Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Socks For Laura

That's what Ram Dass is showing to the amused audience which is there to listen to his remarks in honour of the late Aldous Huxley, the author of the dystopian novel Brave New World. Mr. Huxley was so good with words I heard Alan Watts say that mescaline was given to him so he could give the best description of the effects of the mind-altering drug – the result was Doors of Perception. I haven't read any books by AH but I was blown away by his description of the Nataraj. That was given in 1961 when he had already been diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. 

Huxley has had an interesting influence on the world through his writing and the people who pushed in the same direction like Tim Leary, Ram Dass and later Steve Jobs. And 60 years ago today he left this world hours after Laura had acceded to his written request for a 100 microgram injection of LSD. The timing of his departure was not exactly extraordinary given what had happened a bit earlier in Dallas. 

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Investment Analytics Now On Apple Books

Since Thursday owners of any Apple internet devices in many countries can get Investment Analytics from Apple Books. IA which was initially published in 1999 has helped hundreds of readers learn finance in a very enjoyable way and prepare for their CFA and MBA exams. Now with this digital edition the learning experience is being taken to an entirely new level. Happy learning!

Saturday, September 23, 2023

75 Years Ago, Mad Man Opens His First Agency

The Father of Advertising, David Ogilvy, is not only important to people who make a living in that industry but to a much wider range of folks. This is what happens when you're so good in a field or are very smart that your insights and track record catch the attention of plenty of different people. 

Like the one above on leadership which we've used to compare two PMs of Mauritius. Or the famous Rolls-Royce headline that we've quoted to highlight how we're lucky to have such a good constitution that includes the FPTP, the best electoral system in the world, and at the same time draw the attention of voters of the necessity of treading very carefully. 

Naturally, Mr. Ogilvy's body of work in advertising is priceless in doing that lifelong activity called explaining. This stems largely from staying curious and sticking to the facts for decades.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

How One European Country Will Make FIFA History Today

At the end of the final match of the fabulous 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup between Spain and England later today in Sydney one of them will cause history to accelerate. That team will not only win its first Women World Cup and become only one of five nations to have done so – blame the USA for having grabbed half of the eight previous editions organised so far for that – but will also become only the second country to have won both the Men's and Women's FIFA World Cup at least once. Yep, the winner will join Germany which has won at least two of each. 

But that's not all. Either England or Spain will improve their powerhouse ranking by three or two spots when they take the sixth place currently occupied by the Bleus. This will not exactly get Uruguay nervous though although its last WC win occurred seventy-three years ago. That victory made the largest football crowd ever to be assembled so sad that one nine-year old promised his sobbing father that he'd win one for him. He ended up winning three.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Remembering the Dragon Who Told Us What To Be


Bruce Lee died 50 years ago today. Most people remember him as an amazing martial artist but what fewer know is that he was very well-read – his personal library had more than 2,000 books – and was a beginner till the very end. When I read Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse's extraordinary book, I wondered if he had read it too given his recommendation to us which he repeated in the famous 1971 Pierre Berton interview above. According to one website he did read it. Mr. Lee also wanted to publish his magnum opus shown below in 1971 but his busy movie schedule got in the way. Anyway, how many great books can you take in a singe year?

If you can't have enough of Mr. H20 then may I suggest that you head to his daughter Shannon's interesting podcast where you'll learn plenty of details about Jun-Fan? Still standing? Then make sure to watch the 3-season Warrior series if you haven't already.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

YJHD @ 10

Ayan Mukerji's 2013 Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is as of today the 44th highest-grossing Indian movie of all time. Although that's 23 spots lower than his Brahmastra released last year, he disclosed that people still stopped to discuss about YJHD with him. It's such a fun and well-done movie. The chemistry between former lovebirds Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone is amazing. The good news is that AM has been working on a script for a sequel for a while.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Ton Tieke Kot Mexico?

Se repons kin gayne en pake fwa ler ti pe deman ban pros kot kav gayn ban zafer ki pa ti pe gayne fasilman. E preske tuletan ler ti pe al laba ti pe gayn zot. Pan tarde ditu pu kontan al dan sa magazin Vakwa la. Sifizaman kontan ki inpe zafer ki kav gayne laba ti pe fer en manier aste zot laba mem. In fer sa sistematikman. Esansielman parski leksperians la ti top. Sak fwa. Rezon prinsipal kifer li fin kumsa se interaksion ek France, so proprieter ki fek desede. Kel boner ki sa fin dire pandan tu sa deseni la. 

Mo fin trist ler mon apran so depar. Lerla mon reflesi kifer mo ti pe kontan al laba. Apar le fe ki France ti ekstreman sinpatik, Mexico ena en reynj prodwi ase larz. Lot zafer se ki France ti en bon vander. Li ti kon ekute byin. Par egzanp ler rant dan so magazin – kurb latet en tigit ek fer en ti slalom pu evit ban lartik ki apandan – nu ariv kot so kontwar/vitrin. De fwa li pu pe servi en klian donk nu atan en tigit e nu get li debruye. Nivo servis la elve parey. Ler ariv mo tur, li salie mwa "Alor meusieuh, ki manier?", mo repon li "Korek France, u ki manyer?". Si pe rod pil 3A li demande sipa pu kamera sa uswa pu en lot gadiet elektronik. Li bizin linformasion la pu kone si pa li tir ban version hevi-diuti. De fwa li poz en kestion ki mo pa tro konpran. Ler repons pa paret pu vin a tan, li poz en deziem pu sa kav oriant li vit ver en prodwi pli aproprie. Tusala suvan ek en ti rie omilie. Li ti fer sa pe inport ki pe rode. Genius Bar an plas. Plis en ti diskawnt.

Ti kav fer en zoli lartik pu en revi kuma Harvard Business Review lor fason ki France ti pe opere. En ti klip kuma telma dimun fin fer lor Omelette Man dan Jodhpur, Rajasthan ek lor ban lezot ki fin metriz zot lar/operasion ti pu en lot posibilite. Se posib ki kiken fin fer li. Tiabon. Sinpati a fami de France e 105,000 abitan de Vakwa/Fenix ki an dey. Byin ki lin ale, en dimun pa vreman mor tan ki kontinie koz so koze. Dan ka France nu bon suvenir de li pu res ar nu pandan lontan.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Gas Chambers Not Essential For Holocaust

The British didn't need one to kill 35 million Indians. The Turks didn't need one to slaughter 1.5 million Armenians. The Pakistani army didn't need one to murder 3 million citizens of Pakistan. The Germans didn't one in Namibia. The French didn't need one in Algeria. And that's not even an exhaustive list. For all this reasons the UN should remember all Holocausts on January 27, not just one.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Who Served As Labour Party General Secretary the Longest?

When Kalyanee Juggoo resigned as General Secretary of the Mauritius Labour Party recently Arvin Boolell wondered if the 13 years she had served in that position wasn't the longest. We knew she didn't but went to find out. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Big B At 80

It's difficult to remember exactly how big a fan of megastar Amitabh Bachchan I was when I was growing up. That's because there was also Pele. Then Cruyff. Then Sting and The Police. Zeenat Aman somewhere in there. Followed later by plenty others including his Airness. Plus Bolt. I do recall perfectly though that in the 1970s and early 1980s when I saw him on a movie poster I had to go see that flick. And boy was that a treat! 

One of the most exciting moments about my connection with AB was when our parents told us that they had a secret to tell us: Big B was coming to Mauritius! Fate would have it otherwise though. AB got hurt on the set of Coolie and almost lost his life in July 1982. It's great that he recovered and went on to do so much work. Watching the movies of the Angry Young Man who Truffaut dubbed a one-man industry is great but adding a listen of him talk about his craft and life trajectory is priceless.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Why Ukraine Conflict Was Predictable

Listen to this interesting talk by John Mearsheimer and get many obvious answers: Ukraine is a badly-divided country, the Monroe Doctrine and more. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Discussing Electoral Reform With ReA

I spent plenty of hours over a number of years doing just that quite a long time ago with their strongman Ashok Subron. I had to stop talking to him when he told me that he was against double candidacies only to announce in a press conference afterwards that he was for them. Since then it has appeared in their electoral manifesto. While the obligation for a candidate to declare herself in one of the four dumb categories has to go we don’t need or want a dose of PR to do that. And we’re definitely not going to Viv to Morisianism with the resultant chronic political uncertainty and drastic loss of accountability which would accompany the corrupting of our FPTP system, the best electoral system in the world.

I spent about one hour with another long-standing member after he said he was in favour of a dose of PR. I hadn’t finish my explanation that he told me two things: “my god, what we've been proposing is so dangerous!” and “thank you so much for explaining this to me.” I went on to share some other implications of a dose of PR that are seldom discussed.

A third member told me he was for a dose of PR for the same fallacious reasons ReA have kept on harping for way too long. I showed him what Mauritian voters have been able to do with their PMs via our excellent FPTP system and how we'd lose this powerful tool with a dose of PR. His arguments were wishy-washy but he said he was open to changing his mind. By the way, I showed the same clip to a prominent member of Lalit and that gave her pause.

During my last discussion on electoral reform with a ReA member the latter agreed with my point that it indeed didn't make any sense to have 20 PR MPs each time because the lopsidedness that they sought to correct was not the same in every election. However, he told me that the political uncertainty a dose of PR would create is good. And that he had a solution. It's been almost two years. And still no sight of a solution.