Anecdotes, Facts, Examples for GS and Essay - ForumIAS

Anecdotes, Facts, Examples for GS and Essay

This thread is meant to be a repository of interesting anecdotes/news articles/facts/examples/case studies which we can use in our essay and GS papers. In my experience, listing these things down somewhere is not enough to ensure that we are able to use them in the exam. Therefore let us discuss and debate so that we can internalize them.

sonder,chamomileand30 otherslike this
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I will start. As per SIPRI, world spent $2 trillion on military in 2020. Jeffery Sachs estimates that we need around $3.5 trillion spread over 20 years to eliminate global poverty. So if we are able to cut down our military expenditures for few years we will have enough money to deal with problems such as poverty and climate change. A lesson for ethics in international relations?
chamomile,sathooriaravindand13 otherslike this
6.5k views
Thanks for creating the thread.
Would love to contribute..
sbhati,Rashmirathiand2 otherslike this
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I really love the opening sentences of Nivedita Menon's book 'Seeing like a Feminist'. You can steal it, with some modification, to begin some essay on Gender, Women, Caste Oppression, etc.


DM,Darvey78and19 otherslike this
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sbhatisaid

I will start. As per SIPRI, world spent $2 trillion on military in 2020. Jeffery Sachs estimates that we need around $3.5 trillion spread over 20 years to eliminate global poverty. So if we are able to cut down our military expenditures for few years we will have enough money to deal with problems such as poverty and climate change. A lesson for ethics in international relations?

The thing you wrote about writing & posting the stuff is not enough is so so true. We shall try to discuss when we get off time. I had made some good compilation on various book about poverty including Jeffery Sachs ka books. I'll try pen the crux of it down when I get some time. 

DM,sbhatiand5 otherslike this
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@nerdfighter Reminds me of what Satish Deshpandey says about common sense in "Contemporary India"



chamomile,Rashmirathiand3 otherslike this
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One of my observations from similar experiment like this before is this. The information is amazing but we don't give enough time to stop & think about it. We need to stop & think about these things, think about where all we can use it, its connections to different topics and figure out a way to revise these things as well. Discussing things can be a great way to do that but we have to figure out ways for ourselves too. 
chamomile,sbhatiand7 otherslike this
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Some fodder for Essays (Social Media & Democracy)


chamomile,Rashmirathiand4 otherslike this
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@nerdfighter I think "stop, think and apply" should be motto. The best thing would be if we are able to use such things in the next test or the practice answers we write. But I am myself struggling with this. I have read so much interesting stuff during the course of my preparation, but none of it reflects in my answers. 


chamomile,Patootieand4 otherslike this
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sbhatisaid

@nerdfighter I think "stop, think andapply" should be motto. The best thing would be if we are able to use such things in the next test or the practice answers we write. But I am myself struggling with this. I have read so much interesting stuff during the course of my preparation, but none of it reflects in my answers. 


Exactly. I actually read shit tonnes of books in college, more than I care to admit. But I did not have any recollection mechanism then. 

Rashmirathi,sjerngaland1 otherslike this
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Walter Lippman's Book 'Public Opinion'

For Lippman, the world was too complex for an ordinary individual to comprehend. In order to make sense of it, people carried a mental image of the world inside their heads. These pictures were what drove groups or individuals to act in society in the name of Public Opinion.

A strong democracy, therefore, needs institutions and media that help in creating the most accurate interpretations of the world in the minds of the people.

But this isn’t easy. Lippman was worried democracy relied on something so irrational as a public opinion that takes shape in the minds of poorly informed and easily manipulated people. For Lippman, policymakers and experts should use narratives for ‘manufacture of consent’ among people which enables public opinion to be channelled in a manner that’s consistent with what’s good for society. Lippman believed persuasion and the knowledge of how to create consent through ‘propaganda’ will change politics in the age of mass media. Walter Lippmann’s Public Opinion, published in 1922, is one of the most persuasive critique of democracy. Shortly after it was published, John Dewey, the great defender of democracy and the most important American philosopher of the era, called Lippmann’s book “the most effective indictment of democracy as currently conceived.”


(I'll edit this post as I get more time. This isn't very clear. Just copy pasted it from my notes for now)

Further Readings:

https://www.vox.com/2018/8/9/17540448/walter-lippmann-democracy-trump-brexit

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1919/11/the-basic-problem-of-democracy/569095/

chamomile,sbhatiand3 otherslike this
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This thread has become my favourite already! Sometimes it simply astonishes me that there are so many people around who have such depth of interest and knowledge in issues and topics. 

Keep sharing guys! If not for mains, these snippets in themselves are much more enlightening in general. 

Darvey78,sbhatiand5 otherslike this
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Simply wow amazed ☺️
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Narrow Corridor by Acemoglu & Robinson

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Muffin,Apollo11
5.5k views
29 people from Pando Korwa and Pahadi Korwa tribe dies in Chattisgarh due to malnutrition. They are not included in the SC, ST or OBC list. It shows the exclusion errors in our reservation policy as well as limited reach and adequacy of the PDS system. 
sathooriaravind,pristineand4 otherslike this
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@nerdfighter Is the "narrow corridor" meant to be the ideal state of things? (have not seen the video. it is too long :P)


nerdfighter,
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sbhatisaid

@nerdfighter Is the "narrow corridor" meant to be the ideal state of things? (have not seen the video. it is too long :P)


Yes. And I will try to write down the summary soon. 

sbhati,
5.4k views
Have some notes from 'Seen and Unseen'...will add that here :

1. Achievements of women : Hansa Mehta played a key role in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Begum Shareefah Ali was a founding member of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in 1947. Lakshmi Menon headed the UN’s women and children section between 1949 and 1950. Renuka Ray represented India at the General Assembly in 1949.

2. In his book 'The Ultimate Resouce' , Julius Simon calls human as the ultimate resource & says that the argument that high population is a reason for poverty is just an excuse for bad governance. Every human has the capability to give something unique back to society but for that they need to cross a certain susbsistence threshold.
chamomile,sbhatiand3 otherslike this
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For philosophical essays, I’ve found this YouTube channel “Academy of Ideas” pretty great. Scored 141 in essay last time, and a large part of one of the essays was influenced by this channel. 
chamomile,sbhatiand9 otherslike this
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For philosophical essays, I’ve found this YouTube channel “Academy of Ideas” pretty great. Scored 141 in essay last time, and a large part of one of the essays was influenced by this channel. 

More insights on what makes a good essay?

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More insights on what makes a good essay?

Hi, I think scores may have been different if someone else valued it; so, some of the following , if not all, might be useless. I scored very poorly in all my essay mocks last time, but got decent feedback on forum. 

My learnings are as follows:

1. Adopting an argumentative method of writing the essay, as opposed to a method where you simply elaborate on the given topic may pay rich dividends. For instance, if I got a topic “There can be no social justice without economic prosperity but economic prosperity without social justice is meaningless”, I would broadly engage with the following ideas: a) Can there be social justice without economic prosperity; b) Is economic prosperity a precondition for social justice; c) Is economic prosperity without social justice meaningless or can economic prosperity be a gateway to greater social justice? Rather than adopting an approach where I would simply elaborate on the given topic by touching upon different topics, I adopted a style where I wasn’t afraid of going against the topic if I had cogent reasons to do so. Then of course, where it was apt, I did add in quotes, but only if I could connect it directly with the point I was making. For example, in the above topic, I remember using “The opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is justice.” 

2. Presenting ideas and arguments, and having a logical flow to them rather than jumping around different dimensions of the same topic helps. 

3. Staying authentic. I felt presenting ideas that are internalised adds more value than giving a great number of facts or examples or quotes. 

4. A run of the mill essay can be boring. An essay which is a bit off beat can be high risk, but highly rewarding. Striking a conversation with the examiner helps, because majority of aspirants fail to do this. 

5. Pick a topic which you can connect with. Popular advice is to avoid philosophical essays as much as you can. I felt comfortable with them because they are open to interpretation. I wrote on the essay “Mindful manifesto is the catalyst to a tranquil self.” That topic, at least to my interpretation, struck I chord with where I was at that point in my life. So, I felt I could present my ideas well. 

6. Spending way too much time brainstorming can be counterproductive. Having a broad idea of the arguments you would engage with, and a reasonable idea about the specific points that you can quote on the way might be enough. If I spend too much time brainstorming, I overcomplicate. I think writing an essay gives you ideas along the way. Do use them because they might be your best ones. However, be careful not to deviate from the topic. 

7. What gets valued is your thought process, not your knowledge. 

GaneshGaitonde,chamomileand16 otherslike this
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