Link-Bunch for Week 5

Every week I read a lot. I get this from various sources – from other blogs, to twitter, to facebook. This is an attempt to collect the week’s posts and news stories I read and liked in one place. Will be done weekly or as often as possible.

1. Brain Pickings Blog: A 1928 letter to Jackson Pollock from his dad. Letter writing is a lost art. I sometimes wonder what great insights we’ll miss out on tomorrow’s leaders, writers and others because these are all electronic now and I wonder how accessible they will be.

2. George Monbiot is a journalist who writes for the Guardian newspaper. In this piece, he explores how the fast breeder reactor might be the best bet we have with current technologies. His thinking is pretty realistic and grounded. I wonder if the Indo-US nuclear deal will push India away from such technologies and go back to less mature technologies to serve corporate interests.

3. Vidyut writing almost hours after the Supreme Court verdict cancelling 122 licenses in the 2G Scam whose verdict was delivered presenting an alternative perspective. My only concern, which I believe is still not addressed, is how this verdict will be implemented.

4. Sonali Ranade writing about how capitalism needs to reinvent itself. An important step back and take a look post.

5. danah boyd writing about how parents normalized teen password sharing of websites like twitter and facebook. An important read, especially for the parents.

6. Abhijit Bannerjee argues well for the need of better and honest data collection in India in this article from the Hindustan Times.

7. Krishnadas Rajagopal reports in The Indian Express on the Supreme Court questioning the Army invoking the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to protect its officers from charges such as rape and murder. An important perspective on the continuing public debate on AFSPA.

8. Since I’m in the ship building industry, I just read this item in passing. Ship freight rates have now become zero. You can now hire a ship, apparently, by just paying for the fuel charges!

9. Nuiman writes in on the problems faced by the Malayalam publication Free Press. This is a dated article from 2005 but worth a read.

10. Jonathan Shainin writes in reviewing Katherine Boo’s book, “Behind the Beautiful Forevers”. I yearn to read book reviews like this and aspire to write like this. Working on it :) .

11. Emily Lakdawalla writes on The Planetary Society blog providing an awesome example on the keen sense of observation and what we can learn from it. It also is a push for naked eye astronomy that I have been slacking on. Worth a read, especially if you’re a parent.

12. Strategic analyst B Raman writes on the impact of the Supreme Court verdict in the 2G scam on the up and coming UP elections.

13. Stephen Clark reports for Spaceflight Now on the SpaceX successfully testing its launch abort system, an important step towards man rating the SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, which the US hopes to send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

14. A controversial film made by film maker Sanjay Kak called Jashn-e-Azadi was to be screened at a festival on Kashmir at the Symbiosis International University, Pune. The programme was cancelled because of pressure from the right-wing group, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Pune Police. A student, Akshath Jitendranath, writes about dissent and its value in society and specially in the campus.

15. Farah Rahman writes in The Mint about how Indian children are not encouraged to tinker.

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