Monday, February 24, 2020

Circe by Madeline Miller - Kitabi Karwan Repost




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Suppression has always been a tool of the powerful. But understanding power dynamics is not as easy as this statement. Humans have reviled in stratification throughout their existence, and have always found traits to discriminate on. Gender, caste, class, race, religion, language…the list is endless. Perhaps that’s why the any piece of literature that shines a light on the spiteful dynamics of our societies is viewed with scorn, largely by the powerful. Personally, this book touched a nerve because it focussed on an aspect of feminism which hasn’t generally been harped on by the mainstream, resulting in the false belief among people (largely people opposing it) that feminism only talks about female empowerment and gender equality The aspect that I am talking about is one of class identity and broadly intersectionality. Miller wonderfully reweaves a tale told to death into a haunting interpretation of intersectional discrimination. What got me thinking was the choice of protagonist. Circe is perhaps the best character from Greek mythology to demonstrate the sweeping effects of discrimination faced due to one’s different identities. Born as a lesser offspring of a Titan, she faced the worst of two horrible worlds. Gods and mortals alike looked down upon her because of her lack of powers, appearance, and gender. Her poignant self-discovery, albeit dramatic, is cathartic. I also couldn’t stop wondering about the dimension of immortality that surrounded this tale. Human behaviour is largely predicated and driven by, either philosophically or religiously or both, by the ultimate acceptance of death. The finality of life in a poetic way largely influences the journey to this end. To that extent, depriving the sufferer of this was a witting masterstroke because it allowed for discovering a morality that exists independently of the life and death cycle. More importantly, it allows for a discovery of purpose and existence beyond the finite circle which mortals are stuck with. #circe #madelinemiller #madelinemillercirce #greekmythology #bloomsburypublishing #feminism #intersectionality #intersectionalfeminism #immortal #god #greek #illiad #homer #helios #odysseus
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Suppression has always been a tool of the powerful. But understanding power dynamics is not as easy as this statement. Humans have reviled in stratification throughout their existence, and have always found traits to discriminate on. Gender, caste, class, race, religion, language…the list is endless. Perhaps that’s why the any piece of literature that shines a light on the spiteful dynamics of our societies is viewed with scorn, largely by the powerful.

Personally, this book touched a nerve because it focussed on an aspect of feminism which hasn’t generally been harped on by the mainstream, resulting in the false belief among people (largely people opposing it) that feminism only talks about female empowerment and gender equality. The aspect that I am talking about is one of class identity and broadly intersectionality. Miller wonderfully reweaves a tale told to death into a haunting interpretation of intersectional discrimination. What got me thinking was the choice of protagonist. Circe is perhaps the best character from Greek mythology to demonstrate the sweeping effects of discrimination faced due to one’s different identities. Born as a lesser offspring of a Titan, she faced the worst of two horrible worlds. Gods and mortals alike looked down upon her because of her lack of powers, appearance, and gender. Her poignant self-discovery, albeit dramatic, is cathartic.

I also couldn’t stop wondering about the dimension of immortality that surrounded this tale. Human behaviour is largely predicated and driven by, either philosophically or religiously or both, by the ultimate acceptance of death. The finality of life in a poetic way largely influences the journey to this end. To that extent, depriving the sufferer of this was a witting masterstroke because it allowed for discovering a morality that exists independently of the life and death cycle. More importantly, it allows for a discovery of purpose and existence beyond the finite circle which mortals are stuck with.


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Poor Economics: Rethinking Poverty & the Ways to End it - Kitabi Karwan Repost

Poor Economics


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Poor Economics : Rethinking Poverty and the Ways to End it by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo A perennial issue faced by academia of any kind, and economics in general, is an alleged lack of pragmatism. Laymen generally tend to be dismissive of theories, with the most common complaint being that the suggested solutions, and for that matter, the propositions themselves, are detached from ground reality. Honestly, that’s a fair attack point. The number of retrospectively flawed theories massively outweigh the successful ones. This is where this book, and the methodology adopted by J-PAL(an organisation founded by the authors of this book) exceeds expectations. Abhijeet Banerjee and Esther Duflo require no introduction. Their seminal approach to developmental economics won them the Nobel Prize for Economics last year, and this book is an amazing place to start what they propose. To put it concisely, they advocate a common sense driven and solution based approach to poverty alleviation and developmental economics in general. They choose to deliberately look beyond the myopia of high academia and embrace economics from an all-encompassing perspective. If I may attempt to be witty, they liberally use an interplay of liberal arts ranging from understanding the psychology of the poor (famous now through Richard Thaler’s idea of Behavioural Economics) to understanding the social structures of specific communities. But that’s not what I want to talk about. For me, the book was a brilliant example of how and why a holistic approach towards policy making has the potential to maximise social impact, and how seemingly puzzling dilemmas are rooted in simple notions and basic understanding of the human mind. Poor Economics is an outlier for anyone who wishes to develop a more hands-on approach towards making the world a better place and/or wishes to understand a modern approach to developmental economics in a succinct manner. #PoorEconomics #abhijitbanerjee #estherduflo #poverty #jlab #mit #economics #developmentaleconomics #endpoverty #povertyalleviation #nobelprize #nobelprizeeconomics #penguinbooks #penguinrandomhouse #penguinrandomhouseindia #book #bookstagramindia
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A perennial issue faced by academia of any kind, and economics in general, is an alleged lack of pragmatism. Laymen generally tend to be dismissive of theories, with the most common complaint being that the suggested solutions, and for that matter, the propositions themselves, are detached from ground reality. Honestly, that’s a fair attack point. The number of retrospectively flawed theories massively outweigh the successful ones. This is where this book, and the methodology adopted by J-PAL(an organisation founded by the authors of this book) exceeds expectations.

Abhijeet Banerjee and Esther Duflo require no introduction. Their seminal approach to developmental economics won them the Nobel Prize for Economics last year, and this book is an amazing place to start what they propose. To put it concisely, they advocate a common sense driven and solution based approach to poverty alleviation and developmental economics in general. They choose to deliberately look beyond the myopia of high academia and embrace economics from an all-encompassing perspective. If I may attempt to be witty, they liberally use an interplay of liberal arts ranging from understanding the psychology of the poor (famous now through Richard Thaler’s idea of Behavioural Economics) to understanding the social structures of specific communities. But that’s not what I want to talk about.

For me, the book was a brilliant example of how and why a holistic approach towards policy making has the potential to maximise social impact, and how seemingly puzzling dilemmas are rooted in simple notions and basic understanding of the human mind. Poor Economics is an outlier for anyone who wishes to develop a more hands-on approach towards making the world a better place and/or wishes to understand a modern approach to developmental economics in a succinct manner.




Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Nehru : The Invention of India by Dr. Shashi Tharoor - Kitabi Karwan Repost



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Nehru : The Invention of India by @shashitharoor History is a cruel master. Ruthless actually. You can never be sure how future generations will view your present, or even what your past was. Hitler is probably the best example of this phenomenon. Let alone Germany, Hitler enjoyed support, both academic and otherwise across Europe. Yet, today he is reviled as the embodiment of evil. In that context, examining Nehru in modern day India is an exercise in understanding not just him, but also a country, and a society. I am not going to talk about the factual history of Nehru’s life, as I believe that his persona rose beyond his life and the events that occurred during it. Yet navigating biographies is a tricky business. Writers, and for that matter, humans are yet to transcend the barrier of bias. I guess in a way, it is impossible to not have an opinion on small acts by great people. To that extent, I was pleasantly surprised by the nuance displayed by Dr. Tharoor while talking about one of the tallest leaders of the 20th Century, given that he’s a staunch believer in Nehruvian politics, and is a key member of the Indian National Congress. He doesn’t flinch or even moderate his words while often brutally criticising some of Nehru’s penchants, decisions and thoughts. Although this reads like a complaint, it is perhaps the highest compliment that can be paid to a biography. A tall statesman, a failing father, an optimistically naive policy maker and the ever pragmatic politician, this book explores Nehru in a way most of us never have. In context of the shrill rhetoric raised in Parliament (in re Prime Minister Modi’s speech as a reply to the President’s address at the beginning of this Budget Session), most people today end up listening to either end of the spectrum. They’re either people who blame Nehru for everything that is wrong with the country today, or are staunch Nehruvians who cannot hear a word against him. Ironically, 21st century India is when Pandit Nehru matters the most to Indians, and to that extent, this book is an amazing place to start.
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History is a cruel master. Ruthless actually. You can never be sure how future generations will view your present, or even what your past was. Think about it. Hitler is probably the best example of this phenomenon. Let alone Germany, Hitler enjoyed support, both academic and otherwise, across Europe. Yet, today he is reviled as the embodiment of evil. In that context, examining Nehru in modern day India is an exercise in understanding not just this phenomenon, but also a country, and a society.

I am not going to talk about the factual history of Nehru’s life, as I believe that the his persona rose beyond his life and the events that occurred during them. Yet navigating biographies is a tricky business. Writers, and for that matter, humans are yet to transcend the barrier of bias. I guess in a way, it is impossible to not have an opinion on small acts by great people. To that extent, I was pleasantly surprised by the nuance displayed by Dr. Tharoor while talking about one of the tallest leaders of the 20th Century, given that he’s a staunch believer in Nehruvian politics, and is a key member of the Indian National Congress. He doesn’t flinch or even moderate his words while often brutally criticising some of Nehru’s penchants, decisions and thoughts. Although this reads like a complaint, it is perhaps the highest compliment that can be paid to a biography.

A tall statesman, a failing father, an optimistically naive policy maker and the ever pragmatic politician, this book explores Nehru in a way most of us never have. In context of the shrill rhetoric raised in Parliament (in re Prime Minister Modi’s speech as a reply to the President’s address at the beginning of this Budget Session), most people today end up listening to either end of the spectrum. They’re either people who blame Nehru for everything that is wrong with the country today, or are staunch Nehruvians who cannot hear a word against him. Ironically, 21st century India is when Pandit Nehru matters the most to Indians, and to that extent, this book is an amazing place to start.

PS: The victory of the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi 2020 elections seemed like the perfect occasion to post about the biography of a man who dedicated his life to India’s freedom, development and upliftment.



Thursday, February 6, 2020

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg - Kitabi Karwan Repost



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No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by @gretathunberg Have you ever been slapped? Not play slapped, but smacked really hard. Right in the face. The kind that leaves an imprint? Imagine being told that you deserve it. Even worse, knowing deep down that you really do. That’s what this book is. At the outset, it is nothing but a collection of…frankly repetitive yet evocative speeches at multiple forums harping on the same point again and again and again. But there is something about them. Something in the deadweight, exhausted, exasperated yet slightly hopeful voice of a sixteen (now 18) year old. Something in that assertive yet pleading voice that reaches deep into you and squeezes every ounce of humanity from you, forcing you to face yourself. Climate change is real. Its effects are obvious and visible, and are exponentially getting worse. Yet, all we have are empty promises, half-hearted initiatives and talk of an optimistic future. It is something Peter Singer indirectly spoke about. While coming up with his seminal theory on global justice and addressing poverty he posited that humans are likely to help a person dying in front of them, but are somehow not motivated enough naturally to save the millions they don’t see suffering. He goes on to advocate a case that they should. I believe the same is happening right now, but the difference is that the millions are actually billions of young children who will be the generation to suffer through the present inaction. Secondly, the factor which mind numbingly is paradoxical is that this so-called “invisible” future generation is actually composed of people who the present generation espouses to love, care for and adore. I apologise for the crude parallel, but the actions of the present are tantamount to pushing people into a gas chamber, blissfully ignorant of what is happening. CONTD. IN COMMENT #audiobook #audiobooks #audible #penguinaudio #audibleindia #climatestrike #ParisAgreement #KyotoProtocol #earth #kitabikarvan #bookstagram #fridaysforfuture #penguinbooks #penguinrandomhouseaudio #nooneistoosmalltomakeadifference #gretathunberg #climatechange #globalwarming #ghg #greenearth #greenhousegas
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Have you ever been slapped? Not play slapped, but smacked really hard. Right in the face. The kind that leaves an imprint? Imagine being told that you deserve it. Even worse, knowing deep down that you really do. That’s what this book is. At the outset, it is nothing but a collection of…frankly repetitive yet evocative speeches at multiple forums harping on the same point again and again and again. But there is something about them. Something in the deadweight, exhausted, exasperated yet slightly hopeful voice of a sixteen (now 18) year old. Something in that assertive yet pleading voice that reaches deep into you and squeezes every ounce of humanity from you, forcing you to face yourself.

Climate change is real. Its effects are obvious and visible, and are exponentially getting worse. Yet, all we have are empty promises, half-hearted initiatives and talk of an optimistic future. It is something Peter Singer indirectly spoke about. While coming up with his seminal theory on global justice and addressing poverty he posited that humans are likely to help a person dying in front of them, but are somehow not motivated enough naturally to save the millions they don’t see suffering. He goes on to advocate a case that they should. I believe the same is happening right now, but the difference is that the millions are actually billions of young children who will be the generation to suffer through the present inaction. Secondly, the factor which mind numbingly is paradoxical is that this so-called “invisible” future generation is actually composed of people who the present generation espouses to love, care for and adore. I apologise for the crude parallel, but the actions of the present are tantamount to pushing people into a gas chamber, blissfully ignorant of what is happening.

This collection of speeches is not perfect. Greta has been widely criticised, and to an extent, rightly so, for not being, for a lack of a better term, pragmatic. She proposes no solution. She talks about inventions that haven’t been made yet or are impossible to implement on scale (yet). But that is something she, and no sixteen year old can ever be held guilty for. It simply isn’t her domain. No child should be held responsible for such a burden. After all, when you are drowning in the middle of the ocean miles away from the nearest coast, you won’t be asking for a boat or a ship or a floating device. You’ll scream, shout, fight, cry in agony…all for a breath of air. To survive. To live. That’s all Greta is saying. “I want to live. Please make sure I do”


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Low by Jeet Thayil - Kitabi Karwan Repost




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Low by @jeet.thayil Orderly chaos. This oxymoron has always stood out for me as a perfect metaphor of the world around us. Most of us love to pretend that there is a semblance of structure, clear cut emotions and reality. But what we don’t want to acknowledge is that we’re wrong. That the world is not just grey, it is filthy grey. It’s grim, dirty and downright punishing. What we refuse to acknowledge, is what Thayil thrives in. In a beautifully written book, he has somehow managed to pen the most moving, touching and yet downright disgusting ode to a city that is exactly that. A mud and muck covered monster that will swallow you whole, but you’ll love it. His drug addict protagonist is sharply aware of both the lows and highs(pun intended) of his habit, and is enthralled by it. A purist and a conservative reader might recoil and shrivel on reading his words, but at the heart of the book is the story of a broken man, a recent widower struggling with the loss of perhaps the only person who understood him, and ironically, the one person he never completely understood. Low is extremely subtle in its narrative, capturing nuances which most works ignore. Reading it is in itself an intoxication if the substance marred underbelly of Bombay, one which shows the city at its disgusting best and beautiful worst. #Low #JeetThayil #Mumbai #Bombay #Maximumcity #drugs #heroin #cocaine #suicide #death #love #marriage #Book #Books #Kitab #KitabiKarwan #fiction #reading #bookstgram #bookstagrammer #hardcover #2020 #faberandfaber #faberandfaberbooks #uk #hallucination #realism #psychedeliabook #dark #depth
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Orderly chaos. This oxymoron has always stood out for me as a perfect metaphor of the world around us. Most of us love to pretend that there is a semblance of structure, clear cut emotions and reality. But what we don’t want to acknowledge is that we’re wrong. That the world is not just grey, it is filthy grey. It’s grim, dirty and downright punishing.

What we refuse to acknowledge, is what Thayil thrives in. In a beautifully written book, he has somehow managed to pen the most moving, touching and yet downright disgusting ode to a city that is exactly that. A mud and muck covered monster that will swallow you whole, but you’ll love it. His drug addict protagonist is sharply aware of both the lows and highs(pun intended) of his habit, and is enthralled by it. A purist and a conservative reader might recoil and shrivel on reading his words, but at the heart of the book is the story of a broken man, a recent widower struggling with the loss of perhaps the only person who understood him, and ironically, the one person he never completely understood.

Low is extremely subtle in its narrative, capturing nuances which most works ignore. Reading it is in itself an intoxication if the substance marred underbelly of Bombay, one which shows the city at its disgusting best and beautiful worst.


Friday, January 31, 2020

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes - Kitabi Karwan Repost




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The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. Actions have consequences. Perhaps no other adage can sum up the history of well….everything. Sometimes, the tiniest of steps result in the largest of leaps, and the deepest of jumps are in retrospect nothing but a swim in the shallow end. This remarkably simple principle is often the most forgotten or rather ignored one, and well, this action in itself has consequences too. Isn’t that what life essentially is, or rather becomes? A vicious cycle of actions and consequences. Some maybe good, some maybe bad, but beyond these moral calls, they’re ultimately just that. Barnes utilises a rather curious method of writing. He adapts the tale of an unreliable, melancholic and slightly bitter narrator in blinding detail about two specific phases of his life. It is quite a jump that perhaps the greatest duration of his life is covered in a few pages while specific parts, which form the story are supremely sharp. That’s not unique in itself, given that many plot lines use that device. What stands out is the rather contrasting effect of juxtaposing the protagonist’s unreliability with precise detail. It may have been a beautiful commentary on the strange workings of the human mind for all I know, but then again, it is a human mind utilising dexterous tools to compose this. This book is a sobering mirror for everyone I know. It appeals to the young - don’t be brash, you’ll regret the consequences, not the act. It calls out the middle aged - before you know it, it’ll pass in a blur. It wrecks the old - each step of your life compounds to make you who you are, and it is too late to blame anyone. You’ll regret the act, and the consequences will make sure you do. I admit I was slighted by the fact that this book won a Booker prize. But it fits in perfectly with the inherently British bias the prize carries. Don’t get me wrong, the book is fantastically written, and will make you question things you never thought you would, and will make you think for longer than you supposed you could. #Book #Books #fiction #reading #bookstgram #bookstagrammer #manbooker #bookerprize #paperback #vintagebooks #thesenseofanending #julianbarnes
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Actions have consequences. Perhaps no other adage can sum up the history of well….everything. Sometimes, the tiniest of steps result in the largest of leaps, and the deepest of jumps are in retrospect nothing but a swim in the shallow end. This remarkably simple principle is often the most forgotten or rather ignored one, and well, this action in itself has consequences too. Isn’t that what life essentially is, or rather becomes? A vicious cycle of actions and consequences. Some maybe good, some maybe bad, but beyond these moral calls, they’re ultimately just that.

Barnes utilises a rather curious method of writing. He adapts the tale of an unreliable, melancholic and slightly bitter narrator in blinding detail about two specific phases of his life. It is quite a jump that perhaps the greatest duration of his life is covered in a few pages while specific parts, which form the story are supremely sharp. That’s not unique in itself, given that many plot lines use that device. What stands out is the rather contrasting effect of juxtaposing the protagonist’s unreliability with precise detail. It may have been a beautiful commentary on the strange workings of the human mind for all I know, but then again, it is a human mind utilising dexterous tools to compose this.

This book is a sobering mirror for everyone I know. It appeals to the young - don’t be brash, you’ll regret the consequences, not the act. It calls out the middle aged - before you know it, it’ll pass in a blur. It wrecks the old - each step of your life compounds to make you who you are, and it is too late to blame anyone. You’ll regret the act, and the consequences will make sure you do.

I admit I was (and to an extent, still am) slighted by the fact that this book won a Booker prize. But then again, it fits in perfectly with the inherently British bias the prize carries. Don’t get me wrong, the book is fantastically written, and will make you question things you never thought you would, and will make you think for longer than you supposed you could. But, all in all, it might not be the best piece of fiction I have read. Biases abound I guess?



Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Atomic Habits by James Clear - Kitabi Karwan Repost





Atomic Habits by James Clear. Investing in personal growth is easily one of the most intuitive things one ought to be doing. Yet, it somehow never makes it to our to-do list, let alone languish at its bottom. I read a quote a few years back which deeply impacted me - “If I asked you to name everything you love, how long will it be before you name yourself?” Among our many, many follies as human beings, perhaps the greatest one is the society backed and pedalled system of defining ourselves through an external locus, which often is simply a materialistic object. Stacy is a lawyer earning 3 million dollars a year. Eric is a salesman making 15,000 euros a year. But what this antiquated system fails to recognise, and inevitably causes irreparable inter-generational damage to the human psyche, is the fact that true happiness and satisfaction is always centred around an inner locus. In that context, this book is not your ordinary self help book. Meticulously researched with empirical evidence to back both, his scientific theories and logical assumptions, the author tries to achieve one simple goal through this book - to help us be better versions of ourselves. Not better in the eyes of anyone else, but better, by our own personal and moral standards. To put it succinctly, the book will make you realise how you define yourself, and help you get there, step by step. Habits are indeed transformational, and I must confess that in the frenzied hangover of this book, I have started a few new ones, and improved upon some old ones, using the lessons I took away from this book. Honestly, it is too early to comment on their effectiveness, but what I can state with conviction is that starting a new habit, however difficult or boring it might appear to you right now, will be eased massively after reading this. #audiobook #audiobooks #audible #penguinaudio #audibleindia #reading #bookstgram #books #book #kitab #karvan #kitabikarvan #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #penguinbooks #penguinrandomhouseaudio #mumbaibookstagram #jamesclear #atomichabits #selfhelp #habits #habit #tinychanges
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Investing in personal growth is easily one of the most intuitive things one ought to be doing. Yet, it somehow never makes it to our to-do list, let alone languish at its bottom. I read a quote a few years back which deeply impacted me - “If I asked you to name everything you love, how long will it be before you name yourself?”

Among our many, many follies as human beings, perhaps the greatest one is the society backed and pedalled system of defining ourselves through an external locus, which often is simply a materialistic object. Stacy is a lawyer earning 3 million dollars a year. Eric is a salesman making 15,000 euros a year. But what this antiquated system fails to recognise, and inevitably causes irreparable inter-generational damage to the human psyche, is the fact that true happiness and satisfaction is always centred around an inner locus.


In that context, this book is not your ordinary self help book. Meticulously researched with empirical evidence to back both, his scientific theories and logical assumptions, the author tries to achieve one simple goal through this book - to help us be better versions of ourselves. Not better in the eyes of anyone else, but better, by our own personal and moral standards. To put it succinctly, the book will make you realise how you define yourself, and help you get there, step by step.


Habits are indeed transformational, and I must confess that in the frenzied hangover of this book, I have started a few new ones, and improved upon some old ones, using the lessons I took away from this book. Honestly, it is too early to comment on their effectiveness, but what I can state with conviction is that starting a new habit, however difficult or boring it might appear to you right now, will be eased massively after reading this.


How The World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy by Julian Baggini - Kitabi Karwan Repost




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How The World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy by Julian Baggini Listening to an Audiobook on a serious topic is a tough endeavour simply because we are generally not trained to train our auditory senses to function as stand alone inputs of absolute information processing. I say this to emphasise how this book stands out. Dispensing information about abstract issues is in itself difficult, and a challenging narrative makes the situation worse. But somehow @microphilosopher manages to surmount these hurdles and reaches out to the reader(listener) in a beautiful manner. This aside, I feel this book is a much required one as it dispels the notion of western philosophy being the de facto, all encompassing idea of philosophy. It explores the largely ignored concepts from East Asia and South Asia, including the fundamental difference in the very conception of the idea of philosophy. A lot of inter-generational and political conflict in a highly globalised world can be sourced to deep rooted philosophical differences. Something as basic as the emphasis of the west on individualism as opposed to the Asian emphasis on collectives and community is largely reflective in day-to-day events. Perhaps a better understanding of where each party to an event is coming from may result in mutual appreciation of standpoints. I would have preferred for the book to have also covered African and South American outlooks as well for the book to live up to the word “World” in its title, as it largely focuses on the Northern Hemisphere. Yet, I would say the book should form an integral part of anyone’s intellect building to-read list. Perhaps it’s time we actually make sense of the inane trend of the #fromwhereistand hashtag PS: @microphilosopher ‘s credentials are readily available online, and it heartens me to know that he has more than enough authority to talk on the topic. #howtheworldthinks #julianbaggini #philosophy #audiobook #audiobooks #audible #wholestoryaudiobooks #audibleindia #reading #bookstgram #books #book #kitab #karvan #kitabikarvan #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #philosophicalbooks #booksonphilosophy #orientalphilosophy #westernphilosophy
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Listening to an Audiobook on a serious topic is a tough endeavour simply because we are generally not trained to train our auditory senses to function as stand alone inputs of absolute information processing. I say this to emphasise how this book stands out. Dispensing information about abstract issues is in itself difficult, and a challenging narrative makes the situation worse. But somehow Baggini manages to surmount these hurdles and reaches out to the reader(listener) in a beautiful manner.

This aside, I feel this book is a much required one as it dispels the notion of western philosophy being the de facto, all encompassing idea of philosophy. It explores the largely ignored concepts from East Asia and South Asia, including the fundamental difference in the very conception of the idea of philosophy. A lot of inter-generational and political conflict in a highly globalised world can be sourced to deep rooted philosophical differences. Something as basic as the emphasis of the west on individualism as opposed to the Asian emphasis on collectives and community is largely reflective in day-to-day events. Perhaps a better understanding of where each party to an event is coming from may result in mutual appreciation of standpoints.

I would have preferred for the book to have also covered African and South American outlooks as well for the book to live up to the word “World” in its title, as it largely focuses on the Northern Hemisphere. Yet, I would say the book should form an integral part of anyone’s intellect building to-read list. Perhaps it’s time we actually make sense of the inane trend of the #fromwhereistand hashtag

PS: Baggini‘s credentials are readily available online, and it heartens me to know that he has more than enough authority to talk on the topic.