Serial Bus

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Archive for April 2009

Primitive and Modern

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I am going to describe two very different places below. I want you to guess which one is primitive and which one modern.

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Written by serialbus

April 26, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Between ‘Pahad’ and ‘Terai’

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My father hails from the village of Joshidhura (near Jalna, Lamgarha) in the district of Almora and my mother grew up in the village of Kande (part of Satraali, near Takula), also in Almora. Currently, they live in Kathgodam in the district of Nainital – which, like Almora, is also in the state of Uttaranchal, India. I am told I was born in Joshidhura but memories of first 4 years spent there are all but hazy. My parents shifted base to Bhavar, the foothills (between ‘Pahad‘ – the hills and ‘Terai‘ – the plains), when my sister and I were young and that’s where we grew up – first in Kashipur and then at Kathgodam. With his few savings and a huge loan, my father built a house in installments in the colony of Tulsinagar, Kathogodam in 1984. I know this because during a renovation, I was the one who wrote ‘1984’ upon wet cement above the entrance, inspired more by George Orwell than the actual year of the construction, however I believe I kept the error of margin within plus/minus one.

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Written by serialbus

April 19, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Posted in Anecdote, India

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Welcome to the Stone Age!

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According to the famous Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem that I studied as an economics undergraduate, for all ranked preference orders, no voting system can simultaneously comply with the criteria of unrestricted domain, non-imposition, non-dictatorship, Pareto-efficiency and independence of irrelevant alternatives. In simplistic terms, no voting method can ever be fair. Another famous voting paradox, this time by Condorcet, reveals that a minority can be an agenda-setter by casting the deciding vote if two groups of majority are tied. These theories perhaps best explain how  a small regional party like Samajwadi Party (Socialist Party) can hold the development of India to ransom in the context of the forthcoming General Elections. SP’s recently-released manifesto promises, amongst other equally ridiculous things, to fight against computers and English medium education in India. Welcome to the Stone Age!

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Written by serialbus

April 12, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Have I Been Spoilt by the US?

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Last week, I completed 2 years of stay in the US. Before moving to the US, I had always lived an itinerant life – never staying in one place more than a couple of years (although always somewhere in India). Sometime in 2008, Nidhi and I decided that we will not apply for a Greencard and that we will eventually move to India. We resolved that we will never become too comfortable to move elsewhere. I lived with this faith until our return from a recent trip to Morocco. That you start thinking of a place as home is  proven when you look forward to being back there. Undoubtedly, the trip to Morocco was spectacular in general but we faced a few incidents that shuddered us and perhaps increased the sense of belonging to the US. My apologies as I might be digging the dirty belly of Morocco in this post but there is no point in pretending some things never happened.

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Written by serialbus

April 5, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Anecdote, Living, Travel, USA

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