This is Nitin Pai's cyberspace.

What I’m up to now: pursuits, talks, engagements.
Contact: @acorn

I’m interested in coffee, philosophy, sharp objects, public policy, tech and stationery.

You are in the structured section of my domain where I have my blog posts, newspaper columns, updates on my teaching and research, and other things you had always been warned about.

▸ I have recently been writing about: ☼ information ageliberal democracygeopoliticseconomicsCovid-19philosophy and everything else

▸ In these columns: ☼ MintDebates with my DaughtersSakalThe PrintThe HinduPragatiPax Indica

▸ Other stuff ☼ Raw Notes

The Acorn
Estd 2003
Recent posts:

Effective altruism is a useful way to give back to society
The philosophy is sensible, but the EA cult has lost its way under the sway of long-termism | 21st Nov 2022

Preventing potholes from forming is the real answer
Filling in potholes is merely first-aid; the real treatment is coordinate road works and punish vandalism | 17th Nov 2022

If it is a polycrisis, then there is hope
Unlike linear, deterministic systems, complex systems are characterised by emergence...things might suddenly fall into place and start to cascade. | 7th Nov 2022

Manpower as India’s siliconpolitik strategy
Government support for semiconductor industry development must focus on transforming the industry towards software | 24th Oct 2022

Why an ‘everything app’ is bad news for liberal democracies and free markets
India, and other liberal democracies, must prevent any app, foreign or home-grown, from coming to dominate our information space. | 10th Oct 2022

Britain is getting a good deal in the monarchy
More than economics and liberal democracy, it is the symbolism of a hereditary head of state that is the question. | 26th Sep 2022

Letter to a fresh graduate
Working hard, learning fast and being more productive is the secret to achieving a work-life balance | 12th Sep 2022

On post-diluvian Bangalore
The unprecedented flooding is an impetus for change. | 11th Sep 2022

Create a Nitipath for the civil service
A path towards a semi-structural reform of India's administrative machinery. | 29th Aug 2022

To shape the future we must stop obsessing about the past
We must free our minds to be able to imagine the future | 12th Aug 2022

The security of the Indo-Pacific lies in delaying China’s promised military aggression
The inevitable can be made evitable by delaying it as long as possible | 8th Aug 2022

Liberal democracies must protect their citizens’ minds from being hacked
The case for cognitive autonomy and protecting the freedom to think | 1st Aug 2022

The Moscow Maratha
An accurate history of one of my favourite cocktails | 22nd Jul 2022

The operating system of liberal democracy needs a major upgrade
Unless it embraces the open and the digital, democracy itself is in danger. | 18th Jul 2022

Social harmony is a matter of national interest
India's growth and prosperity requires tolerance, pluralism and fraternity. | 4th Jul 2022

Now that Agnipath is here, it must be made to work
Agnipath may have been prompted by fiscal concerns but it should serve as a trigger to carry out long due reforms in the structure and management of the armed forces | 19th Jun 2022

How fiscal federalism has kept the Indian republic united
Indian states must up their game to take advantage of the new era of fiscal federalism | 6th Jun 2022

Rebalance the Rajya Sabha in tandem with Lok Sabha delimitation
The anxieties over delimitation can take a dark turn unless the federal structure is strengthened in parallel | 23rd May 2022

Linguistic pluralism has led India to do better than all its neighbours
Forcing languages on people has failed every one of India's neighbours | 9th May 2022

Seven Tenets of Indian Nationalism
My attempt to distill the essence of Indian Nationalism from its earliest times to the present date. | 29th Apr 2022

The right to ownership of smartphones and personal computing devices must be protected
Hardware subscriptions are a bad idea for human society. The business model must be challenged and subject to public and parliamentary debate. | 25th Apr 2022

We need global leadership on rejecting the first use of nuclear weapons
Russia’s nuclear threats calls upon us to review how we reduce the risk of destroying ourselves | 17th Apr 2022

India’s geoeconomic interests are with the West and the rest
India must deepen its engagement with its important trading partners and avoid aligning with China and Russia | 11th Apr 2022



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