65 thoughts on “Open Thread”

  1. I’d be interested in your thoughts on the big comment I posted on your “muslim intrusion into India” post. Do you think I made any good points or do you think I’m way off? Did I misinterpret you?

    Aside from that, I’ve gotten really really interested in the Zheng family from the 17th century Ming transition. They’re just incredibly fascinating. Essentially, they were a family of merchant-warlords who built an incredibly effective family trading organization on the South China coast. in fact, they became so incredibly successful that they managed to go toe to toe with the Qing even after the Qing took over almost all of china. They did this while based out of the tiny island of Xiamen and later Taiwan. I’ve read a bunch on them but I highly recommend Conflict and Commerce in Maritime East Asia: The Zheng Family and the Shaping of the Modern World, c.1620–1720 by Xing Hang. It’s a fantastic book. There also his dissertation if you can’t afford to read the book http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/etd/ucb/text/Hang_berkeley_0028E_10800.pdf . Here’s one really incredible fact from pp 108-109 of the diss:

    “Hence, the VOC’s average annual commercial profits amounted to a little more than one-fourth of the Zheng organization’s sum of 1,365,000 taels, and about 60% of Chenggong’s direct income of 614,250 taels. Even at their height in 1651, these proportions only changed to one-third and 73.2%, respectively. In fact, the Company could not match the average performance of its competitor’s China-Japan trade alone. Zheng’s direct share of that profit, 330,750 taels (12.3 tons) out of 735,000 taels, compared favorably with his Dutch counterparts, and surpassed them for certain years.

    In spite of the VOC’s attempts to monopolize intra-Asian commerce through anti-competitive measures, such as restricting the spice and pepper trade to Batavia and seizing shipping, and through the promotion of substitutes to Chinese goods, the Zheng organization remained the dominant economic power of the Western Pacific. Besides the spectacular profits earned by him and his officials and commanders, private merchants sailing under his flag could acquire sizable fortunes. After deducting the interest rate of 100% on loans, they would realize a 100% rate of return on the Japan trade but break even in Southeast Asia on the whole. The lower profitability in the latter market resulted from the Dutch presence, which increased the risks and restrictions of doing business. Hence, the number of junks sailing there had declined precipitously from the late-Ming highs of 44 vessels per year.218 Moreover, merchants headed to Southeast Asia also tended to diversify their operations by stopping in Japan before returning”

    Imagine if Koxinga had succeeded in beating back the Qing and taking over china along with the Yongli government. Could we be looking at a sinocentric world order?

    Another one of the really interesting things about the Zheng family is that I feel they and the Qing both personify the different fundamental orientations of north and south china. Despite being foreign Manchu, despite presiding over flourishing trade, were fundamentally land and agriculturally based. On the other hand, the Zheng family tapped in to the potential of southeast chinese maritime commerce and used it to build a state that I feel fully deserves the description of fiscal-military. I’ve been reading Jared Rubins Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not and one of his arguments is that the protestant reformation forced protestant states to rely much more on commercial elites than the previous religious ones. Furthermore, he argues that this accounts for both the flouring of protestant areas relative to catholic ones and also the flourishing of western christian states relative to the Ottomans. Doesn’t this also map onto the Qing/Zheng conflict? The Qing weren’t the oppressors of commerce they’re so commonly caricatured as but they were fundamentally biased against the south chinese and the sea by the very nature of their rule (this was actually a big reason why they found it so difficult to defeat Zheng Jings kingdom of Tungning in Taiwan). They simply weren’t institutionally oriented to giving commercial maritime elites a “seat at the table”. Contrast with the Zheng state run by literal merchant warlords in a fiscal-military fashion.

    I also think there’s a great case to be made that a Zheng/Yongli Ming state would be far more inclined towards listening to thinkers like Huang Zongxi who were part of a greater trend towards reform for the Ming. See Huang Zongxi in Context: A Reappraisal of His Major Writings by Lynn A. Struve:

    “Too often the thought and scholarship of Huang Zongxi (1610-95), a prominent Chinese intellectual and political activist of the Ming-Qing transition period, are treated in isolation, as though the man stood in a sphere above and apart from most other thinkers of his day. The greatness of his scholarly achievements and the incisiveness of his ideas are stressed, with little attempt to relate those to the accomplishments and ideas of his mentors and contemporaries.1 This approach has created the widespread impression that Huang was one of only three or four figures who had anything very original to say in the seventeenth century. But the more we study seventeenth-century thought, the more we recognize that Huang Zongxi’s forte was less in originality than in a keen awareness, examination, and articulation of issues that were current in his time. The perpetuation of notions about Huang’s creative singularity obstructs our understanding not only of his intellectual milieu but also of the man’s own attitude toward progress in learning. I do not wish to challenge the idea that Huang was an outstanding intellectual of the later imperial era in China but to urge that he be viewed differently: as someone who placed in bold relief ideas that emerged in the late Ming period and brought to fruition in writings of enduring value various approaches to scholarship that had been gestating since the latter part of the sixteenth century. In short, Huang should be seen more as a -culminator than an instigator of ideas and as an advocate of much that did not long survive the late Ming rather than the “pioneering ancestor” of scholarly trends in the Qing. This study also points to the impossibility of validly assessing the greatness of a given thinker without thoroughly studying his immediate predecessors and contemporaries.”

    Could we see an indigenous development of chinese democracy? Certainly large aspects of Huang’s thinking seem to parallel elements of European democratic thought. I’ve also seen some interesting writing on the democratic elements of developments in the Ming Confucian school system…

    Anyways, I welcome criticism and discussion. I’m just an enthusiastic layperson with no formal training 🙂


  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vka2ZgzZTvo

    I would start with this. This is 3 hours long. But it takes much longer than that to watch because it is super dense. And I at least need to frequently pause, take notes and research.

    There is now overwhelming geological scientific evidence that many Egyptian structures were built before 9700 BC (the last Ice Age during which the water levels rose by over 200 feet). Note that many of these structures that predate 9700 BC were constructed with very advanced technologies. Today we don’t have the technology to build comparable structures.

    For example exactly cut (with high degree two thousanth of an inch) 1000 ton rock blocks precisely laid fitting with other similar blocks. Today we lack the technology to transport them exactly into a vast building structure.

    Based on the movement of rivers, if we assume that these pyramids and related structures were initially built next to river banks; we get dates of construction of initial structures (many structures have been built on top of each other at the same site over thousands of years) tens of thousands of years ago. The counter case is that they were not built on river banks.

    I don’t yet agree with large parts of what Dr. Robert Schoch implies might have happened. I am not completely convinced about the Solar storms. Not the solar storms themselves, which I believe have happened. [Descriptions of them are in many ancient accounts from many parts of the world.] But I am not sure they were the proximate cause of the last ice age.

    I have been researching this for months. And plan to eventually write a series of heavily researched, cited analytical articles regarding them. But am not ready yet.

    The Egyptian written records (not few but vast numbers of them in many museums) describe events from 36,000 BC to the present. This is why post modernist marxist Egyptologists do not accept them. I think a lot more research must be done to corroborate these dates. For example to the astrological positions match these dates? Do accounts from Egypt match accounts from Sumeria, Sanathana Dharma, Mayans, China and other ancient accounts. Do the various dating systems match. And if they don’t match, can we interpret the dates differently in a way where the various historical narrative accounts from several different sources match for specific events.

    1. When I was a kid these theories were considered out there. But now in 2018, things are very different. I don’t know of a single prominent scientific geologist that would today argue that several of these structures were not built before 9700 BC. There is a full blown fight between the hard academic scientists and the post modernist neo marxist Egyptologists.

      In some ways this parallels the fight with post modernist neo marxist Indologists. And the fight between neuroscience and post modernists. And the fight between geneticists and post modernists.

  3. I would also read:

    It has been shown that the exterior measurements of the ‘Great’ Pyramid of Giza are an accurate representation of the Earth’s’ northern hemisphere on a scale of 1:43,200.

    A number that proves highly significant when one considers the method of doubling/halving the numbers that was used in ancient Egypt (kemi)

    25,920 years / 12 = 2,160 (x 2 = 4,320)

    In relation to this, it has been pointed out that the possibility may exist whereby the numbers expressing the Precessionary cycle (Approx’ 26,000 yrs), when viewed as fractals may be translated into the 60-based system of degrees (26° 00′ 00″). Modern pocket electronic calculators have a key (DD>DMS) for this function.

    The Platonic Year of 25,920 yrs would produce the following numbers:

    25.92 (doubled) = 51.84 where, 51.84° is 51° 50′ 24″.

    In other words, the angle of inclination 51° 50′ 24″ would express the decimal number 51.84°, which is the fractal expression of double the 25,920 Platonic Year number (25920 x 2 = 51840).

    This would mean that the angle of inclination cited by Piazzi Smyth for the Great pyramid of Ghiza of 51° 51′ 14″ would reflect the decimal number 51.85399° or the fractal halved to that of 25,926.995 years (51,85399/2=25,926.995). A number which appears at very least, an extraordinary coincidence considering the astronomical references to the pyramid throughout history.


    I suspect this was intentional since the procession of the equinoxes was much studied and known in ancient Egypt, India, Sumeria and among the Mayans. This implies that the great pyramid of Giza was built with a precise understanding of the dimensions of earth. Note that I think the great pyramid of Giza was last renovated maybe 2500 BC. It was built long, long after the other structures.

    1. According to orthodox astronomers, the precessionary cycle is 25,722 years, not 25,920. Using the orthodox figure would produce a difference of about 24′ from the pyramid’s actual slope, which a competent surveyor should be able to detect.

      Also, Plato’s Great Year had nothing to do with the precession of the equinoxes.It was rather, as concisely stated by Cicero, a period “which is completed when the sun, moon and five planets having all finished their courses have returned to the same positions relative to one another”.

      Would you care to modify your argument accordingly?

      1. Stephen I quoted a website link. I personally am not sure about the angles. I find the ratio argument to be more interesting.

        Which astronomers (Bharatiya, Sumerian, Chinese, Egyptian, Mayan) thought the processionary cycle was 25,722 years versus 25,920?

        I have read the account of Plato’s Great year not being the procession of the equinoxes. There appears to be a difference of opinion about this. My own view is that Soron and other Greeks who studied in Egypt likely popularized the procession of the equinoxes in Greece . . . if it wasn’t popularized before that (It might have been well known pre Egyptian influence too). This said, they may have called it a different name than a great year.

        I don’t know Egyptian calendars well. But in Arya culture, eras or Yugas have Sandhis. Sandhis help with small adjustments to dates. That is how the Bharatiya calenders adjust 360 days to 365 1/4 days for example. Did the Egyptians have a Sandhi equivalent that was added to the twelve signs sub eras to bring the total back to 25,920?

        Another possibility is that the procession of the equinoxes were first estimated at 25,722 years before the great flood and ice age. Later this was corrected by astronomers. If so, that would explain why the great pyramid–which was heavily renovated in 2500 BC–was built on the assumption that the procession of the equinoxes was 25,920.


        To switch the topic again. The basic unit of time in India is 360 years, 720 years, 2160 years and 4320 years. Yugas are calculated off these numbers. 4,320 happens to be 1/6 of a procession of the equinox. One day of Brahma is 4.32 billion years. One Chaturyuga is 4.32 million years including Sandhi. In some Puranas the length of Kali Yuga is given as 432,000 years including Sandhi.

        The big calendars did not run directly off of the procession of the equinoxes. But there is evidence that this number was known and valued in astronomy and mathematics.

        The reason I mentioned this is because it is possible that that these number patterns (which were common among Arya, Sumerians and Egyptians) might be responsible for the angles and size ratios on the great pyramid versus procession of the equinoxes.

        I need to run now but will get back to you later.

      1. Too long to read and couldn’t find anything new in the parts I skimmed through, but thanks to it I came across this link by the same author on how Gujaratis came to dominate the motel business in the US, much of which was new to me: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture-exploration/2018/09/south-asia-america-motels-immigration/

        In particular

        According to Mahendra Doshi, a California-based historian who is working on a book about early Gujarati hoteliers in the United States, Desai moved in 1947 to the Hotel Goldfield in San Francisco, whose doors were always open to new immigrants from Gujarat. He encouraged them to enter the hospitality business: “If you are a Patel, lease a hotel.”

        Many followed his advice. “They would give each other handshake loans—no collateral, no payment schedule, just pay when you can,” Doshi explains. Once a family purchased a motel, they would live there, and the family members would do all the tasks needed to run it, from cleaning rooms to checking in guests.

        Wonder how much of this sort of community-based social capital still exists today.

      2. One thing that’s not new is the total invisibility of the malayalee american community whenever there is an article about south asian or even just indian americans. Sorry for the bitterness, but malayalees are a good chunk of indian americans. They are a good number of the health care employees in the large cities, especially malayalee nurses. We are even the majority of the indian christians here (last pew study had indians christans as 18% of indian americans in general, 2nd largest religious group after indian hindus), glad they made 1 mention of a south asian christmas celebration, but that was for a sri lankan group. As far as large events, Indian churches have a Ekumenikal in each city, which gathers all the indian churches for a celebration duing christmas, and then there is Onam which gathers all the malayalees; christian, hindu, and muslim. I just don’t understand how a large community like malayalees get overlooked so often.

          1. Complexity might be in the eye of the beholder, but usually this is on both ends, meaning Indian American publications or articles (not talking the ethnic/regional publications, but the ones supposedly representing ALL Indian Americans) barely make a pip as it is about Malayalee communities and barely anything about Indian Christians (negative news though will get lots of coverage). It’s hard not to see a bias with the Indian American side (how dare south asians have an identity other than Hindu, Muslim or Sikh!) and either willful blindness/laziness with mainstream news publications (brown Christian identity might not be sexy enough for MSM).

            Oh well that’s the end of my bitter rant, love seeing more south Asians on television, any one watch Wrecked on TBS? It’s a “Lost” parody (British Asian/Malayalee Naveen Andrews representing in the original show), where the desi guy Asif Ali/”Pack Hara” is a sports agent and is hilarious. Hope to see more south Asians in comedic shows where they are just one the characters who just so happens to be south Asian. Mindy Kaling was great on the office and my brief viewing of iZombie, the Ravi character seemed very funny as well. I am a little conflicted on Aziz Ansari’s show on Netflix, love him, but his show is a bit too leaning on the SJW side for me, like it’s trying to appeal only to the east coast elite. Here’s hoping for more to come…..

        1. Isn’t it like similar to non malyali population in th gulf. Almost every news which comes out of gulf about Indian diaspora is about malyali or Muslim as if no other communities live and work there. Similar to how Sikhs are to Canada diaspora

  4. The data on unemployment is wacked. No such accurate data set exists. The US Department of Labor Statistics has published statistics on all Asian Americans since January 2003. That data set shows that Asian American unemployment is a little lower than caucasian unemployment. Maybe (Asian Americans unemployment rate – caucasian unemployment rate) is a little larger during recessions than in booms; but we don’t have enough data to definitively say:

    Can e-mail anyone the data set:

    1. To AnAn,
      Re: Ashurism

      In a previous thread (Between the saffron and scimitar) you have mentioned different religions, including Ashurism. I believe that you know some of the following.
      Ashur re-established the 2nd Assyrian kingdom. He was the second Aryan leader who led expedition to India following his predecessor (Nino Belov) 600 years before him. He founded and dedicated the city of Ninewah (also Rehobot Hir, Kalah and Resen) to the first ruler of Assyrian kingdom. Both of them (Nino-Nimrod and Ashur) were mentioned in the Bible. He also, invaded Egypt, brought Ramses dynasty to the throne and left one unit of Serbians as his guard. Egyptian poets wrote about his guard. He made a trip via North Africa to the Gibraltar. From both sides of Gibraltar he erected poles to mark his visit. After that he visited Iberia and today’s France (at that time it had Serbian name Rodania), founded city of Alesia (later the Avenue Champs Elysees got its name after this town which was later capitol of Gallia). He crossed Alps (Hannibal also did this later) and visited today’s Italy where the city of Rome would be founded. Ashur took some people from Media, Persia and India with him. Ancient Indian people were populated in Mauritania which got its name after these ancient Indians. He sent his son to populate the island of Sardinia. Island Corsica got its name after his son Kirno (according to Pausania).

      Ashur was considered as a deity and his original name was Serbon (son of Makerid). He was also known as – Serdan, Sardan, Surbon, Sandon, Sardus, Sarapis, Sardus, Santus, Sarmandus, Suria, Asur, etc. In later history, he was known in Greek and Roman mythologies as Heracles or Hercules.

      RE: ancient technology

      I have already said that I am sceptical about this. However, I found some sources regarding 7 wonders of ancient world that, for e.g, the lighthouse Pharos, which was very big, had electricity supply because it would be very impractical to use open fire for lighting on such long distances. I red similar things for another ancient city. There is also another logic. If we look at today’s technology, the most of it was discovered in last 100-150 years. Serbian scientist Nikola Tesla invented alternative current, electromagnetic waves, radar, etc 100 years ago. Computers were practically used in last 50 years. We will have artificial intelligence in the next 10 years. If we talk about ancient word, can we imagine that in for e.g. 30.000 years existed 100-200 years similar to our time? Statistically, very possible but I am still very sceptical.

      1. We really need to collaborate offline Milan. Please e-mail. Please watch the schlock video in full


        Razib, I still haven’t fully analyzed the Schock video. I would focus on that first.

        Afterwards, on to Gunung Padang in Indonesia, which I am still researching.

        I am thinking of titling an article:
        “pre 10,000 BC advanced AASI civilization”
        Would this be correct technical academic terminology?
        Various samples from this enormous pyramid in Java Indonesia have been carbon dated. The various datings obtained vary from 13,000 to 28,000 years ago depending on where in the pyramid structure the sample was taken.
        Pre flood and ice age [before 9700 BC], Indonesia was part of a much larger land mass. Could this be connected to the ancient Kumari Kandam land mass south of India which is referred to in ancient Arya and Tamil texts? If so, would this be pre Ramayana in the Arya narrative framework? As an aside, in the Valmiki Ramayana, Sugriva mentions a large land mass in South East Asia. Many translators have traditionally translated this as Java. But perhaps this is a referral to a much larger pre 9700 BC land mass.

        There is strong political opposition to scientists and geologists studying Gunung Padang from liberal arts academia. Specifically archaeology, anthropology and history academics. The Indonesian government has been scared to defy them. They appear more afraid of academia than they do of Islamist Jihadis who also don’t want the site studied. This is a testimony to Indonesia’s liberal progressive Hindu Buddhist influenced Islamic culture. And a shot across to bow to all who claim that Islamic reform is a pipe dream.

        Indonesia the Model!

        Studying Gunung Padang might help bring light to the evolution of ancient Bharatiya history, civilization and culture. We won’t know until serious research begins. My hope is that the Indonesian government permits scientific research into the pyramid site.

        I prefer not to use the phrase “Lemuria” since it was invented by Philip Sclater in the 1860s and does not to my knowledge appear in earlier texts. “Lemuria” is extensively speculated about by the Theosophical Society and New Age movement.

        1. Just another word or two about Egypt…

          The first Aryan leader Nino (Biblical Nimrod), on the way back from India, took some tribes from Mesopotamia to Egypt. They were future Jews and Greeks (some were surprised when I told them that they are actually cousins). Serbs were part of administration in Egypt while Jews and Greeks had supporting roles. Sinai’s name at that time was Serbal (kept until new era) and Serbs lived there. In old maps can be seen many Serbian toponyms. Serbs later built the monastery St Katharina which is still there. Egyptian later expelled all of them during the Exodus. Jews escaped slavery going to Sinai where Serbs gave them a refuge, Greeks escaped to Mediterranean islands, where also Serbs accepted them. In Sinai, Moses got 10 commandments from the God on the highest peak – Mt Serbal (still is the same name). From the Mt Nebo (Sky – in Serbian) he was watching the promised land. There is also Mt Banat (the same name as the province, north-east from Belgrade).

          Re: Between the saffron and scimitar

          I haven’t made a comment although I could say something what would be interesting for all. Serbia is a country on the edge of Islam and Catholicism, with significant Jewish (Sefardies who escaped from Spain) presence in the past. Sometimes, you can better see some things (in Islam and Catholicism) when you watch from the periphery instead of having a central perspective. In relation to this there is some sort of exclusive news…

          It is about to happen another split in Christian world. The first was in 1054 between Catholicism and Orthodox. Later, it was separation of Protestants from Catholics. Now, it is about splitting of Orthodox churches. Namely, Americans (deep state) were for decades working to split Orthodoxy which they see as bigger enemy than Islam. Constantinople patriarch (church without people) is about to give a tomos of autocephality to the Ukrainian church which currently does not exist. US Ukrainian puppet regime will try to seize all churches which are autonomous but in a union with Russian Orthodox Church. Russians cannot allow this and the split already started. Constantinople patriarch (who tries to become eastern Pope) already sent two American Orthodox Bishops to Ukraine to take over the church. There will be NATO Orthodox church (churches which may follow Constantinople i.e. Americans) and traditional Orthodox churches. This split will influence happenings in the whole world. Americans last week officially declared (Wes Mitchel in Georgia) that in every Orthodox country will be a front line in a battle with Russia.

          Also, in relation to previous…

          ISIS in Idlib, assisted by White helmets, brought 8 containers of chlorine and made a movie about alleged usage of chlorine by the Syrian army. They used some children from refugee camp and kept them in prison. They were waiting for Army to attack them to declare the usage of poisons by the Army and publish the movie on Internet. Americans, British and French close to Syria are waiting for the signal. However, Syrian Army delayed the attack because of this. Putin is trying to make agreement with Erdogan to demilitarize the Idlib and the Army will not attack. We will see what will happen. I believe that ISIS will provocate chlorine attack under American directions because US do not want stable situation in Syria under Russian (and Iranian) control.

  5. I am wondering why a brilliant non-Anglo with a serious scientific background lasted only one day at the NYT, while a bloviating mediocrity stays on despite her “Tutsi’s are cockroaches” tweet storm?

    1. 1) journalism is a class. connections matter a lot. if you don’t have those you are existing at their sufferance

      2) there are certain red lines in american culture. just how it is

    2. KD, one phrase:

      “post modernism”

      They really don’t like any Hindustani who doesn’t bow down to some iron clad “post modernist” first principles.

      They are very powerful in global liberal arts academia and the global media.

      Global science and applied academia (including economics and STEM) as well as global business community don’t like post modernism and post modernism doesn’t hold sway in these fields.

      “journalism is a class. connections matter a lot. if you don’t have those you are existing at their sufferance”

      I have friends who have worked for the WSJ, NYT, Washington Post, magazines, and other major media outlets. Connections get interviews and maybe jobs. But they do not protect someone from post modernist media mobs.

      You got mobbed. It was a terrible wrong and injustice. You are incredibly high IQ. Trust me, I am not writing this to be polite. I don’t believe in lying sophistry. My own interactions with high profile media writer/commentators and think tanks and policy circles in DC suggest that most of them are lower IQ than you. I was perpetually shocked at how much I needed to explain simple math concepts to them; and how little of what I say or write they comprehend [this has nothing to do with whether they agree with me or not]. In many cases they have great knowledge in specific narrow domains (much more than me for example) but they don’t understand other domains or the correlations and connections between multiple domains of knowledge. As you know, there is a huge difference between being very knowledgeable, hard working and studied . . . and intelligence. Everyone that I met was very knowledgeable (mostly in narrow domains), hard working and studied. Most were not at your level of intelligence. Albeit they were in the top 5% of the global IQ distribution.

    3. KD wrote “a bloviating mediocrity stays on despite her “Tutsi’s are cockroaches” tweet storm”. Who are you referring to?

        1. Where did she say or write something similar to:

          “Tutsi’s are cockroaches”

          Sarah Jeong is a disgrace to all Asians, all Koreans, all Asian Americans and all Americans.

      1. Saurav,
        The political climate in Pakistan (as in many other countries) is extremely polarized right now. People are either on the PTI side or on the PML-N side. Those on the PTI side were firmly convinced that NS stole the country’s money and is corrupt. Those on the PML-N side were firmly convinced that this was all a case of political victimization. Those who try to see the middle ground made the argument that even if NS is corrupt, so is pretty much every other mainstream politician, so the selective vendetta against one family and one political party was unwarranted.

        The timing of the verdict against them and the jail sentence just before elections was always suspicious. I suppose the establishment felt that PTI would not win a fair election with the Sharifs actively campaigning. Now that a government has been formed and there is not much that can be done about it, it was probably felt that it is better to let them out on bail pending the appeal of the verdict. There are those who speculate that the Saudis were putting some pressure on IK to make a deal with the Sharifs. Normal politics in Pakistan.

          1. It’s the regional party in Sindh and South Punjab m – Pakistan politics will probably have to reconsolidate somehow into

            Dynastic/Provinicial Parties vs National/Military/Merit patties

            I can’t see Imran Khan’s sons going into Pak politics having been raised in the UK..

          2. I think South Punjab went for PTI this time.

            Pakistani politics is interesting in the sense that each province really has its own politics. PPP still controls Sindh. Punjab is divided between PTI and PML-N. Balochistan has its own parties.

            I really hope IK’s sons stay out of Pakistani politics. We already have Maryam and Bilawal to deal with.

    1. are there substantive policy differences btwn the two blocs? (i know they are right and left, but is the gap big?) just wonder if like in parts of latin america these family run parties are less ideological and just instruments for particular factions/clans.

      1. Both are center-right parties though PTI is further to the right than PML-N. The main issue is that the Army is closer to Imran Khan and used him against the Sharifs just as they used Nawaz Sharif against Benazir in the 1990s. Nawaz was trying to enlarge the amount of civilian space and the Army obviously couldn’t have that.

        Politics in Pakistan is not really ideological and mostly based on family/clan/tribe/ethnicity etc.

        1. I think the primary ideological fault lines between political groups in Pakistan is one how large the role of Army should be, two how to approach India. Not that there are drammatic differences. Even small differences matter hugely in a overwrought society like Pakistan.

          1. There are also differences regarding the amount of Islam there should be in society. PPP is supposed to be the most “secular” in this regard, though they also have to pay lip service to religion. PTI is quite a right-wing party as can be seen by the fact that they used to be in coalition with Jamaat-e-Islami in KPK as well as the whole firing of Dr. Atif Mian.

          2. ““secular” in this regard, though they also have to pay lip service to religion”

            That is where ‘seculars’ undermine their own ideology by paying the so-called lip service. If you pay lipservice to any ideology other than yours, you are already defeated and compromised yourself.

          3. Some compromises have to be made to survive in politics in Pakistan. The country is called “The Islamic Republic of Pakistan” after all.

  6. Nawazudiin siddiquie (Bollywood actor) is probably the most brilliant politician of our time. Anyone who wants to learn how to pander to both the extreme right and extreme left at the same time should watch and learn. He is both the establishment and the dissident

  7. It’s hard not to see a bias with the Indian American side (how dare south asians have an identity other than Hindu, Muslim or Sikh!)

    yeah, this is a true fact. this is the SJW/left liberal lean on the ‘south asian’ media/journalism community. hijabis are cool by them, but evangelical christian brownz are whitewashed.

    I am a little conflicted on Aziz Ansari’s show on Netflix, love him, but his show is a bit too leaning on the SJW side for me, like it’s trying to appeal only to the east coast elite. Here’s hoping for more to come…..

    aziz’s show was WAY better than hasan minhaj’s show. i lived in the town minaj grew up in. he totally doesn’t give the right impression that it’s like a little marin county in the central valley.

    1. I have held such a view on an intuitive basis for a long time. Hinduism or Brahmanism was spread by Indian settlers , who also took with them varna classifications. Cambodian traditional view is that their country was founded by a brahmin named kaundinya – obviously this refers to gotra. Khmer script , apart from many south east asian scripts – was based on Grantham , a script invented near Chennai to write Sanskrit

          1. Ethnicity and language Edit

            The ancient Kambojas were probably of Indo-Iranian origin.[1] They are, however, sometimes described as Indo-Aryans[2][page needed][3][volume needed][4] and sometimes as having both Indian and Iranian affinities.[5][6][7] The Kambojas are also described as a royal clan of the Sakas.[8]

            Origins Edit

            The earliest reference to the Kambojas is in the works of Pāṇini, around the 5th century BCE. Other pre-Common Era references appear in the Manusmriti (2nd century) and the Mahabharata (10th century BCE), both of which described the Kambojas as former kshatriyas (Warriors caste) who had degraded through a failure to abide by Hindu sacred rituals.[9] Their territories were located beyond Gandhara, beyond Pakistan, Afghanistan laying in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan where Buddha statues were built in the name of king Maurya & Ashoka[10] and the 3rd century BCE Edicts of Ashoka refers to the area under Kamboja control as being independent of the Mauryan empire in which it was situated.[9]

            Some sections of the Kambojas crossed the Hindu Kush and planted Kamboja colonies in Paropamisadae and as far as Rajauri. The Mahabharata locates the Kambojas on the near side of the Hindu Kush as neighbors to the Daradas, and the Parama-Kambojas across the Hindu Kush as neighbors to the Rishikas (or Tukharas) of the Ferghana region.[11][page needed][12][13]

            The confederation of the Kambojas may have stretched from the valley of Rajauri in the south-western part of Kashmir to the Hindu Kush Range; in the south–west the borders extended probably as far as the regions of Kabul, Ghazni and Kandahar, with the nucleus in the area north-east of the present day Kabul, between the Hindu Kush Range and the Kunar river, including Kapisa[14][15] possibly extending from the Kabul valleys to Kandahar.[16]

            Others locate the Kambojas and the Parama-Kambojas in the areas spanning Balkh, Badakshan, the Pamirs and Kafiristan.[17] D. C. Sircar supposed them to have lived “in various settlements in the wide area lying between Punjab, Iran, to the south of Balkh.”[18] and the Parama-Kamboja even farther north, in the Trans-Pamirian territories comprising the Zeravshan valley, towards the Farghana region, in the Scythia of the classical writers.[2][page needed][19][20] The mountainous region between the Oxus and Jaxartes is also suggested as the location of the ancient Kambojas.[21]

            The name Kamboja may derive from (Kam + bhoj “Kamma+boja”), referring to the people of a country known as “Kum” or “Kam”. The mountainous highlands where the Jaxartes and its confluents arise are called the highlands of the Komedes by Ptolemy. Ammianus Marcellinus also names these mountains as Komedas.[22][23][24] The Kiu-mi-to in the writings of Xuanzang have also been identified with the Komudha-dvipa of the Puranic literature and the Iranian Kambojas.[25][26]

            The two Kamboja settlements on either side of the Hindu Kush are also substantiated from Ptolemy’s Geography, which refers to the Tambyzoi located north of the Hindu Kush on the river Oxus in Bactria, and the Ambautai people on the southern side of Hindukush in the Paropamisadae.[citation needed] Scholars have identified both the Ptolemian Tambyzoi and Ambautai with Sanskrit Kamboja.[11][27][28][29][30]

            Scholars, su

          2. @Zack

            The Kambojas and Kamboj country is (or was) in the northwestern India. we are talking of why Kampuchea got it’s name . Kamboja was a prestige name and just the name could have been carried or recieved and those who went to Kampuchea might not have been original ethnic Kambojas whoever they were, whether it was Parthians or Indo-persians.

          3. Horsemanship of the mleccha tribes and by geographical continuity of the northwestern Bharatiya tribes was always sought after. The Palas in Bengal had Kamboja cavalry regiments as part of their regular standing army. Bengal to Cambodia isn’t that far, might be equidistant from Kyrgyzstan to Bengal and Cambodia to Bengal.

  8. Considering the origin of Kambojas, its interesting that the only people who still carry this title are neither in Iran/Afghanistan/Pakistan but in India.

    1. This promises to be interesting.

      Is there evidence of more than three major DNA admixture streams flowing into SAARC and South East Asia?

    2. Hello Razib Khan,

      Is Munda speakers having high IBD sharing with peninsular Malaysian tribes as opposed to Vietnamese and Cambodian people important in some way wrt the question of the arrival of Austroasiatic languages into India? In your earlier post here titled “The Munda as upland rice cultivators”, you mentioned the Austroasiatic-related ancestry of India came from more northerly parts of Southeast Asia like Thailand. Is Malaysia considered to be part of this northerly Southeast Asia having northern Austroasiatic groups in prehistory/history?

      Or is the IBD sharing of Munda speakers with Malaysian tribes because of the AASI-Hoabinhian connection?

      Please forgive me if there are a lot of stupid mistakes, factual and otherwise, in the above. I’m not very well-read on the prehistory and history of Southeast Asia (but I’m also sure everybody is probably less knowledgeable compared to you in the matters of history and prehistory lol).

      1. Or is the IBD sharing of Munda speakers with Malaysian tribes because of the AASI-Hoabinhian connection?

        i need to reread it. but i think the issue is more the latter.

        (ps the malyasian tribes have austroasiatic ancestry btw; the semang and senoi speak austroastic)

  9. Sudakshina, king of the Kambojas, travelled for a year or more with his enormous armies to arrive in Kurekshetra for the great war, the Mahabharata. I can look it up, but I believe he too was Chandra Vamsha or Soma Vamsha from Uttara Kuru (from the far north and west). He ruled many non Arya people. He brought a large army from North and West of Gandhara. These were the people of Kamboja. The people of Turin (Jagguji’s people) . . . Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Herat. I think Balkh too. [I wonder if Balkh flipped back and forth between Gandhara and Kamboja.]

    Sudakshina brought another country with him, one that was allied with him or conquered by him. Many Sakas fought under him. Decades ago I assumed they also must be from Turin. But then the wise knowledge giver Zachary Latif educated me and taught me the true history of the Sakas. For which I am deeply grateful. Could these Sakas have been from the Sistan and Baluchistan state of Iran?

    But then my curiosity got the better of me and I saw:
    Now I again think they could have come from many parts of Turin or Eastern Iran.

    How sure are we that the great Khmer came from Kamboja? Was there a pre Kamboja AASI admixture civilization in Cambodia (in those days southern Vietnam was part of Cambodia)?

    Maybe the study of Gunung Padang (one of the largest pyramids in the world, comparable to the great pyramid of Giza, built in Java Indonesia, which has carbon dating samples between 13,000 and 28,000 years ago depending on where the samples are taken) will give us clues about Cambodian history. My hope is that it will teach us what early Hinduism looked like that far back. Or it won’t. We will not know until it is deeply studied.

  10. Razib/Zack/Anan

    Could you pose this question as a article. Has the political bent of your SO changed your political views as well? If Yes than how much? I have a friend who was totally apolitical once and now not a day passes when she post something about Gazza

    1. What is “SO”?

      I love Gaza and have participated on many Palestinian forums many years back! Some believe that that a majority of teenage and early twenty something Palestinians want to move to Israel. And it has changed the entire contours of the Palestinian Israeli question. One that people who do not live in Palestine (including our dear Sir Kabirji, lion of Kashmiri Indo-Turin-Persian high Islamicate culture) have not figured out what to do with.

      When on a Jewish pro Palestinian blog I started suggesting a large increase in student, tourist, religious and work visas for Palestinians who want to go to Israel . . . it started a civil war. The Palestinians and Arabs began to discuss it. The caucasians kicked me out of the blog for starting a “fitna” between Arabs; and between Arabs and their caucasian “supporters”. They accused me of some deep sectarian agenda that they couldn’t figure out. They figured out I wasn’t CIA. Some thought I was a Russian or Iranian or sectarian Iraqi plant.

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