Sunday, March 24, 2013


  1. Hari Pulakkat in The Economic Times: IITs undergoing silent revolution to create robust technical research ecosystem and governance.

  2. Jordan Weissmann in The Atlantic: The Ph.D Bust: America's Awful Market for Young Scientists—in 7 Charts.

  3. Gillian Tett in The Financial Times: How bankers believed their own hype.

    The results [reported in a paper by Princeton economists] were striking. Before conducting the research, the economists had expected that securitisation experts would be good at judging when to sell properties and how to avoid housing market losses; after all, they were close to the front line of the mortgage industry and supposed to know all about real estate. But in reality, the number-crunching showed “little evidence of securitisation agents’ awareness of a housing bubble and impending crash in their own home transactions”, as the paper says. The supposed experts “neither managed to time the market nor exhibited cautiousness in their home transactions”. Furthermore, they actually suffered bigger losses on housing than the random “control” group of lawyers who were not “experts” on housing at all.

  4. Edward Jay Epstein in NYRB: An 'A' from Nabokov

    [Nabokov] then described his requisites for reading the assigned books [in his course on European Literature of the Nineteenth Century]. He said we did not need to know anything about their historical context, and that we should under no circumstance identify with any of the characters in them, since novels are works of pure invention. The authors, he continued, had one and only one purpose: to enchant the reader. So all we needed to appreciate them, aside from a pocket dictionary and a good memory, was our own spines. He assured us that the authors he had selected -— Leo Tolstoy, Nikolai Gogol, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Jane Austen, Franz Kafka, Gustave Flaubert, and Robert Louis Stevenson —- would produce tingling we could detect in our spines.