How and why we ignore half of the world’s population

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Photo by Lindsey LaMont on Unsplash

Caroline Criado Perez, Invisible Women

Immaculately researched, lucidly written and passionately argued. Perez’s data-driven expose of the seen and unseen inequalities that plague our 21st-century world is unputdownable. …


My 2021 Resolutions and how I plan to stick with them

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Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

Over 60% of resolutions are broken within 6 months. Why? Because of vague goals, unrealistic timelines, failure to accurately track progress and a lack of self-control or willpower. A simple psychological hack to make resolutions stick is to do what I am doing with this article — write them down and make them public! Why?


Applying diversity science to the current Indian Government

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Photo by visuals on Unsplash

Demonetisation. GST. Article 370. CAA. NRC. Namaste Trump. Pandemic response. Farming law amendments.

I’ll present three key concepts of the science of diversity, gleaned from Matthew Syed’s excellent book “Rebel Ideas” and leave it to the reader to gauge how effectively they are applied for each of the above initiatives.

First off, the book. As brave as it’s brainy and as holistic as it’s honest, this book gives the reader a new lens to view the world. Incorporating insight from psychology, economics, nutrition, academia and biology Syed makes a compelling case for more diversity. …


Five compelling reasons you haven’t heard of before

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Matthew Syed, Rebel Ideas

As brave as it’s brainy and as holistic as it’s honest, this book gives the reader a new lens to view the world. Incorporating insight from psychology, economics, nutrition, academia and biology Syed makes a compelling case for more diversity. He forces us to question why diversity in business, culture and society is a feature, not a bug. How hiring an ethnic employee in your multinational company is not “diversity” but fostering a culture of constructive dissent, is. Why intelligent individuals come together to form stupid groups that make witless decisions. Why conforming to your peers at work is likely costing the company millions in unrealised revenue. …


6 unputdownable books to end your year on a high

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Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

After what feels like an epoch, 2020 finally draws to a close. For many, myself included, this has been a long, arduous and trying year. This has also been the first year — at least in my lifetime — where all of humanity has endured a unique and common foe. And that’s why my recommendations this year focus on a common theme: the human condition. What it means to be human, what are our intrinsic motivations, how our intuitions work, how we’ve evolved over time and how our futures might look. So, this holiday season, take some time out to read any (or all!) of the books below. You’ll end the year on a high and learn a little about how resilient our species really is. …


A Spoiler-free Review of Matthew Syed’s Ambitious “Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking”

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Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

From riffing on human evolution to solving weight-gain to analyzing the Al-Qaeda psyche, Matthew Syed’s ambitious, erudite, brave new book does it all in style. Flooding the reader with impeccable insight gleaned from diverse fields (see what I did there?) — psychology, behavioral economics, nutrition, academics, biology — Syed elevates “diversity” from an oft-overlooked checklist to the crux of the human condition.

“Over the last five million years, human brains grew from around 350 cm, comparable to a chimp, to 1350 cm, with the bulk occurring in the last two million years. This expansion only hit 200,000 years ago due to the constraints of the female birth canal, a key part of the primate body plan. If the baby’s head grows too big, it can’t get out. …


My Musings on Adam Kay’s unputdownable “This Is Going To Hurt”

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Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Adam Kay, This Is Going To Hurt

Rarely does a biography, of a seemingly nondescript junior doctor at that, make for riveting reading. But Kay’s magnum-opus blew my perception out of the water. It’s simultaneously hysterical, heart-wrenching, urgent, personal and profound — a warts-and-all, tell-tale exposé of the unquantifiable peaks & troughs of a doctor’s life in the NHS, told with acerbic wit and grotesque angst. A remarkably poignant read that consistently makes you guffaw and then compensates by repeatedly punching you in the gut till your eyes water forcing you to take them off the page, craving a breather from the frenetic, discombobulating, hot-mess of Kay’s lucid prose. Think “The Thick of It” meets “E.R.” set to the “Mad Max: Fury Road” soundtrack. …


10 questions that measure if AI can replace your job

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Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash

Stuart Russell, Human Compatible

I was reading “Human Compatible” this week and the above anecdote got me thinking. A computer crushing Chess and Go Grandmasters is impressive and feels ominous, but what does it mean for our everyday jobs? Every year computer chips get smaller and faster (Moore’s Law) and experts predict Machine Learning, AI and automation will eviscerate our jobs. Is this the harbinger of the AI apocalypse or our sci-fi soaked imagination running wild? …


The science behind human motivation

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

As a two-week-old writer on Medium, I’ve come across these types of posts everywhere. Clearly, there’s an inquisitive audience who’s desperate to learn the tricks to “crack” Medium, get hundreds of thousands of views and live off the earnings into the happily ever after. …


Actionable takeaways from a whistle-stop tour of Hans Rosling’s “Factfulness: Ten Reasons Why We’re Wrong About The World — And Why Things Are Better Than You Think”

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

“Before modern medicine, one of the worst imaginable skin diseases was syphilis, which would start as itchy boils and then eat its way into the bones until it exposed the skeleton. In Russia, it was called Polish disease, in Germany, the French Disease, in France, the Italian disease.”

Hans Rosling, Factfulness

Our hyperbolic imaginations powered by our gossip-loving, intuition-driven brain (see my story covering this here), renders us unable to estimate the prevalence of the most basic issues affecting our planet. Rosling’s book, written in collaboration with his son and daughter-in-law, explains the pitfalls of our logical reasoning and develops a fact-based framework to view humanity’s standing today for what it is: a barnstorming success. …

About

Akarsh Nalawade

Talkative. Intrepid reader. Wordy Writer. Easygoer. Quixotic. Tea Drinker. Top writer in Books & Diversity.

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