The Power of the Bookish

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The Power of the Dog is a Western psychological drama film written and directed by Jane Campion, based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Savage. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

Clearly, the title of this post was inspired by the film (and my Oscar prediction is that Jane Campion will win Best Director) and this widely read article from the (Jan 1, 2022) Economist:

Why Brahmins lead Western firms but rarely Indian ones

I had (in October 2020) mentioned this phenomenon in:

Brahmin Left + Merchant Right.

The Economist article explains:

They are all top-caste Hindus. Four are Brahmins. Traditionally associated with the priesthood and learning, this pinnacle of the caste pyramid’s 25,000-plus sub-groups makes up just 50m or so of India’s 1.4bn people….A tradition of bookishness has made it easier for them to pass exams and enter the countries with the greatest opportunities.

Well, yes.

Our bookishness is best exemplified by the recent arxiv upload – this is a Sridhara Brahmana that I had mentioned earlier, the study of Quantum Information Science (QIS) through Semi-definite Programming (SDP) —  ranked #1 on Scirate on its first day!

Yeah, baby, yeah.

Now for something maximally inverse to that academic bookishness, the final IPO of 2021, on December 31st 2021 of a startup that I had featured in AI. Solar. SPAC. Women:


An early investor (with more than 10% of equity) is Neotribe Ventures, founded by my IIT-Madras classmate Kittu. Heliogen had a 61+% first day pop, and then another 8.25% increase in after hours trading, ringing in the new year with a market capitalization at over $3 Billion.

Stay tuned for 2021 Tayur Prize Winners (can you get more bookish? 😏) and a stunning update on another (cerebral yet practical) startup in Serverless Blockchain.

Oscar Wilde may have titled this post:

The Importance of Being Bookish.

Bertrand Russell might have written:

In Praise of Bookishness.

Happy New Year!

1 comment

  1. An interesting insight, Sridhar!

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