Anti Modi view from Cato Institute newsletter


NEW STUDY: India’s New Protectionism Threatens Gains from Economic Reform

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Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has been hailed as an economic liberalizer, having sharply criticized rising U.S. protectionism under the Trump administration. Yet Modi too has embarked on measures to protect and support manufacturing jobs in India. The latest Indian budget raised import duties on more than 40 items, ranging from auto parts and toys to candles and furniture, in order to protect uncompetitive small businesses and create jobs in labor-intensive industries.

In a new paper, Cato scholar Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar raises concerns that the new protectionism will get entrenched and reverse the major gains India has made since economic reforms began in 1991.

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How mindfulness and CBT can treat depression


DANIEL GOLEMAN
Daniel Goleman is a psychologist, lecturer, and science journalist who has reported on the brain and behavioral sciences for The New York Times for many years. His 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence (Bantam Books) was on The New York Times bestseller list for a year and a half.

Goleman is also the author of Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything. The book argues that new information technologies will create “radical transparency,” allowing us to know the environmental, health, and social consequences of what we buy. As shoppers use point-of-purchase ecological comparisons to guide their purchases, market share will shift to support steady, incremental upgrades in how products are made – changing every thing for the better.

His latest book is Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body, which he has co-authored with Richard Davidson reveals the science of what meditation can really do for us, as well as exactly how to get the most out of it.

22 September, 2018 Transcript
Daniel Goleman: One of the strong benefits of meditation generally has to do with the ordinary ways in which we suffer depression, anxiety, the angst of life. It turns out that meditation generally makes people feel more positively, it helps diminish anxiety, but it becomes particularly powerful when it’s combined with a psychotherapy. The way this is usually done is with mindfulness on the one hand and what’s called cognitive therapy on the other. Mindfulness allows us to shift our relationship to our experience. Instead of getting sucked into our emotions or our thoughts, which is what happens when we’re depressed or anxious, we see them as “those thoughts again” or “those feelings again,” and that disempowers them. There’s actually research at UCLA that shows when you can name that feeling, “Oh, I’m feeling depressed again,” you have shifted the activity levels neurologically in the part of the brain which is depressed to the part of the brain which notices, which is aware—the prefrontal cortex. And that diminishes the depression and enhances your ability to be able to understand it or to see it as just a feeling. So if you combine that ability with cognitive therapy, cognitive therapy helps you talk back to your thoughts. The basic realization in cognitive therapy is: “I don’t have to believe my thoughts.” This is extremely important in people with chronic anxiety or chronic depression because it’s our thoughts that trigger the anxiety, that trigger the depression. The depressive thoughts are classic; “I’m no good; my life is worthless,” whatever it is. Those thoughts actually make us depressed. So if you use mindfulness-based cognitive therapy on the one hand you can see, “Oh, there’s that thought again.” On the other hand cognitive therapy lets you talk back to that thought, “Oh I’m not so worthless, I’ve done some pretty good things in my life; there are people who love me,” whatever it may be. You can develop a habit of not letting those thoughts take you over, but countering them with actual evidence from your life that says “Oh they’re not true. I don’t have to believe them!” And that is very relieving. The first study that used mindfulness-based cognitive therapy with depression it was pretty spectacular. It was done at Oxford University and it was done with people whose depression is so severe that nothing helps, no medication helps, electric shock doesn’t help, psychiatry doesn’t know what to do. People get depressed very deeply, they recover, and then they get depressed again. So with that group they use mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and they found that it cut the rate of relapse (of having depression again) by 50 percent. If this were a drug some pharmaceutical company would be making billions of dollars, but it’s not a drug. It’s free basically. So mindfulness-based cognitive therapy works very well for depression. Better-designed studies afterwards shows that it wasn’t 50 percent, but still the impact is palpable and it turns out that mindfulness and other meditations, particularly combined with cognitive therapy, work just as well for anxiety or depression as the medications do, but they don’t have those side effects.

Being mindful of depressing thoughts disempowers them
Meditation becomes particularly powerful when it’s combined with a cognitive therapy
Mindfulness and other meditations can work as well as pills but without the side effects

via How mindfulness and CBT can treat depression

How autocratic leaders control populations with fear


MICHELE GELFAND: You know, I think often we think about social class as just being about our bank accounts. We don’t think about how is class cultural, truly cultural in terms of differences in values and norms that are socialized in different groups for good reasons. And tightness-looseness, it just doesn’t differentiate nations and states, it also differentiates social class with the same exact logic. We went out and we’ve been surveying people from the working class and people from the middle and upper classes, and what’s fascinating is when we ask people about rules, ‘just tell us five words that you think of for rules’, we see that the working class sees rules very positively. Rules in the working class are important. They’re important for helping people to slide into hard living, as sociologists would call it—to poverty, to the dregs of poverty. Rules are helpful if you’re going to be going into occupations where there’s a lot of danger, where there’s less discretion. The middle class and upper class they saw rules more negatively. They saw it as goody two shoes when you’re following the rules. For the working class, rules are important for survival. For the middle class, there’s a safety net so you can actually afford to be rule-breaking in this context.

And what’s fascinating is, we measure the ZIP codes of people coming into our lab and then we track the neighborhoods they live in. And, for sure, the working class live in much more threatening environments when it comes to crime, unemployment. They report being subject to many more threats. What’s remarkable is that this starts very early. We wanted to see how early can we see these differences developing? And we started to see this even as early as three years old. What we did was we brought three-year-olds into the lab, working-class and middle-class kids. And you can’t exactly ask them about rules, right. But what we did was we borrowed a technique from the Max Planck Institute where we had them interacting with a puppet. His name was Max the Puppet. And they got to know him and they enjoyed playing with him. And Max the Puppet suddenly after a little while became Max the Norm Violator. He started violating all the rules of the game and announcing that he’s actually playing the game correctly. And we simply wanted to know: how did the kids react? Is there a different reaction by age three? And there sure was.

The middle class, in general, were much more likely to laugh and kind of let it go, and the working-class kids wanted Max the Puppet to stop. They told him to stop. They told him it was wrong. And parents are already socializing their kids, by the age of three, to help them fit into the kind of threatening or non-threatening environments they’re going to be working in. So it’s really important to see that these differences arise for a reason and they arise early.

So the rise of Donald Trump has been such an enigma to so many people. Is it an ideology? Is it a personality? In fact, Donald Trump is semi—he’s a very good cross-cultural psychologist. He understands the role of fear and threat in mobilizing people to want more tightness and to want autocratic leaders. And we’ve seen this in our data. The people that were interested in voting for Trump felt very threatened and they felt the country was too loose. And this is not just a Trump phenomenon. It’s all over the world. When we measure support for Le Pen in France we had the same exact data that showed that people who feel threatened want stronger rules and leaders to help them to coordinate to survive. These leaders tap into a very important evolutionary type of instinct: when there’s threat and when there’s disorder, we want strong rulers to help us in those contexts.

And one thing that really predicts whether groups are tight or loose is the amount of threat that they face. And threat can be from a variety of sources; it could be from mother nature, could be natural disasters or famine, or it could be population density. It could also be man-made; it could be the number of invasions you’ve had over the last couple of centuries. And so when there’s threat, there’s the need for strong rules to coordinate to survive. And so actually tightness-looseness has a really important logic, a hidden logic, that helps us understand why certain groups become tight or loose. Loose groups, whether they’re nations or states or organizations, they face less threat so they can afford to be more permissive. Groups tend to evolve to be calibrated to the degree of threat that they have. When you have exaggerated threats, it means that we’re sacrificing liberty for security in contexts when we don’t really need to do that.

The problem here is that we have to separate objective from subjective threat. It’s true that a lot of the working class does objectively feel very threatened in this country and we need, as a loose culture, to reach out and work to help them deal with the threats that are happening from globalization. But it’s also the case that leaders like Trump and others use threat and target people who are threatened in order to gain popularity.

Working-class people take rules more seriously. Upper- and middle-class people do not. Why? The latter have financial and social safety nets, so they can afford to break some rules.
Research shows that, by the age of three, working-class children are primed to be more rigid about rules. Those rules help working-class people survive what sociologists call ‘hard living’: extreme poverty, dangerous jobs, and unsafe neighborhoods. Having strong rules increases chances of safety and survival.
Harnessing this evolutionary psychology can be very powerful in politics. Populists like Donald Trump or Marine Le Pen exaggerate fear and threat to gain popularity. They understand “the role of fear and threat in mobilizing people to want more tightness and to want autocratic leaders,” Gelfand explains.
In Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire the World, Michele Gelfand explains her research into ‘tight’ and ‘loose’ cultures. Get a crash course here.

via How autocratic leaders control populations with fear

My Fav Newsletter : Brainpickings.org


This is the brainpickings.org weekly digest by Maria Popova. If you missed last week’s edition — Rilke on how to break up with integrity and preserve friendship after romance, Adrienne Rich on how reading emancipates, a “new” Maurice Sendak book — you can catch up right here. And if you’re enjoying this newsletter, please consider supporting my labor of love with a donation – each month, I spend hundreds of hours and tremendous resources on it, and every little bit of support helps enormously. If you already donate: THANK YOU.

Jeanette Winterson’s 10 Tips on Writing

winterson.jpg?w=680In 2010, inspired by Elmore Leonard’s classic 10 Rules of Writing published nearly a decade earlier, The Guardianinvited some of the world’s most celebrated living authors to share their own dicta of the craft. “Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied,”Zadie Smith counseled in the last of her ten. Midway through her list, Margaret Atwood grounded the psychological dimensions of the craft in the pragmatic and the physical: “Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.” Neil Gaiman thought eight rather than ten tenets would be sufficient — a meta-testament to his sixth: “Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.”

Among the contributors was Jeanette Winterson — a writer of exquisite prose and keen insight into the deepest strata of the human experience: time and languageour elemental need for belongingthe power of arthow storytelling transforms us.

jeanettewinterson00.jpg?resize=645%2C645

Jeanette Winterson (Photograph: Polly Borland)

Winterson offers:

  1. Turn up for work. Discipline allows creative freedom. No discipline equals no freedom.
  2. Never stop when you are stuck. You may not be able to solve the problem, but turn aside and write something else. Do not stop altogether.
  3. Love what you do.
  4. Be honest with yourself. If you are no good, accept it. If the work you are ­doing is no good, accept it.
  5. Don’t hold on to poor work. If it was bad when it went in the drawer it will be just as bad when it comes out.
  6. Take no notice of anyone you don’t respect.
  7. Take no notice of anyone with a ­gender agenda. A lot of men still think that women lack imagination of the fiery kind.
  8. Be ambitious for the work and not for the reward.
  9. Trust your creativity.
  10. Enjoy this work!

For more hard-earned guidance on the writing process from other titans of literature, see Henry Miller’s eleven commandments of writing, Eudora Welty on the art of narrative, Susan Sontag’s advice to writers, and T.S. Eliot’s warm, wry letter of advice to a sixteen-year-old girl aspiring to be a writer.

My best fav Newsletter : Brainpickings.com


This is the Brain Pickings midweek newsletter: Every Wednesday, I plunge into my twelve-year archive and choose something worth resurfacing and resavoring as a timeless pick-me-up for heart, mind, and spirit. (If you don’t yet subscribe to the standard Sunday newsletter of new pieces published each week, you can sign up here – it’s free.) If you missed last week’s archival piece – Anaïs Nin on why emotional excess is essential to writing and creativity – you can read it here. And if you find any value and joy in my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation – over these twelve years, I have spent tens of thousands of hours and tremendous resources on Brain Pickings, and every little bit of support helps keep it going. If you already donate: THANK YOU.

FROM THE ARCHIVE | Michael Rosen’s Sad Book: A Beautiful Anatomy of Loss, Illustrated by Quentin Blake

michaelrosenssadbook.jpg?w=680“Grief, when it comes, is nothing like we expect it to be,”Joan Didion wrote after losing the love of her life. “The people we most love do become a physical part of us,”Meghan O’Rourke observed in her magnificent memoir of loss“ingrained in our synapses, in the pathways where memories are created.” Those wildly unexpected dimensions of grief and the synaptic traces of love are what celebrated British children’s book writer and poet Michael Rosen confronted when his eighteen-year-old son Eddie died suddenly of meningitis. Never-ending though the process of mourning may be, Rosen set out to exorcise its hardest edges and subtlest shapes five years later in Michael Rosen’s Sad Book (public library) — an immensely moving addition to the finest children’s books about loss, illustrated by none other than the great Quentin Blake.

With extraordinary emotional elegance, Rosen welcomes the layers of grief, each unmasking a different shade of sadness — sadness that sneaks up on you mid-stride in the street; sadness that lurks as a backdrop to the happiest of moments; sadness that wraps around you like a shawl you don’t take off even in the shower.

What emerges is a breathtaking bow before the central paradox of the human experience — the awareness that the heart’s enormous capacity for love is matched with an equal capacity for pain, and yet we love anyway and somehow find fragments of that love even amid the ruins of loss.

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2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThis is me being sad.
Maybe you think I’m happy in this picture.
Really I’m sad but pretending I’m happy.
I’m doing this because I think people won’t like me if I look sad.

michaelrosenssadbook2.jpg?w=680

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSometimes sad is very big.
It’s everywhere. All over me.

michaelrosenssadbook3.jpg?w=680

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThen I look like this.
And there’s nothing I can do about it.

What makes me most sad is when I think about my son Eddie. I loved him very, very much but he died anyway.

With exquisite nuance, Rosen captures the contradictory feelings undergirding mourning — affection and anger, self-conscious introspection and longing for communion — and the way loss lodges itself in the psyche so that the vestiges of a particular loss always awaken the sadness of the all loss, that perennial heartbreak of beholding the absurdity of our longing for permanence in a universe of constant change.

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2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSometimes this makes me really angry.
I say to myself, “How dare he go and die like that?
How dare he make me sad?”

michaelrosenssadbook5.jpg?w=680

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngEddie doesn’t say anything,
because he’s not here anymore.

michaelrosenssadbook6.jpg?w=680

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSometimes I want to talk about all this to someone.
Like my mum. But she’s not here anymore, either. So I can’t.
I find someone else. And I tell them all about it.

michaelrosenssadbook7.jpg?w=680

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSometimes I don’t want to talk about it.
Not to anyone. No one at all.
I just want to think about it on my own.
Because it’s mine. And no one else’s.

But what makes the story most singular and rewarding is that it refuses to indulge the cultural cliché of cushioning tragedy with the promise of a silver lining. It is redemptive not in manufacturing redemption but in being true to the human experience — intensely, beautifully, tragically true.

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2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSometimes because I’m sad I do crazy things — like shouting in the shower…

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2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSometimes I’m sad and I don’t know why.
It’s just a cloud that comes along and covers me up.
It’s not because Eddie’s gone.
It’s not because my mum’s gone. It’s just because.

michaelrosenssadbook8.jpg?w=680

michaelrosenssadbook9.jpg?w=680

Blake, who has previously illustrated Sylvia Plath’s little-known children’s book and many of Roald Dahl’s stories, brings his unmistakably expressive sensibility to the book, here and there concretizing Rosen’s abstract words into visual vignettes that make you wonder what losses of his own he is holding in the mind’s eye as he draws.

michaelrosenssadbook10.jpg?w=680

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngWhere is sad?
Sad is everywhere.
It comes along and finds you.

michaelrosenssadbook11.jpg?w=680

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngWhen is sad?
Sad is anytime.
It comes along and finds you.

michaelrosenssadbook12.jpg?w=680

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngWho is sad?
Sad is anyone.
It comes along and finds you.

michaelrosenssadbook13.jpg?w=680

Complement the absolutely breath-stopping Michael Rosen’s Sad Book with Oliver Jeffers’s The Heart and the Bottle and the Japanese masterpiece Little Tree, then revisit Joan Didion on grief.

Startpreneur News via my fav newsletter


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Morning Briefing (9 Min Reading Time)
Top news & stories of the startup ecosystem from India & around the world
After more than 10 months of speculations, Walmart-owned ecommerce unicorn Flipkart has finally made its move into mobile phone insurance – a $27 Bn worth industry globally. Flipkart will offer insurance on mobile phones under its Complete Mobile Protection programme, starting October 10th at the onset of Flipkart’s The Big Billion Days (TBBD).
Global hotel chain OYO, today announced to have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Uttarakhand. With this signing, OYO Hotels has committed an investment worth $67.5 Mn (INR 500 Cr) to expand its chain in the region.
While the centre and state governments are taking steps to boost the startup ecosystem in the country, Ramesh Abhishek, secretary at the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) stated that there is a huge opportunity for Russian startups in India.
Inc42 sets out to answer such question in its upcoming annual report, The State Of Indian Startup Ecosystem Report 2018, to be launched at The Ecosystem Summit in November. Find out more here!
Fact sheet by Inc42 Datalabs.
Vishal Gondal believes that you will not get people simply by putting up ads on Naukri and LinkedIn, but rather on the field by networking. “You are more likely to find your early employees and early co-founders as I said not on Linkedin or naukri but they will be in conferences, events, or if you are in the health space, your co-founder might be running a marathon with you,” he says.
To understand the growing trend of freelancing in India, Inc42, in association with PayPal, is conducting a series of webinars titled —The Rising Freelance Economy. These webinars aim to throw light on the different trends in freelancing, whether it is breaking away from a regular job, or women taking up freelancing. Here are the excerpts from the latest webinar.
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Investors are pouring millions into the creation of a network of shared kitchens, storage facilities, and pickup counters that established chains and new food entrepreneurs can access to cut down on overhead and quickly spin up new concepts in fast food and casual dining.
SpaceX successfully launched and landed its Falcon 9 this evening, marking the 62nd flight of the vehicle. It was also the 12th ground landing for the company, and the first one on the California coast. SpaceX has two landing pads there, and has managed to touch down 11 Falcon 9 rockets on them. And each time the company has attempted to land on land, it’s been a success.
Ro Khanna (D-CA), whose congressional district includes the headquarters for Apple and Google. Khanna joined Swisher on a new bonus episode of Recode Decode to explain all ten of the potential regulations, which Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi tasked him with drafting after Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica affair.