88 Replies to “Open Thread – Brown Pundits”

  1. Reports that Modi may put forward a law banning religious conversions. Easy to see who this is targeted at (Muslims, Christians) as Hinduism attracts virtually no converts.

    It seems India’s long history of trying to softly coerce people into Hinduism (reservation, myths of love Jihad and Christian finance schemes) have given way to explicit banning of conversion.

    https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-bill-to-prevent-religious-conversion-likely-to-be-introduced-in-next-parliament-session-sources-2780534

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    1. “given way to explicit banning of conversion.”

      Good point. Muslims are so chill about people converting out of Islam. A model for all of us, no doubt.

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      1. “Good point. Muslims are so chill about people converting out of Islam. A model for all of us, no doubt.”

        But those countries are Islamic republics, while India claims to be secular.

        Sometimes I wish India would just call itself an Islamic republic. Once you declare yourself an Islamic republic, you are immediately shielded from all rational criticisms. Western liberals will zealously defend you in the name of Islamophobia. When they visit your country, they will never utter a word about your human rights abuses. Among others, expectations are lowered so much that you can do anything you want.

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      2. The defense of, “as long as the horrible thing I’m doing has been done somewhere else before, it isn’t that bad” isn’t a winning defense.

        The laws involving apostasy in some Muslim countries (thought not all) are heavily criticized.

        Is this an admission that India is no better than the most repressive of Islamist countries (I know the answer but it would be satisfying to hear you say it).

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        1. I just think it would behoove India to exploit the liberals’ double standard for Islamic republics vs non-Islamic republics. Take advantage of the bigotry of low expectations.

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          1. Apostasy is not some regrettable law in “Islamic republics” (what an oxymoron). It is part is Islam itself and has overwhelming support among the faithful.

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        2. What a ridiculous notion. Of course India is better. Which is why they are banning ALL conversions not just killing apostates while kidnapping infidel girls and forcing conversions after raping them.

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    2. There’s good reasons for such a law, though I am skeptical about the matter of enforcement.

      In India (and MENA and to a lesser extent Eastern Europe), religion is not so much a matter of personal faith as it a broad ethnic and civilizational identity. If people decide to follow the Western bromides of “freedom of religion!!!”, they implicitly embed the argument that religion should be a matter of personal faith…which makes sense in America, but not here.

      It is also worth mentioning that aggressive religious propagation campaigns have a number of second order effects. Aside from creating communal tensions (that potentially rise to the geopolitical level, as in 1947), they place a burden on nonproselytizing faiths to restructure themselves or face extinction.

      The last thing is not really something Hindus want to do…nor should they have to in a land where we are the supermajority. Ideology is not something to be slavishly adhered to, and some tenets of Western liberalism like “freedom of religion” don’t make much sense in Hindu (and Islamic, and perhaps Orthodox) countries. And that’s great!

      I don’t expect to change too many minds, but my point is to say that this law makes sense in the context of India, though again I am skeptical (for now) about provisions for enforcement.

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      1. Nicely put HMB. Even tho I strongly believe in personal freedoms and people’s right over their choice of faith, lot of such ideals need fine tuning before they can be applied to India.

        I would tie the right of conversion to educational level. People with a certain educational level, say high school, should be free to convert to whatever religion they want. Below that level one should need recommendation from responsible authorities. Also, mass conversion events where thousands of people convert en masse should not be allowed ( only thing such events do is to cause social strife).

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          1. The problem with you americans is that you are so dogmatically tied to the western principles of individual freedoms and freedom of speech and such, that it becomes impossible for you to do lateral thinking. there is something called a society too (what classical marxists call “the people”). sometimes individuals have to cede some ground for the betterment of society as a whole. i know this sound classical communism, but that does not make it automatically wrong.

            And since you seem to put so much weight in IQ, I took a free test on the Internet just to satisfy my curiosity.

            https://www.123test.com/iq-test/id=UZLNQMY7PRCI0117e&version=

            I will require a number higher than this to qualify for conversion 😉

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    3. I should add that the goal for this law is the more aggressive propagation activities by certain Christian groups, but it is “anti-conversion” legislation due to legal technicalities. The Constitution allows one to propagate religion, but *Stanislaus v. State of Madhya Pradesh* allows the banning of *converting* people to your religion (which the court held as separate from propagation.)
      Doesn’t make much sense to me either, but it is what it is.

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  2. the anti-conversion laws are dumb. otoh, i’ve also seen muslims and christians and secularists get mad when hindus DO try and convert ppl (usually these are re-conversions).

    too bad indians can’t be chill like americans and just ‘let it happen’ (~50% of americans switch identities in their life). i wonder if urbanizatoin is going to change things tho, just like it’s increased inter-caste marriages.

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    1. South Asians get mad when Hindus try to convert people exactly because they call it, “re-conversion”. Its the denial of any South-Asian expression that isn’t Hindu, and labeling it inherently imperial/foreign, that annoys people.

      Could you imagine if Pakistanis went around trying to “re-convert” Hindus to the phallic-worshiping religion of the IVC? That’s how dumb the ghar wapsi people appear to non-Hindus.

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      1. “South Asians get mad when Hindus try to convert people exactly because they call it, “re-conversion”. Its the denial of any South-Asian expression that isn’t Hindu, and labeling it inherently imperial/foreign, that annoys people.”

        They call converts “reverts” in Islam, too.

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        1. The connotation is completely different. “Revert” isn’t used to strip people of their ethnic-identity (and rights) in the Muslim world.

          Its also less proximal. The concept is that Adam was a monotheist, all all subsequent Prophets preached monotheism, so man’s natural orientation is monotheistic.

          Which is dumb, but not malicious in the same way.

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        2. I do wonder why it is this particular phrasing that rankles INDTHINGS and not, you know, the whole “you worship false demons and you will burn in hell unless you embrace JESUS.” That seems a lot more inflammatory to me…

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          1. Its the connection not being Hindu has with not being Indian (and the loss of rights that come with it), that rankles me.

            No matter how Islamist a country like Egypt is at heart, the mainstream society would never condition Egyptianess on being Muslim.

            Also, being raised Muslim blinds one to the offensive beliefs it espouses, even after leaving the faith. I also just never observed non-Muslims personally cared what Islamic-theology says about them (most don’t visa-vis other faiths), as long as there wasn’t political repercussions to it.

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          2. *I say “Jesus” because honestly Evangelicals are the impetus for this law. Muslims and Catholics…not so much. The “love jihad” thing is a bunch of bunkum.

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      2. “Could you imagine if Pakistanis went around trying to “re-convert” Hindus to the phallic-worshiping religion of the IVC?”

        Hindus still worship phallic symbols (Shiva Linga) likely derived from the IVC.

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    2. In south India , definitely in Tamilandu and Kerala, conversion either as individual or groups does not evoke disgust or fear, even though many people loath it . With a caveat – conversion or abandonment of Islam. Christian evangelical groups are very active and public , performing all kinds of ‘miracles’ usually these evangelical pastors are good at mass hypnosis and put the crowds into wild trances . Even though these evangelicals , Catholic church and Protestant churches have an uneasy relationship when it comes to conversions they are out in force. Nowadays Catholic church makes less spectacles of conversions. There are also reconverts from Christianity to Hinduism , because of it’s traditional prestige One does not hear of large conversions into Islam even though there have been some notable ones. For example A.R.Rahman who was born a Hindu and due to straightened circumstances after his fathers death his whole family converted. No Hindu, even Hindutvas there , holds grudges against him for that. Another , ‘atheist evangelist’ called Periyar Dasan (Servant of E.V.Ramasamy ‘periyar’ ) converted to Islam .

      Leaving Islam is another matter ; it invites punishment as recommended in the Book. One guy Farook, who joined an Atheist org – who have been in the business for many decades vilifying Hinduism – was murdered by his childhood friends
      https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/hacked-death-his-beliefs-was-atheist-coimbatore-betrayed-his-own-friends-59134.

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    3. too bad indians can’t be chill like americans and just ‘let it happen’ (~50% of americans switch identities in their life)

      Sometimes I wonder how crazy chilled.
      Apparently a man can claim to be a woman and compete in female sports.

      Sure one can want switch identities, however till ding dongs becomes a pussy in the well, one should not be allowed to be legally designated as a woman.

      Titties dont count, heck I have them too and mine are larger than some women.

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  3. “the anti-conversion laws are dumb. otoh, i’ve also seen muslims and christians and secularists get mad when hindus DO try and convert ppl (usually these are re-conversions).”

    I agree that there should be no ban on conversion. But affirmative action in India requires verifying religious identity. So there needs to be a legal process for conversion. Not sure exactly what the BJP is trying to do, but this legal process is often what makes it hard to convert in some places. A process needs to be there because of legal implications re affirmative action, but it should be quick and easy. Shouldn’t be subject to politicization by whatever party is in power.

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  4. better still if we could go back to the traditions of ancient indian times, when religions were merely philosophical systems not mutually exclusive to each other. one could follow multiple religions without any apparent contradiction.

    monotheism, especially the dogmatic monotheism of semitic kind, is really a blight upon humanity. no wonder all the great civilizations of ancient world (egpyt, greek, roman, babylon etc) were polytheistic civilizations. advent of christianity in europe cased a 1000 year long dark age. europe could wake up again only when it loosened the bonds of religion substantially and allowed liberal thinking.

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    1. Yes, the records from ancient India are very enlightening. Hindus slaying thousands of Buddhists monks and destroying thousands of their temples. The Mauryan Emperor sentencing Hindus to death for insulting the Buddha. The Aryans destroying the religious structures of the IVC peoples, and christening the term, “mleccha”, which rivals Kafir in all its nasty connotations.

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      1. “The Mauryan Emperor sentencing Hindus to death for insulting the Buddha. The Aryans destroying the religious structures of the IVC peoples,..”

        Stop peddling your BS, can you post any direct evidences? This kinda wild imagination is what led to wild theories by Western indologists.

        Btw, ashoka didn’t kill hindus. He killed ajivikas, had ajivikas known that you called them hindus, they would have fo sure killed you.

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    2. “better still if we could go back to the traditions of ancient indian times, when religions were merely philosophical systems not mutually exclusive to each other. one could follow multiple religions without any apparent contradiction.”

      At the very least, we should get to a place where all religions are treated equally. Right now, one religion gets a free pass while it’s open season on all the others.

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    3. monotheism, especially the dogmatic monotheism of semitic kind, is really a blight upon humanity. no wonder all the great civilizations of ancient world (egpyt, greek, roman, babylon etc) were polytheistic civilizations. advent of christianity in europe cased a 1000 year long dark age. europe could wake up again only when it loosened the bonds of religion substantially and allowed liberal thinking.

      this is something i would have found plausible when i was 12. you should read some books. but most of the commenters here are stupid and enjoy food-fights so wutevz. do yo thang 😉

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      1. ” you should read some books.”

        just doesn’t have the same punch as a well chiseled jibe at someone’s low IQ. you are losing your sting razib.

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        1. if u do have a low IQ i would appreciate it if you didn’t comment. but like i said, your comment reminds me of my level of sophistication during my tween years. so you’re not all dumb.

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          1. What I find most amusing about your jibes on people’s IQ is that you seem to repose too much trust in a concept which is so poorly understood scientifically. The systems to quantify intelligence with a single number are even more dubious.

            Also, apparently there are different kinds of intelligence. to be able to read and comprehend large swathes of texts requires a totally different kind of intelligence than the intelligence required to predict your opponents’ hand in a game of bridge.

            Here is a fun exercise for anyone interested in testing their visuo-spatial IQ. Euler’s rotation theorem (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euler%27s_rotation_theorem) states that if you take a 3-D body that is hinged on a point, you can rotate it any which way any number of times, but its final position can be condensed in a single rotation about a single axis.

            There is a mathematical proof of the theorem. But the fun part is, if you have good visuo-spatial IQ, you can mentally rotate the body and immediately see the truth of the theorem without needing any algebraic proof. And the even more funnier part is, fact that you can mentally rotate the 3-D body has no bearing how you will fare in the life.

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          2. @Scorpion
            you can mentally rotate the body and immediately see the truth of the theorem without needing any algebraic proof.
            You are committing a classic fallacy here, of assuming that because a anecdotal case of scientific truth is obvious to you through your senses, that obviates the need for the scientific method and rigor.

            For every case of “it’s so obvious, I can see it with my own eyes, who needs that dang algebra”, there are probably a 100 others where your senses mislead you and take you away from the truth.

            This kind of thinking is reminiscent of Ayurveda, which may very well have merits but is yet unproven; that doesn’t stop a lot of people from having blind faith in its healing methods.

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  5. . The Aryans destroying the religious structures of the IVC peoples

    what are you alluding to? be specific, i’m kind of curious since the archaeology is vague to me (or are you just bullshitting with flourish like most of the commenters here).

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    1. Tony Joseph cites the Vedic peoples disdain for the Phallic-worshiping religion of the IVC, and notes an archaeological finding showing several large phallic-structures that were destroyed in modern-Pakistan (well before the birth of Islam).

      He concludes likely the work of the Aryans or their ANI descendants, which seems plausible.

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      1. “Tony Joseph cites the Vedic peoples disdain for the Phallic-worshiping religion of the IVC, and notes an archaeological finding showing several large phallic-structures that were destroyed in modern-Pakistan (well before the birth of Islam).

        He concludes likely the work of the Aryans or their ANI descendants, which seems plausible.”

        What does he cite for this information?

        I’m sure you know but the worship of phallic structures (linga) remains prominent throughout India, including in places like Kashmir (Amarnath). How does the near ubiquity of this practice square with dominant Aryans’ hatred of it?

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        1. I’m not at all aware of phallic worship in modern India, though its clear many Aryan beliefs have not sustained over the centuries (like ritual sacrifice), so its not surprising some of their prohibitions faded over time as well.

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          1. I’m not at all aware of phallic worship in modern India,

            dude, you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about then. this is pretty famous and well known, in part because muslims and xtians make fun of it constantly. even i knew about it (back to my teen years in eastern oregon pre-internet, but i’m probably more curious than you).

            [also, phallus-worship may be into-european too; the norse had penis-pendants]

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          2. \phallus-worship may be into-european \
            In the town of Pompeii which I visited about 20 years back, there are many Roman villas with statues of men with huge penis. Ancient Romans , if not worship, thought such things are good luck.
            Hindu philosophy justifies worship in many iconic forms .

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          3. Ritual sacrifice is still a core part of modern Hindu practice.

            Anytime you see someone break a coconut in a Hindu ceremony that’s a stand in for slaughtering an animal in a Vedic ritual.

            There is a Hindu legend on how the rishi Vishwamitra changed the violent animal sacrifice tradition and got people to use coconuts in place of the animal.

            Animal sacrifice is still practiced in Nepal and North Eastern India in certain festivals.

            So it’s not like the tradition just randomly disappeared.

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          4. This is the problem with swallowing Tony Joseph’s book like its the gospel. He is biased and it is annoying. I’m an atheist and i’m not a fan of Hindutva fanatics. But Tony Joseph distorts history by erasing all connections with the IVC religion(s) and modern Hinduism. His christian background clearly lead to his annoying and quite frankly pathetic biased distortions.

            The original Aryan’s attacks on the phallic symbols of the IVC is a fact and is attested in the early layers of the Rig Veda. Modern Hinduism stems from a fusion of Arya and Dasa religious practices.

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          5. “Animal sacrifice is still practiced in Nepal and North Eastern India in certain festivals.”

            Animal sacrifice is pretty common in other parts of the country as well, especially in Kali worship.

            I remember as a kid going to the famous Kali temple on the banks of the Ganges in Patna, Bihar every Saturday. Some people broke coconuts while the more religious ones would sacrifice goats.

            My dad had famously (in our family) given up on meat in his 20s after he was part of one such sacrificial ceremony.

            It luckily hasn’t affected my appetite for mutton yet.

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      2. and notes an archaeological finding showing several large phallic-structures that were destroyed in modern-Pakistan .”

        Common sense tell me that any large phallic structure ( a vertically erected long cylindrical structure ) will be vulnerable to dilapidation by weather simply due to neglect. 😉

        Didn’t razib administer you an IQ test before allowing you to post here.

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  6. No matter how Islamist a country like Egypt is at heart, the mainstream society would never condition Egyptianess on being Muslim.

    this seems blatantly false. lots of muslim countries explicitly treat non-muslims as second class citizens. someone like edward said could state “islam was his civilization” even if he was an atheist from an anglican background cuz of the connectedness of islam to many muslim majority nations’ identities.

    the way lots of arabs-persans-turks think about islam is exactly like how lots of hindu nationalists think about hinduism and india (in iran it’s the connection btwn iranian national identity and shia islam even if that only dates to the 16th-century).

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  7. In the town of Vesuvius which I visited about 20 years back, there are many Roman villas with statues of men with huge penis. Ancient Romans , if not worship, thought such things are good luck

    the greeks didn’t like large penises. ‘lack of control’

    why their statues had small peenz

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    1. Almost all Greeks are short and chubby. They are not known as ‘talented’ people. It is very different story with Aryan people who are tall and athletic. Previously mentioned Romans had a sentence: Penis bonus, pax In domus (Good dick, peace in house).

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  8. What I find most amusing about your jibes on people’s IQ is that you seem to repose too much trust in a concept which is so poorly understood scientifically. The systems to quantify intelligence with a single number are even more dubious.

    this is moronic conventional wisdom. it’s not poorly understood scientifically, psychometrics is one of the most reproducible fields within psychology.

    you’re either stupid or ignorant.

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  9. All this talk on supposedly an unconfirmed report. 😂😂

    Don’t think it’s gonna happen. For whatever it’s worth the hindu right still rates foreign media more than it does local media. They will still keep the trappings of a secular state which does give them certain moral high ground and shields them from criticism, which would come if they have nation wide ban on conversion.

    Also Kashmir is different where the non BJP parties wouldn’t face the blowback of voting with the bjp. While a nation wide anti conversion bill will have an impact in their own states so pretty sure they won’t let bjp get away with that.

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  10. Wonder what my IQ would be, granted the utility of knowing the exact number is low for me.

    SAT used to be used for IQ testing but not when I took it. I scored a 2330/2400 so like a 1540 old scale. Interestingly my first practice exam score was like a 2050, so around a 1300. Over 40 practice tests and brushing up on basic grammar, I improved from something like 80th to 99.9th percentile. I would be curious about how I would score on IQ heavy LSAT. I was 97th percentile on MCAT but that has a definite large knowledge component. Medical licensing exams are extremely crystallized over fluid intelligence based because their goal is to test knowledge more than it is reasoning skills, so perhaps my advantage fell, thus explaining why I only scored 1SD above the mean on them.

    I was in a gifted and talented program in middle school based on IQ exam results in 5th grade but did not qualify earlier for the elementary school one based on my results on a test in 2nd grade.

    I have gone to public schools my entire life, including college and med school. I got rocked badly in undergrad admissions and only made it into a single top 20, and my parents refused to pay for it or cosign loans, so I went to state school and direct med program.

    I envy UK system. I would have been in a good shape for oxbridge based on my exam results. I got 4s and 5s on 12 AP tests and good SAT subject and general scores. But as an Asian male from a wealthy area, I didn’t have the ECs to makeup for a rather conventional and “privileged” background.

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  11. just look up the g-loading of your tests.

    one ‘issue’ with highly educated people is that they take a lot of tests and there is a natural human bias to pick the ‘best’ scores out of the total distribution. that’s usually sampling off the error in measurement off the tests 😉

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    1. The gloading falls from SAT to MCAT to licensing exams. Also, my scores went up too much on the SAT for it to be considered sufficiently gloaded, IMO. It makes sense why MENSA stopped accepting it has a qual test since the 1990s .
      That bias can certainly be there. I pretty much listed all of my percentiles, so I am doing my best to avoid it. But I can see why it would be tempting to only use my best performances. The lack of gloadedness of these tests is definitely barrier to a good IQ estimation from them. Regardless, I think my IQ is sufficiently high enough for many of my goals. A lot will come down to conscientiousness. Perhaps it might be too low for certain goals. I’ll find out when I try. If so, I’ll have to either quit or better yet compromise with collaboration. On the whole, good teams have made a much bigger difference in history of civilizational advancement than individuals anyway. Good leaders do a good job of assembling and administrating those teams.

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      1. Also, my scores went up too much on the SAT for it to be considered sufficiently gloaded, IMO.

        removing the analogies really kicked it in the teeth. though that was the most difficult part apparently…

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        1. yeah not sure about gloading of individual elements. A few of my friends also “beat” the puzzle heavy LSAT, starting in the 150s and finally scoring in the mid to upper 170s. That was apparently supposedly supposed to be unheard of.
          Regardless, I wish things were more meritocratic. I am definitely biased though because it would favor someone like me. I think my quant IQ> verbal but who knows for sure. I definitely don’t have the rote memory of the med students who study the least though. Takes me a good deal of organized spaced repetition to cram all of the crap in my brain needed to do well on exams.

          Interestingly of the 4 questions I got wrong on my exam (I OCD went on forums where people recalled questions and we figured out the “curve that day” after hundreds of people if not thousands but the mcqs they rememberee), three were vocab related. Generally, I never get any passage based ones wrong. The other was a silly math error.

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          1. Anyway, hopefully my last self aggrandizing comment, granted only the all mighty Sky Father knows the limits of my narcissism ;), but if I had to hazard a guess, just adjusting gloadedness and my percentiles and taking into account my efforts vs. others, anywhere from 125 to 145 with quant on upper end, spatial lower, and verbal in the middle. But again, this speculation is pure mental masturbation.

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  12. The problem with you americans is that you are so dogmatically tied to the western principles of individual freedoms and freedom of speech and such,

    i’m not a dogmatist. it’s just hilarious to me when indians claim

    1) very different cultural norms from the anglo-american tradition

    2) while still using the scaffold of anglo-american law and lexicon

    it’s like how indians of various religious explain that you shouldn’t engage in insults against religions because it “hurts communal feelings” and free speech is to “bring people together.”

    1) the importance of communal feeling make sense to muslims and indians, but a lot less to ppl in the anglo-american tradition (though that is changing…)

    2) the ideal of freedom of speech in the anglo-american tradition is that it is an ends, not a means (again, a misimpression by man indians). liberty is the utlimate ends.

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    1. In principle I have no objections to individuals having complete freedom in matters of personal choice. Unfortunately the issue is not so black and white. People in south asian societies are gullible and excitable. Unchecked, free-for-all liberties can be easily misused and Illiterate masses can be easily misled into acts that threaten the foundation of state, and along with that these very liberties themselves.

      India has recently seen many scandals involving babas who raped women entrapping them in the name of religion. Quite a few had to be jailed . I remember another incident in Kabul where a woman who was objecting to some mullah selling emulates was lynched by a mob. Apparently the mullah incited the mob alleging that the woman had burnt pages of Quran. When some members of the this lynch mob were arrested later by police, the interesting thing that emerged was that none of them could even read Quran. I don’t think these societies are yet ready for unfettered freedoms, especially in the matters of something so incendiary as religious proselytization.

      And there is nothing wrong in treating society as an entity having its own rights. Individuals live in society. Their rights take shape in the context of a harmonious society. Otherwise what will be the meaning of having a right of property in a anarchist society where people get robbed with impunity in the streets.

      There was an episode during the Emergency where a self righteous western journalist started lecturing Indira Gandhi about the lack of freedom of press in India. Indira famously retorted back asking what was the meaning of freedom of press in a country where 80% people can’t even read. Can help but agree with her.

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  13. the fundamental problem for non-western states aside from naked autocracies like saudi arabia is that the western tradition has the most advanced social and political systems to deal with mass society. this is evident when you look at iran, which has imitated western political systems and norms even while proclaiming its islamic distinctiveness (even the system of ayatollahs informing the political order was a very recent innovation and modeled on plato’s republic).

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  14. I’m not a westerner, I’m born and raised Indian, and I call BS on the notion that individual rights and freedoms are somehow tied to Western people and inapplicable to Indians (or MENAs for that matter.)

    Individual freedom and initiative undergirded by a society-wide consensus on law and ethics is what characterizes the most advanced societies on the planet today. If we in India persist in following the ancient pastoral communal models, we are condemned to live in backwardness and poverty for the foreseeable future, perennially leeching off of the West for innovation.

    Laws banning religious conversion are crazy and illiberal, just like laws banning people from practising professions other than those their ancestors followed. But there’s a time-honoured tradition of enforcing the latter in India, so I’m not surprised that some people around here approve the former too.

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  15. Laws banning religious conversion are crazy and illiberal,

    right. though i think a distinction here is that the problem isn’t changing one’s thought, but changing one’s tribe/identity. if a hindu changed their theology and diet to the same as a muslim with only minor modifications, but retained hindu identity it wouldn’t matter as much.

    in islam apostasy is explicitly banned because it is a social and political crime, not that it is a theological one. it disturbs public order and is season as treason against the islamic body politic. i think the hindu mindset is pretty similar informally. no one proposing hindu not become beef eating atheists. they’d still be ‘hindu’…

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    1. the problem isn’t changing one’s thought, but changing one’s tribe/identity

      Yeah. A commenter above mentioned affirmative action. As long as the Indian state functions as a spoils system to divvy up scarce resources among fixed religious communities, I guess conversion ceases to be an individual issue and becomes a political one.

      Again, as a libertarian, I would get the state out of the business of commandeering and distributing resources, and instead stick to limited functions like law and order and defence (and even education), but that’s a pipe dream.

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      1. “Again, as a libertarian, I would get the state out of the business of commandeering and distributing resources, and instead stick to limited functions like law and order and defence (and even education), but that’s a pipe dream.”

        @Numinous
        I used to be (and still am to an extent) libertarian-ish. But I do not think that kind of a system can work in India for both internal and external reasons.

        External threat means that the state has to forcibly apportion resources and put limits on liberty just in order to survive. Most people buy in because a defeat at the hands of an external enemy means even lower liberty than the current compromised situation.

        Can you have a libertarian (as opposed to anarchic) society without a well functioning system of laws? Can you have a well functioning system of laws till you don’t secure your territorial boundaries?

        Internal reasons have mainly got to do with the design of our constitution that dips its toes in every aspect of life instead of leaving stuff unspecified. Example – explicitly stating that we are a ‘socialist secular republic’. Doesn’t serve any purpose except to confuse.
        It’s like a spaghetti code.

        The fact that we have an extremely tribalistic society just adds to the difficulty.

        Even in the US, libertarian-ism might have had its moment when there was unconquered land left and no collective social pressure. Today, when US has in-coming external pressure (as opposed to wars it takes elsewhere) in the form of migration from the south, the libertarians seem to support a number of ‘illiberal’ policy measures.

        (Someone more informed on US politics can correct me)

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        1. No real disagreements with what you say. I was just expressing a very idealistic viewpoint.

          Rates of libertarianism were higher in the US when people were more optimistic about the future, I think. There was a poll I saw a long time ago which said that the ceiling for libertarian political preferences (not even full blown libertarianism) was 15%.

          But speaking from personal experience, US society is a LOT more libertarian than Indian society.

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          1. If the US is so libertarian, will they allow Sikh armymen to wear turbans ? No they won’t. Even the British army does not allow it. Only the non-libertarian India allows it

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          2. Being liberatarian doesn’t mean a society necessarily grants individuals greater liberties in all contexts. Nor does being more “religious” mean a society is always more restrictive in all contexts.

            Indian society is attempting to be more restrictive where conversions are concerned but in giving individuals greater leeway in pursuing their religious customs it may bend over backwards more than Western countries where demands of security or other policies may disallow turbans, veils, kripans and all sorts of religious practices when they conflict with secular requirements.

            Having said this, in the US they do usually go the extra mile to accommodate religious sensibilities – especially for those who kick up a fuss and make noise about religious discrimination.

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    1. Heh, I’m too old for that (turned 40) and I have family commitments here. But, gripes apart, I’ve made my peace with India.

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          1. H. M. Bro

            Short for Hugh Myron Brough, which is also my Steam handle, and a bodybuilding meme (I used to be into weightlifting).

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  16. “You are committing a classic fallacy here, of assuming that because a anecdotal case of scientific truth is obvious to you through your senses, that obviates the need for the scientific method and rigor.”

    You misunderstood my point. The point I was making is that IQ number is determined using such esoteric and irrelevant puzzles such as mental rotation of 3-D figures, that its practical importance itself becomes questionable.

    I am fascinated by the great personalities of history. None of them were known for any exceptional intelligence. Hitler, Gandhi, Churchill etc were a mediocre students and some of them were school drop outs, but they changed the course of history. (It is not a value judgement. Hitler may be a monster, but you can’t deny the fact that we live in a world shaped by him).

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  17. “Short for Hugh Myron Brough, which is also my Steam handle, and a bodybuilding meme (I used to be into weightlifting).”

    U mirin’ brah?

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  18. so i put my finger on it

    the dumber hindutva contingent are just ignorant idiotlogues who have simple cut-out views of history

    in contrast, the dumber secularists (or anti-hindutiva ppl), are more disingenuous sophists

    both are kind of stupid, but i think the hindutva contingent is more earnestly ignorant. their antagonists play a more conditional game…

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    1. Till recently Hindutva leaders were drawn from semi-urban areas with very exposure to world history or the drivers of the modern world or political thinking. . That is why they used to make wild statements jarring to sensibilities – like in the 1930s having Jewish persecution in Germany as a model. The leftists and Islamists keep playing back some writings from as if that sums up Hindutva and the last word on it. Hindutva , both in substance and presentation, has moved far beyond that. That is why it has strong presence among many castes in India, as well as the so-called ‘tribals’. It has moved beyond it’s core areas of middle India, Upper India to the North east. That said, even now Hindutva is not inclined to win over intellectuals with appropriate narratives . Hindutva has only one think tank in India, I think it is called Vivekanada Institute. They have even sidelined intellectuals like Arun Shourie or Subramaniam Swamy , some of whom are bitter critics of BJP government.

      Even though some easily blame Hindutva as ‘Brahminical’ , it does not have the intellectual approach of old style brahminism. While old style Brahminism did not have a taste for politics or power, Hinutva revels in it.

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    2. The Hindutva contingent today has power, but historically it didnt. So it has less informed world view on a lot of things. Its an insurgent and only when it power stabilizes, it can form cogent body of work.

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  19. Happy Independence day Pakistan.

    Also should we wish (i dare say) Bangladesh Independence today as well? 🤔

    May the subcontinent see better days.

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  20. Saurav, Bangladesh commemorates the country’s declaration of independence from Pakistan in the late hours of 25 March 1971, as its Independence Day……

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