Friday, May 20, 2016

These Economists

Time for some armchair speculation. Since Subramanian Swamy, being an Econ PhD from Harvard and one-time professor there, couldn't possibly be as ignorant about Economics as his letter to the PMO suggests he is, he is most probably being manipulative, in my opinion. If real world politics is as smart as 'House of Cards' and 'The West Wing' would have us believe, then it might be a tactic to elicit even louder public support for Rajan, and make keeping him for another term easier for the government, in the face of opposition from factions of business that the government can't openly defy. But my theory 2 is that the real world is not American television, and that Swamy is a bit of an egomaniac and a little dismayed in his old age that he is not more widely thought of as the Econ genius he is inside his own head, so he takes any opportunity he gets to attack others who are thought of in that way. In the past, he has slandered Amartya Sen as merely a Gandhi family flatterer, and now, it's Raghuram Rajan's turn.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Vices of reading a lot

A vast majority of what you read in facebook statuses, online articles, quora answers, have nothing new to say to you. You see cliches everywhere - things that have been beaten down to death in your head, and evoke little human emotion or 'aha' in you. Makes you generally undemonstrative.

In most debates, you are intimate with the cogent arguments of both sides, so you're rarely find yourself taking a stand with one side or the other, because you see how both have some great points and also how both are willfully or ignorantly blind to the great points of the other side.

Reading a lot is bad for the elasticity of your brain, and hampers genesis of creative ideas, especially if you read a lot on the same topic, if you specialize. If you read eclectically, this vice is limited.

Reading takes away from time you could spend outdoors, being active in the real world. And it takes away a lot - it is one of the most time consuming activities. The only respite here is if you're out in the real world a lot, you know that the real world is a little over-rated.

Reading ingrains behavioral biases in subtle ways that you have to always consciously guard yourself against, which takes effort.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Just another note to self

Always keep some chocolate at home.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Go fucking work

I am again in the midst of too much hectic. Time to put your head down and work, than worry and be daunted by how much there is to do and how improbable it will get done.

For others in the same situation as me, here's a nifty chrome extension. Using this app, you can choose the websites that are a time suck for you, and then when you unconsciously open a new tab and hit those websites again out of habit, what will open instead is a page that will say, in big bold letters, "Go Fucking Work". Pretty cool, no?

The link to the extension is below. Don't be offended by the colorful language you see on the link, because, sometimes, you can either give a fuck about language, or about getting shit done.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Being Vegan 2

It is the fourth day of being a vegan now, and I have a little bit to report. It is true that with a vegan diet, I feel a lot lighter. I don't mean this in the kgs and pounds sense, but in the way you feel lying down, sitting, standing, climbing the stairs and moving about. There is a lightness for sure; whether it is a direct consequence of the vegan diet, or comes from the little yoga I've been doing, I can't be sure.

I also suffer from a bit of chronic cold in my nose. I do have a swollen cyst in my nose that was diagnosed long ago, but doctors both in the US and in India have left it to me to decide whether I want it operated: "If you can live with it, it's OK to leave it as it is because it won't morph into anything more dangerous plus the surgery is delicate, but if it's too much of a trouble, we can operate it". I've obviously chosen not to be operated upon, but it is definitely a frustrating thing, physically, to live with a bit of a blocked nose all the time. Anyhow, my nose has been troubling me a lot less the last 4 days, so that's good.

Outside of wellness, I've found a few jugaad ways to eat vegan and not feel like I'm torturing my tongue. That includes a few jugaad recipes; and while I won't go into the specifics, I'll just say sprinkling lemon juice, some black pepper powder, and some pudina powder, makes most things tastier.

Still, it's too early to come to any conclusions. But prima facie, things look good.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Being Vegan

I turned vegan yesterday. I'm going to try it for 21 days, and see if I feel any different. If it is half as good as Dr. Neal Barnard promises it is, maybe I'll stay vegan, otherwise I'll go back to being a vegetarian, which, incidentally, I had turned into from my earlier non-vegetarian self in the summer of last year. Turning vegetarian was not so much a health decision, but this one is. So far, anyway. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves already.