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On Why Farmers Agitate, The Best Online Classes You Can Take and Love Letters to Trees

This post was first sent to my newsletter on May 2nd, 2021.
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New month, new newsletter! :)
Let’s get right into it, shall we?

An informed look on the why of the farmers agitation.

Vivek Kaul’s post on how Bihar fared when they did away with APMCs in 2006, shows why the farmers are up in arms.
Read them here, part 1, part 2, & part 3

The farm prices at which farmers sell continue to be depressed compared to the MSPs and given that difference has only increased in recent years, weakens the argument forwarded by supporters of the new farm laws which extrapolates deregulation to improved price realization for farmers. Economic theory doesn’t always fall in line with things actually happening on the ground.

… while the net income of farmers in Bihar rose from 2007 to 2010, nevertheless, it has been declining continuously since 2010, up to the point we have data for. The declining income is explained by a rise in costs of agriculture inputs (seeds, power, labour, fertilizers, cost of finance, etc.) without a commensurate increase in sales revenue. The net income per hectare farmed, has moved alarmingly towards zero.


Scott Young, on the best online classes he took

It’s the holidays! Why not spend sometime learning something new?
Scott Young lists some of the best online courses, he’s learnt.
It’s a wide ranging, cross disciplinary list, with subjects from Law to Physics to Medical Neuroscience.
I am partial to the most meta course of them all, Learning How to Learn.
This kickstarted the learning pivot in my life a couple of years ago, helping me learn so much stuff.
Check out the entire list of ten courses (plus a few honourable mentions) here.


Hermann Hesse’s beautiful love letter to trees!

Read here, Watch here
(definitely worth the 5 minute or so watch. Natascha McElhone mesmerises with her voice)

A tree says: My strength is trust.
I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me.
I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else.
I trust that God is in me.
I trust that my labor is holy.
Out of this trust I live.


So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts:
Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours.
They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them.
But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy.
Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is.
That is home. That is happiness.

So here we are, ending our letter on that beautiful soothing note.
Catch you folks, next month!


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