Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What I have been reading lately...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
These are pages I have been flipping recently...

Gang Leader for a Day

For those who have read Freakonomics will remember the chapter about the Indian guy who spent sometime with crackheads and helped come up with material that later became "Why drug dealers live with their moms: in the best seller.

The Indian kid happens to be one of the best social scientists in the world (or so I hear) today and has written a book about the same experience. This was written way back in 2008 but I got my hands on it only recently.

Sudhir Venkatesh describes his times with the drug lords of Chicago and to understand poverty and society better.

Fooled by Randomness

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an arrogant man. He may also be one of the smartest. Fooled by randomness is an interesting take on probability and how its simple principles have been completely ignored by leading financial giants and how that has screwed them up.

If you have done a course in elementary probability, then you understand the book even better.

But beware, as my friend Nayak says, his arrogance might put
you off from appreciating the book.

Making Globalisation Work

Although I had bought this quite a while back, I stopped reading this in the middle so I could finish Jeffrey Sachs' Commonwealth. So now I am back to Making Globalisation Work.

The book is about how globalisation is inevitable and in order for it to be sustainable it should try to uplift the poor countries of the world. The world as it stands, is certainly anything but flat.

The book goes about cursing the IMF and other organizations who the author feels aren't doing much good. He talks at length about his vision for development and how its closely related to social justice (just how many times will I provide a link to Stan's article, I cant recount, so will not do it this time), other issues include the role of patents in developing countries, access to health care, debt relief, climate change etc etc.
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