ANTHROPOLOGY OF MARKETS; CARBON EMISSIONS

A R&R research article originally written for the journal American Anthropologist but never published before.

Non-statutory but a healthy, friendly warning: This is a research article. It means, it is the outcome of academic research. Like in any other profession, academic research has its own means to understand facts; it uses particular tools and terminologies. The ways of academic writing and argumentation might sound obscure to non-specialists (even for academics from a different discipline). As you know, a surgical blade and a butcher’s knife have very different sense of purpose, precision, and urgency though they may have similar effects in the hands of a child (and on me!). So, dear non-academic readers, read at your…


An overview of some of my writings

Who Said Daydreaming at Work Is Bad?

Science finds that daydreaming carries significant creative and problem-solving benefits at work. Published on Illumination (August 27, 2020).

Your mind meandering on the job is often thought to be nothing but wasting time. Daydreaming is generally considered detrimental to work. However, a recent study finds that daydreaming can be a significant asset for problem-solving. Published on the prestigious Academy of Management Journal, the study tested more than 300 professionals across a spectrum of industries using cutting-edge techniques. It found that daydreaming carries significant creative and problem-solving benefits, especially for those who identify with their profession and care for the work…


A career I thrived on during my teens. And, what it taught me.

An image of white love letter envelope sneaking out of a black Moleskine book on an ebony table photographed by Anup Sam Ninan
An image of white love letter envelope sneaking out of a black Moleskine book on an ebony table photographed by Anup Sam Ninan
Love letters had to be sneaked into the notebooks. Image by the author

I was 16. It wasn’t long ago that I had started writing short stories and poems, mostly imitating what I read. One of those cold rainy mornings, a friend, an art student who was 18 or 19, waited for me at the bus station. He held me back until everyone around was gone. Then, sneakily asked whether I can write a few romantic lines to go with a painting of his, to woo a girl he liked. That was it!

All of a sudden, unknowingly, I was becoming a sought-after (probably, the only) ‘love letter writer’ for many adolescent boys…


Science finds that daydreaming carries significant creative and problem-solving benefits at work

A woman thinking as seen through the images of a window
A woman thinking as seen through the images of a window
Photo by Pietro Tebaldi on Unsplash

Your mind meandering on the job is often thought to be nothing but wasting time. Daydreaming is generally considered detrimental to work.

However, a recent study finds that daydreaming can be a significant asset for problem-solving. Published on the prestigious Academy of Management Journal, the study tested more than 300 professionals across a spectrum of industries using cutting-edge techniques. It found that daydreaming carries significant creative and problem-solving benefits, especially for those who identify with their profession and care for the work they do.

How does daydreaming at work help?

Daydreaming, or a wandering-thought process, is highly creative. It disconnects you from the immediate task at…


EVERYDAY TECHNOLOGIES AND INVISIBLE INVENTORS

Margaret Knight: The female hero who invented mass market flat-bottomed paper grocery bags

Margaret Knight’s image superimposed on a paper grocery bag
Margaret Knight’s image superimposed on a paper grocery bag
Margaret Knight’s image on her invention. Image by Anup Sam Ninan

OUR everyday lives are full of mundane technologies that are so ubiquitous that we do not even recognize them as innovations anymore. The case of paper grocery bags is one such. The square-bottomed paper bag we use to carry groceries from the store, packets from the gift shop, or pack sandwiches is the result of the astute inventiveness of a young woman from the late-nineteenth century. To this day, they are manufactured using updated versions of an invention of this working-class woman who barely had any formal education!

Adam Smith and America’s most famous nineteenth-century female inventor

Margaret E. Knight (1838–1914) might not have had read the story of…


DIGITAL FOOTPRINT

Image of a foot with data of different social media per minute consumption
Image of a foot with data of different social media per minute consumption
Graphic design by the author

Disclosure: This is not a paid article and it has no affiliate links.

The life of an internet minute

Sixty seconds on the internet are insane in human terms.

Even if your grandfather was the most accurate futurologist, he would not have predicted the amount of screen time you spend on finding a match, binge-watching your favorite series, or asking the profound questions you ask on Google.

Here’s the stats of an internet minute — entire humanity’s digital footprint in a minute — as per the Statista Trend Compass 2020.


EVERYDAY TECHNOLOGIES AND INVISIBLE INVENTORS

In 1888, Ellen Eglin sold the rights of her mechanical clothes wringer because ‘White Ladies’ would not buy an invention by a ‘Negro Woman’.

Clean, dry clothes are normal for most privileged people in today’s world. It is so normal that the resources, infrastructures, and technologies that make it possible are completely black-boxed.

However, in the late-nineteenth century, the invention of a mechanical cloth wringer to dry the clothes was a leap forward. Not only was the invention unique. The inventor too — a woman. A Black woman.

Disclosure: This is not a paid article nor has any affiliate links.

A woman covered in a cloth hiding her personality
A woman covered in a cloth hiding her personality
Photo by Nilay Ramoliya from Pexels

Ellen Eglin: An Unsung Hero

Ellen F. Eglin, a Black woman who made her living as a housekeeper and later as a clerk in the census office in Washington…


MAHATMA GANDHI’S VIEWS ON RACE, ESPECIALLY BLACKS

Note: Gandhi’s quotes from the book are ‘highlighted like this’ with single inverted commas.

A black folded fist with BLM written on the wrist
A black folded fist with BLM written on the wrist
Photo by Mattia Faloretti on Unsplash

Among the statues that Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters are taking down, some are Gandhi’s.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, more famously called Mahatma Gandhi, is a minor figure in the pantheon of anti-black historical figures. In fact, being the patron saint of non-violent, civil disobedience politics, he is even an unusual one to be there. He is the man who Martin Luther King Jr. called the little brown saint. Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) has inspired many including Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and Barack Obama.

So, like in every…

Anup Sam Ninan PhD

Runaway academic. EU external expert. Knowledge entrepreneur. Flirting with AI/Conversational Technologies. Live in multiple worlds. More: https://bit.ly/AnupN

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