Basic Economics and Contentious Discourses: Introduction

Hi, welcome to my website, and welcome to my first series in Economics. I had announced this on my Instagram account in the month of March however I didn't have the time to start this until the end of my exams last week.

Basic Economics and Contentious Discourses will have two parts. The first part, Basic Economics, which at the moment of writing this, on 30th May 2021, has a planned an end. For the second part, Contentious Discourses, I do not have an end in mind, and therefore it will go on indefinitely.

Basic Economics will be a simple introduction to the economy and to commonly used economic terms. The things I will talk about in Basic Economics will be those that most economists believe are true. The fundamentals of economic growth, inflation, recessions and depressions, velocity of money, etc.
My goal with Basic Economics is to attempt to explain economic concepts in a manner as simple as possible that would help those consuming the content develop an intuitive understanding of the economy. I will be using stories to achieve this. We will start with a fictional economy, which has its own fictional currency, and this economy will evolve from a primitive one to a larger one.

$15 California Minimum Wage: Democratic Party Is Abandoning Economics |  Fortune

Contentious Discourses, as the name suggests, will be about issues like minimum wages and government welfare that are hotly debated among economists and there is no widely adopted consensus in terms of solutions to economic problems. I will attempt to present multiple points of view with every topic that I pick up for discussion and give a conclusion based on empirical evidence and theories that make sense to me. While what I say in Basic Economics can be considered true based on consensus, my conclusions in Contentious Discourses are always open to counter-arguments and improvements since even the most eminent economists in the world have their differences when it comes to certain matters. While making my points however, I will keep referring to evidence we have in order to corroborate or disregard the views of different schools of economic thought. If anyone wishes to challenge my conclusions, I would like them to have some empirical backing behind their claims or at least a logical and well reasoned theory. I am not saying that you have to be an expert to challenge me or to say that I am wrong, I am only saying that if you think I'm wrong and you wish to tell me about your views, I'd appreciate that you reason with me, instead of baselessly telling me that my statements do not make sense.

My objective with this series, is not just to help others learn Economics and the Social Sciences but also to learn more about the subject myself. Since my academic studies are from a distance learning course where I have to study on my own, I do not have the opportunities of engaging with peers and learning from them as I would have had in a conventional degree. So apart from sharing my views in Contentious Discourses, I am also seeking more views and ideas that can help me deepen and strenghten my understanding of economics. Moreover, I wish to research about certain things and given the path I've taken in my career, doing such research in an academic setting looks unlikely at least at this moment so the internet could become my platform for publishing research.

Thank you for joining me in this series. I hope I am able to make this series enjoyable and educational for you. And if you have any feedback for me, I will gladly take it. You can reply to my on this blog post, send me a message on Instagram or leave a comment on YouTube. Thank you again, and I will see you in the next post.

Another Month of High Productivity; Underpinned by The Last One

For me personally, the last one was impressive. I am now doing another month of high productivity. I first listed out all the things I wanted to accomplish before setting targets. I had a lot of promises left unfulfilled, there used to be a time when if I had committed something to someone by an end date, I would do that. But this year, with all the things I had going on, I would not only not do things on time, worse, I would forget I made promises in the first place. I even started noting some things down because I became so forgetful.


So keeping my word is one of my top priorities for this week. I should be done with all of them in a week, so I'll probably be making changes to my schedule next week.

Then I have a course which I have to complete. I plan to complete it by the end of this month and be done with it. There are also subscriptions I have paid for, which I have to make use of. DataCamp is one such subscription I intend to make use of. There are also language subscriptions which I will be spending time on.

I'll spend three hours on my business every day. That's not a lot, and it's a lot less than what I intend to spend on it. But for now, I'll prioritise on getting bigger obligations away. Next week onwards, the business will see more of me. I'll be spending the same amount of time on my courses, and on keeping my promises.

This is the schedule I came up with:

I'm doing the same damn thing every day. The schedule is rather redundant with activities earmarked for every single day of the working week. But I'm not wasting more time trying to fix it now.

During my breaks, I will try meditating. It has helped me in the past, so I have hopes that it will help curb obsessions this time.

I have a good feeling about this. I say that too often I think, but for this one at least, I have experience to back it up. Time to get cracking.


A Month of High Productivity - Conclusion

What I Learn From 30 Days of High Productivity

I completed my month of high productivity. Overall it was great, I accomplished a lot, managed to cover a decent amount of my exam course materail, and up untill my first exam, managed to stick to the schedule.


As my exams were approaching, it became harder to stick to the schedule I made. My mind constantly kept thinking about my exams and that derailed me from my regular schedule. After my first exam, sticking to the schedule became particularly difficult as I started obessiving over the exams. So I abandoned my schedule, and spent my time studying only for the exams. I became somewhat of a machine, I would spend nearly all day in front of my computer, would sleep right next to it, and turn it on as soon as I get up in the morning. That is also the reason why I didn't update the blog for the remaining days.

I would literally wake up, and get straight to studying. I managed to complete a lot of my readings, but this really hurt my back which was already in a bad shape because of how much I was sitting in the past few months.
In the last week of the month of productivity, I could barely sit. I studied on laptop, lying down on my bed with a few pillows supporting my back.


This went on till my last exam. During this period I barely studied languages or did anything else. After I was done with my exams, I didn't go back to the schedule. I had to make a new one of course, but it's been over 2 weeks since the month ended and I am yet to make one. I was back to the procrastinating ways, nothing to hold me accountable, and nothing to force me to do thing I should be doing. Initially I wanted to give my back a rest, it is still recovering but it is a lot better and I can get back to a good schedule again.

I even procrastinating on concluding the blog series. Getting back to a new schedule is a topic for another blog, however for this one:

Here are my conclusions after attempting a month of high productivity.

Schedules are highly effective (unless you become obsessed with something)

During the first half of the month, I was killing it. I was achieving my targets, and my days were highly productive. The problem started when my exams came closer, and that made it difficult to stick to the schedule. I did spend the whole day studying, but there was still a problem, efficiency. And that's my second learning

I should work on multiple things in a day

When during the second half of the month, I focused on only studying for my exams, I noticed I was less productive. My intensity dropped, I was slower, and my ability to synthesise information also faded off after about 60-70 pages of constant reading. In some cases, I was able to continue when the text was more interesting and engaging. However, regarless of how interesting it was, reading for long hours did not work as well as completing the same reading over a longer period of time.

I haven't read a lot about this, but I know that there is a point of diminishing returns when we're constantly working on something during a day, so keeping that in mind, I have to fit multiple things in a day in order to maximize productivity.

I need a way to control obsessive behaviour

Just like how I obsessed over my exams, which also kept me up at night sometimes, I have recently been obsessing over my business. I cannot have that, I need to figure out a way to curb that, and keep myself in check. I will read up on that.

My body won't tolerate working like this

As I mentioned, my back is already having troubles. My eyes have also not been well, I have weak eye muscles, which makes me near-sighted sometimes. It's weird because one day I won't be able to see distant objects, and the next day I'll have perfect vision. I obviously cannot be sitting for long periods of time in front of my computer, and I also need to exercise my eye muscles as I am supposed to in order to keep them healthy.

As I said in the beginning, I am very happy with how the month went. I now need to work on the problems I identified. I'll be doing another month of high productivity, maybe this will become a regular thing. I keep evaluating my progress at the end of each month, and fix the mistakes I've been making.

I'll lay down my plan for the next month tomorrow. I'm optimistic about this, lets do this!


A Month of High Productivity - Days 14,15,16

Day 14, the birthday of one of my closest friends. As is the ritual, a few of us get together and spend the night together (don't go crazy with your imagination here). And every time I do this, 3 days of my life are always messed up. Since we spend the night, nobody sleeps until it is morning. That messes up my sleep cycle, and it takes me a couple of days to recover.


I didn't take into account his birthday before I started this, and I probably shouldn't have done this if I think about it rationally.

Not that I didn't do anything productive, I did read a paper today, on day 16 but that's about it. I'll be getting back at it from tomorrow. Also got some tasks of my business out of the way.

Choosing Between Football, Entrepreneurship, and Economics

At around 9 years of age, I learnt that the richest man in the world was Bill Gates. He was an entrepreneur, and had a tech business. I also wanted to be entrepreneur, start a tech business and become the richest man in the world!

Picture of Bill Gates, representing entrepreneurship

Of course, things didn't turn out that way, and they probably wont. My interests have diversified, and I am having a hard time choosing between them.

At around the same time I stated playing football in school. I didn't have a real interest in the sport until about the age of 11-12. At age 14, I joined an academy and started training regularly. I loved my time there, and every minute I spent on the pitch has been a memory I cherish. I know I love football enough, to work in the industry even if I was underpaid.

Academically, Economics has always been my favourite (ever since I got introduced to the subject of course). I think part of the reason why I got interested in Economics was because of my interest in business and entrepreneurship. I wasn't a big fan of what was being taught in school because it seemed too disconnected from reality. I started reading book written by economists, took some online courses, and watched many videos on YouTube about economics.

These are some of my favourite books:

Thinking, Fast and Slow: Kahneman, Daniel: 8601200766745: Amazon ...
Buy Poor Economics: Rethinking Poverty and the Ways to End It ...
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Having read dozens of books about economics, I am tremendously grateful for the life I have had. Poverty, misery, lack of access of decent healthcare, and a lack of resources is the norm rather than the exception in many countries of the world. In my own country, as of 2015, over 80% of the population lives on less than $5.5 a day. I personally know people who spend more on just food, every, single, day. Given the gross inequalities in my country and across the world, I know that no matter how much I love football, there will always be a part of me that wants to work for social and economic development. Similarly, given my love for the sport, I know that football will always find a way to suck me into itself.

Countries ranked by percentage of population living under $5.5 a day

Other issues I want to focus on are Agriculture, Tourism, Education and Skill Development, and Sports

India's agricultural productivity is much lower than that of more developed countries

Despite thousands of years of history, culture, and heritage, thousands of monuments and attractions including one of the 7 wonders of the world, India doesn't rank in the top 40 tourist destinations of the world.

A population of 1.3 billion, most of which is young, is under-trained and under-skilled for the coming future.

A population of 1.3 billion, doesn't do nearly as well as it should in international sporting events.

I need to find a way to balance things, and so far I think I am gaining some clarity. I am, at the moment, specialising in building a brand, and in marketing through practice and some books and online courses. I know that's way different from economics or football, but I feel it is something that can work in all fields I want to work in.

Building something from the ground up, and growing it into a big business scratches my entrepreneurial itch. If those business are social businesses like Sarva Vedam, which I started last year, then my desire to work for social and economic development is also given attention to. Next, if I start something in football which generates money and develops the sport at the same time, I will be very happy with the things I'll be achieving.

I know it's a very long hill to climb. There will be obstacles. Problems I know of, problems I don't yet know of but it's something I have to do in order to satisfy all these things inside me.

A Month of High Productivity – Day 13

Crappy day today. Sleeping late last night cost me. I felt tired in the morning, didn't really get anything done. Slept for an hour at noon, and then started working on my business. Didn't get the result I wanted, I will probably have to compromise and go for a quantity of 30 litres of coconut oil instead of the 100 that I wanted.

Later in the day, I started working on a blog post that I had been wanting to write, and then helped out a friend who wanted help with something.

That is pretty much all I did today


A Month of High Productivity - Days 11 & 12

Day 11 started well. It was a Sunday, so not much on the agenda except shooting a few videos. I also learnt some languages of course, that's pretty much a constant in my daily life. Later in the day, I decided to record videos that I had planned to record. The recording went fine, but the audio-video synchronization process (because I recorded audio on a microphone) was a disaster.


I use Davinci Resolve to edit my videos, and while there is an autmatic audio-sync option, it just didn't work. With manual synchronization, I would get it to work almost in the beginning but just after a few seconds the audio would be wayyy off and I have no idea why. I later found out it has something to do with the frame rates of the video, I still don't know what the reason is exactly, but I got obsessed with this today. I didn't do anything else, except help out a friend later in the day on Day 12.

I swore I wouldn't go to sleep before solving this issue, I didn't manage to solve it but I got a work-around. I started recording on my old camcorder instead. The quality isn't as good as a DSLR, but I am satisfied with it, and the audio is also fine. Some basic noise-cancellation should be enough to take care of any issues. I will at least be able to get some sleep now.

Tomorrow, I don't think I'll follow my schedule either. I need to get a supplier of cold pressed coconut oil for my business Sarva Vedam, and I know my mind will not be looking forward to anything else but that. But before I go to sleep, I'll do some Spanish and Arabic.

I am mentally weaker than I thought!


A Month of High Productivity – Day 10

Day 10 was the best one yet this week. After having my energy levels back, this is the day I have stuck to my schedule the most. Not to say I followed it well, but it went better than other days.

I set my alarm for 5:30 am but didn't get good sleep last night. I was supposed to be ready for an online yoga class by 6 am. But since I was tired, I snoozed the alarm.


I did wake up, but at 5:50 am.

I completed reading Freefall by Joseph Stiglitz but didn't pick up any other book or reading. Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of ...

On the language end, I practiced French, Spanish, and Arabic early in the morning, and did more of Spanish and Arabic today. I restarted using Memrise for Arabic after a very long time. After having spent time on Glossika, Memrise has become a lot easier. I revised some previously learnt words, and learnt over 40 new words on Memrise today. I will also resume my use of Anki for all languages soon.

I took a more relaxed and enjoyable approach to language learning today. Listented to some Arabic and Spanish songs. Infact I am still listening to a Spanish song as I write this blog.

Because of bad sleep last night, and forcing myself to wake up, I did feel tired during the day. That probably affected how well and how fast I read the book. I didn't work out much, did light exercises after a small 20 minute nap.

The nap was pretty effective, I feel energetic even now. It's 9:50 pm. But it's time to hit the bed because I've got to wake up at 5:30 tomorrow. I plan to go for a run, followed by yoga.


A Month of High Productivity - Day 9

My energy levels are back up even though I wasn't expecting this to be the case that soon. So that's good for me. Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of ...

I completed half of Joseph Stiglitz's Freefall, which is part of my list of readings for my exams. Slacked off with Spanish today, but overall the day wasn't bad. I expect better from the coming days, especially since I am on a low carb diet again.
Let's see how that goes.

A Month of High Productivity – Days 7 & 8

I can't say I'm proud of these two days because I didn't really achieve much. Language learning went on as normal except for day 8 when I slacked off. I didnt have the kind of energy levels I had earlier because I changed my diet recently.

Tired Sleepy GIF - Tired Sleepy Exhausted GIFs

I am following a low carb diet and the side effects for the first few days include feeling low on energy. I excpect the effects to subside in a couple of days so things should be back to normal soon.