Eternal Optimist

My experiments with blogging

A confession

Let me start with a confession. I find it very difficult to maintain consistency with respect to personal projects. There’s a distinct lack of willingness to continue with it after the initial enthusiasm. I’ve tried my hand at learning to play the piano, violin, tabla, and ukulele at various points in my life and failed at everything. The initial enthusiasm (and the predictable decline in interest) comes with its own costs. Every time I go back home, my mom makes me play rara venu on the then expensive piano they got for me even before I started my lessons. Fortunately, I didn’t end up purchasing a violin, tabla, or ukulele. Blogging has been a similar endeavour of mine. My two previous attempts at blogging, Mysteriously Inconspicuous and General Compartment ended after a sum total of 48 posts between 2010 and 2013.

New Beginning

This is my third attempt, encouraged by the regularity with which my friend and colleague cube has managed to maintain his blog. Since August 1, 2020 he has manged to publish a post every single day 😮! I’ve been trying to setup a personal website ever since I paid GoDaddy for my domain. Attempts to install and maintain a Jekyll website on GitHub Pages failed miserably due to errors with dependencies (I still haven’t figured out exactly why). Later, I stumbled upon the Academic theme, and it’s integration with Netlify and Github. It’s definitely not the ideal setup, especially because non-FOSS elements are at play here. If you are interested to host your personal website or blog for free, I’ll soon write a How-To-Guide .

What will I blog about?

I want to blog about anything and everything that comes to my mind. I want to freely write my opinions on matters that are close to my heart. Do I consider this as a therapeutic activity? Yes. I want to be free from the clutches of Twitter, a medium designed to ignite and spread hatred and falsehoods. I’m not shutting myself off from criticism or feedback on my views expressed in these pages. There’s a Disqus forum below each post where readers (if any 😉) can share their views on my daily musings. I truly believe that engagement with people with different views is the only way to find common ground. However, that engagement has to based on mutual respect and decency. Rarely do I find people on social media who can do that.

Wait! He said something else in 2010!

Yes. As I grow and evolve as a person, as I undergo varied experiences, my opinions will change. More than a decade ago, as I was preparing to join IIT-Madras, the national capital was in the midst of protests against 27% reservations in educational institutions announced by the then UPA government. I’m a Nair, an upper-caste community in Kerala. I was, as a 17 year old, vehemently opposed to reservations. Fortunately, that view changed a few years later. I now fully understand the reasons why affirmative action is required, however flawed their implementation be. Would I be happier if the system was made fool-proof? Sure. However, as a Professor of mine kept reminding - “no manmade system is immune to human deceit”. So I reserve the right to change my opinions over time, in a considered manner. I’ll not be human if I stayed the exact same over the course of my existence.

Let’s start

I think I’ve laid out all my disclaimers

  1. I want to write freely. I hope Article 19 will protect me.
  2. My opinions may change over time or when new evidence emerges.
  3. These posts are written in 60 minutes or less with little or no proof-reading. Apologies to Grammar Nazis.

See you everyday with a new post!

Arun Sudarsan
Arun Sudarsan
Economist and Policy Researcher

Arun is an Economist, passionate about Open Data and its potential to increase state transparency and accountability. Loves teaching. Previously worked at NITI Aayog. To subscribe to this blog’s mailing list, please enter your details here. Check your spam folder if you are missing updates. Thanks for subscribing!

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