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The Sexodus – Men Giving Up on Women and Dishonest Feminists … thanks Marina

THE SEXODUS, PART 1: THE MEN GIVING UP ON WOMEN AND CHECKING OUT OF SOCIETY

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

“My generation of boys is f**ked,” says Rupert, a young German video game enthusiast I’ve been getting to know over the past few months. “Marriage is dead. Divorce means you’re screwed for life. Women have given up on monogamy, which makes them uninteresting to us for any serious relationship or raising a family. That’s just the way it is. Even if we take the risk, chances are the kids won’t be ours. In France, we even have to pay for the kids a wife has through adulterous affairs. 

“In school, boys are screwed over time and again. Schools are engineered for women. In the US, they force-feed boys Ritalin like Skittles to shut them up. And while girls are favoured to fulfil quotas, men are slipping into distant second place.

“Nobody in my generation believes they’re going to get a meaningful retirement. We have a third or a quarter of the wealth previous generations had, and everyone’s fleeing to higher education to stave off unemployment and poverty because there are no jobs.

“All that wouldn’t be so bad if we could at least dull the pain with girls. But we’re treated like paedophiles and potential rapists just for showing interest. My generation are the beautiful ones,” he sighs, referring to a 1960s experiment on mice that supposedly predicted a grim future for the human race.

After overpopulation ran out of control, the female mice in John Calhoun’s “mouse universe” experiment stopped breeding, and the male mice withdrew from the company of others entirely, eating, sleeping, feeding and grooming themselves but doing little else. They had shiny coats, but empty lives.

“The parallels are astounding,” says Rupert.

*

Never before in history have relations between the sexes been so fraught with anxiety, animosity and misunderstanding. To radical feminists, who have been the driving force behind many tectonic societal shifts in recent decades, that’s a sign of success: they want to tear down the institutions and power structures that underpin society, never mind the fall-out. Nihilistic destruction is part of their road map.

But, for the rest of us, the sight of society breaking down, and ordinary men and women being driven into separate but equal misery, thanks to a small but highly organised group of agitators, is distressing. Particularly because, as increasing numbers of social observers are noticing, an entire generation of young people—mostly men—are being left behind in the wreckage of this social engineering project.

Social commentators, journalists, academics, scientists and young men themselves have all spotted the trend: among men of about 15 to 30 years old, ever-increasing numbers are checking out of society altogether, giving up on women, sex and relationships and retreating into pornography, sexual fetishes, chemical addictions, video games and, in some cases, boorish lad culture, all of which insulate them from a hostile, debilitating social environment created, some argue, by the modern feminist movement.

You can hardly blame them. Cruelly derided as man-children and crybabies for objecting to absurdly unfair conditions in college, bars, clubs and beyond, men are damned if they do and damned if they don’t: ridiculed as basement-dwellers for avoiding aggressive, demanding women with unrealistic expectations, or called rapists and misogynists merely for expressing sexual interest.

Jack Rivlin is editor-in-chief of student tabloid media start-up The Tab, a runaway success whose current strap-line reads: “We’ll stop writing it when you stop reading it.” As the guiding intelligence behind over 30 student newspapers, Rivlin is perhaps the best-placed person in the country to observe this trend in action. And he agrees that the current generation of young men find it particularly difficult to engage with women.

“Teenage boys always have been useless with girls, but there’s definitely a fear that now being well-intentioned isn’t enough, and you can get into trouble just for being clumsy,” he says. “For example, leaning in for a kiss might see you branded a creep, rather than just inept.”

The new rules men are expected to live by are never clearly explained, says Rivlin, leaving boys clueless and neurotic about interacting with girls. “That might sound like a good thing because it encourages men to take the unromantic but practical approach of asking women how they should behave, but it causes a lot of them to just opt out of the game and retreat to the sanctuary of their groups of lads, where being rude to women gets you approval, and you can pretty much entirely avoid one-on-one socialising with the opposite sex.”

“There are also a lot of blokes who ignore women because they are scared and don’t know how to act. It goes without saying that boys who never spend any time alone with women are not very good at relationships.”

Rivlin has noticed the increased dependence on substances, normally alcohol, that boys are using to calm their nerves. “I’ve heard a lot of male students boast about never having experienced sober sex,” he says. “They’re obviously scared, which is natural, but they would be a lot less scared and dysfunctional if they understood ‘the rules.’”

The result? “A lot of nice but awkward young men are opting out of approaching women because there is no opportunity for them to make mistakes without suffering worse embarrassment than ever.”

Most troublingly, this effect is felt more acutely among poorer and less well educated communities, where the package of support resources available to young men is slight. At my alma mater, the University of Cambridge, the phenomenon barely registers on the radar, according to Union society president Tim Squirrell.

“I don’t think I’ve really noticed a change recently,” he says. “This year has seen the introduction of mandatory consent workshops for freshers, which I believe is probably a good thing, and there’s been a big effort by the Women’s Campaign in particular to try and combat lad culture on campus.

The atmosphere here is the same as it was a year ago – mostly nerdy guys who are too afraid to approach anyone in the first place, and then a smaller percentage who are confident enough to make a move. Obviously women have agency too, and they approach men in about the same numbers as they do elsewhere. There certainly haven’t been any stories in [campus newspaper] The Tab about a sex drought on campus.”

“I think that people are probably having as much sex as ever,” he adds. At Cambridge, of course, that may not mean much, and for a variety of socioeconomic and class-based reasons the tribes at Oxford and Cambridge are somewhat insulated from the male drop-out effect.

But even at such a prestigious university with a largely middle- and upper-class population, those patronising, mandatory “consent” classes are still being implemented. Squirrell, who admits to being a feminist with left-of-centre politics, thinks they’re a good idea. But academics such as Camille Paglia have been warning for years that “rape drives” on campus put women at greater risk, if anything.

Women today are schooled in victimhood, taught to be aggressively vulnerable and convinced that the slightest of perceived infractions, approaches or clumsy misunderstandings represents “assault,” “abuse” or “harassment.” That may work in the safe confines of campus, where men can have their academic careers destroyed on the mere say-so of a female student.

But, according to Paglia, when that women goes out into the real world without the safety net of college rape committees, she is left totally unprepared for the sometimes violent reality of male sexuality. And the panics and fear-mongering are serving men even more poorly. All in all, education is becoming a miserable experience for boys.

*

In schools today across Britain and America, boys are relentlessly pathologised, as academics were warning as long ago as 2001. Boyishness and boisterousness have come to be seen as “problematic,” with girls’ behaviour a gold standard against which these defective boys are measured. When they are found wanting, the solution is often drugs.

One in seven American boys will be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at some point in their school career. Millions will be prescribed a powerful mood stabiliser, such as Ritalin, for the crime of being born male. The side effects of these drugs can be hideous and include sudden death.

Meanwhile, boys are falling behind girls academically, perhaps because relentless and well-funded focus has been placed on girls’ achievement in the past few decades and little to none on the boys who are now achieving lower grades, fewer honors, fewer degrees and less marketable information economy skills. Boys’ literacy, in particular, is in crisis throughout the West. We’ve been obsessing so much over girls, we haven’t noticed that boys have slipped into serious academic trouble.

So what happened to those boys who, in 2001, were falling behind girls at school, were less likely to go to college, were being given drugs they did not need and whose self-esteem and confidence issues haven’t just been ignored, but have been actively ridiculed by the feminist Establishment that has such a stranglehold on teaching unions and Left-leaning political parties?

In short: they grew up, dysfunctional, under-served by society, deeply miserable and, in many cases, entirely unable to relate to the opposite sex. It is the boys who were being betrayed by the education system and by culture at large in such vast numbers between 1990 and 2010 who represent the first generation of what I call the sexodus, a large-scale exit from mainstream society by males who have decided they simply can’t face, or be bothered with, forming healthy relationships and participating fully in their local communities, national democracies and other real-world social structures.

A second sexodus generation is gestating today, potentially with even greater damage being done to them by the onset of absurd, unworkable, prudish and downright misandrist laws such as California’s “Yes Means Yes” legislation—and by third-wave feminism, which dominates newspapers like the Guardian and new media companies like Vox and Gawker, but which is currently enjoying a hysterical last gasp before women themselves reject it by an even greater margin than the present 4 out of 5 women who say they want nothing to do with the dreaded f-word.

*

The sexodus didn’t arrive out of nowhere, and the same pressures that have forced so many millennials out of society exert pressure on their parent’s generation, too. One professional researcher in his late thirties, about whom I have been conversing on this topic for some months, puts it spicily: “For the past, at least, 25 years, I’ve been told to do more and more to keep a woman. But nobody’s told me what they’re doing to keep me.

“I can tell you as a heterosexual married male in management, who didn’t drop out of society, the message from the chicks is: ‘It’s not just preferable that you should fuck off, but imperative. You must pay for everything and make everything work; but you yourself and your preferences and needs can fuck off and die.’”

Women have been sending men mixed messages for the last few decades, leaving boys utterly confused about what they are supposed to represent to women, which perhaps explains the strong language some of them use when describing their situation. As the role of breadwinner has been taken away from them by women who earn more and do better in school, men are left to intuit what to do, trying to find a virtuous mean between what women say they want and what they actually pursue, which can be very different things.

Men say the gap between what women say and what they do has never been wider. Men are constantly told they should be delicate, sensitive fellow travellers on the feminist path. But the same women who say they want a nice, unthreatening boyfriend go home and swoon over simple-minded, giant-chested, testosterone-saturated hunks in Game of Thrones. Men know this, and, for some, this giant inconsistency makes the whole game look too much like hard work. Why bother trying to work out what a woman wants, when you can play sports, masturbate or just play video games from the comfort of your bedroom?

Jack Donovan, a writer based in Portland who has written several books on men and masculinity, each of which has become a cult hit, says the phenomenon is already endemic among the adult population. “I do see a lot of young men who would otherwise be dating and marrying giving up on women,” he explains, “Or giving up on the idea of having a wife and family. This includes both the kind of men who would traditionally be a little awkward with women, and the kind of men who aren’t awkward with women at all.

“They’ve done a cost-benefit analysis and realised it is a bad deal. They know that if they invest in a marriage and children, a woman can take all of that away from them on a whim. So they use apps like Tinder and OK Cupid to find women to have protected sex with and resign themselves to being ‘players,’ or when they get tired of that, ‘boyfriends.’”

He goes on: “Almost all young men have attended mandatory sexual harassment and anti-rape seminars, and they know that they can be fired, expelled or arrested based more or less on the word of any woman. They know they are basically guilty until proven innocent in most situations.”

Donovan lays much of the blame for the way men feel at the door of the modern feminist movement and what he sees as its disingenuousness. “The young men who are struggling the most are conflicted because they are operating under the assumption that feminists are arguing in good faith,” he says, “When in fact they are engaged in a zero-sum struggle for sexual, social, political and economic status—and they’re winning.

“The media now allows radical feminists to frame all debates, in part because sensationalism attracts more clicks than any sort of fair or balanced discourse. Women can basically say anything about men, no matter how denigrating, to a mix of cheers and jeers.”

That has certainly been the experience of several loose coalitions of men in the media recently, whether scientists outraged by feminist denunciations of Dr Matt Taylor, or video gamers campaigning under the banner of press ethics who saw their movement smeared as a misogynistic hate group by mendacious, warring feminists and so-called “social justice warriors”.

Donovan has views on why it has been so easy for feminists to triumph in media battles. “Because men instinctively want to protect women and play the hero, if a man writes even a tentative criticism of women or feminism, he’s denounced by men and women alike as some kind of extremist scoundrel. The majority of “men’s studies” and “men’s rights” books and blogs that aren’t explicitly pro-feminist are littered with apologies to women.

“Books like The Myth of Male Power (click to hear the full audiobook) and sites like A Voice for Men are favourite boogeymen of feminists, but only because they call out feminists’ one-sided hypocrisy when it comes to pursing ‘equality.’”

Unlike modern feminists, who are driving a wedge between the sexes, Men’s Rights Activists “actually seem to want sexual equality,” he says. But men’s studies authors and male academics are constantly tip-toeing around and making sure they don’t appear too radical. Their feminine counterparts have no such forbearance, of course, with what he calls “hipster feminists,” such as the Guardian‘s Jessica Valenti parading around in t-shirts that read: “I BATHE IN MALE TEARS.”

“I’m a critic of feminism,” says Donovan. “But I would never walk around wearing a shirt that says, “I MAKE WOMEN CRY.” I’d just look like a jerk and a bully.”

It’s the contention of academics, sociologists and writers like Jack Donovan that an atmosphere of relentless, jeering hostility to men from entitled middle-class media figures, plus a few confused male collaborators in the feminist project, has been at least partly responsible for a generation of boys who simply don’t want to know.

In Part 2, we’ll meet some of the men who have “checked out,” given up on sex and relationships and sunk into solitary pursuits or alcohol-fuelled lad culture. And we’ll discover that the real victims of modern feminism are, of course, women themselves, who have been left lonelier and less satisfied than they have ever been.

Some names have been changed.

THE SEXODUS, PART 2: DISHONEST FEMINIST PANICS LEAVE MALE SEXUALITY IN CRISIS

Pregnant Man Goes Bankrupt But Still Wants Fourth Child

Sexual dysfunction is not unique to the twenty-first century—nor, certainly, to the West. Japan’s “herbivores”—men who shun sex and prefer saving money and going on long walks to riding motorcycles and flirting with girls—have been well documented and are regarded by social scientists as the best example of male sexuality turning in on itself.

But although the sexodus, a new retreat into solitude by Western males, has a different flavour to it and dramatically different aetiology from previously observed social crises, many characteristics are identical. And what’s troubling about men throwing in the towel in both East and West is the rapidity with which the malaise is spreading across entire generations, fuelled not just by sexual dissatisfaction but also the economic and educational pressures felt by so many young boys.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. It’s little wonder that in the disorientating modern world, men should seek out extreme measures to help them relate to, and get what they want from, the opposite sex. That probably explains the rise of Julien Blanc, who claims his seminars can transform the way women will respond to you. Blanc is at the extreme end of a movement known as “pick-up artists” or PUAs.

But other voices in the PUA or “red pill” movements, including Daryush Valizadeh, who goes by the pen name Roosh V, says there are structural reasons why society is evolving away from inter-gender contentment. Part of the problem is unrealistic female expectations, says Valizadeh. “Getting laid with attractive women has become extremely hard for average men. Women today of average or even below average quality desire an elite man with above-average looks, muscles, intelligence, and confidence.

“If an average girl works hard enough, she will be able to have a one-night stand with a ‘hot’ guy every now and then because he happened to be horny and wanted an easy lay. The girl then thinks that she actually can get such a man to commit to her for the long term, and so doesn’t give the average guys a chance, holding out for the type of stud that she had a brief sexual encounter with in the past.”

Valizadeh has some controversial views on the state of modern womanhood, too. He says: “It’s also damaging that the attractiveness of women is rapidly declining, mainly due to the obesity epidemic. No matter what members of the ‘fat acceptance’ movement say, men have an innate need for fit women.  What happens is the few attractive girls left get unimaginable amounts of attention.”

According to Valizadeh, today’s sexual marketplace represents a Pareto distribution in which “20 percent of the top guys have access to 80 percent of the best women,” which has the effect of leaving women holding out for the perfect man, a man who of course never comes.

Valizadeh agrees with masculinity author Jack Donovan that men have been feminised by a culture that rejects and ridicules male characteristics and habits. “Good luck naming one male role model that men have today that actually helps them become men,” he remarks. These thoughts are echoed on occasionally rude but compelling male-oriented blogs, such as the phenomenally popular Chateau Heartiste.

They are also supported by the current state of the sex wars, which are constituted bizarrely. One of the remarkable things about recent high-profile skirmishes with feminists is how few mainstream heterosexual men have been involved. In the GamerGate video games controversy, opposition to “social justice warriors” and their attempts at censorship on Twitter has come from older gay men in public life and younger geeks, gamers and drop-outs; in the case of Matt Taylor, it was geeks and other women.

Straight young men simply don’t want to know any more. They’re not getting involved. Some women, too, horrified by what lesbianised third-wave feminism claims to do in their name, opt out of the argument. The absurd result is that geeks, queers and dykes are dominating the discussion about how men and women should interact. Jack Donovan, for example, is gay, as is your present correspondent. It’s as if gays are the only men left prepared to fight masculinity’s corner.

Men want normal relationships that include sex, says Valizadeh. Some of them will read pick-up artist books or go to seminars by people such as Roosh V if they don’t get it or need to be trained out of “white knight” behaviours instilled in them by a female-dominated culture. (Men have been taught that being a nice guy gets you laid. It doesn’t.)

What strikes a lot of women as strange is how rational and systematic so much of this decision-making is by men. Many young men literally perform a cost-benefit analysis and decide that women aren’t worth the hassle. It’s girls who lose out in this scenario: men don’t need the sustained emotional intimacy that comes with a fulfilling sexual relationship and can retreat into masturbatory pursuits, prostitution and one-night stands much more comfortably.

But that’s exactly what it is, from a male point of view: a rational opting out from education, work and marriage by men who have had enough, as a remarkable book by Dr Helen Smith called Men on Strike warned in July last year. (The consensus on this stuff is growing rapidly.)

Men, driven, as many of them like to say, by fact and not emotion, can see that society is not fair to them and more dangerous for them. They point to the fact that they are more likely to be murder victims and more likely to commit suicide. Women do not choose to serve in the Armed Forces and they experience fewer deaths and injuries in the line of work generally.

Women get shorter custodial sentences for the same crimes. There are more scholarships available to them in college. They receive better and cheaper healthcare, and can pick from favourable insurance packages available only to girls. When it comes to children, women are presumed to be the primary caregiver and given preferential treatment by the courts. They have more, better contraceptive options.

Women are less likely to be homeless, unemployed or to abuse drugs than men. They are less likely to be depressed or to suffer from mental illness. There is less pressure on them to achieve financial success. They are less likely to live in poverty. They are given priority by emergency and medical services.

Some might call these statistical trends “female privilege.” Yet everywhere and at all times, say men’s rights advocates, the “lived experiences” and perceived oppression of women is given a hundred per cent of the airtime, in defiance of the reality that women haven’t just achieved parity with men but have overtaken them in almost every conceivable respect. What inequalities remain are the result of women’s choices, say respectable feminist academics such as Christina Hoff Sommers, not structural biases.

And yet men are constantly beaten up over bizarre invented concepts such as rape culture and patriarchal privilege. The bizarre but inevitable conclusion of all this is that women are fuelling their own unhappiness by driving men to consider them as sex objects and nothing more, because the thought of engaging in a relationship with a woman is horrifying, or too exhausting to contemplate. And the sexodus will affect women disproportionately harshly because research data show that when women “act like men” by having lots of casual sex, they become unhappy, are more likely to suffer from depression and destroy their chances of securing a meaningful long-term relationship.

*

It’s not just video games and casual sex that young men are retreating into. They are also immersing themselves in fetishes that to their grandparents’ generation would resemble grounds for incarceration, and which drive them further away from the formerly fairer sex. Consider, for example, the example of furry culture and anthropomorphic animal sex fetishism, both of which are experiencing explosive growth, fuelled by the internet.

Jack Rivlin’s student newspaper The Tab, which we encountered in part one, has noticed the trend spreading on UK campuses. (It’s already rife throughout the US.) Other alternative sexual behaviours, including homosexuality and transgenderism, are more prevalent on campus now too.

“It’s eminently plausible that there are a greater number of people who identify as homosexual, bisexual or other sexualities who are happy to be labelled as such these days,” agrees Cambridge Union president Tim Squirrell, from whom we heard in part one, speaking about the students he sees passing through his Union. “I think we’re becoming more open and accepting of people who live different kinds of lifestyles and have different kinds of identities.”

Gay emancipation, of course, may not have been a uniformly good thing for women. Depending on whose figures you believe—and you’re wise not to take the claims of gay advocacy groups or gay magazines too seriously, for obvious reasons—somewhere between 1 per cent and 10 per cent of the adult male population is gay. (It’s probably a lot closer to 1 per cent.)

Just a few decades ago, many of those men—at the risk of stereotyping, the most sensitive, artistic, attractive and highest-earning men; that is, perfect husband material—would have got married, had a few kids and led a double life to pursue their forbidden urges. They wouldn’t have bothered their wives for sex and they would have made great fathers.

But now they’re settling down with men, in many cases not having children at all. In other words, a healthy chunk of the most desirable men—men who no doubt would have cooed along approvingly to feminist exhortations—are now off the market, leaving even fewer eligible men in the dating pool.

(As a side note, here’s an argument you won’t read elsewhere: gay men test significantly higher, on average, for IQ, and we know that IQ is at least partially genetically determined. Gays don’t reproduce as much now they don’t have to keep up the pretence of straight relationships. In fact, surveys say they barely reproduce at all.

Is it too much of a stretch to ask whether society’s newfound tolerance of homosexuals has made society… well, a bit more stupid? Granted, it sounds far-fetched. But while there’s no doubt that liberating gay men from the shame of their secret double lives has been a moral imperative, driven by compassion, no rapid social change comes without trade-offs.)

All this comes before we even discuss the rapid growth of sadomasochistic sex among the young and the “new civil rights frontier” of transgenderism, a psychiatric disorder currently in the process of being repackaged by the Left as an alternative sexual lifestyle.

*

The response to part one of this series was colossal. To date, over 300,000 readers have shared it on Facebook. 16,500 readers left comments. Over 500 men wrote to me privately to express their gratitude and support, from every continent and in all age groups. The younger men spoke especially movingly. (Predictably, hundreds of angry feminists on Twitter scorned it as “entitled whinging from white male manbabies,” rather proving the point of the story’s premise for me.) Here are the most representative quotes from my conversations, reprinted with permission.

Mark, 24: “Everyone I know feels the same. Your article spoke directly to us. We’re not all losers and nerds, we’re just normal guys who are either scared of being accused of terrible stuff by harpies or simply can’t be bothered any more. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I just can’t deal with hassle of women any more.”

Mickey: “I say no to the whole thing, even though I am very heterosexual and would like the intimacy of a relationship based on mutual respect. Well, I thought I did, but it’s been so long and the standard of behavior for women remains so low, along with my tolerance for dating bullshit, that it does not look like a realistic desire anymore.”

Francis, 28: “I’m an athlete. My parents have a lot of money. I have plenty of friends and a good social life. I don’t hang out with women any more. Occasionally I’ll have one night stands, but mostly I fill my time with other things. I got accused of molesting a girl at college and since then I’ve just thought, whatever. I play sports instead.”

Tilo, 20: “I don’t know for sure but your article sounds like me and a lot of my friends. I do furry stuff online in secret. I’d be horrified if my parents found out but it’s all that gets me off. Girls are a nightmare. I have a brother who’s ten years older and he feels the same. We’ve given up.”

Hector, 26: “I did stick to that social belief for a brief time thinking that the need for a serious relationship would come with the age, but it never happened and slowly I gave up. Today, a few hours before reading your article, I was having lunch with my mother and she kept talking about girlfriends and how I needed to get married, meanwhile I kept thinking ‘why would I waste my life with this shit?’, and it wasn’t until I read your article a few hours later, that I realised. And I don’t think it’s just my generation that is affected by this.”

We can be quite sure now that the sexodus is not some fringe, isolated internet movement as “Men Going Their Own Way” has sometimes been characterised. A combination of disastrous social engineering, special privileges for women, the relentless mockery of white men on the basis of their sex and skin colour and the economic and educational abandonment for boys has created one, if not two, lost generations already.

Men created most of what is good about the world. The excesses of masculinity are also, to be sure, responsible for much of what is bad. But if we are to avoid sliding into decline, mediocrity and a world in which men are actively discriminated against, we must arrest the decline in social attitudes towards them before so many victims are claimed that all hope of reconciliation between the sexes is lost. If that happens, it will be women who will suffer.

Some names have been changed.

Bonus from Mukund

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Think Like a Freak by by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

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Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
After the audiobook ends it gives you pieces of the authors’ other works and podcasts. They have weird ideas like carrying a jar of vomit round your neck and take a whiff every time you get hungry as the fastest way to lose weight… and being a conversation piece.

Notes:
– Lots of awkward and embarrassing stories of experts.
– The next generation should not continue the family business. Studies show it’s better to get in a fresh manager.
– Married people are happier… more like happier people are likelier to get married. Who wants to be with a sour puss.
– Stock market predictors <50% accurate. As good as chimp throwing darts.
– TV ads thought to be better than print. Randomised control trial was proposed. Print ads when not run didn’t reduce sales and the TV ads were run on days that people were already going to buy like Xmas.
– Even experts can’t tell difference between cheap and expensive wines. Dude makes fake restaurant to show that it’s all just another scheme. (Paras note: like well built stars get paid to say they use so and so supplements.)
– Teacher quality has dropped because smart women have better job options. But teacher skill doesn’t matter. American kids know less than other countries and it’s because of parents not the school system.
– How to win at hot-dog eating competitions. It’s artificial limits. Eg if you think 10 push-ups you get tired at 7. If you think 20 puch-ups you’ll tire at 17. The guy who ate double the record cut hotdogs with hands to reduce time biting. It’s easier to chew/swallow the sausage and sop the bun in warm water. Things like that.
– Black Americans die earlier than whites because of hypertension and heart disease. So slave traders used to lick the slaves to see how salty they were to gauge their health. Meanwhile the health of Africans elsewhere were no different to white Americans.
– Faeces from healthy person helps sick persons guts and other ailments. They call it faecal transplants or faecal therapy! Jokes about transpoosion, shit swap.
– Having fun is important to be successful. Love what you do.
– Kids are harder to fool by magicians especially because of their freakish height (basically because they’re short they see things from a different angle.
– A high nutrition diet can cost up to 10 times more than a junk food diet.
– Cash incentives work great but a cheaper way is finding out their herd mentality incentive. Experiment ran on moral, social, financial and herd mentality values. Look up Robert Cialdini experiment.
– Declared and revealed preferences. What people say and what they do is different.
– The trail with the don’t steal sign had more theft.
– People give money because of altruistic reasons or feel-good factor which is also called warm glow altruism or social pressure. But one guy tried a once and done method with 3 options. 1 – once and done, 2 – send letters twice a year, 3 – regular updates. People hardly checked ‘once and done’. People were twice as likely to donate compared to normal and also gave more money.
– Paying incentives to stop something usually makes it worse. E.g.s – HCFC gasses, cobras India, feral pigs in US and rats in South Africa.
– 6 incentive rules. 1 – What people really care about, 2 – Cheap for you, 3 – How they respond, 4 – Cooperative frame, 5 – Just coz it’s the right thing they won’t do it, 6 – Some people will take advantage.
– The whole van halen brown m&m game theory. No brown ones meant the hosts read the contract and did the line check.
– Story of secret bullet factory in Israel and their warm beer alarm so the British soldiers would call in advance to make sure the Israelis chilled the beers.
– Scam emails from Nigeria called Advanced fee fraud.
– Terrorist algorithms in banks. The main factor was looking for clients who did not get life insurance. Best part was they let out the secret so now they just had to sit and wait to see who got life insurance.
– The best way to persuade people, especially those not interested, is to tell stories.
– 3 forces that help against quitting.
1 – being a failure.
2 – sunk cost fallacy/concord fallacy/throwing good money/time/effort after bad.
3 – ignoring opportunity cost over concrete cost. What opportunity will you miss if you didn’t quit?
– Freakonomics radio podcast snippets included.
– Stats on tipping. Older, fatter, people and smokers tip more. More attractive women got more tips not so for men. Blonds, slender, bigger, breasts in 30s got better tips. If staff touch shoulder they get more more tip. Smiley face or squat down increases tips. Service quality for tips is weak. Blacks got tips less or none. Both blacks and whites will tip blacks less.
– Women won’t pick work or activities that are confrontational or competitive unless they grew up in cultures where women had equal or more power and equality.

Table of Contents
1. What Does It Mean to Think Like a Freak?
– An endless supply of fascinating questions . . .
– The pros and cons of breast-feeding, fracking, and virtual currencies . . .
– There is no magic Freakonomics tool . . .
– Easy problems evaporate; it is the hard ones that linger . . .
– How to win the World Cup . . .
– Private benefits vs. the greater good . . .
– Thinking with a different set of muscles . . .
– Are married people happy or do happy people marry? . . .
– Get famous by thinking just once or twice a week . . .
– Our disastrous meeting with the future prime minister.

2. The Three Hardest Words in the English Language
Why is “I don’t know” so hard to say? . . .
– Sure, kids make up answers but why do we? . . .
– Who believes in the devil? . . .
– And who believes 9/11 was an inside job? . . .
– “Entrepreneurs of error” . . .
– Why measuring cause-and-effect is so hard . . .
– The folly of prediction . . .
– Are your predictions better than a dart-throwing chimp? . . .
– The Internet’s economic impact will be “no greater than the fax machine’s” . . .
– “
Ultracrepidarianism” . . .
– The cost of pretending to know more than you do . . .
– How should bad predictions be punished? . . .
– The Romanian witch hunt . . .
– The first step in solving problems: put away your moral compass . . .
– Why suicide rises with quality of life— and how little we know about suicide . . .
– Feedback is the key to all learning . . .
– How bad were the first loaves of bread? . . .
– Don’t leave experimentation to the scientists . . .
– Does more expensive wine taste better?

3. What’s Your Problem?
– If you ask the wrong question, you’ll surely get the wrong answer . . .
– What does “school reform” really mean? . . .
– Why do American kids know less than kids from Estonia? . . .
– Maybe it’s the parents’ fault! . . .
– The amazing true story of Takeru Kobayashi, hot-dog-eating champion . . .
– Fifty hot dogs in twelve minutes! . . .
– So how did he do it? . . .
– And why was he so much better than everyone else? . . .
– “To eat quickly is not very good manners” . . .
– “The Solomon Method” . . .
– Endless experimentation in pursuit of excellence . . .
– Arrested! . . .
– How to redefine the problem you are trying to solve . . .
– The brain is the critical organ . . .
– How to ignore artificial barriers . . .
– Can you do 20 push-ups?

4. Like a Bad Dye Job, the Truth Is in the Roots
– Why a bucket of cash will not cure poverty and a planeload of food will not cure famine . . .
– How to find the root cause of a problem . . .
– Revisiting the abortion-crime link . . .
– What does Martin Luther have to do with the German economy? . . .
– How the “Scramble for Africa” created lasting strife . . .
– Why did slave traders lick the skin of the slaves they bought? . . .
– Medicine vs. folklore . . .
– Consider the ulcer . . .
– The first blockbuster drugs . . .
– Why did the young doctor swallow a batch of dangerous bacteria? . . .
– Talk about gastric upset! . . .
– The universe that lives in our gut . . .
– The power of poop.

5. Think Like a Child
– How to have good ideas . . .
– The power of thinking small . . .
– Smarter kids at $15 a pop . . .
– Don’t be afraid of the obvious . . .
– 1.6 million of anything is a lot . . .
– Don’t be seduced by complexity . . .
– What to look for in a junkyard . . .
– The human body is just a machine . . .
– Freaks just want to have fun . . .
– It is hard to get good at something you don’t like . . .
– Is a “no-lose lottery” the answer to our low savings rate? . . .
– Gambling meets charity . . .
– Why kids figure out magic tricks better than adults . . .
– “You’d think scientists would be hard to dupe” . . .
– How to smuggle childlike instincts across the adult border.

6. Like Giving Candy to a Baby
– It’s the incentives, stupid! . . .
– A girl, a bag of candy, and a toilet . . .
– What financial incentives can and can’t do . . .
– The giant milk necklace . . .
– Cash for grades . . .
– With financial incentives, size matters . . .
– How to determine someone’s true incentives . . .
– Riding the herd mentality . . .
– Why are moral incentives so weak? . . .
– Let’s steal some petrified wood! . . .
– One of the most radical ideas in the history of philanthropy . . .
– “The most dysfunctional $300 billion industry in the world” . . .
– A one-night stand for charitable donors . . .
– How to change the frame of a relationship . . .
– Ping-Pong diplomacy and selling shoes . . .
– “You guys are just the best!” . . .
– The customer is a human wallet . . .
– When incentives backfire . . .
– The “cobra effect” . . .
– Why treating people with decency is a good idea.

7. What Do King Solomon and David Lee Roth Have in Common?
– A pair of nice, Jewish, game-theory-loving boys . . .
– “Fetch me a sword!” . . .
– What the brown M&M’s were really about . . .
– Teach your garden to weed itself . . .
– Did medieval “ordeals” of boiling water really work? . . .
– You too can play God once in a while . . .
– Why are college applications so much longer than job applications? . . .
– Zappos and “The Offer” . . .
– The secret bullet factory’s warm-beer alarm . . .
– Why do Nigerian scammers say they are from Nigeria? . . .
– The cost of false alarms and other false positives . . .
– Will all the gullible people please come forward? . . .
– How to trick a terrorist into letting you know he’s a terrorist.

8. How to Persuade People Who Don’t Want to Be Persuaded
– First, understand how hard this will be . . .
– Why are better-educated people more extremist? . . .
– Logic and fact are no match for ideology . . .
– The consumer has the only vote that counts . . .
– Don’t pretend your argument is perfect . . .
– How many lives would a driverless car save? . . .
– Keep the insults to yourself . . .
– Why you should tell stories . . .
– Is eating fat really so bad? . . .
– The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure . . .
– What is the Bible “about”? . . .
– The Ten Commandments versus The Brady Bunch.

9. The Upside of Quitting
– Winston Churchill was right—and wrong . . .
– The sunk cost fallacy and opportunity cost . . .
– You can’t solve tomorrow’s problem if you won’t abandon today’s dud . . .
– Celebrating failure with a party and cake . . .
– Why the flagship Chinese store did not open on time . . .
– Were the Challenger’s O-rings bound to fail? . . .
– Learn how you might fail without going to the trouble of failing . . .
– The $1 million question: “when to struggle and when to quit” . . .
– Would you let a coin toss decide your future? . . .
– “Should I quit the Mormon faith?” . . .
– Growing a beard will not make you happy . . .
– But ditching your girlfriend might . . .
– Why Dubner and Levitt are so fond of quitting . . .
– This whole book was about “letting go” . . .
– And now it’s your turn.

Acknowledgements
Notes
Index

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A brief history of Diwali in Jainism … thanks Jay

Diwali is one of the most popular festivals in india. For Jains it is a very important occasion. It is a festival of glory and achievement of Bhagwan Mahavira who attained nirvana on this day.

A brief history of diwali in jainism:
Diwali was known as Deepalika- the Festival of Lights. Deepak is a symbol of light of abolishing the darkness of ignorance.

Dhan Teras was known as Dhanya Teras in olden days. Before his nirvana,Bhagwan Mahavira started giving his last sermons on this day. Thus the day was known as Dhanya. Now it is called as Dhan as too much importance is attached to wealth.

Kali Chaudas
Bhagwan spoke continuously for 48 hours. His last sermons are recorded in one of our Aagams called the uttaradhyana sutra.

Diwali
Bhagwan left this world and attained Nirvana at Pavapuri. The light was gone forever and the whole world was enveloped in pitch darkness. Gods dispelled it with bright gems and humans lit earthen lamps. Lamps are lit to symbolize the dispelling of ignorance.

Padva
Gautam swami, the chief disciple of Bhagwan Mahavira attained keval gyana on this day.

Bhai dooj
After Bhagwan’s nirvana his brother king Nandivardhan was inconsolable due to grief. His sister, Sudershana called him to her house and comforted by giving him religious knowledge.
Thus the traditions found their way in today’s world. But let’s not forget the real significance of celebrating Diwali.
‘Ahimsa paramo dharma’ was Bhagwan’s teaching which is at the very heart of Jainism. Let’s celebrate an Eco Friendly Diwali. Protect jeevs and pray for peace towards all.

Happy Spiritual Diwali to you all

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35 Epic Cooking Fails

1. Someone thought this Pinterest recipe was a fun idea.

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2. These s’more cookies looked good (in theory).

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3. To be fair, it’s the pan’s fault.

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4. Cooking pasta in a coffee maker… almost genius. Almost.

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5. Oh boy.

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6. The humanity.

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7. Somewhere in Italy an angel lost its wings.

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8. This used to be a pizza. Now it’s in heaven. 

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9. Someone forgot to take these cheese melts out in time. 

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10. Yes dear, cupcakes can be chewy. NOT.

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11. Another cupcake fail makes history. 

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12. And another.

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13. And yet another.

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14. Seriously, I didn’t realize making cupcakes was so hard.

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15. Not sure what this is supposed to be, but I’m not sure I even want to know.

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16. If you can’t identify the meat, don’t eat it.

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17. Not. Even. Close.

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18. Actually, this is kind of brilliant.

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19. This person forgot how to use an electric kettle.

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20. How does something like this even happen?

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21. Aren’t cakes supposed to look appetizing?

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22. Lovely cake. Looks delicious.

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23. Just delicious.

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24. That’s not how you cook eggs.

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25. Or spaghetti squash.

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26. Genius.

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27. This used to be a cabbage.

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28. It actually takes talent to make rice look like this. 

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29. It’s unclear just what this was supposed to be.

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30. They ruined cookies. Forever.

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31. Pasta should never find a way to be frightening.

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32. Almost.

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33. Plastic is NOT the same thing as metal. It just isn’t.

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34. Someone managed to find a way to ruin donuts.

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35. Sure, a goldfish ham salad sounds like a great idea.

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What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell

Click to get the book

What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures

Not the most captivating books form Malcolm. Hell I think my audiobook was not even complete and I didn’t care… so most of the summary is taken from elsewhere. Update: As I typed down the table of contents I realised it’s not a bad book. I just can’t use most of the info in my life.

Notes:
– Paying extra for loreal because of the illusion of being worth it.
– Dropping 2 Alka-Seltzer instead of one in adverts and double sales.
– Scud missiles detection pictures and cancer diagnosis not done properly because of not well trained people mistaking trucks.
– Politics of sampling, copying. Intellectual property.
– Warnings and clues for 911 and Kenya bombing.
– Choking = thinking too much, panicking = thinking too little.
– Blacks fail in tests, whites can’t jump under stereotype threat.

Contents
PART 1 – Obsessives, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius
– The Pitchman: Ron Popeil and the Conquest of the American Kitchen
– The Ketchup Conundrum: Mustard Now Comes in Dozens of Varieties Why Has Ketchup Stayed the Same?
– Blowing Up: How Nassim Taleb Turned the Inevitability of Disaster into an Investment Strategy
– True Colours: Hair Dye and the Hidden History of Postwar America
– John Rock’s Error: What the Inventor of the Birth Control Pill Didn’t Know About Women’s Health
– What the Dog Saw: Cesar Millan and the Movements of Mastery

PART2 – Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses
– Open Secrets: Enron, Intelligence, and the Perils of Too Much Information
– Million Dollar Murray: Why Problems like Homelessness May Be Easier to Solve Than to Manage
– The Picture Problem: Mammography, Air Power, and the Limits of Looking
– Something Borrowed: Should a Charge of Plagiarism Ruin Your Life?
– Connecting the Dots: The Paradoxes of Intelligence Reform
– The Art of Failure: Why Some People Choke and Others Panic
– Blowup: Who Can Be Blamed for a Disaster like the Challenger Explosion? No One, and We’d Better Get Used to It

PART 3 – Personality, Character, and Intelligence
– Late Bloomers: Why Do We Equate Genius with Precocity
– Most Likely to Succeed: How Do We Hire When We Can’t Tell Who’s Right for the Job?
– Dangerous Minds: Criminal Profiling Made Easy
– The Talen Myth: Are Smart People Overrated?
– The New-Boy Network: Do Job Interviews Really Tell Us?
– Troublemakers: What Pit Bulls Can Teach Us About Crime

Acknowledgements

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20 Clever Inventions You Probably Didn’t Know Were Made By Indians … thanx Nilesh

Indian inventions and discoveries have been instrumental in shaping the face of the current modern world. We picked up 20 such interesting findings out of a whole bunch that will make you go, “I didn’t know that”.

1. Buttons

buttons

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Buttons were first used in Mohenjo-daro for ornamental purpose rather than for fastening. They were first used in the Indus Valley Civilization by 2000 BCE.

 

2. Chess

chess

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Chess developed out of Chaturanga, which is an ancient strategy board game developed during the Gupta Empire in India around the 6th century AD. Now you know why Vishwanathan Anand is such a pro, rag rag me is tarah… ;)

 

3. Prefabricated home and movable structure

prefabricated-home

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In 16th century Mughal India, during the reign of Akbar, the first prefabricated & movable structures were invented.

 

4. Ruler

ruler

Rulers were first used by the Indus Valley Civilization prior to 1500 BCE. Made of ivory, the rulers found during excavation, reveal the amazing accuracy of decimal subdivisions on it.

 

5. Shampoo

Shampoo

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The word ‘Shampoo’ is derived from chāmpo (चाँपो). It was initially used as a head massage oil for the Nawabs of Bengal during the Mughal Empire around 1762. It evolved into shampoo over the years.

 

6. Snakes and Ladders

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The game, Snakes & Ladders,  was invented in India as a game of morals. Later it spread to England and eventually introduced in the USA by game pioneer Milton Bradley in 1943.

 

7. Cotton cultivation (We clothed the world, yay!)

cotton

The ancient Greeks used to wear animal skins and were not even aware of cotton. But Indians were sort of cool ;) and started cultivating cotton during the 5th – 4th millennium BCE in the Indus Valley Civilization. The word spread to the Mediterranean and beyond and soon everyone was ordering one from Flipkart. Well, pretty much.

 

8. Fibonacci Numbers

fibonacci

The Fibonacci numbers were first described by Virahanka, Gopala  andHemachandra as an outgrowth of earlier writings by Pingala.

 

9. Decimal System, Quadratic formula and Zero!

number-system

It was in 7th century CE when Brahmagupta found the first general formula for solving quadratic equations. The decimal system (or the Hindu number system), which was a precursor of the Arabic numeric system, was developed in India between the 1st and 6th centuries CE.

 

10. Suits Game

cards

The popular game of cards originated from India & was known as Krida-patram (which literally means “painted rags for playing”).

 

11. Cataract Surgery

cataract

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Indian physician Sushruta (6th century BCE) had the knowledge of performing cataract surgery. It spread to China from India. Greek scientists would visit India to get operations done and also to learn the nitty-gritties.

 

12. Diamond Mining

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Worldwide, India was the only source of diamonds until the discovery of mines in Brazil in the 18th century. Almost 5000 years ago, diamonds were first recognized and mined in central India.

 

13. Water on Moon

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ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 made the startling discovery that our moon is not a dry ball of rocks. The discovery of lunar water is attributed to the Chandrayaan mission.

 

14.  Radio/Wireless communication

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We all know that Marconi received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909 for contribution to the development of wireless telegraphy. But the first public demonstration of radio waves for communication was made by Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose in 1895, two years prior to Marconi’s similar demonstration in England.

Sir Bose was posthumously credited (more than a century later) for his achievement. The fact remains that this discovery truly shaped the face of modern wireless communication.

 

15. Flush Toilets

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Flush toilets were first used in the Indus Valley Civilization. These existed in most homes and were connected to a sophisticated sewage mechanism. The civilization was prominent in hydraulic engineering.

 

16. Binary Code

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Binary numbers were first described by Pingala (c. 200 BC). Pingala is the traditional name of the author of the Chandaḥśāstra, the earliest known Sanskrit treatise on prosody.

 

17. Ink

ink

Many ancient cultures and civilizations independently discovered and prepared ink for writing purposes. The source of carbon pigment used in Indian Ink (called musi) used in ancient India, was India. Since 4th century BC, the practice of writing with ink with a sharp pointed needle was common in South India.

 

18. Steel & Metal works

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Ancient Indians were pioneers in metallurgy. High quality steel was produced, almost two thousand years before it was understood by the West. One of the most remarkable feat in metallurgy: creating a seamless celestial globe, was invented in Kashmir. It was earlier considered impossible to create a metal globe without seams.

So thanks to India, Iron Man can wear his suit now.

 

19. Fiber Optics

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Named as one of the 7 ‘Unsung Heroes’ by Fortune Magazine, Dr. Narinder Singh Kapany, is widely recognized as the ‘Father of Fiber Optics’ for his pioneering work in Fiber Optics technology. Watch him speak eloquently on his entrepreneurial journey.

 

20. Plastic Surgery

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Yes, you heard it right. Indians were pioneers in Plastic Surgery too. It was carried out in India as early as 2000 BCE.

So, we’ve always been a cool country. ;)  History is testimony to it. So what’s stopping you from being innovative? Go, win the world.

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