Sunday, September 1, 2013

Weekly Digest - Must read online articles

Having spent the last few hours reading various articles on diverse subjects I had bookmarked throughout the week, I am overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge present in the internet. Here is a pick of the most interesting articles I came across last week. There are few more I haven't found the strength to read yet, and I am holding them back for now. Hopefully they wouldn't be piling up to insurmountable levels by the time I sit down to compile next week's digest. Hopefully, I would sit down to compile the digest next week.

1) Women in India : My first link from last week's post had two contrasting articles on the experiences of women from foreign countries visiting India. Another article which surfaced this week sounds credible and reasonable, and it has only good things to say about men in India. Read it and feel a little happy. Here is another interesting response. This article reasons that it is the duty of women in India to just accept the state of affairs, and be extra-careful. Meanwhile, a television actress from Mumbai had her bag snatched. How did she react? By chasing the miscreants and attacking them with the help of another female friend. They were able to hold off the thieves until a few Policemen came to their rescue. Encouraged? Well, all this happened with a bunch of people watching the spectacle without making any effort to help.

2) Seriously, this was not planned. Having linked a wonderful article on Roger Federer last week, I accidentally came across a super profile on Novok Djokovic. I am not an very serious Tennis fan, and I know of Djokovic only as a Djoker and as a player who has started playing some great Tennis recently. But this super article sheds light on a lot of things that I personally didn't know. Things that increase my respect for Djokovic.

3) Here is something from Cinema, an article on one of my most favorite Hollywood directors (along with Hitchcock, Tarantino and the Coen Brothers), Woody Allen. Woody Allen is also in my opinion, a great modern philosopher. Approaching the age of 80, he is still making movies non-stop. When questioned on why he is so relentless, here is his reply:

"You know in a mental institution they sometimes give a person some clay or some basket weaving? It's the therapy of moviemaking that has been good in my life. If you don't work, it's unhealthy—for me, particularly unhealthy. I could sit here suffering from morbid introspection, ruing my mortality, being anxious. But it's very therapeutic to get up and think, Can I get this actor; does my third act work? All these solvable problems that are delightful puzzles, as opposed to the great puzzles of life that are unsolvable, or that have very bad solutions. So I get pleasure from doing this. It's my version of basket weaving."
4) Here is the pick of the week. The story of a very brave lady, Laura Poitras, who has been instrumental in getting Snowden's revelations public. Reading about the treatment this documentary filmmaker has been subjected to tells us a little more about America's Orwellian attitude. While on the topic of piracy, here is a very very interesting take by Scott Adams (creator of the very famous Dilbert strips). He says privacy is not as good a thing as people claim it to be. Have a look at his take on Gun Control too.

5) Here is a filler. Mark Zukerberg talks about how he is going to make the World a better place by, hold your breath, making the entire planet go online. What do you think about his stated intentions?

6) The headline grabbing personality this week has been Asaram Bapu, the now-infamous-spiritual-Guru. This article does a sort-of-insider scoop on the allegations against the self-proclaimed-Godman.

7) Cricket now. Trust Michael Holding to speak his mind. In his characteristic straight-forward style, Holding laments on the partiality ICC shows towards bad English pitches.

8) Again, this is not by design. We had Forsyth last week, and we have Jeffrey Archer this week, claiming that his experience of being in a prison made him better, both as a writer and a person. Budding writers, you know what to do next, don't you?

9) For a change, there are some positive signs for India on the economic front. At least potentially. Don't believe me? Professor Jayanth Varma explains very quickly why he believe so. He makes some sense too.

10) Manmohan Singh is the best Prime Minister India has ever had. No, that is not a joke. Amitava Gupta says so, and defends his opinion here. An article that makes me reconsider my own opinions. It is always good to have contrasting claims.

11) Apparently Mary Shelley, famously known for her novel Frankenstein was born sometime last week (years back, of course). While most of us know Frankenstein as a discourse on the ill-effects of Man playing God, here is an argument that we have completely misread the theme. "The novel is not about bad science, but bad parenting."

12) And to wrap it up, why does the USA keep entering into needless wars? And why are these wars needless? An attack on America's foreign policy.

Happy reading!! Let me know if you find the links useful. 

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