Monday, August 29, 2011

A poem and a discussion on norms and giving

in Underground Norms via Andrew Gelman
And Happy Telugu Language Day. By some accident, my brother Kamalakar has chosen this day as his birthday since the records were not kept and he was born around this time of the year approximately a week before a cousin whose date of birth is more certain. My brother worked hard after his college education and has given much in charities while buying for himself things on sale and I join many who know him in wishing him a happy birthday.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Telugu Language Day, August 29th

in honour of Some articles by Gidugu and about వ్యవహారిక భాషా ఉద్యమం (common Telugu movement)and about Bhadriraju Krishnamurthy are in this issue of Eemaata ఈమాట జూన్ 2008 ప్రత్యేక సంచిక
A few Telugu songs for the occasion
Maa telugu Talliki
Cheyetti jai kottu Telugoda
Veera Gandham
Andhruda levara

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Research in Peace

Dangers of research into chronic fatigue syndrome
"As for Professor Wessely, he gave up active research on CFS/ME 10 years ago. He now specialises in the problems of war veterans. “I now go to Iraq and Afghanistan, where I feel a lot safer,” he says.
More discussion in 'The Loom' Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Death threats for scientists?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Science marches on

Incredible Science Discoveries in 'The Big Picture' including 'printing solar panels on pieces of paper' and 'how to triple the yield of plants using only 10% of the water typically needed'.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nadireyi ye Jamulo (నడిరేయి ఏ జాములో)

on YouTube here
lyrics from here (which has lyrics of many other Telugu songs)
నడిరేయి ఏ జాములో స్వామి నిను చేర దిగి వచ్చునో
తిరుమల శిఖరాలు దిగి వచ్చునో(నడిరేయి)
మముగన్న మాయమ్మ అలివేలు మంగమ్మ(2)
పతిదేవు ఒడిలోన మురిసేటివేళ
స్వామి చిరునవ్వు వెన్నెలలు కురిసేటి వేళ
విభునికి మా మాట వినిపించవమ్మా
ప్రభువుకు మా మనవి వినిపించవమ్మా

ఏడేడు శిఖరాల నే నడువలేను
ఏపాటి కానుకలందించలేను
వెంకన్న పాదాలు దర్శించలేను
నేను వివరించి న బాధ వినిపించలేను
మముగన్న మాయమ్మ
మముగన్న మాయమ్మ

కలవారినేగాని కరుణించలేడా
నిరుపేద మొరలేవి వినిపించుకోడా
కన్నీటి బ్రతుకుల కనలేని నాడు
స్వామి కరుణామయుండన్న బిరుదేలనమ్మా
అడగవే మా తల్లీ అనురగవల్లీ
అడగవే మాయమ్మ అలివేలు మంగా(నడిరేయి)
P.S. From this artucle by Rihiniprasad it appears thar Chittibabu played veena for this song.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Small words

The test Your "I" Exam:Is your social vision 20/20? . I scored four out of ten but having recently read some books on cognitive dissonance, guessed the score.

From What Your Choice of Words Says about Your Personality:
"No one doubts that the words we write or speak are an expression of our inner thoughts and personalities. But beyond the meaningful content of language, a wealth of unique insights into an author’s mind are hidden in the style of a text—in such elements as how often certain words and word categories are used, regardless of context.
It is how an author expresses his or her thoughts that reveals character, asserts social psychologist James W. Pennebaker /a> of the University of Texas at Austin. When people try to present themselves a certain way, they tend to select what they think are appropriate nouns and verbs, but they are unlikely to control their use of articles and pronouns. These small words create the style of a text, which is less subject to conscious manipulation."

Language Log post with a contribution by James Pennebaker
What is "I" saying?

Another Language Log post Little words with an appendix on "Linguistic Structure Matching"

Recent Scientific American interview with James Pennebaker The Secret Language Code via MindHacks

It is a young science with some potential:"Several labs, including ours, have now conducted studies to evaluate the prospect of building a linguistic lie detector. The preliminary findings are promising. In controlled studies, we can catch lying about 67% of the time where 50% is chance. Humans, reading the same transcripts, only catch lying 53% of the time. This is actually quite impressive unless you are a person in the judicial system. If you are waiting for a language-based system to catch real world lying at rates of 90 or 95 percent of the time, it won’t happen in your lifetime. It’s simply too complicated."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mobility in science careers: Science magazine links

Content Collection: International Mobility :
"International mobility is becoming increasingly important for a successful research career. But, while international scientific experience offers many career-related benefits, it can be difficult to make it happen. And there are some disadvantages.

Over the years, Science Careers has investigated the pros and cons of training in a foreign lab. We've talked to mobile researchers about the many challenges of moving, working, and living abroad. Our interviewees have offered tips on dealing with the logistics of the move, finding a foreign lab, getting funding, applying for a visa -- even finding a school for the kids. We have asked scientist globetrotters about their experiences in a new culture, in and outside the lab. We have solicited advice on how to maximize the benefits of your research experience and ensure it's an enjoyable one. We have wondered whether it is always possible for expatriated scientists to find their way back home and have looked at ways to improve the odds.

Below is a list of what we consider our most valuable articles exploring international research experiences and what makes them successful."

Some useful sites

Top 100 little-known sites Everyone should know about (via Rajeev Ramachandran's google reader)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

'Controlled disintegration' and related matters

Stop Coddling the Super-Rich says Warren Buffett
Roubini: Is Capitalism Doomed?, a discussion in economist's View
The Failure of Individualism Review of Fred Hirsch's 1977 book 'Social Limits to Growth':
"Hirsch shows that the individualism and competitiveness fostered by capitalism will not work in an affluent society in which people’s basic material needs for food, clothing and shelter are met. He sees an economic impasse stemming not primarily from the depletion of the world’s natural resources through unbridled economic growth, but from an unprecedented situation in which the main things people want from the economic system can be had only by a small minority at the top of the social hierarchy.

Capitalism’s great merit has been the goods it has been able to deliver. Each generation could count on seeing its children enjoy a host of new products. The luxuries of one generation became necessities for the next. Society was a column moving steadily forward, with the rich first tasting the fruits that eventually would be conveyed to the mass of humanity. Hirsch maintains that this process, which gave economic inequality its philosophical justification as the best spur for advancing the living conditions of all, is no longer functioning. In the future we can expect to see people competing in an ever more vicious rat race and completing the course frustrated at a sense of having fallen behind their starting point."

In The Econobubble Revisited Yanis Varoufakis recalls the phrase "Controlled disintegration" used by Fred Hirsch and Paul Volcker in the 70s.

The crisis of the global economy. Was it a planned disintegration? , a recent post by Brenda Rosser with some links like

Monday, August 15, 2011

Links, August 15

Redefining the Public University: Developing an Analytical Framework has some interesting points (via 3quarksdaily):
"The configuration of national university systems is shaped by and shapes its insertion into a global context. Again our two models of regulation and commodification reflect pressures operating at the global level. Regulation refers to the systems of global competition for place in international ranking systems. This entails nation states applying pressure to universities to compete globally along a range of indices, but most fundamentally to publish scholarly papers in major international journals, to teach and research in English, making US or European societies the reference point for everything. This draws the best university faculty into the orbit of an international community but in so doing they lose contact with national issues. While this most obviously affects the social sciences and humanities, it can also affect the hard sciences in that the medical and engineering problems faced by a country in the Global South can be very different from those faced in the Global North."

Abi on Misconduct in India and the West: A Key Difference

From a 2009 article in NYTimes The Looting of America’s Coffers (via 'The Big Picture' post The Meaning of the British Riots ):
"Sixteen years ago, two economists published a research paper with a delightfully simple title: “Looting .”
The paper’s message is that the promise of government bailouts isn’t merely one aspect of the problem. It is the core problem.
Mr. Akerlof and Mr. Romer finished writing their paper in the early 1990s, when the economy was still suffering a hangover from the excesses of the 1980s. But Mr. Akerlof told Mr. Romer — a skeptical Mr. Romer, as he acknowledged with a laugh on Tuesday — that the next candidate for looting already seemed to be taking shape.

It was an obscure little market called credit derivatives."

From Memory: I Don’t Think It Means What You Think It Means. An Interview with Dan Simons:
"Do you believe that memory works sort of like a video camera, faithfully recording your experiences so that you can go back later and revisit those memories, captured in pristine condition? Do you believe that if something unexpected walked into your field of vision you’d notice? Can forgotten memories be recalled through hypnosis?

If you’re like 50-80% of the US population, you might answer yes to each of those questions, but you’d be wrong."

From Lessons in history: Pakistan’s bright future :
"To value the progress of Pakistani Muslims, we should look at the demographics of pre-1947."

Churimuri Has the IT boom quelled Bangalore’s tensions?. What about Hyderabad?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

A succinct take on some of the current problems

It’s the Political Economy, Stupid! :
"Idea-smiths provide language, narratives and tools for those in control, but the broad contours of policy depend on who the controllers happen to be."

More discussion at Economist's View

Thursday, August 11, 2011


From Are grandchildren better than children?:
"The findings suggest that even though children may not contribute significantly to parents' satisfaction with life overall, there may well be long-term benefits to having children, provided that our children go on and have children of their own."

Source Life Satisfaction and Grandparenthood: Evidence from a Nationwide Survey/a>

Aditya Chakrabortty on UK riots

From UK riots: political classes see what they want to see:
"Many economists have spent the past few days passing around a paper on the Hindu-Muslim riots in India in the 80s and 90s. Written by Anjali Thomas Bohlken and Ernest John Sergeant in 2010, it finds that "just a 1% increase in the [economic] growth rate decreases the expected number of riots by over 5%". Recessions are good for riots: perhaps no surprise, there. What matters, they argue, is when people suffer abrupt drops in living standards – and that goes for Hackney as well as Athens.

That point is rammed home by a new paper from the economists Jacopo Ponticelli and Hans-Joachim Voth. Titled "Austerity and Anarchy", it should be essential reading for all those who want an academic take on what spending cuts made in Whitehall might mean on their local high streets. Ponticelli and Voth look at social unrest across Europe from 1919 to the present – and find a clear link between "fiscal retrenchment and instability" that goes beyond the misery caused by recession."
Ponticelli and Voth paper here.
Vaughan Bell on Riot Technology and Tom Stafford's When explaining becomes a sin.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hotter than bhut jolokia

One grown in Australia seems to be the hottest now Caliente! Hottest Pepper Tips Heat Scale. From the picture it seems to e the one I tried off and on. It is pretty bad but easy to grow and the chillies are availale through out the year. So now, there seem to be at least two types of chillies hotter than bhut jolokia New “Infinity Chili” Sounds Hotter Than Homer Simpson’s “Insanity Pepper”

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Telugu words for escalator

From Escalator - ఎస్కలేటర్ (posted by Lanka Giridhar)
క. మరయును జంత్రఁపు మెట్టులు
చరసోపానఁములు కదులు చక్కెక్కుడులున్
దొర లేటవంపు టెత్తెన
లెఱుఁగజను పరిపరివిధము లెస్కలెటరమున్

మరమెట్లు, జంత్రపు మెట్లు (యంత్రపు మెట్లు), చరసోపానములు, కదులు చక్కెక్కుడులు
(లేక కదులెక్కుడులు), దొరలు యేటవాలు ఎత్తెన - ఇలా ఎన్నో విధాలుగా ఎస్కలేటరును

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Stephen Krasner on decoupling

From Conversation with Stephen D. Krasner:

"I got the title from one of my colleagues, John Meyer, who is a sociologist at Stanford. This is actually a common concept in sociology: decoupling. The idea is that norms can be decoupled from behavior. The standard story would be something like the following. Your business: if you go to the bank to get a loan, you have to have a business plan. If you don't have a business plan, people will not take you seriously. But everybody knows you're not going to follow the business plan. So you have a set of rules, you have to behave in a certain way, but everybody knows that at some level it's not what's going to drive your behavior. You have to have a vice president for technology, but if it's some eighteen-year-old computer science major at Berkeley, no one will take you seriously. So the eighteen-year-old may actually be running your technology but you better have some thirty- or thirty-five-year-old out there with a formal title.

There are lots of situations. International relations, and life in general, is complex. We have these rules. The rules may work some of the time; often, they don't. So organized hypocrisy is in some sense inherent. I wasn't kidding when I said it's part of life, not just international relations."

He was talking about his book "Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy" reviewd here.

Here Prof. John Meyer discusses how he and Brian Rowan came up with the idea of decoupling and John W. Meyer and Brian Rowan paper
The Structure of Educational Organizations ( Also and, and a more recent discussion by another Meyer and Rowan

Friday, August 05, 2011

Spaced repetition

Spaced repetition via the post What is the difference? by Steve Hsu provides links to several studies. A short article at Wikipedia on Spaced repetition

Some food supplements seem useful

Check Snake Oil?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A song from Jogan

by Geeta Roy (Dutt) and others:
Jogan - Uthat Chale Avadhoot (part i)
Jogan - Uthat Chale Avadhoot (part ii)

P.S. Apart from one bhajan by Lata in Nau Bahaar, I seem to like Geeta Roy's bhajans more. Some information about Geeta Roy and her fabourite songs around 1956 is here:

Where do photons come from?

discussed in Ask Science Questions And Get Answers:
Where do photons come from, or how are they "created"?

Monday, August 01, 2011

More on the treatment of mental illnesses

MindHacks links to an article on Patients and power struggles:
"Medical History has a brief but good article on the political wranglings and scientific battles between psychiatry, psychoanalysis and clinical psychology in 20th Century America."
The article Contested Jurisdictions: Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Clinical Psychology in the United States, 1940–2010 by Andrew Scull also says:
"Publication of the 1980 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association proved to be a watershed moment in the evolution of twentieth-century psychiatry. That document, and its subsequent, even more elephantine revisions, marked the advent of the so-called neo-Kraepelinian revolution in psychiatry. Embraced by the insurance industry and linked ever-more tightly to the needs and requirements of the multinational pharmaceutical industry, for whom psychotropic drugs were becoming the single most important and profitable set of products they marketed, it marked the decisive recapture of the profession by a biologically reductionist view of mental disorders."
and earlier
"Psychoanalysis had managed initially to contain the potential threat posed by the drugs revolution, but by the mid-1970s, that resolution was threatening to break down. Antipsychotic drugs had proved to be an enormously lucrative market, and questions were beginning to be raised in many quarters about precisely what therapeutic advantages accrued from adding seemingly interminable and expensive psychoanalytic treatments to the mix. A decade earlier, virtually every academic department of psychiatry was led by a psychoanalyst or a psychoanalytic fellow-traveller, but increasingly, the sums on offer to conduct laboratory research on potentially therapeutic compounds were exercising a powerful appeal, one bolstered by the critical importance of funded research in establishing pecking orders in large research universities."
Two related posts Fascinating book :"Crazy Like Us" and
Scary story

Some BT cotton updates

Bt cotton cuts pesticide poisoning - July 29, 2011 from Nature News
GM crop use makes minor pests major problem from Nature news 13 May 2010
More updates in GM Watch
Benefits of Bt cotton elude farmers in China