This is Nitin Pai's cyberspace.

I have started writing occassional columns for Sakal, a leading Marathi newspaper.

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 raw notes with thoughts-in-progress are in the unstructured digital garden.

▸ What I’m up to now.

This is a partial list. I’ll add the rest over the next few weeks. I recommend you check these out before looking at the stream of blog posts below ↓

▸ Recently been writing about: ☼ information ageliberal democracygeopoliticseconomicsCovid-19philosophy and everything else

▸ In these columns: ☼ Debates with my DaughtersMintSakalThe PrintThe HinduPragatiPax Indica

▸ And the blog posts follow:

This is where The Acorn blog now resides.

Now that Agnipath is here, it must be made to work
June 19, 2022 // 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

How fiscal federalism has kept the Indian republic united
June 6, 2022 // Indian states must up their game to take advantage of the new era of fiscal federalism

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

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

Seven Tenets of Indian Nationalism
April 29, 2022 // My attempt to distill the essence of Indian Nationalism from its earliest times to the present date.

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

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

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

The Ukraine war and the global surge in human stupidity
March 28, 2022 // Societies, governments, corporations and individuals are harming their own interests in their response to the war

The end of globalisation, 1989-2022
March 27, 2022 // Western sanctions on Russia have killed globalisation

No ideology, just anti-West
March 27, 2022 // The Chinese-Russian model might be more attractive to the world's regimes because they have no ideological baggage.

Arms control for economic WMDs
March 27, 2022 // The train has left the station, but Raghuram Rajan's suggestions can help mitigate the damage to the global economy.

Misgivings about hardware subscriptions
March 27, 2022 // Hardware-as-a-service can disconnect individuals from means of economic production and concentrate market power into the hands of tech giants.

Russia buries 20th century nuclear behavioural norms
March 26, 2022 // Whatever the result of the Ukraine war, Russia has upturned the fifty-year-old norm of nuclear deterrence.

The closing of McDonald’s in Moscow is bad news for the global economy.
March 14, 2022 // By taking sides in the Ukraine war, Western multinationals have undermined the logic of globalisation

Who is responsible for the Ukraine war, and who is its winner?
March 13, 2022 // Regardless of the military outcome, alas, no one wins this war. Everyone loses. The only difference might be who loses more and relative to whom.

Putin’s invasion of China marks the biggest failure of Xi Jinping’s foreign policy
February 25, 2022 // The Ukraine war is not merely an embarrassment for Xi ahead of China’s Communist Party session later this year. It is a damning indictment of his foreign policy.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is marked by a big Chinese failure
February 24, 2022 // How Vladimir Putin jumped the gun and jeopardised Xi Jinping's global ambitions

How Russia and NATO are fighting an information war over Ukraine
February 14, 2022 // Major cyber offensives may be unlikely but information operations are in full swing

How can India become a global technological power?
February 13, 2022 // It is by being an indispensible part of the eco-system that will ensure India has both access to technology and, to some extent, the ability to control access to technology.

State administrative services are crucial to federalism
January 31, 2022 // More than transfers of elite civil servants, it the systemic inability of India’s states to recruit adequate numbers of public officials that is the bigger scandal

Major powers are extending their spheres of influence
January 23, 2022 // India must project both its power and its values to shape the new world order.

The co-evolution of genes and culture is revolutionizing policy
January 17, 2022 // Remembering Edward O. Wilson -- and how insights from evolutionary biology can explain how we got here and what we must do to be better

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