A good read; I agree with this reviewer — this probably is the best of the three books — even though, I found some of the later chapters a tad too lengthy.
Sriram’s article on Chembai and the Music Academy is a must-read. It is very difficult to argue forcefully or fight with Institutions while maintaining no ill-will. Chembai seems to have managed it. When we are on the topic, let me also strongly recommend Lakshmi Subramanian’s From the Tanjore court to the Madras Music Academy: A social history of music in South India. I am yet to complete the book. But I liked whatever I have read so far.
Though this books seems was published in 1997 (and, I have 2007 second revised edition with me), I was unaware of its existence till I saw a reference in one of Ram Guha’s articles. It is a must-read, especially if you are interested in the poetry of Mira, Andal and Akka Mahadevi. I especially liked the sections of the book on Sangam literature, Budhdhist and Jain literature and Veerashaiva movement — obviously because of my own interests. Strongly recommended. If I have any quibble, it is that some of the pieces are a bit dis-jointed and there are a few minor mis-prints and mistakes.
Paul Graham has an essay on how very few of the most successful people he knows are mean:
Part of what’s going on, of course, is selection bias. I only know people who work in certain fields: startup founders, programmers, professors. I’m willing to believe that successful people in other fields are mean. Maybe successful hedge fund managers are mean; I don’t know enough to say. It seems quite likely that most successful drug lords are mean. But there are at least big chunks of the world that mean people don’t rule, and that territory seems to be growing.
A nice one!
I learnt the news through a mail from one of the colleagues in the mathematics department. Here is the obituary from The Telegraph.
My view is that an evaluation system need not be perfect – it just needs to be ‘good enough’ to provide a basis for disbursement of funds that can be seen to be both transparent and fair, and which does not lend itself readily to gaming.
From BishopBlog; the piece is on the use of metrics for research assessment at the universities and is a good one! Do read.