Browncast Ep 45: Jordan Anaya on “data thuggery”

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Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on Libsyn, AppleSpotify, and Stitcher. Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe at one of the links above.

You can also support the podcast as a patron (the primary benefit now is that you get the podcasts considerably earlier than everyone else…this podcast was posted a week ago).

If there is one person who combines keen attention to scientific methodology and toxic masculinity, it’s Jordan Anaya, a “data thug.”

A brutal realist who helped destroy the career of Brian Wansink, Anaya revels in is status as a one-man Occam’s Razor.

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Don’t weep for the Chinese but for the Desis-

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I am a bite tired of this anti-PRC propaganda. Since Tiananmen Square; the PRC has averaged an annual growth rate of 8% (the economy is doubling *roughly* every 10years if not less).

Coupled with the negative population growth rate (I don’t know if there is demographic momentum but I haven’t checked); China has managed to transform herself in 30years.

Maybe the protestors didn’t get what they want (Freedom) but they did get prosperity and China has managed to:

This growth has led to a substantial increase in real living standards and a marked decline in poverty. Between 1981 and 2008, the proportion of China’s population living on less than $1.25/day is estimated to have fallen from 85% to 13.1%, meaning that roughly 600 million people were taken out of poverty.
For balance I’m adding:
I only imagine if Pakistan or India had been able to effect this transformation in the same time period. India finally seems to be getting the wind into the her sails under a *authoritarianesque* government.
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Indian Americans “trump” Brit-Asians

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This is a business roundtable between the President and the PM. It’s fascinating that even though Britain’s Asian population is 5% of the population versus 1% Indian-Americans; there are 2 Indians (at least) on his side of the table.

British society is invisibly white and though there are some sectors that are *cosmopolitan*; we are certainly behind the US since class is an additional factor here. A privileged Etonian, who dropped out, is equally if not better placed than the state-school Oxbridge kid.

Finally this article is so witheringly racist; Sajid Javid not invites to State Banquet. One of his “friends” joked to the newspaper that perhaps it was that Palace confused him with another son of a bus driver (Sadiq Khan).

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Browncast Ep 44: Game of Thrones, part 1

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Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on Libsyn, AppleSpotify, and Stitcher. Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe at one of the links above.

You can also support the podcast as a patron (the primary benefit now is that you get the podcasts considerably earlier than everyone else…this podcast was posted a week ago).

I chat the end of Game of Thrones with Adam Calhoun, a neuroscientist, and erstwhile provider of early leaked episodes to yours’ truly.

This is the first of two episodes on this topic. A follow-up with a geneticist and a historian to come.

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Iranian Ghee

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https://m.facebook.com/watch/?v=326662301282907&_rdr

Related: Parsi Cafes, A Centuries-Old Tradition In India, Are Vanishing

A fascinating video about food from Kermanshah. I got confused initially that it was Kerman but this is the Kurdish Kerman. The city’s name has a very interesting story and they also have an extremely exotic minority, which I had only first heard about a few weeks ago (when I first read the article I assumed the religious minority in question were Bahais):

In need of life-saving surgery, he was promised refuge in America. Just 15 months later, he died — still waiting

How the travel ban left a family of Iranian refugees stranded in Turkey

Anyway back to the original topic the reason why food is so *delicious* in Kermanshah (the most integrated Kurdish city in Iran because it’s inhabitants are Shi’ite) is because they use copious amounts of ghee.

While Iranian food is flavourful the most signature dishes also tend to be variants on Iraqi-Syrian food (grilled meat). Similarly the most delicious and well-known Turkish food comes from Gaziantep, which is on the Syrian border (and was a mixed city).

I am increasingly coming round to the idea (first floated by a Lahori friend of mine) that Arabic food is best when it comes to balancing taste and health.

I find it very difficult to eat Desi food healthily. There is just not enough protein in the diet and way too many carbs (rice & bread are accompaniments).

I’m sure it sounds like an oversimplified cliche but the Bedouin/nomadic food items of meat, spices & yogurt pared with the Mediterranean diet seems the ideal combination. It’s little wonder that Lebanese food is one of the world’s great cuisines; maybe not on par or as well known as Indian, Chinese, Franco-Italian but sort of like the Thai food of West Asia.

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BJP slips on Hindi; Tamil Nadu stands firm

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The first language controversy in the subcontinent emerged in Uttar Pradesh in the 19th century as a section of Hindus sought to replace Urdu – till then the language of administration along with English – with Hindi. As part of this politics, “Urdu and Hindi became proxies for Muslim and Hindu [political] mobilisation,” wrote Garga Chatterjee. “In that process, shoring up Hindi numbers became crucial. Many languages of North India like Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Braj, etc., were nominally fused into Hindi as a political tactic with devastating long-term consequences for the counted-as-Hindi-but-not-Hindi languages.”

Why imposing Hindi on India is a bad idea

I feel *Hindu* nationalism is a many headed Hydra. It builds on a millennia of humiliation but at the same time seems extraordinarily insensitive to actually diversity.

The only real defence Hindu nationalists have as to why their ideological brand is softer than the Muslim equivalents is simply because “Hinduism is a broad tent.”

I feel this obscures that Hinduism was the subject of intense reform over the last two centuries in a way Islam wasn’t. However it won’t surprise me if this tenuous commitment to liberalism falters after longer and more successful stunts of the BJP.

It seems the BJP has discovered the political power of Two Nation Theory and is really riding that perilous horse.

Not only is Hindi growing, it is changing. The Union government’s efforts to make it a “national language” have resulted in it being “firmly moored to a vastly associational Sanskrit with all its casteist baggage intact”, writes Mrinal Pande. “Its highly associational vocabulary is being used to purge thousands of words it has assimilated through the centuries from regional dialects and Islamic and European languages.” Of course, actually purging Hindi of all its Persian vocabulary would be an impossible task – the very name of the language is from Farsi.

Post backlash from T.N., mandatory Hindi goes out of draft education policy

It’s more than just about language, it is the imposition of culture’: DK leader K. Veeramani on National Education Policy

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Browncast Episode 43: Indian Elections, the Aftermath, with Kushal Mehra

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Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify, and Stitcher. Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe at one of the links above.

You can also support the podcast as a patron (the primary benefit now is that you get the podcasts considerably earlier than everyone else).

In this episode we discuss the outcome of the Indian elections with Kushal Mehra, host of the Carvaka Podcast (and a BJP supporter, albeit not exactly a traditional one). Kushal thinks Modi’s sweeping victory had more to do with his ability to deliver real benefits to the poorest Indians. Feel free to disagree and post your opinions in the comments. We talk about the failure of the Left’s dream scenario of “dalit-Muslim unity” as a counterweight to Hindutvadi politics (at least in this election), what this means (or does not mean) for Indian democracy, the role of Indian Muslims, and so on.

 

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