Ownership Society in India

From Atanu Dey’s blog:

I say what India needs is an ownership society. The rest of this talk about empowering this that or the other is meaningless without the fundamental notion of ownership. Empowering villagers with knowledge, as the good Dr prescribes, will not have any effect until there is ownership. Remarkable results follow once you identify the problem as not one that is centered on power but on ownership.

Then CJ proceeded to explain what he meant by the ownership society, how to bring it about, and what will be the effects of that transformation if we are ever able to achieve it.

Power without accountability is at the core of many of Indias problems. In a feudal society, the feudal lord has power but is not accountable to the serfs. He can arbitrarily make laws and do what he pleases. At a higher level of organization, in a kingdom, the king has all the power and again no accountability. At its peak, it is imperialism when the entire country is ruled by colonial decree but the rulers are not accountable. After centuries of feudal rule, followed by centuries of foreign invasions, and culminating in the British colonial rule of about 90 years, the habit of power without accountability has been firmly ingrained in the Indian governing psyche.

Boarding a Plane

WSJ discusses the quickest way to board a plane – and it is not what we’ve been made to do.

Several years ago Menkes van den Briel, an industrial engineer at Arizona State University, tackled a “nonlinear assignment problem with quadratic and cubic terms in the objective function.”

In other words, he wanted to stop people from bumping into each other when they board an airplane.

Mr. van den Briel’s research has led to an innovative boarding system at America West Airlines called “reverse pyramid.” The first economy-class passengers to get on the plane are those with window seats in the middle and rear of the plane. Then America West gradually fills out the plane, giving priority to those with window or rear seats, until it finally boards those seated along aisles in the front.