Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hayek in Muscat Daily

The November 14th edition of Muscat Daily had, surprisingly, an article on Friedrich Von Hayek, one of the giants of the Austrian School of Economics.

Quite a welcome change to the usual coverage of economists in this region, which is normally restricted to the Keynesian apologist, Paul Krugman. Yes, he's won a Nobel Prize, and writes in the New York Times. But that doesn't make him always right.  Even coverage of economic througts and ideas do not go much beyond Socialism, Statism, Keynesianism, and on the odd occassion, Monetarism. Seem like quite a lot of 'ism's there. But there's still a lot more not covered.

The said article itself does not paint a good picture. Inexplicably the entire essay has not been printed. Seems to cut off abruptly. The original write-up is available on Bloomberg.

Hayek was not all gloom as painted. He should rather be remembered as one of the foremost advocates of free-markets. And bringing the Austrian school into a bit more of limelight is positive. Even if one doesn't agree with it, we still get to learn some new words. Such as Praxeology and Catallaxy

Thursday, November 12, 2009

2 quizzes - Quizpot & ISM Senior Open

Had conducted the quizpot senior quiz on Nov 5th. An event completely overshadowed by Mamata Shankar's dance, the same night at Al Bustan. The quiz went of pretty well. ISM dominated the show with a 1-2 finish. One of the teams was far ahead of the rest of the pack. The remaining teams were more or less clustered together on the final scores.

The encouraging aspect was, some of the teams' willingness to take a shot at every question asked. This treating of the "Pass" as a cardinal sin, augurs well for the future. A lot of questions, which the quizpot team felt could not be answered, were in fact easily cracked. And some which were not seen as too tough, did actually pass on to the audience. An example was the failure to identify the famous nickname for Amitabh Bachchan.

The only disappointment for the night was the thin audience. Of course, quizpot cannot compete with Ravi Shankar's niece.

The ISM students held their in-house senior open quiz on Nov 11th.  Had the privilege of watching the 1st half. The quiz conducted by the veteran quizzers - Pranav, Lakshay, Sidharth, Sabarinath - were the names I caught. A very good quiz with quite high standards, in both questions asked and the teams. Even the adults would have found some of the questions difficult to crack. The Guy Ritchie question, is one that I think would have flown over most teams.

The most pleasing aspect was the use of Infinite Bounce. This is something I've tried to introduce to the adult quizzing circles - many times and all unsuccessfully. For one, the setters refuse to see the drawbacks of the direct-and-pass system. Second, they say the Infinite Bounce is too complicated to understand. So, was really happy to see the conductors adopt this.