Friday, July 16, 2010

Interesting readings

The top selling Indian newspapers according to Amazon's kindle subscriptions.

India's courts may be in a slow process of reshaping India into a liberal democracy. Here is a Supreme Court ruling which blocks the Maharasthra government from interfering with the rights of a citizen to read a certain book. Sadly, it was done on a technicality.

Manish Sabharwal in the Financial Express on an important new initiative of the Ministry of Labour.

Eric Bellman in the Wall Street Journal on the rise of Madras in automobile manufacturing. There is much strength there in electronics manufacturing also.

Dhiraj Nayyar in the Indian Express on the interfaces between mobile telephony and banking. [also see].

Kerala is Number 1 by Mahesh Vyas in the Business Standard.

On the difficulties of ULIPs and the recent ordinance, see Dhirendra Kumar in the Financial Express.

A story by Steve Lohr and John Markoff in the New York Times suggests that low end outsourcing to India could be under attack from new technology.

B. S. Raghavan in the Hindu Business Line on inflation targeting at RBI.

Hindustan Times and Mint have built an interesting new web page : The Indian innovation revolution.

We in India are very convinced that it is good to have a world where every single individual is numbered and trackeable. But there are many nice things about anonymity and the creation of anonymous personas. See this story of _Why, a person who did some amazing things anonymously, and then shut down this life when it looked like his anonymity was under threat. The idea of being able to create and live multiple anonymous invented personas has long been a meme in the hackish community - e.g. see True names by Vernor Vinge.

An interesting interview by Samir Sachdeva with Nandan Nilekani in Governance NOW magazine.

As I read Lose a general, win a war by Thomas E. Ricks in the New York Times, I was struck by this remarkable flexibility of labour contracts, which must work wonders for shaping incentives correctly.

Tarun Ramadorai on empirical analyses of the efforts at banning short selling of recent years.

David Friedman has released a free pdf of the 2nd edition of his important book The machinery of freedom. Hmm, that's a good strategy: authors should open source edition $n$ when they start on edition $n+1$. Also see: a surge in interest in Friedrich von Hayek's The road to serfdom.

Ruuel Marc Gerecht has some interesting ideas in the New York Times on the use of information technology to assist the resistance in Iran. I wonder if similar ideas can be deployed on the problems of China as well.

Tom Wright has an article in the Wall Street Journal about Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani, a Pakistani scientist working on explosions and suicide bombings. Also see Pervez Hoodbhoy on Pakistan's existential problems.

Calzolari, Levi, Navaretti, Pozzolo, writing on voxEU, show that multinational banks were a source of stability in the crisis. Also see Internal capital markets and lending by multinational bank subsidiaries by de Haas and van Lelyveld, in the Journal of Financial Intermediation.

Ila Patnaik on the Chinese exchange rate regime and its implications for India.

Inflation targeting turns 20 by Scott Roger, in Finance & Development, March 2010.

Edward Glaeser reviews a book by Joel Mokyr on what made the industrial revolution. It makes you think about the nascent capitalism that we see in India.

Anyone interested in the world of the Internet and computer technology must read:
The State of the Internet Operating System by Time O'Reilly: part 1 and part 2.
John Naughton in the Guardian.
Clive Thompson in the New York Times on IBM's computer that plays `Jeopardy'.
What's the greatest software ever written? by Charles Babcock, in Information Week
The Steve Lohr and John Markoff story about speech recognition, and system-building around it, mentioned above.


  1. Interestingly no one has put any news on Indian Rupee symbol, which has been approved by Govt. today. The Indian Rupee symbol is a big talk today.

  2. I always look forward to the "interesting readings" posts. There are always atleast a couple of really good quality thought provoking articles.


  3. yeah i guess HT is better then the waste of India newspaper.


Please note: Comments are moderated. Only civilised conversation is permitted on this blog. Criticising me is perfectly okay; uncivilised language is not. I delete any comment which is spam, has personal attacks against anyone, or uses foul language. I delete any comment which does not contribute to the intellectual discussion about the blog article in question.

Please note: LaTeX mathematics works. This means that if you want to say $10 you have to say \$10.