The Right Fight – Part 4

September 1st, 2011 · No Comments

As Atanu wrote recently in an article in Pragati: I argue that the interests of the people in the government are antagonistic to the interests of the citizens. To make the case, we have to distinguish between two types of governments: one is a development-oriented government which is committed to economic freedom, individual freedom, and […]

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