5 min read

Site updates + Indian Archives + Chinese Politics

This week, I have truly been an employee of Biscuits for Chai spending most of my days working to create much more accessible and aesthetic user interface. I also have quite the reading list.

This week, I have truly been an employee of Biscuits for Chai spending most of my days working to create much more accessible and aesthetic user interface. Check it out.

The website now has Google Analytics integration (finally). It has a clearer niche (although this is still subject to change), there is a formal contact page, the meta data has been organized and so much more. I really wanted to make something that I could be proud of and that you could be proud to share with your friends and family (that being said, please share Biscuits for Chai). You can forward this email by the way.

I have actually started planning the next website renovation. Something I have realized, however, is that I can't build a website for content that doesn't yet exist. Furthermore, website design shouldn't be my focus at Biscuits for Chai. While the past week has been fun, it has also been draining and at times a bit stressful–some of the future integrations that I want to add have a prohibitive cost barrier and so I kind of went down a  rabbit hole thinking about how I could make this blog  profitable. I also started comparing myself to other larger publications.

But in writing this newsletter, I am reminded of something that I wrote a few weeks ago: that we should be doing things for their own sake. I should be writing a newsletter because I like writing a newsletter, not because I need a platform to launch online courses, or because I want to become the next Elizabeth Filips. I should be happy writing even if I never gather a massive following.

This is actually echoed by someone who was actually introduced to me by Elizabeth Filips: Naval Ravikant. Here is a quote from the Almanack of Naval Ravikant, a book that is on my reading list.

Whether it’s business, exercise, romance, friendship, whatever, I think the meaning of life is to do things for their own sake. Ironically, when you do things for their own sake, you create your best work. Even if you’re just trying to make money, you will actually be the most successful. – Naval Ravikant

Article 1: The Corruption of Evidence Based Medicine by Dr. Jason Fung

Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) is described as "the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients". It was coined by Gordon Guyatt, a researcher at McMaster University. Basically, what happens is that a ton of data from a bunch of different studies on a particular drug, therapy, surgery, lifestyle change, etc., is collected. Researchers then figure out whether the said intervention is good or bad (its usually a bit more nuanced than that), when it should be used, whether it affects different groups in different ways etc. All of these findings are then translated into guidelines or recommendations that your doctor can use when treating you.

The article shows you how drug companies can find ways to interfere with this review process.

The Corruption of Evidence Based Medicine — Killing for Profit
The idea of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) is great. The reality, though, not so much. Human perception is often flawed, so the premise of…

Article 2: A kind of mean April Fools prank by blogTO

I hear about this on the radio. I can't remember which station–I usually switch stations regularly and aggressively while driving. I want to listen to songs, not commentary and ads. I am lucky I caught this though.

Ontario to mandate all businesses switch to 4 day-work week starting in 2023
The Ontario government is gearing up to introduce new workplace legislation on Friday afternoon that, if passed, would eventually turn every weeken...

Article 3: Why we stopped making Einsteins

I was actually recommended this article by the Sunday Brain Food newsletter by Farnam Street. Usually when we think about education reform, we usually think about how we can increase its accessibility and how to make education more equitable. But perhaps we are losing something by doing so. What the author finds is that the geniuses of the past were mostly aristocratically tutored.

The article is written by Eric Hoel over at the Intrinsic Perspective. He started his newsletter only a year ago.

Why we stopped making Einsteins
Geniuses of the past were aristocratically tutored

Here is a video if you can't read anymore.

Article 4: The Brink of Erasure by Narayani Basu

India knows very little about its own history. It's about to know even less. The process of accessing documents in the Indian Archives as already heavily ripe with bureaucracy, preventing historians from fully understanding even post 1947 (Indian Independence) history. Now it's about to get even more difficult. The commencement of the demolition process of the archives buildings in New Delhi (to build new gov't offices) as well as a lack of transparency from the Indian government on where documents will be stored in the future or how to access them going forward means that historians will find it even more difficult to learn about and teach Indians about their past.

I used to wonder why India doesn't rank so high on freedom of press ratings. I guess stuff like this is part of the reason why. I got this article from The Browser. It was originally published in Contingent Magazine.

The Brink of Erasure
The impending demolition of the National Archives Annexe is a crisis, not just for the study of history, but for Indian democracy.

Article 5: Meet someone you should have already known about.

I also got this article from Browser. The articles they recommend are honestly hit or miss, but they recommend a lot of them lmao.

I think we all already know that China is the single greatest economic machine on the planet at the moment. We also all probably know that they present a significant, perhaps even the single greatest, military threat to the US.

One of the things that I think that we all may fear about China is the fact that it seems so different from what we have going on over here. But different how exactly and why?  This article sheds some light on these questions. Originally published in the U.S.-China Perception Monitor by Kerry Brown.

Wang Huning and the Power of Chinese Culture - U.S.-China Perception Monitor
Wang Huning, member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo since 2017, has been labelled the ‘mastermind behind Xi Jinping’s power.’