The Progression of the Names of Indian Restaurants in the West

Chronicling the history of the vaunted British curry house, the guardian’s food journalist Bee Wilson notes,

You can judge the age of a British curry restaurant from its name. If you see one that is called Taj Mahal, Passage to India or Koh-i-Noor (after the famous Indian diamond,) it probably dates back to the first wave of curry houses in the 1960s. These eateries appealed to retired Old India Hands, who wanted to eat hot chutney and be treated like “sahibs” again. The names of 1970s curry houses began to shrug off the colonial past and evoke, instead, a vague sense of eastern exoticism: Lily Tandoori, Aladdin, Sheba—glamorous names to counteract longstanding British prejudices that south Asian food was malodorous and unclean. By the 1980s, however, such orientalism had also begun to seem hackneyed, and new restaurants opening in that decade often named themselves after ingredients, a more subtle form of rebranding: Tamarind, Cumin, or Lasan (Hindi for garlic.)

In what may represent yet another new phase in the naming of British Indian restaurants, the name, which means “cosmic energy” in Sanskrit, is often used in yoga.

Parenting Differences in Men and Women

Suzanne Venker of The Federalist discusses differences in parenting choices and priorities between men and women:

Once a baby arrives, a woman’s nurturing gene almost always kicks in. Providing for her child emotionally is her first instinct, which is why going back to work so soon is heart-wrenching for mothers.

A father’s reaction is different: his first instinct is to support the family financially. It is not his sole contribution, but it’s first on his list. Simply put, that men and women may both be capable of performing identical tasks doesn’t mean they want to do them with equal fervor. Desire matters.

The Good Life Doesn’t Just Happen

National Review’s senior political correspondent Jim Geraghty writes,

Americans fantasize about the good life—a big house, a fancy car, stylish clothes, vacations in far-flung exotic locales—and they often envision this luxurious life paid for by a wildly lucrative career, most often in entertainment, athletics, or music. But research demonstrates that a lot of those who ended up wealthy did so by living the opposite of that ostentatious champagne-and-caviar lifestyle. And they often did so by working hard, in jobs that required a great deal of education and dedication. Some formed a small business and steadily built it over a lifetime. The good life rarely ‘just happens’ to people.

Questions are Your Mind’s Receptors for Answers

Jason Fried, co-founder of Basecamp and co-author of the bestseller Rework (2010,) writes about lessons learned from management academic Clayton Christensen:

Clay explained it in a way that I’ve never heard before and I’ll never forget again. Paraphrased slightly, he said: “Questions are places in your mind where answers fit. If you haven’t asked the question, the answer has nowhere to go. It hits your mind and bounces right off. You have to ask the question—you have to want to know—in order to open up the space for the answer to fit.”

What an insight. He continued to talk about the power of questions. Questions are your mind’s receptors for answers. If you aren’t curious enough to want to know why, to want to ask questions, then you’re not making the room in your mind for answers. If you stop asking questions, your mind can’t grow.

Surrender to What Is

American clinical psychologist John Welwood writes in Ordinary Magic, Everyday Life as Spiritual Path (1992):

Hard as this may be to grasp, the Buddha, or awakened mind in each person, is whatever we are experiencing in the moment – the wind in the trees, the traffic on the freeway, the confusion we are feeling – if we but surrender to it. Surrendering to it means experiencing it fully, giving it our full attention, without struggling against it or trying to make it something other than it is. In opening to what is, without strategies or agendas, we touch what cannot be grasped – a moment of nowness, sharp and thin as a razor’s edge. And walking on this razor’s edge cuts through the struggle between self and other that separates us from a more immediate presence to life.

Picking Bottoms shouldn’t be an Investor’s Game

Warren Buffett at the 2009 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting:

Stocks got much cheaper in 1974 than they are now [in May 2009]. But you were also facing a different interest rate scenario. So you could say they really weren’t that much cheaper. You could buy very good companies at four times earnings or thereabouts with good prospects. But interest rates were far higher then. That was the best period I’ve ever seen for buying common equities. The country may not have been in as much trouble then as we were back in September. I don’t think it was. But stocks were somewhat cheaper then…. We don’t try to pick bottoms. We don’t have an opinion about where the stock market’s going to go tomorrow or next week or next month. So to sit around and not do something that’s sensible because you think there will be something even more attractive, that’s just not our approach to it. Anytime we get a chance to do something that makes sense, we do it. And if it makes even more sense the next day, and if we’ve got money, we may do more. And if we don’t—what can we do about it? So picking bottoms is basically not our game. Pricing is our game.

A Beautiful Spark

Scottish author and cleric Richard Holloway writes in Looking in the Distance: The Human Search for Meaning (2004,)

When the map of our life is complete, and we die in the richness of our own history, some among the living will miss us for a while, but the earth will go on without us. Its day is longer than ours, though we now know that it too will die. Our brief finitude is but a beautiful spark in the vast darkness of space. So we should live the fleeting day with passion and, when the dark night comes, depart from it with grace.

Charlie Munger on the Problem Created by Index Funds

Charlie Munger at the 2019 Daily Journal Meeting,

Another issue, of course, that’s happened in the world of stock picking, where all this money and effort goes into trying to be rational, is that we’ve had a really horrible thing happen to the investment counseling class. And that is, these index funds have come along and they basically beat everybody. And not only that, the amount by which they beat everybody is roughly the amount of cost of running the operation and making the changes in investments. So you have a whole profession that is basically being paid for accomplishing practically nothing. This is very peculiar… That a whole profession, where the chosen activity they’ve selected, they can’t do anything… When a whole profession that works so hard…just can’t do what the profession is really trying to do, which is get better than average results.

Warren Buffett on Being Careful How You Bet

At the 2020 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, Warren Buffett speaks about (transcript) on the trouble with probabilities is that just because something should happen doesn’t mean it will.

I don’t know, and perhaps with a bias, I don’t believe anybody knows what the market is going to do tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. I know America is going to move forward over time, but I don’t know for sure, and we learned this on September 10th, 2001, and we learned it a few months ago in terms of the virus. Anything can happen in terms of markets, and you can bet on America, but you got to have to be careful about how you bet, simply because markets can do anything.

Buffett used airlines as a example—What looked like decent investments turned out to be a dud because the most unlikely event actually happened.

Swami Vivekananda on Why Hindu Sects Don’t Quarrel & Proselytizing Missionaries

Jayakrishna from the Varnam blog on Indian history writes,

Swami Vivekananda, using the concept of Ishta, explains why various sects never quarreled in India.

In a speech given in Jaffna, following his address at the Parliament of Nations, Swamiji noted

“The Shaivite does not say that every Vaishnavite is going to be damned, nor the Vaishnavite that every Shaivite will be damned. The Shaivite says, this is my path, and you have yours; at the end we must come together. They all know that in India. This is the theory of Ishta. It has been recognised in the most ancient times that there are various forms of worshipping God. It is also recognised that different natures require different methods.”

Hindus have to be converted either by force, by incentives or through educational institutions. Missionaries talk of love, but the goal is the destruction of our way of live, because it is different.

You see extreme versions of this even now. A missionary was killed in Andaman on an adventure to convert the natives. They are found in crossfire in war zones. They have served as spies. They show up in hostile countries with the Bible speaking of love. Mother Theresa fooled an entire generation with her story of compassion. Swamiji counters:

Their love does not count for much. How can they preach of love who cannot bean another man to follow a different path from their own? If that is love, what is hatred? We have no quarrel with any religion in the world, whether it teaches men to worship Christ, Buddha, or Mohammed, or any other prophet. “Welcome, my brother,” the Hindu says, “I am going to help you; but you must allow me to follow my way too. That is my Ishta. Your way is very good, no doubt; but it may be dangerous for me. My own experience tells me what food is good for me, and no army of doctors can tell me that.