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.

⭐ My book is out! Here’s more.

The Nitopadesha Front Cover

▸ 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:

“We have a beep for that!”
Design, organisation and behaviour are three vertices of good public infrastructure. Improving one can improve overall outcomes but improving all three is necessary if we desire sustainable changes. | 30th Jan 2023

An excerpt from the Nitopadesha on citizenship
On Republic Day. This is an unedited excerpt from the Epilogue to the First Book of *The Nitopadesha* on the essence of citizenship. | 26th Jan 2023

Web 3.0 and the Fediverse: new impetus and old challenges
Overcoming strong network effects and uncertain business models. | 16th Jan 2023

2022 - The Year in Fiction
A list of 41 works of fiction that I read or re-read and 17 that I am yet to finish; rated and classified. | 22nd Dec 2022

Technological power must be deconcentrated
A few powerful individuals, a few large corporations or a few big countries should not be allowed to have unchecked influence over the future of humanity. | 19th Dec 2022

Deterring China requires us to change Xi’s cost-benefit calculations
Unless it feels the pain, China will be tempted to raise the tempo of transgressions in the coming years. New Delhi must deliver that pain in stronger doses until Beijing comes around. | 18th Dec 2022

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

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