Saturday, October 31, 2015

Madhu Priya marries

Singer Madhu Priya's secret marriage, parents try to kidnap
The first song which brought her attention, written bt herelf:
Marriage did not help in Jikki's case: K. Jamuna Rani narrates a heartbreakin story

Why the state matters

by Christian Parenti in Jacobin:
"The developmental state has come under fire from both left and right. Neoliberals see the state as a rent-seeking, corrupt, inefficient, market-distorting parasite. Some on the Left reject the very concept of “development” as normalizing and teleological, fixated on economic growth at the expense of the environment and human rights.
These are often valid points. Yet development — by which I mean economic transformation and technological change — and the developmental state have much to offer."
After descring the state role in the development of various countries, he concludes:
"But for the state to act, political elites must be targeted by movements, made to feel threatened enough to exercise the state’srelative autonomy to capital’s short-term prerogatives. Local initiatives, moral suasion, rational appeals — none of these will suffice.
We need movements that, at least for now, seek to use state power to force capital into new patterns of investment and technological development. Thankfully, the US climate movement is increasingly doing that, for example, by targeting the federal government’s fossil-fuel leasing on public lands, but much more is needed."
Not clear to me. Various treaties like TPP are being passed eo usurp democracy and state power even more.

FT Alaphaville chats with Angus Deaton

Videos here. The trascript should come out in week.
More about India in the second video:
[00:23] On hunger, nutrition and the poverty trap
[03:27] Why so much of his work focuses on India, and his findings on Indian price indices
[11:56] The usefulness of self-reported measures of well-being
[14:00] His problems with the way foreign aid works now
[21:15] Unconditional cash transfers
[24:43] Mixed assessment of Randomised Control Trials
[34:16] What has surprised him
[40:22] Deaton-ian optimism

Ancient earthworks in Kazhakistan

“The idea that foragers could amass the numbers of people necessary to undertake large-scale projects — like creating the Kazakhstan geoglyphs — has caused archaeologists to deeply rethink the nature and timing of sophisticated large-scale human organization as one that predates settled and civilized societies,” Dr. Clarkson wrote in an email. From NASA adds to evidence of ancient mysterious earthworks
Similar evidence from Gobekli Tepe too. With all these findings it seems that big scale oranizations, heierarchy etc came with agriculture seems doubtful.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Interesting Telugu books available online

C.R.Reddi on Vemana

Transcript of a speech. The speech itself is a bit unclear but it gets better after a while. At one stage C.R.Reddi (see the transcript says "Usually in most religions the idea prevails that individual's salvation could be acquired irrespective of one's conduct as a member of society." I am not sure whether this is true of all religions or which religion. Pavan K.Varma in "Being Indian" says that it is more true of Hinduism.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

From a discussion on facebook

From Anil Atluri's wall:
Me: I may be misunderstanding but Ramarao's concern is not really about aphorisms but about Indians. With the wide variety of people he meets in different countries, he probably noticed some problems in discussions like information, logic etc and probably thinks that popularising aphorisms may make these worse. I contend that the problems are more deep rooted. Ours is a culture of primacy of exegesis. Truths were there in some great writers and writings and what all we had to do is to interpret them and we often depend even for this interpretation on those who are supposed to have read them. Indians did some great stuff in astronomy and mathematics but there were never complete proofs. Though astronomy was probably always connected with observation of cosmic events for predictions from food gathering to agriculture, there were also connections with religion. In our case, the development of astronomy and mathematics seems to be primarily for astrology.. When astronomical observations did not tally with puranic accounts, Puranas were supposed to be primary.see, for example, Christopher Minkowski's 'The Pandit as a public intellectua'. My contention is that 'primacy of exegesis' is deep rooted in Indian culture and a few aphorisms are not going to make much difference.
Ramarao Kanneanti: Anandaswarup Gadde garu: I think you are right. I think aphorisms may be not my focus. It is not so much about the other countries, but other education systems that I was a part of, other text books that I have read perhaps influenced my views. From what I read from Meher, I think he too shares my concerns. His seeking out of scholars outside of the standard pantheon itself attests to that.

To large extent, my dissatisfaction with the western intellectual tradition is neglecting of mathematics, logic, model theory, statistics, and such in the literary and philosophical discourses. In the first part of 1900's, there was such an exhilarating confluence of these ideas -- perhaps I was unduly influenced by it.

And, in India, my dissatisfaction is all those and a few more. The culture of primacy of exegesis, as you put it may be manifesting those symptoms. The predominance of pathos, in preference to logos in public discourse, -- in particular excess of that -- strikes me as counter productive. Also, the openness to criticism or learning from criticism is something I find more open in the west. Is this preference for pathos make them seek spiritual solace or even words enriched with vivid imagery? I do not know.

Yet to large extent, I am afraid of querying along these lines. I feel that is is a measure of hubris to think the world should satisfy us. From my experience, it leads to heart break, misery, or at least active sense of being wronged by the world. I am sure I will grow out of it, but for now, I often try to make peace with it. And, "being in between many worlds helps me with that. May be that is my lack of commitment to one world that shows I am yet to grow up.

Now, back to my other world of high performance event driven architectures (for this week, at least)...
P.S. I acquired the phrase 'primacy of exgesis' from Aravindhan during a discussion in the site Hub. Some of his comments reproduced in a earlier post ."Panini's grammar, from a methodological perspective, embodies two trends. The first is the trend towards the primacy of exegesis in scholarly discourse. For some reason, texts by renowned scholars came to have a very special status, eventually becoming a source of knowledge equal to or superior than observation. The second trend is the increasing importance of inductive reasoning, where you used specific examples to derive generalised rules. Taken together, these are capable of producing devastating errors.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Original sin in an economic sense

"More than a decade ago, the economists Barry Eichengreen and Ricardo Hausmann named the emerging markets’ inability to borrow abroad in their local currency as “original sin”. from here  via Paul Krugman

Conversations on FaceBook

I posted on FaceBook, a link to C.Rajendran's article posted here earlier and commented
Anandaswarup Gadde What surprisised me was the fine tuning of descrimination through literature at that early stage, whenever it is.
Sreenivas Paruchuri After being an active reader and poster on various Internet forums for more than 6-8 years still you believe that creative writing has to be democratic, plebian, non-disxriminatory, ...!? I am tempted to ask you if you could name one politically correct work, that over a long period of time. Sorry if I am harsh, but I find this kind of argument very problematic.
Anandaswarup Gadde Not sure. The one I can think of is Gurajada Apparao during recent times. I think that there are a few early pieces of poetry I have seen in Women's writing in India. Generally I am surprised at the taxonomy of various things which comes in indian writing, 64 of this, 96 of that,... But I am not a very well read person; these are more queries and surprises from a non-lierary person. Most of my reading is very scattered mainly focussed on poverty and development.
Anandaswarup Gadde Actually this relates to some thing that I have been wondering about. From my readings which is basically after retirement, I felt that Indian society has been discriminatory for a much longer period than most societies. This seems to be entrenched inseveral accepts including in literature. Even to this day I find people growing nearby have very different tastes and inner lives depending on their caste and similar classifications. If this is true, I wonder what are the reasons. Is it endogamy? Some recent research indicates that Indians generally came from a few thousand founding families a few thousand years ago and somehow kept those identities through endogamy. Do you know other similar societies? Caste like societies seem to common in lot of areas but not as strong as in India. Just wondering about the mix that makes India different.
No further enlightement. I posted a link to the article System that replaces human intution with algorithms outperforms human teams
Purnaprajna Bangere A narrow set of rigged stuff, like for instance a game...cute news item, means little, unless of course for those hounded by Scientism! smile emoticon
Anandaswarup Gadde Can you explain a bit more? Some of the friends who visit his wall are interested in data science.
Again no further enlightenment.

Monday, October 26, 2015



Complexity Economics by Brian Arthur via Chris Dillow who gives an overview. This was posted before but an article today in a different area reminded of the above.
Is it foolish to model nature's complexirt with equations?:
"Sugihara and others are now starting to apply his methods not just in ecology but in finance, neuroscience and even genetics. These fields all involve complex, constantly changing phenomena that are difficult or impossible to predict using the equation-based models that have dominated science for the past 300 years. For such systems, DeAngelis said, empirical dynamic modeling “may very well be the future.”...............Based on the plankton data as well as work on measles and chicken-pox cases by other researchers, Sugihara and May published a paper in Nature in 1990 showing how Takens’ theorem could help make short-term predictions of some nonlinear systems. The essence of the method involves identifying points in a system’s attractor graph that are close to the point representing the system’s present state. For one or two time steps, one can then predict that the system will evolve similarly to how it did in the past."
An old interview with Floris Takens.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Intolerance on the rise in India?

A journalist's reaction:
"Veteran journalist Ravish Kumar is upset and very angry. He is agitated not only at the rising intolerance in India and the systematic targeting of journalists, but also at society in general and “lazy liberals” for failing to demand freedom of speech and a questioning media. In this in-depth interview, Ravish Kumar talks about how the lynching of a Muslim man at Dadri impacted him, why he went off Facebook and Twitter, and how he’s dealing with the pressures building on him."

Two on secularism in India

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Nava manmadhuda from Pelli Sandadi 1996

I attended the weddin of a relative two years ago and had to sty for a ceremony most of the day and the band kept repeating bthis song and I could not get rid of it since then.
Lyrics in Telugu here

Michael Hudson again on Marx

From the Paradox of Financial Industrialization (These remarks were made at the World Congress on Marxism, 2015, at the School of Marxism, Peking University, October 10, 2015. The presentation was part of a debate with Bertell Ollman (NYU)).:
"Marx expected industrial capitalism to act in its own self-interest by industrializing banking, as Germany was doing along the lines that the French reformer Saint-Simon had urged. However, industrial capitalism has failed to break free of pre-industrial usurious banking practice."
In the comments, he corrects himself on a point about China "I should indeed have said that China was ADDRESSING the “Volume I” problem. No economy will ever solve it, until there is full socialism."
Check also Chris Dillow post Technical Change as a collective action problem

Friday, October 16, 2015

Obama with Marilynne Robinson

The audio of the first part of the conversation as well as an interview by Bill Moyers (last October) in
Marilynne Robinson on America's Fear of the "Sinister Other"
Transcrpt of the interview (first part) with Obama
Interview in 2008 in Paris Review
The second and final part of the interview will come out in two weeks.

Possible alien life?

Weird star: (via 3quraksdaily)"The star is called KIC 8462852, and it’s one of more than a hundred thousand stars that was observed by NASA’s Kepler mission. Kepler stared at these stars, looking for dips in their brightness. These very slight dimmings can be due to many factors, but one is if the star has planets, and one (or more) of them orbits the star in such a way that it passes directly in front of the star as seen from Earth. If it does—what we call a transit—we see a tiny diminution of starlight, usually by less than a percent.
Thousands of exoplanets have been found this way. Usually the planet is on a short orbit, so the dip we see is periodic, repeating every few days, weeks, or months, depending on the size of the planet’s orbit.
KIC 8462852 is a star somewhat more massive, hotter, and brighter than the Sun. It’s about 1,500 light-years away, a decent distance, so it’s too faint to see with the naked eye. The Kepler data for the star are pretty bizarre: There are dips in the light, but they aren’t periodic. They can be very deep; one dropped the amount of starlight by 15 percent, and another by a whopping 22 percent!"


How the Tories are allowing big business to design their own tax loopholes by Aditys Chakrabortty
In Australia "The law, which tax transparency campaigners branded a "big step backwards", will exempt private companies with revenues of more than $100 million a year from a requirement to disclose how much tax they pay....

The government had originally argued that the exemption was needed to protect business owners from kidnapping and extortion if their wealth was made public but it dropped that defence after Fairfax Media revealed that security agencies, including the Australian Federal Police, had not even been consulted on whether any threat existed."

From Wikipedia, Senator Wyden about TPP "The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of U.S. corporations—like HalliburtonChevronPHRMAComcast, and the Motion Picture Association of America—are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement."

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The most influential economist in the world?

possibly Du Runsheng "He was one of the primary authors of the rural reform policies China adopted in the early 1980s, which reversed agricultural collectivization and returned control of farmland to individual farm households. It is no exaggeration to say that as a result, hundreds of millions of people were able to escape poverty. If you measure influence by the sheer number of lives affected, then it seems Du would have to rank pretty high."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Links 13th October

Search for Yield: From VoxEU "An increase in the supply of savings that reduces equilibrium real rates can be associated with an increase in the risk of the banking system. This link can explain the emergence of endogenous boom and bust cycles."

Key member of the Swedish Academy calls for the immediate suspension of the "Nobel Prize for Economics": "Rothstein’s article argues that today with increasing success, economics as commonly taught in universities and endorsed by most winners of the economics prize promotes corruption in societies around the world.  Therefore he concludes that the Nobel Foundation’s awarding the economics prize is “in direct conflict with what Alfred Nobel decreed in his will.”"

What financial advice do experts provide?From VoxEU: "When it comes to financial products, households have limited ability to make a choice and they must rely on the advice of experts, and the more complex the decision, the more this is the case. Often, the expert they rely on for advice is also the supplier of the financial product, so that a conflict of interest may arise and with it the question: Does the expert provide recommendations in the customer’s interest or in his own?"

"You see, money does not exist in the 24th century" by Izabella Kaminska at FTAlphaville (reistration may be needed)

Angus Deaton wins the Economics Nobel

Links to his work from Tyler Cower in Marinal Revolution. Angus Deaton appeared a few times in this blog and I read a few of his articles and paters but do not have the competence or feel to appraise it.But there arte objections to some of his work on consumption from people who studies and tried to check. Pradhamesh Turaa wrote on my wall "We actually tested their hypothesis using some data, and we realised for calorie consumption drop to reflect activity level drops would mean that majority of the country would have to shift from heavy work to sedentary work. It seemed like an absurd proposition."

Monday, October 12, 2015

Bezzle and febezzle

From The Bezzle Years by John Kay:
"More than a half-century ago, John Kenneth Galbraith presented a definitive depiction of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 in a slim, elegantly written volume. Embezzlement, Galbraith observed, has the property that “weeks, months, or years elapse between the commission of the crime and its discovery. This is the period, incidentally, when the embezzler has his gain and the man who has been embezzled feels no loss. There is a net increase in psychic wealth.” Galbraith described that increase in wealth as “the bezzle.”
In a delightful essay, Warren Buffett’s business partner, Charlie Munger, pointed out that the concept can be extended much more widely. This psychic wealth can be created without illegality: mistake or self-delusion is enough. Munger coined the term “febezzle,” or “functionally equivalent bezzle,” to describe the wealth that exists in the interval between the creation and the destruction of the illusion."
Charlie Munger's talk from 2000 at The Philanthropy Round Table
via The automatic Earth post on October 15. which has links and excerpts from other articles like this one by Will Hutton

Biswanath Ghosh visits Modi's constituency

Grime on the ghat : I particularly liked the story of the two clean ghats and the contrasting ways of cleaning them. Excerpts:
"It was Sulabh that cleaned up the ghat and is now maintaining it — the central government sanctioned close to Rs.30 crore for the project, formally titled “Development of Area around Assi Ghat, Varanasi” — .......
From Assi Ghat, I walk downstream to Prabhu Ghat, one of my two favourite ghats of Varanasi, the other being Darbhanga Ghat. I like them because they are clean, set against handsome, historical structures, and have an old-world feel about them — ideal spots in the city to gaze at the river.
At Prabhu Ghat, I find young men with guitars sitting on the steps. Loudspeakers are being set up and standees erected. A musical programme is about to begin: a radio channel is celebrating the first anniversary of a show in which budding singers from the city are invited to perform, and many of those singers are in attendance now.
A small audience has already gathered, among them a lady who stands out because every now and then, someone or the other, mostly young men, touch her feet.
“Who is she?” I ask the boatman, a boy of 17, who has become friendly with me in a matter of minutes.
“She is the one who cleaned up Prabhu Ghat,” he says.
“Was this ghat also dirty?”
“Unimaginably dirty. Go talk to her,” the boy says.
The lady, Temsutula Imsong, who is 32 now, was born in a village called Ungma in Nagaland. She studied in Shillong, went on to work in Delhi, and in 2012, came to Ghazipur, near Varanasi, to join an NGO started by her friend — an ex-Navy man — who is now her husband. That’s how she first set eyes on the ghats of Varanasi.
“This ghat was an open toilet when I first saw it,” she told me. “It was buried under silt — you couldn’t see the steps — and people were relieving themselves wherever they pleased. It irked me.”
One day in March this year, she and a woman friend — who has now left Varanasi — pooled in some money, bought brooms, buckets, masks and some basic equipment, and, enlisting the support of local boatmen and idlers on the ghat, began cleaning it.
“Were you inspired by the Swachh Bharat campaign?”
“No, nothing like that. Though when we were cleaning up the place, we could hear passersby saying, ‘See, see, Modiji’s campaign is going on!’”
Modi has acknowledged her work. He mentioned her name in two tweets, she said. A local paper called her ‘Kashi ki bahu’ — the daughter-in-law of Kashi, or Varanasi. “I take that as a compliment, even though that’s not correct, I am the daughter-in-law of Ghazipur,” she laughs. As I sit with her on the steps, more boys touch her feet as they walk past.
“How long did it take you to clean up the ghat?” I ask her.
“Five days. We started on March 18, and by March 22, the ghat was shining, just the way it is now,” she pats the steps.
“And how much did it cost you?”"
“Three thousand rupees.”

He never ran for Australia again

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Links October 11, 2015

Dung beetles worth more than polished diamonds
The lingering effects of Nazi propaganda
The politics of waste management by Barbara Harriss-White from The Hindu "India’s waste management economy is clearly and uniquely impregnated with caste. Research suggests that to break this down modern jobs that are caste-neutral are needed, along with opportunities for education and migration. "
Elephants:Large, Long-Living Less Prone to Cancer by Carl Zimmer
Why Elephants Don't Get Cancer - and What That Means to Humans by Alexander Nazaryan

Why do India and China have so many people?

Why do India and China have so many people? (The link does not seem to be working. It is Balaji Viswanathan's article in this or search the title, via Pramathnath Sastry)
Abstract: India and China together hold 20% of world’s arable land (land suitable for a major crop), producing 50% of the world’s rice and 30% of the world’s wheat. They are spread around the Tropic of Cancer (a great zone for human settlement), were unified multiple times in the past (leading to a large land area under one flag), got to the major cereals earlier (rice & wheat), got the benefit of other civilizations nearby (borrowing ideas of wheel & writing systems) and were spared from many of the major human calamities & migrations of history. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Friday, October 09, 2015

Two recent 'results' in mathematics

An old mathematics problem gets completely solved by Terence Tao with little help from friends At least the problem is easy to follow though not the solution.
A more esoteric development in number theory On abc conjecture But the Nature article does not mention "When an error in one of the articles was pointed out by Vesselin Dimitrov and Akshay Venkatesh in October 2012, Mochizuki posted a comment on his website acknowledging the mistake, stating that it would not affect the result, and promising a corrected version in the near future.[14] He revised all of his papers on "inter-universal Teichm├╝ller theory", the latest of which is dated September 2015." from the Wikipedia article.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Katha-2014 in Tenali

Hundreds of new species found in Eastern Himalayas

A report from Al Jazeera "A new report on wildlife in the Eastern Himalayas says researchers in the area have discovered more than 200 new species, including "walking" fish and a "sneezing monkey" in the last six years.
The findings, made in Nepal, Bhutan, the far north of Myanmar, southern Tibet and northeastern India, were published by the World Wildlife Fund."
WWF report:"The Eastern Himalayas includes four of the Global 200 ecoregions, critical landscapes of international biological importance, and is home to more than 10,000 plant species, 300 mammal species, 977 bird species, 176 reptiles, 105 amphibians and 269 freshwater fish. The region also has the highest density of the Bengal tiger and is the last bastion for the charismatic greater one-horned rhino. The rugged and largely inaccessible landscape of the Eastern Himalayas, however, hides the real extent of the region’s biodiversity, with extraordinary new species continuing to be discovered year-on-year. Between 2009 and 2014, at least 211 new species have been discovered in the Eastern Himalayas, 34 new species finds on average every year for the last six years (see Appendix). The discoveries include 133 plants, 39 invertebrates, 26 fish, 10 amphibians, one reptile, one bird and one mammal."