How Should Politics Work

Often, we find ourselves criticising one or the other government institution or organisation. In a country with such a population as ours, we have millions complaining every day. But after complaining and screaming and getting frustrated about the futility of talking about it all, we place the issue on the backburner for a couple of days, and unless we receive fresh stimulus, the issue fades away in the coming weeks.

The Problem With Government Jobs

Happy 2022! May this year keep us all in a much better shape than the last two; in better health—physical, emotional and financial—better relationships, better work–life balance, better everything. (Holding your breath for the Budget, anybody?) Of course, not all is rosy in the country at the moment. We are looking at elections in three states, with politicians going around being all nice, making promises, and trying hard to apply chalk to the blemishes on their images, and of course, defecting.

Are We an Independent State

Political fads come and go. More so when the elections are around. National level fads peak at the time of the Lok Sabha elections. Having said that, they are not confined to those times. Before we begin, let me state that this is not a political post, even though it starts with the word “political”. This post is about a political phenomenon. Also, this post does not state the obvious for most people, because history from a couple of centuries ago has taken a back seat in our heads (as is evident by some of the responses that I saw on social media).

Mid-brain Activation

Remember those days in school when you had people come over and show you how to remember lists of words, calculate complex arithmetic in seconds, etc.? We had such people visiting our school a couple of times as well. A lot of my schoolmates had enrolled themselves for these “workshops”, in hopes of achieving better scores. None of them worked; had anything so groundbreaking happened, our school would have organised these workshops every year, and we would have aced all state- and national-level competitive exams.

Religious Law as the New Way of Life

The past weeks have been eventful in the international space. The state of Afghanistan—our neighbour (we share a small bit of our international border with Afghanistan at the north end of Kashmir)—worries us Indians. The Taliban does sound like a formidable force, and we constantly wait for our government to put out statements that say, ‘We are doing fine.’ And then we hope that the government is being truthful. Taliban members in an area controlled by the group last year in Laghman, Afghanistan.

My Experience with COVID Vaccination

This first of July, I got my second shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. Over the past months, I have seen people opposing vaccination (which surprised me), some being suspicious of one of the vaccines (which included me), people expressing concerns, and people that I care about getting affected with Covid after choosing not to vaccinate, despite getting the chance to get vaccinated—more than once. This is a personal post. (I get to do that once in a while.

On Petrol Prices

As soon as someone complains about the fuel prices, we see some coming out in support of the hike, calling it an economy booster. I am no exception; I saw those forwards as well, for as long as I was on WhatsApp over the last year. In this post, we look at the good and the bad of such fuel price hikes, look at whether the government does indeed control the prices, what its implications are, and what we can do about it.

Sexual Abuse in Schools

Yesterday, I woke up to the news that students of a top school in Chennai—Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan (or PSBB)—had alleged that a teacher had sexually abused them. PSBB teacher accused of child sexual harassment, school accused of inaction (The News Minute) The piece of news shook me because my cousin studied in the school, and I could personally relate to it. The teacher also taught at the same branch that she studied in.

How to Pick Privacy-friendly Services

The topic of privacy came up today in a conversation about picking a cloud storage for documents like journals and other writing. Given the fact that services can recognise handwriting, where is a good place to store your notes? The larger question was, how do you pick privacy-friendly services? Encryption Core business Open source software Not truly open source Free products and services On-device and peer-to-peer alternatives Privacy-friendly alternatives Linux ProtonMail Signal Firefox Cryptee DuckDuckGo In closing Let us start simple: Google owns Google Drive, Microsoft owns Microsoft OneDrive.

Is EdTech a Scam

About half a year ago, an EdTech (Education Technology) start-up came into the limelight. The company had found its way into serious controversy, including claims that the company had misled parents and children, ripped them off of millions of rupees and were home to some questionable conversations. The subject came up tonight and I did not know how to conclude one way or another. I thought I could try to untangle it using a post.