51 thoughts on “Open Thread”

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/01/opinion/the-next-financial-crisis-lurks-underground.html

    Fracking boom, crypto boom everything seems to be the consequence of expansion of credit by Fed post-2008.

    China did the something similar around the same time (more debt-driven instead of equity in the case of US). Lesser known (and rather inconsequential in global terms) is that India expanded money supply too around the same time. By a lot in relative terms. There is some 4 trillion rupees in bad debt on the balance sheets of Indian banks. This is ~ 60 billion USD; stump change compared to what US or China did but gargantuan in PPP terms for the indian economy. So many people got so much cheap loans during those times it was unreal. And when they started winding down the easy money, a lot of bank frauds/loan scams fell out of the closet and continue to do so. From reports I think China has started the process as well though very cautiously. Only the US seems to be still high on all that cheap credit. We’ll see how long that can last soon enough.

    1. Do you have an actual mathematical model that explains why easy money would lead to an oversupply of credit and create bubbles? Because standard macro and micro theory has nothing of the sort.

      1. I wanted to make the same comment as above. Present day macro and microeconomics does not distinguish credit supply and formation of bubbles. It will be better to consider that credit oversupply is an outcome of growth, but does not per se cause growth. Once, the government aligns governmental spending and brings down interest rates, together with economic growth, bubbles are created. However, there are no strong economic theories that define bubble growth and collapse, because they are temporary economic phenomena. The united states has had easy credit fgor my entire period of working life, like 30 years

  2. some readers were annoyed that i encouraged Jaydeepsinh Rathod to post. my reasoning is simple: he presents a coherent and knowledgeable view of the “other side.” by engaging with him those who disagree with him can actually sharpen and modify their own views, even if they find him to be in error.

    by analogy, i read some sorts of thomistic apologetics or alvin plantiga. i don’t read josh mcdowell and most low brow evangelical protestants. though both may agree on broad points, the latter does not give us any fruit, and the arguments are laughable. thomistic arguments, or plantiga’s recourse toward modal logic, don’t convince me. but they make my own views crisper.

    the ancient DNA will be too much to ignore uncomfortable truths i believe in the near future for india. engagement rather pure contempt is probably the best bet to increase further understanding, as opposed to ‘winning arguments.’

    often i find Rathod does not interpret findings in a way that i would. i think he’s wrong. but actually does cite up to date peer-reviewed research of high quality, so i can actually disagree with him on the merits instead of having to deal with sophistry.

    1. Completely agree with Razib on this. Wisdom is enhanced through thoughtful respectful exchange of ideas.

      Jaydeepsinh Rathod is thoughtful and heavily researched. If I present alternate interpretations, I would rather do so respectfully in the comment section of his articles. The reason I haven’t done so, is because I am working on other articles now. 😉

    2. Hello Razib Khan,

      Absolutely! The commentator Jaydeepsinh Rathod seems like in the top creamy layer of that side, so that’s perhaps incredibly useful to listen to him and I know the pains of being on the opposite site (though I’m not in any creamy layer and also fairly of the swimming-with-the-tide type mostly) which I experienced when trying to represent linguists to most others in the case of the Brahui problem and also when trying to express having views not very mainstream in the Dravidian linguistics itself, such as my refusal to take as granted the idea that Dravidian substrate effects brought about OIA retroflexion, etc.

      I wish just the very best to Jaydeepsinh Rathod and indeed everybody, on this website. After all, if Jaydeepsinh Rathod turns out to be true, it will only be much better for me personally as I don’t personally find very palatable the very scale of the Harappan plunge into the abyss before the Indo-Aryan migrations implicated by the language-shift hypothesis and would want to wish that it is rather not true. (I’m emotionally invested though I like to think that I’m not- but thankfully, my desire to know the truth above everything else is stronger.) Though the idea as such might perhaps be very mundanely likely seeing the impact the period around 2000 BC seems to have had on other civilisations like the Sumerian one also. And for some reason, the seeds to the modern world seem to have been sown by pastoralists predominantly. The Western religions of Judaism and others and the Eastern religions of the Indian subcontinent at least. China, which is the only other major case that I’m aware of, seems to be a bit different but I don’t know the extent to which any pastoralists influenced the farmer China. So perhaps the purest of the pure farmer-originated worldviews, of whatever nature they were, were probably not capable of bringing in the ancient Axial Age that formatively crystallised the culture and worldviews of much of India and Europe. (But then, some truly revolutionary things like the Greek worldviews and Buddhist worldviews feel like they emerged just like that, out of nowhere- not from the Indo-European nor from the Pre-Indo-European nor from the mix, at least mostly, indeed they seem to have happened truly revolutionarily.) Okay, end of the very lay and very scratching-the-surface-kind ramble. Thank you to everybody again.

      1. Hello all,

        Please ignore the last parts of my earlier comment wondering about ancient cultures. It might be very muddied and stupid writing. There are much better ideas about this problem on the comment threads of Gene Expression blog and here also at some places but not when authored by me! I think I really should stick to the low-IQ-friendly endeavours I revel in engaging myself in lol!

      2. China, which is the only other major case that I’m aware of, seems to be a bit different but I don’t know the extent to which any pastoralists influenced the farmer China.

        china north of the yangzi is about 5-10% steppe. though a lot of that is closely related mongolian/manchurian/turkic. “altaic.” a small percentage is west asian.

        1. Oh thank you very much Razib Khan! But what I mainly had in mind was a cultural impact of any pastoralists on China. I don’t know much about this topic as well as the cultures of Mongolian, Manchurian, Turkic, etc. peoples but Proto-Indo-European-speakers and Proto-Semitic-speakers were two pastoralist groups who impacted off the Europe-West Asia-India belt (and the entire world more-or-less) so extremely hard! I remember reading somewhere that even Chinese has some significant number of loanwords from a particular pastoralist language. Turns out that it was some language within the Indo-European family- don’t remember what language exactly- so it seems Indo-Europeans (when they were pastoralists, i.e. non-Buddhist early Indo-Europeans) significantly influenced off China too!

          Anyway, it might be very shaky to compare the pre-Indo-European and pre-Semitic farmers of the river valley civilisations of India, Central Asia, West Asia and Europe (to all of whom I have a tendency to attach rather stereotypical attributes such as a penchant for concentrating themselves together in cities, worshipping mother goddesses a lot, etc. etc.) with the farmers of formative-period China. I don’t know the reason but it feels so to me. Also, it is also likely that the farmer-pastoralist distinction is also not a thing in reality at all and is perhaps just an illusion appearing to me in the context of Europe-West Asia- India. After all, I have no much knowledge about ancient Chinese civilisation, North and South American civilisations, African civilisations, etc. to think about this more properly.

          1. Oh I learn that the Proto-Semitic economy was in fact likely agricultural and sedentary. Apparently, it is some of the branches of Semitic that took up pastoralism later on. But my error is mostly with the use of the wrong label as my point was majorly about the pastoralist nature of the Hebrew-speakers and Arabic-speakers within the Semitic family who influenced the world a lot.

          2. Turns out that it was some language within the Indo-European family- don’t remember what language exactly-

            Probably Kuchean/Tocharian B. Much of Kashmiri Buddhism in the aftermath of the Kushan Empire (3-4c onwards) was exported to Kuchea in the Tarim basin. The Kashmiris KumArayAna and his half-Kuchean son KumArajIva were instrumental in the spread of Buddhism into China.

          3. Hello Slapstik,

            Yes it is Tocharian according to a Quora answer here (http://qr.ae/TUNUqm) which was my source.

            (But also note a rather weird discussion on the comment thread of that answer- where they mention that a particular linguist whose work acted as a reference for the original answer wondered that a Germanic (?!) language may have been the source of the early Indo-European loanwords in Sinitic languages.)

            Also, is it the case that the Tocharian influence on Chinese was mainly because of Buddhism which is essentially an urban (and Kshatriya/Ruler-like according to some articles I have seen in some places) philosophy? If that’s the case, then my assumption that the Indo-European influence on Chinese happened when that particular Indo-European stream was still mostly a pastoralist society is clearly wrong.

  3. I don’t understand what the issue with rathod “s article. If someone disagrees he should comment /ignore it

    1. I agree that people should ignore articles they don’t like.

      However, I do feel that the number of Hindu nationalists on this forum is more than optimal. Perhaps that’s just me. There seem to be a lot of people who take delight in attacking Pakistan and/or Islam, whether it is warranted by the context or not. I find this very off-putting.

      1. tend to ignore pak threads. but re: islam, i do agree it comes up too often as a catchall explanation. but *some* of the stuff you think is an “attack” isn’t an attack, you just take it that way. the cases i’ve seen generally go like this: non-kabir, “well, think about this in islam….!”

        kabir: “don’t you dare talk about islam!”

        this would seem strange, but you have are also censorious on issues of language and topic in other cases, so it’s probably just a feature of who you are, not about islam or pakistan.

        1. I feel that Islam is brought up way too often and usually by people who don’t know very much about it. Especially “Jihadi Islamism”. It’s not that it isn’t relevant some of the time, but not all the time.

          There was a point when there were lots of posts critical of the caste system and we had a bunch of complaints from the Internet Hindus. People don’t like feeling that aspects of their identity are constantly under attack.

          Also, recently Islam has been called “barbaric”. People would be up in arms if I said that Hinduism was barbaric. So there does seem to be a bit of a double standard.

          But it’s not my blog and it is for the administrators to decide the topic mix.

          1. i think it is an issue that the numbers are on the other side. i think it’s fine to call both barbaric. but you are correct that some commenters would flip out. that being said, this blog has a long history of not caving to the people flipping out on the religion question.

            religious feelings will be hurt. no one cares.

            you can insult any religion. you do that to hinduism all the time without meaning to (i notice it because i don’t think you even realize you have a double-standard, but i do).

          2. I don’t appreciate Islam being called “barbaric” just as other people don’t appreciate their religion being called “barbaric”. There should be some mutual respect.

            Remember the complaints about this blog being “anti-India” or “anti-Hindu”?

            People get away with saying things about Islam that I don’t think they would get away with if they were referring to any other religion. Once I called Hanuman a “monkey god” (the same description which Wikipedia uses) and Zack called me out for insulting his in-laws.

            I’ll leave it there but it does become very irritating at times.

          3. Once I called Hanuman a “monkey god” (the same description which Wikipedia uses) and Zack called me out for insulting his in-laws.


        2. tend to ignore pak threads

          but not possible anymore as Pak on this blog has joined the comity of nations that is Turanistan 🙂

          All because of that nutter Jaggu. What a crank.

          1. For slappy bandit bro,

            There was once a bandit
            Who wanted to scratch an itch
            Emanating from his bum cheeks
            He knew not which
            He wandered in the jungles
            He trod through the land
            He waded through great rivers
            Until chanced upon a man
            Mounting a fidgety steed
            In a lightening flash
            He saw the rider knead
            The horse’s ample buttocks
            Until it began to ease
            Said bandit to the rider
            You seem to be the doc
            Just for what I need
            For I’ve travelled far
            yet ne’er seen as fine a deed
            Afflicted am I with a similar woe
            This awful itch on my bum
            Shifteth cheek but ne’er doth go
            Spoke the rider unto the bandit
            They call me Jaggu Jangjoo
            Allah’s sword from Turan
            The scourge of the Jew
            Beloved of Pakistan
            And tamer of many a shrew
            I know to fix your bloody itch
            A tatar slap and uzbek stick
            I think will do the trick
            Administered on either cheek
            Will fix you as Babur once did.

          2. I keep hoping against hope that Jaggu is being sarcastic/ironic.

            He and Anan seem to be mirror images of each other. Except Anan actually believes the bizarro stuff he writes. “love everything”, “one heart one soul” “postmodernism” etc.

          3. the best irony is the one which sits on the fence, english lit boy of noble iranian blood and Stani citizenship.

            read some russian lit. In russian. So dry it will soak the Indus and you can still wipe your ass with it.

            That reminds me the ONE thing holding pakistan back from joining Turan is how they prefer to wash than wipe. Must have picked it up in ivc. Needs to stop mates.

          4. Like I said, I keep hoping you are trying to caricature someone. Because if these are your sincere thoughts, you are totally nuts. It’s sometimes hard to recognize irony on the Internet.

            I have read Russian literature, though in English translation.

  4. Please no negative comments about my hero, lion of the Stans, meteor of the firmaments, lover of all good woman, and savior of humanity, Sri Sri Sir Jaguuji Miyan, may peace be upon Him. He is one of the few that can save us. We need Him. Very serious now.

    Thank you,


    1. Poetic justice has been served. In the finest traditions of turkestan, like my ancestor Babur I am a poet as well as a soldier of Allah. The pen writes before the sword is drawn.


        1. (the “sword is drawn” is that a metaphor?)

          Wallahi bro, is it that obvious? writing to my 1st cousin actually. a fine dame. keeping it in the family like any pious Central Asian Muslim concerned about Turani racial purity.

  5. If that’s the case, then my assumption that the Indo-European influence on Chinese happened when that particular Indo-European stream was still mostly a pastoralist society is clearly wrong.

    there is some evidence/argument that the bronze age rong were indoeuropeans https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xirong

    (fwiw, indo-iranians were a presence in the tarim basin too, not just tocharian)

    1. Was reading somewhere that even the Kushans were displaced by the west chinese (North east of Tibet) folks into central asia. Before their foray into subcontinent . West China would be probably the most the indo-iranians went?

      1. the tarim basin and dzhungaria. it was ethnically complicated for thousands of years. there were pretty white looking tocharians and such. there were also east asian looking people and mixes.

        but during the period you allude to, they were more indoeuropean. the east asian push is 0 to 1000 AD.

  6. In all seriousness, jaggu’s poem is creative and very well written. Jaggu and sons of Turin like him are very useful friends and allies to have.

    I like his devotion to faith and how unruffled he is by all criticizm and triggers.

    Shaykh jagguji, please see my last comment on Zack’s Turin post.

  7. So many people are discussing the ancient past of SA, migrations and old languages. There are several papers which were referenced in some comments. We have also the introduction of some genetics results. Are we getting closer to some definitive conclusions? It seems no. We even haven’t properly defined the term – (Proto)Indo-European. There is confusion about chronological happenings, some things are connected even they are thousands of years apart. Also, it is unknown who occupied some space, especially in Europe. Some groups are moving to new places without references if other groups were there already. It is even mentioned Germanic language in ancient context although the German language was formed in the 14.th c. AC. We should not forget also that the ‘Indo-European’ was for almost 100 years ‘Indo-Germainshe’ although the gap between Sanskrit and German is at least 4000 years. Where is the connection?

    In a period when German influence in Europe subsided, other Europeans asked for their piece of cake and the term was changed to ‘Indo-European’. Well, what is the Indo-Germanishe-European? From this period originates a German version (i.e. propaganda) of Aryans, which connotations make confusion until today. It was reiterated by colonial masters (e.g. English) who presented themselves as new Aryans, superior carriers of culture and progress. I think that it is the main reason for strong resistance in India to anything related to Aryans because they always think about this in terms of their former colonial masters’ propaganda.

    But, neither English nor even Germans ever said that they were original Aryans because this would be idiotic since they did not exist at that time. But, also, they never tried to find out or even speculate who were the real Aryans. They could not say so even for Greek and Romans because they appeared in history after the 8c.BC. From other side we should believe that some unorganised nomads on low technological levels came to SA, brought the language and extensive literature which imposed on locals. Even more, the other stream of the same nomads went west and brought the same language to Europe? How this transition happens, did they go to the every corner of Europe or some other way? Tons of papers produced in two hundred years did not come one step closer to this answer.

    Why was that?

    Because, the European history was falsified. Whole periods are left in dark and many groups are ignored. Archaeological sites in Vinca (14 km from Belgrade) about 8000 years old and Lepenski Vir (11000 years old) are already worldwide known and they give answers about European ancient history. European ancient history cannot be studied without mentioning Vinca. I haven’t seen anywhere that anyone mentioned this. Another history fabrication was migration of Slavs (i.e. Serbs) in the 7th c AC to Europe. This is official EU history.

    Recently, in some sharp online discussions about this, I publically offered reward to anyone who can quote any primary source evidence within 200 (!) years of this migration from anyone – historian, writer, poet, Roman legionnaire, border patrol, government official, journalist, paparazzo, coincidental bystander. I have no received any response. Well, now is the question, what was happening in Europe between Vinca (6-7000 BC) and the 7th c.AC? This part, which is missing from all previous papers and discussions about ancient Europe, also has strong influence on SA history.

  8. Milan, intend to discuss Serbia, Vica and Lepenski in future articles. Do you believe that Serbia had an advanced civilization before the last ice age (12 thousand years ago)? Do you think the last ice age and series of global natural disasters severely damaged the advanced Serbian civilization?

    Again, please e-mail me. Want to collaborate with you.

    1. I haven’t studied this aspect. There are some theories that advanced civilisation existed long time ago and that were interrupted by natural disasters. Some say that for e.g. the famous ancient Faros lighthouse used electricity as its source. The other says that one also famous ancient city had street electrical lightning. I do not believe in anything of these although I never put 100% on something if I do not know it 100%.

      But there is another moment. It is the flood, Noah, etc. which were mentioned in the Bible. There is evidence that this happened when Pannonia’s Sea after heavy rains flew via Danube to the Black Sea which was a lake and later the water opened the gate through Bosporus to Mediterranean Sea. The level of Black Sea increased by 180 meters and US scientists confirmed by researching levels of shells (sea and freshwater) in the Black Sea. Immediately after that, starts the Serbian calendar (5508BC) which was found in Vinca and was in use until the 19th c.AC. In addition, at that time there were no Serbia as a state, there were Serbian speaking tribes which spread all over the Europe from Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Atlantic, Mediterranean, Asia Minor and north Africa.

        1. I’ve heard some sketches before about ancient flying objects much earlier than Wright brothers (btw. the first plane similar to Wright brothers flew several years before them in today’s Serbia but it is not yet recognised). Thanks for the link I would read it although I am still very sceptical. I also heard about using electricity which sounded very logical. Cheers!

  9. So Labour has adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Corbyn tried to issue an additional statement, but it was not endorsed.

    “The most controversial passage in the draft statement proposed by Corbyn said: “It cannot be considered racist to treat Israel like any other state or assess its conduct against the standards of international law. Nor should it be regarded as antisemitic to describe Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist because of their discriminatory impact, or to support another settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict.” ”

    I personally don’t see what the issue with this draft statement is. It should be perfectly OK to criticize Israel’s violations of international law. Criticizing the country’s policies is not inherently antisemitic. It seems to me that Corbyn’s opponents are trying to use the antisemitic card to shut down any pro-Palestinian arguments. This is deeply problematic. Genuine antisemitism (hatred of Jews as Jews) is a problem as is Islamophobia but this must be separated from criticizing a government. After all, criticism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not necessarily Islamophobia. Why should Israel be above all criticism?


  10. India’s Supreme Court decriminalizes homosexuality. Congratulations to LGBTQ Indians. Unfortunately, this would not happen in Pakistan because in addition to the same Section 377, we also have to deal with Islamic injunctions against homosexuality. So the Pakistani LGBTQ community is forced to live in the closet and have wives and children for the sake of societal acceptance.


    1. Silly British era law and Indians being Indian are like inert gases, super slow to change from an equilibrium. I doubt though it ever got enforced. Although it probably has destroyed many careers of lgbtq Indians due to blackmail possibility. Imho that is the major hurdle this ruling will be able to correct with just this pen stroke.

      1. The threat of this law allowed police to sexually abuse many gay men, without fear of consequences. I also recall the story of a professor who was fired for being caught with a rickshaw driver. I’m not sure but I think he committed suicide (there’s a Hindi movie about this).

        Something as basic as who you love and how you express that love shouldn’t be a crime.

  11. Kabir, note that a major reason 377 was not struck down 1947 to 2017 is for fear that it would be seen as Islamaphobic and anti Christian. And of course worship of fair skin people. (what is the deal with that?) Thoroughly mentally colonized Indians use to ape and worship the English in practice while publicly criticizing their rule.

    Again I praise your liberal (and I think reasonable) interpretation of the holy Koran, Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, the rest of the Kutub al Sittah, Sura and Islamic jurisprudence. Many great Islamic scholars have similar liberal interpretations. May they succeed in evolving the 5 schools of Islamic Jurisprudence (one being twelver which I consider to be a legitimate school of Islamic Jurisprudence) to respect LBGTQ. Inshallah this will actualize soon.

    1. To be clear, I am not getting into Islamic jurisprudence. I am not an Islamic scholar. I am simply pointing out that the mainstream understanding of Shariah is that homosexuals should be put to death. That is why there is not going to be a movement in Pakistan to amend or repeal 377. Being put to death is worse than the punishments under British colonial law.

      I believe firmly in the secular state and believe that what two people do in their private lives is between them. Other people’s religious views should not enter into the equation. However, it took a secular and developed country like the US a long time to reach this point. Pakistan is a much more religious and conservative country.

  12. Why not much on the 65 war? BTW does anyone else think that India and Pakistan operations names are more “grand” than the operations itself?

  13. @razib

    Razib, I read your blogs so much that I finally got hooked up. I analyzed my own 23andMe data using the tutorial you posted here. Since I am anyway a computer geek with too much time on my hand, I guess I was predestined to go this route.


    Group ID Dai Gujrati Lithuanians Sardinian Tamil
    snakecharmer_23andMe snakecharmer_23andMe 0.000010 0.404752 0.114480 0.076995 0.403763

    I used the same reference populations as you used to analyze your data, just to see how similar/different I am from compared to you. 🙂

    Let me know if you can offer any additional insight based on this data.

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