Infant Sacrifice Catches On

August 2, 2008

The Kansa Society’s advocacy of the slaughter and consumption of children is making its way into the mainstream media. This is most pleasing.

First, Namy Roy informs me over GTalk that she had recently watched a TV interview of Tom Hanks. When asked how he managed to satisfy the audience all the time, Tom Hanks apparently said that the secret of his success was regular infant sacrifice. Joyous.

Next, Mr. D. sends me a link to this wonderful T-shirt, featuring an owl which wants to eat your children:

I Will Eat Your Children

And finally, there is the new Mirinda ad, in which Zohra Sehgal expresses a desire to pickle infants with onions:

As gaspode points out, this diet explains that remarkable lady’s longevity.

Karva Chauth and Kansa

July 8, 2008

Over the past few years, Punjew men (axshully also Kayastha boyfriends of Punjew woomaans) have been fasting on Karva Chauth along with their wives and girlfriends. For some reason this is hailed as a triumph of women’s liberation and feminism.

This is bollocks. An equal sharing of foodlessness, dizziness and abstinence can hardly be considered a triumph of feminism. Wasn’t the whole point of feminism to make things better? All this does is spread the pain around more. If I was a paranoid maniac, I would suspect it was a sinister Allahabadi plot to make Punjew men week and feeble and incapable of rising up in glorious resistance. Wait, I am a paranoid maniac. Anyway.

The point is that true women’s liberation would involve nobody fasting and putting themselves through all that torture at all. If this was really a festival of louw, it would involve the couple going out and feeding each other rare delicacies. The idea would be to maximise pleasure, not pain.

Therefore, when the glorious Punjabi nation rises again, and throws off the cultural imperialism of the hated Allahbadis, Karva Chauth will be celebrated by the happy couple going out and feasting on a delicious infant platter for lunch. Instead of starving all day waiting for the moon to show up, Punjew couples will be eating babies through the day. Thus furthering three excellent causes: Saivite neo-Edwardianism, women’s liberation, and the continued growth of the Kansa Society.


December 18, 2007

My flatmate has moved out and I now have the entire flat to myself. This means that I now have an empty bedroom to play with. What exactly to do with this is an interesting problem. A number of alternatives have emerged:

  1. My father has suggested supplementing my salary by going into the flesh love hotel trade, and renting the spare room out by the hour to young and amorous couples. This would incur investment on a new bed, and some manner of decoration, but would eventually pay for itself.
    The question is how long the payback period would actually be. When I was in Shanghai in spring 2006, my utter lack of Mandarin meant I ended up checking in at the Motel 186 on Zhoujiazui Road instead of the one on Dalian Road. The Zhoujiazui Road Motel 186 was very much in the love hotel category. The biggest customer segment was university students who would take a room for an afternoon.
    The problem is that university students pinch their pennies. So two or three couples would take a single room. If Bangalore customers are as bottom-of-pyramid as Shanghai customers, the internal rate of return would be far too low. Better to put the money into a fixed deposit instead of buying the bed.
  2. More practically, I could just shift furniture so that one room becomes a bedroom and the other becomes a study. This sounds good, but it would make carrying the laptop to bed more difficult. Right now all I have to do is remove the USB cables for the printer, the hard disk, and the mouse, and pull it two feet to the bed. So this must be considered carefully.
  3. I could convert it into a storeroom, except that I don’t have anything to store.
  4. Religion. Old time religion. Construct an altar in the empty room in which I can sacrifice small furry animals and infants. I would have to give my maid a salary hike to deal with the extra mess, though.
  5. Or, I could go with the nuclear option. If I sell all my mutual funds, and take on an insane level of debt through personal loans, I could generate enough cash to fill the room with playpen balls.

Coase and Kansa

November 22, 2007

On the flight back to Bangalore from Delhi, I was on seat 16D. There was a kid on 16C. There was another kid on 14C. And yet another somewhere around row 20. And they all howled through the flight.

Howling kids are always annoying but the problem is even worse on a flight. You can’t walk away to a quieter place. The kid can’t be taken away to a quieter place. You’re basically trapped listening to the howling kid.

In many ways, the situation is the reverse of Alex Tabarrok’s flu vaccination:

People who have the flu spread the virus so getting a flu shot not only reduces the probability that I will get the flu it reduces the probability that you will get the flu. In the language of economics the flu shot creates an external benefit, a benefit to other people not captured by the person who paid the costs of getting the shot. The external benefits of a flu shot can be quite large. Under some conditions each person who is vaccinated reduces the expected number of other people who get the flu by 1.5.

Since a large fraction of the benefits of the flu shot, perhaps even a majority of the benefits, go to other people and not to the person paying the costs, the number of people who get a flu shot in the United States is well below the efficient level.

In the case of Alex Tabarrok’s flu vaccination, there was an external benefit. However, in the case of howling kids, there is an external cost. The kid is suffering, but the kid’s howling makes all the other people in the aircraft suffer more.

What are the implications? Well, Alex Tabarrok is asking people who are benefiting from the positive externality to send him money to compensate him for creating the externality:

I just had my flu shot. Please send your checks to my George Mason address.

I only got the shot because, as you well know, I’m altruistic. I care about you. But do send your checks, that will help.

Applying the situation in reverse, the parents of the howling kid should give all the other passengers money to compensate for the suffering they have inflicted on them through their inconsiderateness. This has staggering implications. If each of the passengers is to be compensated 500 rupees for the suffering they have endured, that raises the cost of carrying a kid on board by 9 kilorupees. The best way to implement this would be to make the price of the ticket for a kid 9 kilorupees – in sharp contrast to Simplify Deccan’s abominable policy of letting infants travel in laps for only a 250 rupee surcharge- and give all other passengers a five hundred rupee discount or rebate.

Alex Tabarrok also says:

Of course, we know from the Coase Theorem that there is an alternative approach. We could charge people who do not get their flu shots. (Thus, if you haven’t had a shot you must still must send me a check.) Or to reduce transaction costs we could fine people who get the flu.

The equivalent of the fine in this case would be making the cost of the ticket for the kid 9000 rupees, but not distributing the extra money to the passengers. That would still have the beneficial effect of making it too expensive to carry your kid on board a flight.

Of course there is a way to cut out transaction costs entirely. You can bring in the Kansa Society, which will slaughter the kid. No howling, and no worrying about surcharge transfers. Oh sacred simplicity!

My New NGO

March 16, 2007

I am starting an NGO called the Kansa Society. Its aim is to promote the slaughter of irritating kids. I will be the Chairman Emeritus and Kodhi will be the President. But Jabberwock and Nilu are welcome to join.