Saturday, March 30, 2019

Different versions of reality

Different Versions Of Reality Can Exist In The Quantum World, Study Confirms “The particle assumes fixed polarization once the person in the lab measures it, but for someone outside of the laboratory who is not aware of the results of the measurements, the unmeasured photon remains in a state of superposition.” The idea is due to Eugene Wigner,called Wigner’s froend, inside and outside here are replaced by entangled particles.

Zara Bachke 1959, Same song at three places

Morality as cooperation (MAC)

What’s Wrong with Moral Foundations Theory, and How to get Moral Psychology Right “According to MAC, morality consists of a collection of biological and cultural solutions to the problems of cooperation recurrent in human social life. ”
Link to a longer article Mapping morality with a compass: Testing the theory of ‘morality-as-cooperation’ with a new questionnaire 

Friday, March 29, 2019

The poor have been always with us

Pomei’s fast food bar unearthed in city after 2000 years “The 150 or so thermopolia, or snack bars, dotted across the city were mostly used by the poorer residents, who rarely had cooking facilities in their home, to grab a snack or drink. Typical menus included coarse bread with salty fish, baked cheese, lentils and spicy wine.”

Important medical news?

Scientists find genetic mutation that makes woman feel no pain “Jo Cameron, 71, has a mutation in a previously unknown gene which scientists believe must play a major role in pain signalling, mood and memory. The discovery has boosted hopes of new treatments for chronic pain which affects millions of people globally.”

Robert Sapolsky on nationalism

This is your brain on nationalism “Modern society may well be stuck with nationalism and many other varieties of human divisiveness, and it would perhaps be more productive to harness these dynamics rather than fight or condemn them. Instead of promoting jingoism and xenophobia, leaders should appeal to people’s innate in-group tendencies in ways that incentivize cooperation, accountability, and care for one’s fellow humans. Imagine a nationalist pride rooted not in a country’s military power or ethnic homogeneity but in the ability to take care of its elderly, raise children who score high on tests of empathy, or ensure a high degree of social mobility. Such a progressive nationalism would surely be preferable to one built on myths of victimhood and dreams of revenge. But with the temptation of mistaking the familiar for the superior still etched into the mind, it is not beyond the human species to go to war over which country’s people carry out the most noble acts of random kindness. The worst of nationalism, then, is unlikely to be overcome anytime soon.“

Review of a book by Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Long read on American power under Trump

Is this the end of the American Century? By Adam Tooze.
As of today, two years into the Trump presidency, it is a gross exaggeration to talk of an end to the American world order. The two pillars of its global power – military and financial – are still firmly in place. What has ended is any claim on the part of American democracy to provide a political model. This is certainly a historic break. Trump closes the chapter begun by Woodrow Wilson in the First World War, with his claim that American democracy articulated the deepest feelings of liberal humanity. A hundred years later, Trump has for ever personified the sleaziness, cynicism and sheer stupidity that dominates much of American political life. What we are facing is a radical disjunction between the continuity of basic structures of power and their political legitimation.”

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Sanctions regime

Sanctions still effective but confusing “As Newman and I discuss in our research, the United States has expanded its use of sanctions in the recent past. It has been able to apply new kinds of power, leveraging the central role that the dollar and financial messaging systems such as SWIFT play in the global financial architecture. The United States has been able to rely on a sophisticated administrative apparatus, centered in the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), to administer sanctions policy. However, this power has its limits. It works best when other countries — especially U.S. allies — respect it and go along with it. ”
Somewhat related America’s Corruption Is a National Security Threat 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Two articles on Alan Krueger

A hero of the revolution By David Warsh
James Buchanan calling the kettle black By David Glaesner contains this from James Buchanan “...we have not yet become a bevy of camp-following whores.”

An extended discussion on Mueller report

As Mueller Finds No Collusion, Did Press Overhype Russiagate? Glenn Greenwald vs. David Cay Johnston There is also a discussion of an earlier interview with Noam Chomsky at the end.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Pranab Bardhan on the two largest democracies

Upcoming Challenges for Two of the Largest Democracies Towards the end, he says “But, unfortunately, the corrosive effects of majoritarian ethnic nationalism may outlast any possible changes in elections or leaders. This is because they are partly rooted in deeper social changes in these transitional societies. ” The second sentence does not see consistent with the first. Later, he expresses the hope “But ultimately the survival of some minimum quality of democracy in both countries may depend less on firmly-held secular or liberal values, which are often quite shallow in the general population in spite of a long history of syncretic folk traditions, and more on the extreme social heterogeneity and divisions at all levels in both countries. The latter can, paradoxically, act as a kind of limited insurance against a long reign of intolerance or the predominance of any particular sect or creed. Social diversity can, at least up to a point, serve as a bulwark against the politics of exclusivity.” Diversity is supposed to decrease social capital ( studies of Robert Putnam and others) but may be centuries of practice helps in survival. 

Padmini and Ragini non classical dance

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Savitri and Meenakumari in similar dances

A dance competition Hindi and Tamil versions are well known, and available in colour.The video below may not work in which case try the link above.

Density is destiny

Density is destiny; economists predict the far future :”If we look around the world today we see that the places with the densest populations, such as China and India, are poor. But in the long-run of history that doesn’t make sense. As Paul Romer, and others, have emphasized, ideas are the ultimate source of wealth and more people means more ideas. As a result, innovation and GDP per capita should be higher in places and times with more people. The fact that China and India are poor today is an out-of-equilibrium anomaly that happened because they were slower than the West to adopt the institutions of free markets and capitalism necessary to leverage ideas into output. China and India weren’t relatively poor in the past, however, and they won’t be relatively poor in the future.” I am not so sure. It may be more like crabs in a bucket.

Temporary scientists

About the current situation in India

AboutGauri Lankesh by Rolli Romig. The incubation from Gujarati explained by a judge, Himanshu Trivedi, who quit after the riots. “In a phone interview with from Auckland, New Zealand, Trivedi revealed details about his experiences during and after the communal riots that shook his faith in the justice system: he not only witnessed police complicity in the attack on Muslims, but also saw lawyers and judges display extremely prejudiced opinions.” From I was sick of the hateful climate in Gujarat: judge explains why he quit after the riots. My feel that this sort of feeling is common all over India .

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Niti and dharma

‘This country has seen the conflict between ecclesiastical law and secular law long before Europeans sought to challenge the authority of the Pope. Kautilya’s Arthash ̄astra lays down the foundation of secular law. In India unfortunately ecclesiastical law triumphed over secular law. In my opinion this was the one of the greatest disasters in the country’.
—B.R. Ambedkar
Beginning quote of the interesting paper “Notes on Political Thought in Medieval and Early Modern South India” byVelcheru  Narayanarao and Sanjay Subrahmanyam downloadable at
This essays deals with a neglected and significant strand of Indian political thought by describing and analysing the corpus known as n ̄ıti in the context of medieval and early modern South India (in particular with reference to the Telugu-speaking region). Works of n ̄ıti are presented here within a larger context, as they evolve from the medieval Andhra of the Kakatiyas into the Vijayanagara period, the Nayakas, and beyond. They are also opposed and contrasted to other texts written within the broad category of dharmash ̄astra, which seem to deal with a far more conservative project for the management of society and politics within a caste-based framework. Authors and compilers dealt with include Baddena and Madiki Singana, but also the celebrated emperor-poet Krishnadevaraya (r. 1509–29). An argument is made for the continued relevance of these texts for the conduct of politics in South Asia, into and beyond the colonial period.

Monday, March 11, 2019

D.D.Kosambi and Benjamin Franklin

starting from different directions predict similar futures for their respective countries. D.D.Kosambi seems to see the possibility of a ‘strong man’ in India starting from some ideas of Marx (via Swapan Bhattacharjee). From a completely different direction Benjamin Franklin saw the possibility of despots in America. “But just as the Indian bourgeoisie imports the latest foreign machinery for production, so, when all else fails, the latest capitalist developments in politics will also be imported. And this means fascism, in the long run the only possible alternative to socialism. Already the talk in circles that count is of the need for a "strong man." And models are at hand, from nearby Thailand to faraway Egypt and Guatemala.” from On the class structure of IndiaBenjaminFranklin’s words at the Constitutional Convention onSeptember 17, 1787 at the age of 81:“ … for having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought were right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow the more apt I am to doubt my own judgement, and to pay more respect to the judgement ofothers. Most men indeed as well as most sects in religion, think themselves in possession of all truth,and that wherever others differ from them it is so fare rror….”
He goes on to say:“… I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general government necessary for us, there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered; and I believe further that this is likely to be well administered for several years, and can only end in despotism as other forms before it,when people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.”

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Work of GV Ramanjaneyulu on sustainable agriculture

This Man Gave up an IRS Job to Sow The Seeds of Change in 7000 Villages, 30 Lakh Acres!:
And so, the Centre of Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) was formed to propagate sustainable agricultural practices, that would not only pull distressed farmers out of perpetual poverty but also create a model that could be scaled, through the support of state governments.
From 2005 to 2008, they partnered with the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty, (SERP), the then Government of Andhra Pradesh, which is a federation of women self-help groups. Training women farmers for 45 weeks over two seasons through Farmer Field Schools (FFS), they helped propagate Non-Pesticidal Management (NPM). This led to freeing over 30 lakh acres of land from chemical pesticides across 7,000 villages.” And an interview in Telugu.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Haiti and Venezuela

How the U.S. Is Strangling Haiti as It Attempts Regime Change in Venezuela :”Since 2007, Venezuela had provided $4 billion in oil through Petrocaribe.
The debt that Venezuela had, in the long-term thinking of Chávez, was because of something that happened in 1815. The first president of the Republic of Haiti, Alexandre Pétion, gave Simón Bolivar sanctuary and armed him to return and liberate Gran Colombia (the vast northern lands of South America). Bolivar had promised Pétion that he would emancipate the enslaved Africans in Gran Colombia. This is what he did. Without Pétion’s demand and Bolivar’s victory, Chávez—whose ancestors had been enslaved—said on a visit to Haiti in 2007, “I would not be here.”
Haiti’s Debt to the West
No such generosity has come from the West. In fact, from the first fires of Haiti’s revolution, Western powers—from France to the United States—have attempted to destroy the Haitian republic. In 1804, France forced Haiti to agree to pay it $21 billion for the “theft” of enslaved Africans and others. It took Haiti till 1947 to pay off this odious, disgusting debt. France has never apologized for it. Nor has Citibank, which made billions off the payments. Neither France nor Citibank has considered replaying the inhumane plunder.
Venezuela’s generosity was not matched by any Western country or financial institution. Instead, the West piled on debt upon debt onto Haiti. Even the “assistance” given during the 2010 earthquake made Western companies money.”
More on Haiti Haiti still pays the price for having fought slavery 

Monday, March 04, 2019

The forest whisperer

The woodsman who's revealing the secret lives of trees “He wrote the book “The Hidden Life of Trees” in 2015, spelling out the communication patterns of the forest, how tree families support new generations, and their strategies to fight predators such as moss, lichen and fungi.”

A selection of articles on MMT

MMT streetfighting of which I tried reading MMT for Dummies  by Edward Harrison : “ Every single controversy involving MMT revolves around this one concept - boosting demand with new spending or by cutting taxes, and thus ballooning the deficit -- and doing so without seeming to worry about the deficit consequences. Even 'Keynesians' say you have to worry about the consequences of deficits, less now than at other times; but you still have to worry.“

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Aruna Tella is 63 today

copied this from a Facebook post of  vs Kumar:
కష్టజీవి కి కేరాఫ్ అడ్రస్
వంట పనివరలకు నీడనిచ్చిన చెట్టు
హక్కుల ఉద్యమాలకు ఊపిరి
స్త్రీ హక్కుల సారధి
అభాగ్యులకు అమ్మ...   మా అరుణక్క

జన్మదిన శుభాకాంక్షలు..  కుమార్.

Friday, March 01, 2019

A world without clouds

A world without clouds can result in extreme global warming.

Two about Gina Rippon

Two on knitting

About Volcker years Other people’s blood :
Teeters, also the first woman on the Fed board, told journalist William Greider that “None of these guys has ever sewn anything in his life.””

The calming effects of sewing can help people express and heal themselves 

Hunnic wars (India)

From the abstract:
“The period 484 – 534 was a violent and perturbing one, in which the Gupta Empire crumbled and the political map of northern India was redrawn. At the same time, state-sponsored devotion to Viṣṇu gave way to royal worship of Śiva. The deadly confrontation ‘with rude and cruel kings of the present Kali age, who delight in viciousness’ gave rise to a resilient spirit that found expression in art, religion and Sanskrit literature.“