This is Nitin Pai's cyberspace.

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

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.

▸ ⭐ My book is out! Check out The Nitopadesha: Moral Tales for Good Citizens.

▸ 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 NotesNow

The Acorn
Estd 2003
Recent posts:

The United States will continue to try to contain China’s technological progress
The Xi-Biden meeting in San Francisco did not achieve much, but showed Beijing's vulnerabilities in the geopolitics of high technology. | 19th Nov 2023

The negative externalities of the war in West Asia
The effectiveness of mass terrorism, the acceptance of collective punishment and the West's loss of credibility will cast a long shadow on the 21st century. | 6th Nov 2023

A techno-optimist rejoinder to Marc Andreessen’s manifesto
We believe that the steering wheel is more important than the accelerator | 23rd Oct 2023

Some lessons from Hamas’s attack on Israel
Don't push the adversary to the wall, the enemy has a vote, walls are not a solution, cycles of violence make peace harder and pluralism is the answer | 10th Oct 2023

Championing pluralism will make India a vishwaguru
The 21st century world needs a better organising principle than national self-determination. | 9th Oct 2023

Diaspora politics has a messy dimension that will get messier
Extraterritorial political engagement comes with negative consequences for domestic politics and foreign policy. | 25th Sep 2023

Covert action is an instrument of statecraft
I am unimpressed with arguments that suggest that liberal democracies do not engage in targeted killings. | 25th Sep 2023

The essence of engineering
Engineering is a mindset that anyone can cultivate...even without an engineering degree. | 15th Sep 2023

Why I don’t like the word “hustle”
It might legitimise an amoral approach to business and normalise unscrupulous behaviour in the entrepreneural eco-system. | 11th Sep 2023

China’s economic problems mark the end of its geopolitical rise
Consistent with my 2018 assessment, Xi Jinping's undoing of Deng's reforms have led Chinese to be pessimistic about their future. | 28th Aug 2023

Replace JEE with a lottery for IIT admissions
Test preparation is corroding real education; shifting incentives away from competitive entrance exams is in the public interest | 21st Aug 2023

The immediate and important task for AI policy is to govern the industry
India should prevent the concentration of market & technological power in the hands of a few | 14th Aug 2023

Rajasthan gig worker welfare law needs improvement
Instead of empowering the individual worker, the Act empowers government officials. | 31st Jul 2023

India is less violent than it used to be
Amit Ahuja and Devesh Kapur have put together a book that discusses the Indian Republic's success in reducing violence. But the success is tentative and conditional. | 30th Jul 2023

Diaspora politics is going to get even more complicated
The risks of engaging overseas Indian communities are growing as a result of new trends in migration, demographics and technology | 17th Jul 2023

New expressways require new behaviour
Policies that change how people drive will have the greatest impact on road safety. | 2nd Jul 2023

On free bus transport for women
The economic benefits to the state could exceed the fiscal cost of free bus transport for women | 19th Jun 2023

Put the important science back into NCERT high school textbooks
The textbook bureaucracy has shown very poor judgement by excluding natural selection, the periodic table and Pythagoras' theorem from Class X textbooks | 5th Jun 2023

“The castes are anti-national”
Caste poses a dilemma for public policy. One the one hand, caste-aware policy perpetuates caste. On the other, caste-agnostic policy permits bias and discrimination to go on unchecked. | 22nd May 2023

The UN needs structural reform to stay relevant
Unless political balance within the United Nations reflects current reality, the organisation will only get more marginalised. | 7th May 2023

We have a historic opportunity to shape the world order of the information age
India has an interest in cooperating with other liberal democracies for information freedom across the planet. | 1st May 2023

What we should do about AI now
To protect cognitive autonomy governments should mandate labeling of AI-generated information goods | 10th Apr 2023

Defending a free and open information order
The battle to defend the Internet is looking a lot like the battle to preserve liberal democracy | 10th Apr 2023

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