Tag: history

  • Cooperative distrust

    Is there a doctrine or manifesto of cooperative distrust? Because I think that’s what we need today, in the face of reams of government data — almost all of it, in fact — that is untrustworthy, and the only way it can support our democracy is if the public response to it (if and when […]

  • The Government Project

    Considering how much the Government of India has missed anticipating – the rise of a second wave of COVID-19 infections, the crippling medical oxygen shortage, the circulation of new variants of concern – I have been wondering about why we assemble giant institutions like governments: among other things, they are to weather uncertainty as best […]

  • Looking for gemstones in the gutter

    Just the other day, I’d mentioned to a friend that Steven Pinker was one of those rare people whose ideas couldn’t be appreciated by proxy, such as through the opinions of other authority figures, but had to be processed individually. This is because Pinker has found as much support as he has detraction – from […]

  • The raison d’être of a science journalist, courtesy Hobsbawm

    The raison d’être of a science journalist, courtesy Hobsbawm

    ‘Age of Extremes’ offers a carefully considered picture of modern science and its philosophical roots

  • Some notes on empiricism, etc.

    Some notes on empiricism, etc.

    The Wire published a story about the ‘atoms of Acharya Kanad‘ (background here; tl;dr: Folks at a university in Gujarat claimed an ancient Indian sage had put forth the theory of atoms centuries before John Dalton showed up). The story in question was by a professor of philosophy at IISER, Mohali, and he makes a solid […]

  • No country for new journalism

    Through an oped in Nieman Lab, Ken Doctor makes a timely case for explanatory – or explainer – journalism being far from a passing fad. Across the many factors that he argues contribute to its rise and persistence in western markets, there is evidence that he believes explainer journalism’s historical basis is more relevant than its technological one, most simply by virtue of having been necessitated by traditional journalism no longer connecting the dots well enough.

  • Clio’s passion

    Dear Q, This mail is not intended to be an apology as much as my own acknowledgment of my existence. Of late, I have become cognizant of what a significant role writing, and having my writing read, plays in the construction of my self-awareness – whether profound or mundane. Even as I live moments, I […]

  • A Periodic Table of history lessons

    This is pretty cool. Twitter user @jamiebgall tweeted this picture he’d made of the Periodic Table, showing each element alongside the nationality of its discoverer. It’s so simple, yet it says a lot about different countries’ scientific programs and, if you googled a bit, their focuses during different years in history. For example, A chunk […]

  • The common tragedy

    I have never been able to fathom poetry. Not because it’s unensnarable—which it annoyingly is—but because it never seems to touch upon that all-encompassing nerve of human endeavour supposedly running through our blood, transcending cultures and time and space. Is there a common trouble that we all share? Is there a common tragedy that is […]

  • A clock without a craftsman

    Curiosity can be devastating on the pocket. Curiosity without complete awareness has the likelihood of turning fatal. At first, for example, there was nothing. Then, there was a book called The Feynman Lectures on Physics (Vol. 3) (Rs. 214) in class XII. Then, there was great interest centered on the man named Richard Feynman, and so, […]