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Exercising post Covid, origins of migrant-hatred and how India can educate its children better



November 22 · Issue #11 · View online

I love dissecting how the world works. I share some of that through this newsletter.

I had been feeling better post Covid recovery. So I thought, let me get back to some exercising and all that. And then this happened - NY Times shared an article this week that totally freaked me out. I am not exercising no more!
I felt that the information in the article should reach out to a lot more people who I know (or who follow me) - so I drew the below illustrated slides. Yes I want everyone to freak out! :)
Click on this poster to view the remaining seven slides on instagram.
Click on this poster to view the remaining seven slides on instagram.
Do check out all the slides and then join me in chanting this - “what a fu**ed up disease this Covid is”!
One of the major impacts Covid has had this year is on how schooling happens - attending classes online is getting on the nerves of many children and their parents, I believe.
Let’s talk a little more about education in India, shall we?
Business Standard ran a very interesting and insightful interview with Abhijit Banerjee who other than being a Nobel Prize winning Economics prof. at MIT, is also a member of the Global Education Evidence Advisory Panel of the World Bank.
The panel waded through several hundred interventions tried around the world to improve learning outcomes for children, and then identified the most cost-effective ones. Here’s the full report if you want to check it out. I wrote a blog summing up six key insights that I gained from reading just Banerjee’s interview. In the blog, I have also linked many of my older 3MinuteStories on the education space that fit in the narrative of what’s wrong with the way education is imparted in India, and what many are doing about it. Below is an example of one such film.
Why are children unable to answer this simple question?
A lot of parents who you see in the above video are migrant workers. And although they come from a lower middle class background, even an upper-class white-collar person who moves to a new city for a job (or for any other reason) is a ‘migrant’. On this, I have a question.
How does migrant hatred begin?
To be honest, I don’t know for sure, but one of the ways it does begin is when locals gets so annoyed by a migrant that they feel it’s okay to ask the migrant to leave the city (or state or country). I noticed an otherwise nice, liberal and educated person indulge in one such rant on Twitter this week (mig-rant? :P) I responded.
The response is a blog of course. Do read it, especially if you yourself are a migrant! I am. I grew up and did my schooling in Bihar / Jharkhand but have worked only in other states since then (college was in Chennai).
I think some of the benign discrimination originates from a presumptuous “illusion of choice”, and if left unchecked can quickly turn into hatred. Politicians are especially known for exploiting the us vs. them feeling, dividing society in the process.
Me, Dona & Paula. They are 7 weeks old now.
Me, Dona & Paula. They are 7 weeks old now.
Talking about politicians, check out this amazing short video that I discovered on Twitter this week. Even without the ‘politician’ reference, it’s pure joy to watch.
Now that we are on to Twitter videos, let me share few more? Just two really!
The 'aww' videos of the week
#1 The one with the elephant
Rex Chapman🏇🏼
This young man spends his time making prosthetics for elephants.

#2 The one with Batman
The Feel Good Page ❤️
A doctor asks the cancer patient what his dream is. The boy says he wants to meet Batman. And the next day the doctor dresses in the superhero's costume and fulfills the child's dream 😭😭😭❤️❤️❤️❤️
I don’t know if I spend too much time on Twitter but it has definitely become the best social media platform for me to discover useful content. Check out the below thread by Yusuf for example - super insightful!
The twitter thread of the week
Yusuf A Ahmad Ansari یوسف انصاری
In this #thread I aim to fulfil 2 objectives:

1. Provide historiographical evidence about “gunpowder” as a military tool.

2. Appeal to #History enthusiasts to think for themselves and seek the truth rather than seek historiographical validations from supremacists with motives.
The above thread becomes more interesting if you place it within the context that I had laid out in one of my earlier blogs where I had explained why so many hindu-pride accounts exist on Social Media. If you missed reading the blog previously, now would be a good time to do so (especially if you did read Yusuf’s tweet thread above).
Alright, before I sign off, given that this was the week of the Booker prize winner announcement, plus NY Times published its own list of ‘100 noteable books of 2020’, I want to leave you with one more Twitter thread - it’s nice especially if science is your thing.
Every media outlet is doing a best-of-list of books of 2020. It's a shame that few of them include even a SINGLE popular-science book (and NY Times has only one on eels).

Out of the 100 or so nonfiction books I read this year, the best 15-20 covered aspects of science.

Do check out the above thread - some really really nice non-fiction recommendations.
This is all that I have for this Sunday. See you in a week. Be kind and keep learning! And of course, stay safe!
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