8 days


I need to make this post as boring and as rambling as possible. Unlike the last post, in which I really wasn’t thinking- I was really frightened- in this one I am, so there will be no keywords at all.

So I have really been reading a lot. Ever since Brexit and the events that followed made me notice the world outside India, I have read and followed links on twitter to explain a world I could not understand anymore. Which ended up really frightening me, if you remember the last post, where the resemblance on Indian and American elections terrified me.

But now I have read the writings of one of the smartest man on the internet. I don’t think naming or linking to him serves any point, so I don’t think I would. His blog is really spectacular, and he is taking huge personal risks (what Taleb will call Skin in the Game) to- there is no other explanation for what he is doing- bring down the structure of government in America. This weeks twitter activity shows that he is succeeding, and succeeding so well that he had to insure himself against the possibility of murder. That innocuous and funny sounding tweet- if she has me killed I will take back my endorsement- is the most spectacular Dead Man’s Switch I have ever seen/heard of/imagined. Hiding there in plain sight. Which was the cognitive dissonance event which lead me to read practically everything he has written this year. Which brought me to the conclusion that he is doing something far more than analyzing the rise of Trump. He single-handedly undermined the dumb labelling of Trump, blowing his cover because that’s what it took to explain how Trump isn’t dumb. He has been outing politicians and behavorial psychologists- and there is a method to it. The second they come out in support of Clinton, they cross an invisible line and he ruthlessly outs them and explains their method. (The other tell that his blog is not for entertainment and education was that he never mentions the most obvious Master in the world- which told me that his naming people is not random. Steve Jobs is dead, and so is the Apple watch- which he hates- so he outs him. Rest everyone gets it when they support Clinton.

Which is oddly comforting. There are smart people out there who are trying to make the world better- and would destroy American politics if that is what it takes to do it.

The other oddly comforting thought is about India. India has been, in history, antifragile. The World Wars brought us independence, the Cold War left us cold. Even colonialism benefited us (the only people who did better under colonialism were probably the Igbos of Nigeria- and they were destroyed for good by the Nigerian civil war.) The internet has destroyed democracy in the Middle East, and the American and British democracies are imploding, but internet strengthened ours. This might change in the future (Obama’s winning had made US happy too) but remember, our democracy has 2 protest candidates.

Sorry I have a call. Bye


21 days

3 weeks since the last post.

The last post, if you remember, was about how I was alarmed by the world. The last 3 weeks I have spent reading and thinking over this, and now I am no longer that alarmed. I had a friend once, who used to say, I hope the exam is tough. Only in tough exams, the good have a real opportunity to outdo the average. And as the exams seems to be turning tougher, I am now glad for the opportunity to prove myself as good, or at east, better than average.

Maybe I too would flunk this. There is always that chance with tough exams. But thats what is fun about them.

So, lets review the preparations. I have gone back to Taleb’s advice on living in a unknown risk world, modified to my own risk appetite. The career is of course the safe part of the barbel strategy, of only doing high risk and very low risk. Current interest rates are about 7-8%, and inflation should be similar (though food inflation must be higher, and eating out of home is now practically unaffordable), so I have some money in recurring deposits which I will convert to fixed at the end of term. The high risk things are the stocks/mutual funds. I invested in the first stock whose name I liked, and have been following both that and my indexed mutual funds. I think conclusion is to stay with the funds. I suspect, but have no way of bein sure, that the large caps are more ridiculously valued than the small caps, but then, the small caps have really been beating the market this year, so I could be wrong.

Of course, like markets the world over, our stock markets do not make any sense. Indian economy is in a terrible shape, companies have terrible internal practices (Google might be overvalued too, but at least they do not actively encourage mediocrity), and education practices are a insult to the word. The education systems- schools, colleges and coachings- are currently so terrible that it makes no sense to invest in India’s future. Many smart people realize this and leave.

But increasingly, the question is, where to go? How long can the Gulf states keep out the chaos all around them? Does anyone understand whats happening with oil? Why are the prices so low? What is this Saudi Arabia is doing this to preserve market share? It is a non-renewable resource, there will always be market share! Unless electric cars destroy the petrol market- which is what we all hope for, but who knows? Anyways, so the Gulf is out. Europe is already facing a migrant crisis, and a financial crisis and can no longer pretend to be a promised land. US? God knows. Why are they trying to restart the Cold War? I read somewhere that Russia can now launch warheads from suborbital heights. Once people are willing to drop bombs from the space, we need to stop taking about Hiroshima and start talking about the asteroid that wiped off the dinosaurs!

You might say, India has a nuclear powered enemy too. India is unsafe too. I do not know. I doubt that sub-continent made bombs can really work, and I would take my chances against radiation (which is reasonably effectively blocked by concrete) than rocks hurled from space! Plus, I love India. I would rather die on the land that I love than face a pointless death on unfamiliar land.

Also, what is it with the US economy? If it was okay, this election would simply not be this much of a farce. Also, and I call myself a conspiracy nut for this too, so forgive me, but do you remember the May 2014 Indian elections? Featuring an priviledged idiot who no one took seriously, a economically left politically far right candidate (which is similar to what the Americans will call a neocon/neoliberal), and a leftwing darling with socialist policies who fought a personal battle against the neocon/neoliberal, and lost, but did not fight the main election. Do you remember the ever-rising stock market and the sad/terrible economic data? Do you remember the vague threats of impending war? Do you remember the omnipresent comparisons to Hitler?

WHY ARE AMERICAN ELECTIONS FOLLOWING THE SAME SCRIPT? There is nothing, nothing, nothing in common between US and Indian politics, except that they are- entirely different forms of- democracies.

It is this particular glitch in the matrix is bothering me. A lot. I do not know what to say to this.