Sunday, March 18, 2018


The origins of privatisation, agriculture etc are not clear to me. It seems that there were several different styles of life coexisting at the same time for hundreds of years and in the case of agriculture for nearly five thousand years acoording to James Scott in ‘Against the grain’. About privatisation Michael Hudson formed a particular view in the late nineties after a research seminar. Below is a review of the seminar proceedings. The question is, or al least it seems to me, why a particular view prevailed after a long gestation. Is it game theoretic or is it imitation of more successful societies at some period. Can we draw some lesions from the more recent and better recorded past? Like Americanisation?
Review of the seminar
Privatization of Land: How it all began (1995) ( lot of misprints)
A recent discussion in Jacobin by Matt Bruenig.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The immortal dinner

Two posts by Colin Silver about a dinner 1817 in which Keats and Wordsworth participate. There are also two recent books about the dinner reviewed here and here.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Graeber and Wengrow on history

How to change the course of human history (at least, the part that's already happened) DAVID GRAEBER DAVID WENGROW
Check also the comments. The alternative they offer seems weak; essentially saying that the clues are in the family. “The pieces are all there to create an entirely different world history. For the most part, we’re just too blinded by our prejudices to see the implications. For instance, almost everyone nowadays insists that participatory democracy, or social equality, can work in a small community or activist group, but cannot possibly ‘scale up’ to anything like a city, a region, or a nation-state. But the evidence before our eyes, if we choose to look at it, suggests the opposite. Egalitarian cities, even regional confederacies, are historically quite commonplace. Egalitarian families and households are not. Once the historical verdict is in, we will see that the most painful loss of human freedoms began at the small scale – the level of gender relations, age groups, and domestic servitude – the kind of relationships that contain at once the greatest intimacy and the deepest forms of structural violence. If we really want to understand how it first became acceptable for some to turn wealth into power, and for others to end up being told their needs and lives don’t count, it is here that we should look. Here too, we predict, is where the most difficult work of creating a free society will have to take place.”

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Gender imbalance

I Spent Two Years Trying to Fix the Gender Imbalance in My Stories says Ed Yong.
Women, peace and security index India between Bangla Deshmukh and Pakistan at 131 out of 152. Check the list here.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Some articles on intelligence

What is Intelligence, Anyway? by Isaac Asimov
Artificial Intelligence: How we help machines learn
Possibly related Indians study hard and get MBA, may be buy Mercedes but lack creativity: Apple co-founder Steve Woz One can ask similar questions about why Dalits are not in the upper echelons of various hierarchies in India. Possibly we develop stable strategies for survival in given environments, possibly these are hardwired and the above may be a reflection of that.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

ఒకేఒక్కసారి ఎగాదిగా చూసి And some other Telugu songs

on self sufficiency and cash economy

Bit by bit, they began to come, to escape problems at home for a while, to make friends or just earn some money. Tabbasum Momin, programme manager, SSP, says women were asked to cultivate everything that could be consumed at home, on just one acre of the family farm. In the remaining land, the men could continue growing cash crops.
Women began to cultivate over 20 types of produce, including vegetables, cereals, pulses and fruits. They did not have to invest in buying seeds, fertilisers or pesticides as they were taught how to make them the traditional way using crops like neem. Says Ms. Momin, “The women began to cultivate more than what they needed for the home. And naturally, they began to sell these.”” From
(  is Madhukar Shukla) It seems some changes are possible when subsistence is involved. It is not clear how such things work for enterprising classes with more resources.