Caste guilt

This is the age of the start-up, not megaliths. Remember T-Rex did not survive evolution. It is unlikely that religions organised like T-Rexes – most of the Abrahamic religions fit this description – will survive an era of fast change. The T-Rex did evolve in the first place because the evolutionary pathway existed for it…

A measure of media trustworthiness

A publication online that makes its money by displaying ads can be profitable even by publishing a slew of bad or offensive articles. That will drive the traffic too; people will share its content even if it's to complain about it. It will also be trustworthy in that people can always trust to publish a predictable kind…

Breaking the bargain

A nasty review of P.V. Sindhu's performance at the World Badminton Championships by Sandip Sarkar for the Hindustan Times: In the last one year, Sindhu has played 17 matches that stretched to the third game. She won 10 and lost seven. Six of those seven losses have come against players who were unseeded or seeded below her. A…

The unclosed clause and other things about commas

The Baffler carried a fantastic critique of The New Yorker's use of commas by Kyle Paoletta on August 23. Excerpt: The magazine’s paper subscription slips have long carried a tagline: “The best writing, anywhere.” It follows that the source of the best writing, anywhere, must also be the finest available authority on grammar, usage, and…

Talking scicomm at NCBS – II

I was invited to speak to the students of the annual science writing workshop conducted at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, for the second year (first year talk's notes here). Some interesting things we discussed: 1. Business of journalism: There were more questions from this year's batch of aspiring science writers about the economics…

False equivalency

Margaret Sullivan in the Washington Post on August 16: Does finding these powerful ways to frame the [Charlottesville] situation amount to abandoning journalistic impartiality? “The whole doctrine of objectivity in journalism has become part of the [media’s] problem,” Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York University, said this week in a talk at the Chautauqua Institution in…

Good service shouldn’t necessitate support

There's a difference between a service coming with excellent support and a service with excellent support that you rarely have to access. The latter would be any service where issues can be resolved by the user's own agency when they do arise. The former would be any service that requires the user to rely on the…

Good service shouldn't necessitate support

There's a difference between a service coming with excellent support and a service with excellent support that you rarely have to access. The latter would be any service where issues can be resolved by the user's own agency when they do arise. The former would be any service that requires the user to rely on the…

A for-publishers stack and the symmetry of globalisation

Journalism as the fourth estate has been noticeably empowered in the Information Age, with technologies like the WWW, broadband connectivity and smartphones in (almost) everyone's pockets. However, the opportunities to responsibly exercise the resulting power have been coming at a disproportionately greater cost: to be constantly fast, constantly smart and constantly vigilant. Put another way:…

ASI’s note to Financial Exp. over eclipse article is naïve

The public outreach arm of the Astronomical Society of India has written to the Financial Express expressing concern over their August 7 article, which advised people to fast during a lunar eclipse. The ASI called the article "anti-science", requested that FE print a clarification and finally give them room to write an article about the…