Post of the week

What Makes a Rich Country Rich and a Poor Country Poor?

(Arranged according to the years of book publication)


① Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu  & James Robinson  ② Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond ③ IQ and the Wealth of Nations by Richard Lynn & Tatu Vanhanen ④ The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics by William Easterly ⑤ The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor by David Landes

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty 


Economist Daron Acemoglu and political scientist James Robinson bank on ideas from development economics and economic history to explain the phenomenon of different nations amassing power and prosperity while others falling short, some of them terribly. The authors’ contention is that the contemporary accounts on factors such as religion, cul…

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Design Elements 101

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep.
— Scott Adams
A beauty of design lies in the fact that it can be defined in a language we are familiar with. Science might find it hard to digest this universal fact because of the lack of its objectivity.

However, in a universe where imaginary gods and multiple heavens exist, a design based on creativity and a well-defined thought process is more rational and concrete than the assumed truth of our existence. It is because like any human endeavour, design is based on established rules and theories even, if the conception might vary from one person to another.

To take an example, for Dieter Ram, design was all about making things ‘intelligible and memorable’ and for Saul Bass, his sole intention was to ‘make beautiful things, even if nobody cares, as opposed to ugly things’.

Dieter Ram’s 10 Principles of Good DesignThe Essential Saul Bass
Tonight we have 10 basic design elements with supplements. And …

The Bitter Bile of ‘Juvenile’: The Khurai Gang Rape Case

Imagine this. Seven thugs committed a gang rape but they are too young to stand for trial. Apparently, a penis matures faster than its ‘owner’, but that is no issue at all as any legal intervention should be based on a refutable factor like the physical age of that owner.

However, what should we expect from a system of Indian Penal Codes and the Code of Criminal Procedure, which are mainly based on the rules made by colonial rulers more than a century ago?

Overall, such a legal procedure based on the age of a criminal can be highly disproportional to the nature of a crime. This is evident from the gang rape case of Cheiraoba, 14 April the last. Seven punks from Khurai in Imphal East raped two schoolgirls in one of the heinous crimes that had happened in the town.

According to a reliable source, the incident of gang rape took place on April 14 night when two underage girls, along with a friend who were going to attend a thabal chongba on a two-wheeler moped somewhere in Imphal Ea…

Meiteiron Calendar: The Origami Style 2017–18

The Meitei New Year starts with Sājibu Cheiräobā that fell on 29 March this year. But it will take a Meetei’s concept of time duration to understand that the same day is also the second day of Sājibu, the first month. We follow a lunar calendar—based on synodic months—in which a new month comes when the Moon ‘dies’ (the emergence of New Moon) on every 30th. Generally, on one hand,we have the Gregorian calendar and thus we enjoy the privilege of celebrating two New Years’ Day: as usual on 1 January and the traditional version that falls in March–April. On the other, we use this traditional calendar only for rituals and other religious/customary events. 

It might look like a simple lunar calendar with a dark sphere (representing ‘Thäsi’ or New Moon) at the end of each month but there are some elements that describe our collective mess. It is always written clearly when the first day of Sājibu (Nongmā Pänba) falls, yet a majority of people also celebrate the 18th day as the New Year’s …

How Now, Brown Cow?

With the rise of the right-wing government (BJP) in New Delhi, cows have apparently become more important than the people. Simultaneously, a few words and expressions have entered into the everyday conversation: cow vigilante groups, cow protection force, cow-worshippers and cow-dung-eaters. Recently, a leader of a right-wing organisation (RSS) had also ridiculously claimed that ‘hopeful people will give up eating beef in North East’. Hopefully, we wish these organisations will give up their stupidities as well.

Never mind; tonight, a few tweets have inspired me to create this collection of finishing memorable lines from popular English novels, in which I have replaced random words with ‘cow’ in the text, which give us a whole new level of understanding cow-ing politics.

[PS: Pity those people who have never tasted a beef delicacy. For a lifetime, there is going to be an empty and uncharted space inside them and around their existence.]

More on this blog:
12 Popular Opening Lines …

The Problem of Periphery

A short recollection on the difficulty of locating Manipur in conflict resolution, as it survives in a suffocating and peripheral corner as one of the provinces of the Indian state

We might find countless literature on conflict zones but in most of the cases, the reference is made from the perspective of a state and hardly from that of the constituents. Let’s see the issues and implications.

Any discourse on conflict resolution in Manipur tends to produce two sides:

if you are against the government and the army, then you are anti-India or you are too Manipur-centric. Some people would even ask which party we are affiliated  to or sympathise with. if you stand for the nation, then your political belief or indifference is highly questionable. In most cases, the second side belongs to ideology-challenged liberals, conformists and apolitical communities vis-à-vis contemporary Manipur.

Each situation comes with its share of justification but with objectionable reasons. For instance, if w…

1/2 1891

Two groups of people were punished by the British Raj while taking over the kingdom of Manipur, the last province in British India to be administered under the imperial rule. Five of them were hanged to death while another 22 were exiled (‘transported for life’). The first collection contains a brief detail of those hanged to death, and the second, those were exiled.

This is the first collection.

1/2 1891 The People of the Anglo-Manipur War
2/2 1891 The People of the Anglo-Manipur War

2/2 1891

Two groups of people were punished by the British Raj while taking over the kingdom of Manipur, the last province in British India to be administered under the imperial rule. Five of them were hanged to death while another 22 were exiled (‘transported for life’). The first collection contains a brief detail of those hanged to death, and the second, those were exiled.

This is the second collection.

1/2 1891 The People of the Anglo-Manipur War2/2 1891 The People of the Anglo-Manipur War

S- and L-Size in Anglo-Manipuri Monotone

The small buttons can die
The small trousers can die
The small needles can die
The small T-shirts can die

The large heavenly orbit will not die
The large banks will not die
The large commando–army will not die
The large mansions will not die

The small villain can die
The large villain will not die
And the small killer can die
The big killer will not die
The small people can die
The big people will not die.
But in the end only the dust will remain
Unnamed. Unknown—
Of all that cannot be measured.

The Flood of Identities

I can tell I’m a Hindu
You can say I like beef the most
I can tell I’m a citizen of this country
You can say I’m just kidding
I can tell I’m a specialist
You can tell me I should go fuck myself
Well, if you want to.

No god came along with my birth
No nation came along with my birth
Yet all I have is a man:
He belongs here—but he has no home
He lives there—but nobody know who he is
He works as this
He eats as that.

Out of so many, so many identities
How long are you going to crush me,
Just for a long forgotten single identity?
Those built on myths and manipulations
I declare I don’t belong neither here nor there
I don’t belong anywhere
But on a bloody road to liberation.

Talking Is Directly Proportional to Not Talking

One of the worst nightmares in my growing-up days was when people, particularly in groups or gatherings, tell me I didn’t talk much, like it was a mandatory social protocol to ‘always’ speak about people or stuffs that are interesting or stupid or anything but remain silent. Well, whether it was mandatory I cannot tell but on my own selfish behalf, I have found it is not. Not talking is as good as talking and from the wisdom of wise people, I reiterate that this day, the 4th of April 2017, silence is still golden.

The first complaints were from relatives like one of my aunts who would say: ‘R—— (my sis) talks to us now and then but this boy never does.’

I was around 10 and I didn’t love my aunt less for creating noise and referring to me in the third person. That was one of the starting points of my social anxiety. Yet, it was no disorder; let me be a bit defensive, because in those days, I did love playing all sorts of games and sports with my two dozen cousins and always play and …


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