Open Thread, 04/07/2020 Brown Pundits

The conversation has overwhelmed this weblog this week. Please move your threads into this post. Should be easier to manage.

Also, thinking of doing a 12:30 PM (India time) Zoom today. If interested please check back 10 minutes before for the link in the thread below.

244 thoughts on “Open Thread, 04/07/2020 Brown Pundits”

  1. 2 question on genetics

    are wikipedia R1b frequencies for Pakistan accurate?
    do you need wash to model south asians and is this ancestry related to y R2?

  2. This is for Brownie’s eyes only….

    Thanks for a couple examples. Considering that guy, who was given the assignment, is dragging his feet I did this low budget research instead of him. We were talking about HONEY (Serbian name MED) and its use in SA languages. I checked examples in SA languages and couple others. I haven’t done much in Europe because there are so many including the alternative word for honey in English language.

    Well, to see what Google translate says for HONEY…

    MED – Kirgizia, Kurdish, Lao, Malayalam, Swahili, Sinhalese, Somalian, Tamil , Tatar, Telugu, Turkmen, Uzbek, Uygur, Hindi, Scottish Gaelic, Sona, Welsh Azerbaijan, Burma, Thai, Irish, Island, Javanese, Armenian, Georgian, Kazakhstani, Kannada, Yiddish, Estonian, German, Khmer, Filipino, Somali, Sundanese, Kinyarwanda, Basque, Catalan, Hungarian, Dutch, Amharic, Nyanja, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Malay, Igbo, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Hmong, Esperanto + Euro-languages……

    MEDA – Gujarat, Marathi, Nepalese, Bangla
    MAIDA – Punjabi
    MID – Arabian
    MET – Tamil
    MEDAL – Malayalam
    MYED – Mongolian
    MEDENU – Yoruba
    MEDEU – Korean

    The previous linguistic low cost exercise is not weaker than a solid genetic study about origins of SA people.

    1. few in south indian languages for honey:
      1. kannada- jenu
      2. tamil- ten ( soft ta)
      3. malyalam-ten

    1. What do you mean? Most if not all R1b is European.

      Pakistani R1b is either Z2103 or M73. The former is associated with Yamnaya and Afanasievo (as well as being a minority lineage among steppe Indo-Iranian cultures like Sintashta, Srubnaya and Scythians). The latter is associated with Turko-Mongols but probably didn’t originate with them as we see a Mesolithic HG from Latvia that has almost all the mutations associated with M73.

      Did you just mean isn’t under modern Western European subclasses like P312 and U106?

  3. I think you’re not going to convince Indian Hindus that Muslims weren’t brutal. First off it’s not true, and second it goes against the trend in current Indian socio-political development. The trend is your friend. Multiculturalism and anti-racism in the West (with a dead-ender Trump revanchism), pan-Hindu nationalism in India.

    Population density and resultant wealth, along with a thousand jatis (or whatever it was) prevented mass conversion like in the Middle East or post-Columbian America. I don’t think it was the quality of Hindu philosophy or Arya achievements (and I’m Hindu) that saved the day.

    Everyone knows there are push factors in Hinduism. It’s not a new discovery or even something the farthest right Hindutva person would deny. They’re getting less and will likely more or less disappear in 50 years as outward caste consciousness goes the way of official apartheid in South Africa.

  4. I think you’re not going to convince Indian Hindus that Muslims weren’t brutal.

    they were brutal. but they didn’t “kill millions.” and, they didn’t really impact most Indians (peasants).

    the rest of your arguments/comments are weak. don’t make them to me again.

    1. Yea I don’t think Muslims were degenerate the way Turko-Mongols were. Muslim empires usually killed enough to form empires. They didn’t kill for the sake of killing.

      1. @Jatt_Scythian

        I replied to your comment in the last thread but for some reason it got published as a separate new comment. Would be happy to answer any questions on Railways/Engineering stuff in India. We are doing quite well in India with the meager resources we have. Diaspora should know more and feel proud of how quickly homeland is catching up.

  5. the tengrist turco-mongols had a rationale too. mongol terror killing always occurred when there was resistance, and the terror was to scare future targets. the mongol were very efficient and effective because they were ‘uncooked’ the turco-muslims of the south were more integrated in the citified world of Islam and simply lacked the same force projection by the 1200s (those of north were not as soft and easily integrated with and assimilated the mongols).

    the mongol war machine was not qualitatively different. just quantitatively. the total obliteration of SW Asia wasn’t ideological. it was cuz the Muslims resisted like crazy.

    once the pax mongolica was established there was a long period of trade & exchange

    1. I admire Muslims for resisting.

      Either way fuck Mongols. World would have been better without their nonsense. Good on Qing China for destroying them later on too.

      1. Recently there was this thing on the Hindu right that Mongols weren’t that bad. Enemy of my enemy + pagan and Buddhist type of thing.

        Of course it didn’t fly far. Deep down the right know the real extent of Sultanate/Mughals excess and all, but they tend to exaggerate just like the other side tends to exaggerate Mughals achievements and Indian-ness.

      1. Gujjars make about 30% of the population of Nuristan province. I don’t know whether they moved from India. Interestingly Gojri, the language they speak is an Indo-European language and not an Iranian language. So my earlier hypothesis about them being descended from Scythians is probably incorrect.

        Still, Gujjars are more of a pastoral ethnic group than Jats/Jutts who mostly practice settled agriculture. Even during Mughal times there were Jat peasants and Jat landlords in North India.

    1. Razib, while these maps are interesting, the motivation for the data analytics is quite clear. Joshua Project is using the data to identify areas where Christianity could find more converts.

  6. Good on Qing China for destroying them later on too.

    to be clear, the Qing destroyed the non-genghiside western mongols, the oirats (related to buriats). these were marginal during genghis’ time.

    the eastern khalkha mongols were genghiside, and were allies early on to the Qing. they perceived the oirats as arriviste and uppity.

    the Qing themselves claimed descent from genghis khan’s younger brother, khasr, who was given part of manchuria as his ulus

  7. Oooh, a Zoom meeting at midnight (pacific time)? I’ll be there with a drink (or two, or…).

  8. Since the thread I was responding on is closed, I’ll just leave this here:

    I have no issues with “Hindu” as a geographical term, which was the original use. When the Persians labeled India “Hindustan” they were not referring to the religion of the inhabitants. In that sense, I can be considered “Hindu” as well.

    However, since the term is now associated with a religious identity, there is confusion about which sense it is being used in. When the RSS says that all Indians are “cultural Hindus”, they may mean it in a geographical sense but that they are seen to be implying something about Muslims “real” religion–which we are obviously very sensitive to. Also, there is the fact that Indian Muslims (and other minorities) don’t really trust the RSS to say anything without an agenda of their own (usually the agenda of the Hindu Right).

    My question about whether “Indian” culture = “Hindu” culture remains unanswered. I would contend that there is a secular Indian culture which is not inherently linked to one religion (e.g. Bollywood, cricket, perhaps Hindustani music). But I get the sense that many here equate Hindu and Indian and hence consider Muslims as somehow un-Indian.

    1. The common indian culture is probably due to customs, practices, bollywood, Hindustani classical , sher-o-shyari(back in the day bht fading now), Cricket , Gaming(should be in future years to come). But the deep rooted practices are hindu(in geographical sense) and the more you lose it the more western you become.
      Time shall heal what is gonna get destroyed or not.

      1. I agree with you that there is a common North Indian culture (which extends into Pakistan). This is something that both the Hindu Right and paknationalists are uncomfortable with.

        It would be good for Indian nationalism to build on this inclusive secular culture rather than insist that India equals Hindu and that Indian Muslims are “cultural Hindus” (which understandably upsets a lot of people). The composite culture (ganga-jamuni tehzeeb) can be owned by all communities. For example, Muslims contributed greatly to hindustani classical music. It is unfortunate that there are some groups in India that want to devalue these contributions just as there are groups in Pakistan that want to “cleanse” our culture of any Hindu elements.

        1. I am with you on owning up the indo islamic past but that cannot be made lone culture of republic of India. There is a vast region called south India that doesnt identify with it.
          It should be included none the less as one of the contributors.

        2. I know you said north india first

          But you also said ‘It would be good for Indian nationalism to build on this inclusive secular culture’
          And how much ever I like that would be failed start due to north vs south stuff. That why I said that should be an contributor as should be the christian goan culture and other north east ones

          1. Agreed on the need to include other regional cultures in the national culture. Bollywood and cricket are pretty pan-Indian things (pan South Asian actually).

            The point is that one could focus on the secular elements like food, music, clothing etc rather than things that specifically have religious connotations.

    2. Quote /When the Persians labeled India “Hindustan” they were not referring to the religion of the inhabitants./
      As I already mentioned in last comment, I think the term was used to denote people, area, religion and culture. It does stem from geography but has used in various context. It simply refers to attributes belonging to region beyond Sindhu. Since the religious practices themselves varied greatly within subcontinent, calling them by geographical name uses the lowest common denominator.

      Quote /In that sense, I can be considered “Hindu” as well./
      Good to know. Thats all the original post meant. No talk of changing anyone’s religious identity was made. However the overreach of some fanatics to Arabize the culture using religion was denounced.

      Quote /When the RSS says that all Indians are “cultural Hindus”, they may mean it in a geographical sense but that they are seen to be implying something about Muslims “real” religion/
      Thats were I said they need to do a better job with intelligent people.

      Quote /My question about whether “Indian” culture = “Hindu” culture remains unanswered./
      Indian culture mean Hindu culture where Hindu is a geographical term. Eg. Baisakhi festival is celebrated by both Hindus and Sikhs in religous way and cultural way. That doesnt make Sikhs Hindus. However IF some Sikhs start to move away from it just because hindus celebrate it, then they lose part of their culture. And then if start celebrating thanksgiving to differentiate themselves from neighbors I call that foolishness. That example is exaggeration but thats what I meant is happening in muslim communities in South asia.

      Quote /But I get the sense that many here equate Hindu and Indian and hence consider Muslims as somehow un-Indian./
      Not only hindu but sikh, buddhist and jain are equated with Indian too. Islam and christianity are obiviously unindian in their source as religions. Tht can hardly be challenged. The people however are Indian and culturally hindus. Their right to religious practices is in no way being challenged or changed !

      @H. M. Brough
      I have no hopes from Pak. I just meant for muslims living with other religions in India.

      1. The issue remains that since the word “Hindu” now refers mainly to a religious identity rather than a geographical descriptor calling people “cultural Hindus” is problematic.

        There are people who conflate Sikhism with Hinduism and those people are not liked very much by many Sikhs.

        Obviously, Islam as a religion is West Asian in origin. However South Asian Islam is very different from Arab Islam. I have previously mentioned that Arabs don’t worship at dargahs. Qawaali is also specifically South Asian.

        I think it would be better to de-link “Indian” with “Hindu” if one is interested in creating an inclusive and pluralistic culture.

      2. Quote /The issue remains that since the word “Hindu” now refers mainly to a religious identity rather than a geographical descriptor calling people “cultural Hindus” is problematic./
        Only the word problematic is ‘problematic’ as you have been suggested before.(lol) The word is constrained to small def. by some people and that needs to be stopped. Thats what I was suggesting. Cant retire words because some are not comfortable with it suddenly.

        Quote /Obviously, Islam as a religion is West Asian in origin. However South Asian Islam is very different from Arab Islam. I have previously mentioned that Arabs don’t worship at dargahs. Qawaali is also specifically South Asian./
        I know and sadly that is being chipped away slowly as wahabbism creeps in. In some time if not already music will be unislamic because ‘we dont do that stuff’. Even from Salman’s post on other thread you can feel how people feel about it. That why I think the geographical marker of Hindustani musalman is very helpful. Let the arabs do whatever they want, I couldnt care less.

        Quote /I think it would be better to de-link “Indian” with “Hindu” if one is interested in creating an inclusive and pluralistic culture./
        All this talk about de linking, new labeling is just SJW & woke bullshit. It justs divides people instead on bringing them together. However a careful explanation talking into account people’s fear and reservations is must. I hope Hindu RW takes note of that.

        1. The bottom line is that nationality and religion are not the same thing. Indian does not equal Hindu. It is only the Hindu Right and Paknationalists who believe it does.

          1. ..nationality and religion are not the same thing!

            Nothing to disagree on that front !

  9. Meh, I’m not too fussed about having a common culture with our Western neighbors, we’re better off without them anyways. Let them go their way, we’ll go ours.

  10. Came across this article suggesting that lighter skinned babies born of unions between an Andamanese mothers and mainland Indian fathers are regularly ritually killed by the tribe.

    Have mixed feeling about this.

    Got me wondering about the following:

    a) Would the initial contact between AASI and IVC people. Also later on with Steppe people looked like this ?
    b) By having a different standard of conduct for the Andamanese am I infantilizing / dehumanizing them ?
    c) Should unions between mainland Indian men and Andamanese women be automatically considered non-consensual?
    d) Do woke white people do the same with brown people, esp. Muslims sometimes when they have lower standards for them ?

    1. I mean I thought about it the other day but its possible Mesolithic Indians were very much like Native Americans with their paternal component linked to Western lineages (y H) and their maternal lineages linked to the East (mt M). Kind of like Native Americans and ANE/ENA. That is if y H and mt M is the dominant combination.

    2. I thought the IVC people were a mixture of AASI and Iranian farmers? Or were the IVC entirely of Iranian stock?

      1. AASI and mesolithic HG related Iranics per evidence from Raghikiri paper with cline of 0-50% AASI and 50-100% iranic

        Neolithic Iranic farmers is overturned per new data

        1. Like I said below we should hold off on saying there were no neolithic migration until we get a DNA from all over the Indus Valley Civilization. I believe there are subclades of J2a and J2b in South Asia that share mutations with West Asian clades that are too recent from them to have arrived in the Mesolithic and are too common to say they came from later foreign invaders.

      2. The current thinking is they were on a cline from something related to Mesolithic Iranians to AASI with some being close to pure representatives of both populations. A lot of people think there was no Neolithic migration. I’m not convinced given the only samples we have I believe are from Haryana and no haplogroup data. Just because there was no neolithic migration to Haryana doesn’t mean the Indus Valley particularly Sindh didn’t experience one.

        1. I also have doubts that G, J2a, J2b , L1a, L1c, R2a and T are ALL pre Neolithic in South Asia and that’s ignoring the presence of J1 and E1b that have popped in the periphery of the subcontinent.

          1. There might be a some recent inputs but they are hardly prominent such as E1b which is barely found in south Asians. IDK about the frequency of J1 in India.

          2. yup and those shorter neolithics could have been more robust, shorter,and cold adapted in so far as greater proximity to iranics with analolian HG type admix aka cold adapted admix. The result could be a more robust look in the Western part of the IVC.

            I am not sure why Indians have shrunk. Or maybe starvation is just so absolutely terrible in India that they could be seriously under potential, more than most thing. India is even worsen than Pakistan on Global Hunger Index, sad because Pak has average HDI of Bihar.

            Weren’t the Dutch known to be super short and had a transformative height jump? I see similar stuff in diaspora, mostly among S Indians and Gujus. Punjabis and their parents from the 1980s generations were already taller. Maybe some genetics but most were from well fed farms with wither heavy protein diet from dairy (lassi, ghee, milk, thick dals, nuts, etc.) and/or meats. Gujus from diet of thin little rotis, watery subjis, watery dals, and lots of indian salty sweet junk foods.

            My guju maternal grandfather tho was a giant. He was 6’3-6’4 and born in the early 1900s. He was seen as a giant among people. I have one distant uncle who is 6’7 but he doesn’t count because he literally had undiagnosed gigantism that was eventually treated with tumor resection.

          3. I think there are various subtypes of AASI. As we see suggested by haplogroups, particularly paternal, AASI has diversity within itself in terms of degree of more Western admix

            I think some AASI sub groups were tall. Hence, the taller height of Keralites (some nutrition but some genetics like Punjabis probably; both uave similar HDI actually and probably nutrition status). Other states with good nutrition to the east of them are shorter. I also think other east eurasian groups like munda influence make Eastern subcontinentals shorter.

        2. Maybe there was a different neolithic movement into the westernmost parts. Could explain the disparity in statures as far as western IVC zones (~169 cm in Harappa proper) vs eastern IVC zones (~175 cm in Rakhigarhi) are concerned. A much more farming adapted population moving in later on in the western region could have reduced the heights.

          1. It may be more warm vs. cold adapted than farming vs. not. Warm climate, when in non jungle areas, can lend to taller heights, such as seen with many Subsaharan African groups like the Masai. Yeah confounder is that they are still HGs to this day. But a taller lankier frame allows for better heat dissipiation with SA to volume ratio. Similar phenomena are seen in other species. It also explains why cold adapted neaderthals were short and wide and thick boned built.

            The later neolithic migrants may have had more anatolian farmer like or HG like ancestry aka just more cold adapted ancestry, resulting in shorter sturdier build.

            Granted, all of this is conjecture, even the premise. All we know is that Raghikiri data is suggestive of mesolithic iranic and AASI cline. We have to see more Western data.

            Granted Narsimhan data had 3 individuals from peripheral IVC and they averaged 15-45% AASI. So cline wise, the AASI was captured even there.

          2. Here is the thing: the Harappan individuals weren’t described as particularly robust or thick boned overall (agricultural selection) and the Anatolian HG from before 13,000 BC doesn’t look particularly robust either (if you can provide his measurements, I can move to a different position).

            There were 2 mains kinds of Harappans: Smaller headed Mediterranids and the larger headed other population which was first dubbed proto-Australoid and then Eurafricanid (idk about the current designation). The proto-Australoid/Eurafricanid thing is interesting because the Hotu cave mesolithic skulls, especially number 2 kind of looks Eurafricanid (the measurements also check out- broad zygomatics, dolichocephalic and mildly/borderline hypsicranic, low and rectangular eye sockets and noticeable brow ridges). Though there are some minor discrepancies such as a face which wasn’t very long through neither were the proto-Australoid/Eurafricanid samples in Harrapa, the skull number 2 from Harappa (proto-Australoid/Eurafricanid group) does seem to somewhat resemble Hotu cave number 2. So, the actual Eurafricanid descriptive discrepancies aside, there are some visual similarities. IDK about the Rakhigarhi cranial details to this degree, though I suspect a higher frequency of the proto-Australoid/Eurafricanid group based on the few details that were made public.

          3. Either way isn’t that much smaller than heights from the Ganges Mesolithic. Not sure who the Ganges Mesolithic people were related to but I doubt they were purely AASI. AASI is associated with shorter heights imo.

          4. @Jatt_Scythian

            >AASI is associated with shorter heights imo.

            Ganga mesolithic aside. Let us look at one of the most insular population holders of prehistoric south Asia: Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka’s Paleolithic, starting from 30,000 BP (cultural artifacts go back to 38,000 BP) there is this population called the Balangoda Man where the men were 174 cm tall and women were 166 cm tall and this population had continuity for some 16,000 years after the earliest known 30,000 BP attestation. Even if there was Levant and then the later Iran epigavettian intrusion into northern India, it would not affect the 30,000 BP population of Sri Lanka which would have had no non-proto-AASI input, be it Aurigncian Levant and or epigravettin Iran populations. So these guys (and gals) might give us an idea of what the original proto-AASI inhabitants of south Asia looked like without any western (or basal) influence.

            Aside from the aforementioned heights, here are some more characteristics:
            -skeletally robust
            -men had pronounced brow ridges while the females were dimorphic with vertical to bulging foreheads
            -prominent occiputs in both sexes (males had an additional heavy nuchal crest)
            -chamaerrhinic, very broad noses
            -little facial but variable alveolar prognathism

            Special thanks to faintsmile1992 for bringing this information from Kenneth A. R. Kennedy’s ‘God-Apes and Fossil Men: Paleoanthropology of South Asia’.

            ***Though in addition to this I think that they were more than just dolichocephalic. More like dolicho-mesocephalic (more so dolicho and in some cases, mildly meso) given how the BBP mesolithic sri lankan skull is approaching mesocephaly and a somewhat similar Sarai Nahar Rai skull is low mesocephalic + chamaecranic. So, chamaecranic + dolicho-mesocephalic (again, mostly below 75 CI) + variably prognathy + broad noses and a curved occiput would be the general idea, with the men having sloping foreheads and women having vertical to bulbous foreheads.

    3. d) Do woke white people do the same with brown people, esp. Muslims sometimes when they have lower standards for them ?


    4. They are arseholes for killing babies. Terrible primitive culture which has been tolerated for too long to the detriment of kids born into it.

  11. (this will be a rather long post on urbanisation and state reorganization in N. India)

    One of the primary reasons for the stagnation of the Gangetic hindi belt is the lack of major cities (with good infra. and security) to act as concentrated vehicles for economic growth, resulting in so many people from this region heading off to Delhi and the coastal cities for work.

    I premise that the lack of sub-nationalism may also have played not too small a role. For example, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh just mean northern and central state. It just doesn’t have that ‘oomph’ factor, and unlike other states where people can self-reference themselves as Tamil, Kannada or Gujarati, the Uttar Pradeshi denizen is called a UP wala or UPite (literally using english letters to describe themselves). Perhaps a bit of pride in local culture may help boost the region’s fortunes?

    UP is too large to effectively administer as one state anyway, I did a thought experiment of what it would be like to have 5 states (as cultural zones) which covered the area, the first two overlapping parts of MP, namely Bundelkhand, Baghelkhand, Purvanchal, Awadh and Harit Pradesh. Each administration could then concentrate on bringing industry in while competing with the other nearby states.


    Bundelkhand: with the area as shown in the wiki, mainly districts of southern UP and north central MP. The capital would be Jhansi and efforts would be made to develop it into a major city.


    Baghelkhand: also with the area as shown in the wiki, just east of Bundelkhand, northeastern MP along with Chitrakut district in UP, and also including Sonbhadra district, which borders Bihar, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh. Satna could be developed as a capital along the same lines as Jhansi.


    Purvanchal: comprising the agricultural districts of eastern UP. Frankly, this is among the poorest regions in India and would be the hardest to develop in this list of 5. Many historic cities here including Varanasi and Prayag. Jaunpur could be developed as a capital, it’s centrally located and avoids the rush of the other touristy cities. The three cities above could connect to make an industrial cluster.

    The state as a whole could concentrate on agriculture and religious tourism, with enough help from centre may become an industrial state, thanks to pop. density and cheap labour.


    Awadh: central UP in the historic region. Lucknow as capital (obviously) with Kannauj developed as a major economic centre alongside Kanpur. Maybe aim for a smaller version of the Texas triangle with the three cities above.


    Harit Pradesh: western UP, this region should do well enough, it’s highly industrialised compared to the rest and is next to Delhi. Could pick a city more centrally located, perhaps Bareilly as state capital (Agra, Ghaziabad, Mathura, Meerut and Noida are real close to NCR, would make a nice industrial corridor though).

    Maybe also get another name instead of Harit Pradesh? Panchala sounds nice, was the name of a mahajanapada in the same area.


    All the above cities might in the long run lead to efficient industrial clusters like what’s happening in China (yes, I’m optimistic). Add in a few more linked cities in Bihar (Gaya + Bhagalpur + Muzaffarpur forming a triangle with Patna in the centre) and MP (already in the works thanks to DMIC), and eventually by 2050 the north could hopefully hold its own.

    1. I maybe wrong but as I understand local government in India is quite weak and most power is concentrated in the state and national level. Maybe Indian cities should be administered by directly elected executives and local councils who can collect taxes? Sort of like in NYC, London, Tokyo.

      1. It can work but the same limiting factor will ail it too. The state does not devolve powers and once the mega cities are empowered they will not do too. All power in India is concentrated by whoever so is able to.

        Mumbai’s local council budget is bigger than most of India’s state budgets. If you visit Mumbai you wont feel so.

        1. “The state does not devolve powers and once the mega cities are empowered they will not do too.”

          You work with what you get. That is still better than state government doing urban development and treating cities as vanity projects.

          No one expects a Switzerland-style local governance.

          1. The point is even when the city has real power AKA Mumbai, there is no substantial difference b/w city and state performance.

          2. “The point is even when the city has real power AKA Mumbai, there is no substantial difference b/w city and state performance.”

            I don’t think Mumbai has real power. Most of the tax revenue goes to the centre and the state anyway.
            Even so, it’s not enough evidence to conclude with any certainty that this will be the case everywhere.

            I can point to Delhi and say a locally elected government can do a lot of good.

  12. I’m not sure there are tall AASI groups. Most groups related to AASI such as the One, Papuans, Paleo Tibetans are hardly tall people. I could be wrong though.

    The Guju diet is horrible and I don’t get how they can eat food that is so sweet. Anybody stereotyping Indians food as rich in spices and herbs never had most Guju food lol.

    1. My family lived in Ahmedabad when i was very young and they described the gujarati food as sweet Curries, every sabzi is sweet and lots of use of besan (gram flour) from theplas to dhokla etc.

  13. I’m not sure about the Dutch being short in the past but Northern Europeans are generally tall. Maybe the Dutch thing was a fluke. Weren’t Steppe populations generally tall too? Wasn’t Cherchen man like 6’6 or something?

    1. “Scientists try to answer why Dutch people are so tall
      Average height of a male in the Netherlands has gained 20 cm (eight inches) in the last 150 years, according to military records”

      Dutch used to be known for shortness for awhile. Also, average soldier was like 5’7 140lbs during civil war era. People aren’t tall with bad nutrition.

      S Koreans went from 5’4-5’9 in 50 years whereas North stayed the same

      And like I always say Guju diet is trash. New generation is changing. I have to keep telling my older relatives to eat better though. My dad has always been healthy and runs a lot, but he is a weird exception.

    2. According to more recent estimates, Cherchen man’s height has been re-estimated. Just follow the wikipedia citations to their sources. Closer to Michael Sheen than to James Cromwell.

    3. No wasn’t a fluke. Nutrition matters a lot and lack of toxins. Look at stuff like iodine deficiency with IQ. Many of these things have big environmental impacts. That’s not to say there isn’t a genetic component. There 100% is. But environmental confounders are not easy to account for.

      Heights have gone up across the board with better nutrition. S Asia has worse nutrition than a lot of subsaharan Africa. Indians need to eat. When they do in diaspora, they grow. The ones who eat well in India grow too. But few ethnic groups do

      I think Western part can hit 5’10. Eastern part 5’8. Japanese and koreans used to be short like Bengalis. I imagine they can reach their height. But good nutrition is far away.

  14. @DaThing

    That’s interesting. Its just strange to think AASI were tall when none of their brother populations display anything close to that heights. You’re right on them not having any Western ancestry but I’d love to see some DNA testing and haplogorup analysis on them just to be sure. The Veddas are often held up as what AASI looked like but they are actually dominated by mt U and R.

    1. The Ainu aren’t particularly short and are described as rather big compared to rest of Japanese and they are basically AASI type ancestry + Japanese like

    2. Veddas are mixed now a days and they aren’t exactly like AASI due to reduced body size. The negrito tribes close to AASI would have been affected by island dwarfism over time I think.

    3. The Veddas are often held up as what AASI looked like but they are actually dominated by mt U and R.

      I think the Veddas are recent/later peoples into SL. Older also have that subtle South East Asian look.

      Proof/evidence, that is for someone else to do. I am at a age of take it easy.

  15. I thought Onge were closest to AASI. It seems like AASI is being whitewashed tbh.

    Also what do you guys think South Asia’s height will max out at?

    And I heard there is a relation between ydna I and height.

    1. Onge are still quite distant to AASI and would be impacted by long term selection being affected by environmental constrains that wouldn’t affect mainland south Asian AASI.

  16. there is no literature between Y chromosome haplogroup and height. So not sure where that is from. Interesting stuff here on US military height records. They were known as tallest for awhile.

    Anthropometric Characteristic 1864 (23,624) 1919 (99,449) 1946 (85,000) 1984 (869)
    Height (inches) 67.2 67.7 68.4 68.6
    Weight (pounds) 141.4 144.9 154.8 166.8
    Age (years) 25.7 24.9 24.3 26.3
    Neck girth (inches) 13.6 14.2 14.5 14.5
    Chest girth (inches) 34.5 34.9 36.4† 35.5
    Waist girth (inches) 31.5 31.4‡ 31.3‡ 32.7
    Estimated body fat (percent) 16.9 15.7 14.4 17.3
    Fat-free mass (pounds) 117 122 133 138

    There are these

    “Over 4cm of men’s height is due to the combination of just two genes, according to a new study undertaken at the University of Melbourne.

    The research, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism this week, identifies one gene on chromosome 15 and one on the Y chromosome as contributors to height in men. These genes may also help explain why men are taller than women.

    The genes operate independently but have an additive effect, said Dr Justine Ellis, who authored the study with colleagues Professor Stephen Harrap and Dr Margaret Stebbing from the Department of Physiology at the University of Melbourne.

    “If you have the tall version of both of these genes you will be taller than a person who only has the tall version of one of them,” she said.

    The Y chromosome is the male sex chromosome, absent in women. The gene on chromosome 15, called CYP19, codes for aromatase – an enzyme that converts testosterone into oestrogen in both sexes. Oestrogen influences height because it is responsible for bones fusing over at the ends, which stops people growing.

    Aromatase seems to have its effect mainly on long bones, like those in the legs, said Dr Ellis. Men and women generally have similar-sized bodies, but men tend to have longer legs.

    “That’s why there is a difference in height between men and women – because the legs are so important in determining height,” she explained.

    A person’s height depends on both genetic and environmental influences. Previous studies have identified the aromatase gene and the Y chromosome gene as height genes in men who are very tall or very short, but the Melbourne study shows they also help determine normal adult height in the general population.

    “We didn’t recruit people on the basis of their height in any way,” said Dr Ellis.

    The aromatase gene accounted for 2.0cm in height, but the difference between genetically different individuals was much stronger in men (2.3cm) than in women (0.2cm), the researchers found. Variability in the Y chromosome accounted for 1.9cm.

    “We have tracked down a couple of genetic components which together determine about 4cm of height in males,” Dr Ellis said.

    The next step is to look at whether tall men have lower bone density, which may put them at risk of osteoporosis.

    “One of the outcomes of work in this area is the design of drugs which encourage aromatase,” said Dr Ellis. Such drugs could assist people who have a mutation in the aromatase gene, so cannot make oestrogen in large amounts. This leads to long, thin bones that are vulnerable to fracture.

    “In this next study we want to look at the more extreme height difference,” said Dr Ellis.

    Her team would work with medical researchers who are bone specialists in the next stage of the research, she said. The team will include Associate Professor Ego Seeman from Austin & Repatriation Medical Centre and Associate Professor Peter Ebeling from Royal Melbourne Hospital.”

  17. If AASI doesn’t contribute to shorter heights what accounts for declining heights in East India and Bangladesh? Is it all environmental and lifestyle?

    1. Bengalis can be modeled as like 15% E Asian. That contributes for sure. And rice farmer back migration like the Munda. Later eastern astiac and austro astiacs weren’t tall.

      But yeah Dutch and S Korean height gains are some of most cited. Them and Japan. Environment can make a pretty big difference. But S Koreans may peak out at 5’9 vs. Dutch at like 5’11 or something.

      1. That’s weird. Getting off topic about height for a second I doubt Austro-Asiatics introduced rice farming (like people have hypothesized) to South Asia given we rice in the Ganges Valley in the Mesolithic and Austro-Asiatic populations migrated to South Asia no earlier than 2000 BC. I also haven’t seen much ydna O among Bengalis so do they really have this admixture to that degree? And the Austro-Asiatic migration was male mediated so having 15% Austro-Asiatic admixture would require something like 30% O or something.

        Dutch are pretty much 6 feet on average which only pales to height in the Dinaric Alps (I believe some regions there are taller than 6’1 on average). I hope the Western portion of the subcontinent ends up closer to that than South Koreans. Eastern side of the subcontinent I have no hope for in terms of height or physical fitness. I’d be impressed if they got to 5’7. I saw that the average height in Bangladesh is 5’4 and most Bengali males I’ve met are at that or below. Most women below 5 feet too from my experience.

        1. 1- The mixture in Bengalis is not Austro-Asiatic, it is different and it is roughly equal on male and female sides.

          2- We don’t have the DNA from the Jhusi neolithic (not mesolithic) rice so it could be a different species, belonging to a different tradition that doesn’t have strong subsistence continuity to recent times.

          1. So you think modern Indian rice including Basmati is traced to Austo-Asiatic populations? I’ll read up more on this.

            Regarding the admixture do you think its linked to y C or O?
            Interesting that the Bangladeshi sample has 3 times as much O as the Bengali population of India (9.52 vs 3.2). So much for noble Arab and Persian heritage I’ve heard Bangladeshis say distinguishes them from Bengalis in India.


          2. Those are fairly small sample sizes so the results for the rarer lineages could vary a lot.

    2. I don’t know the answer. My best guess would be both short term environment (nutrition) and long term environment (influencing selection). Maybe the local mixture with Dai-like farmers could have had a small influence as well but that is like only 10% or 15% on average so you can’t really chalk it all up to that.

  18. Interesting that the Bangladeshi sample has 3 times as much O as the Bengali population of India (9.52 vs 3.2). So much for noble Arab and Persian heritage I’ve heard Bangladeshis say distinguishes them from Bengalis in India.

    there is a west to east cline. dathang gave u 15%, but that’s really east of the padma. closer to 10% in bangladesh as a whole and btwn 5-10 in west bengal (excluding brahmins, who are 2-3%)

    i think it’s *probably* not ‘austro-asiatic’ totally, but a mix of burmese like groups, which is austro-asiatic & tibeto-burman

  19. From the Razib’s Wiki ‘Kalash’ link which describes Serbs:

    WIKI: “The haplogroup “I” reaches its maximum frequency in the Western Balkans (with the highest concentration in present-day Herzegovina). It may be associated with unusually tall males, since those in the Dinaric Alps have been reported to be the tallest in the world, with an average male height of the range 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)-182 cm (6 ft 0 in) in the cantons of Bosnia, 184 cm (6 ft 0 in) in Sarajevo, 182 cm (6 ft 0 in)-186 cm (6 ft 1 in) in the cantons of Herzegovina.[1]”


    I2 is exclusively a Serbian haplogroup (R1a, too). Two examples: Novak Djokovic (I2) and Tesla (R1a).

  20. Also how did wheat get to South Asia without a Neolithic migration? Same question about rice (I’ve heard theories of wind carrying it South from China or it flowing through the various Himalayan rivers)?

    1. Here is a better question- how come the majority of crops and animals of neolithic south Asia are local if there was a migration? Going through the extra effort to domesticate local species when they already had their own ones at hand? Or maybe it is because the migrants were hunter gatherers themselves.

      The amount of wheat is very small like well below 10 percent of the remains in most sites only to rise during the mature period which is after 3000 bc. The very small amount of wheat pre-3000 bc can easily be explained by trade with the near East.

      1. Trade might account for rice too. You might be right. But like I said there’s too many West Eurasian ydnas (and some sharing mutations with West/Central Asians) for there to not have been a Neolithic migration. Now the scope might have been exaggerated and its possible it didn’t affect many areas much at all but places like Sindh have too much ydna J for example.

        1. As stated before some might be recent but I don’t see the issue with the ydna diversity. East Iran HGs had ANE and non-ANE ancestry in the form of a cline and the non-ANE itself existed on a cline between something like whg and basal eurasan. BE itself might have brought multiple lineages to the table. All in all East Iran HGs would have been quite mixed and didn’t have the kind of complex social dynamics to result in one lineage wiping out or dominating the rest. At least the time since the mixture wasn’t long enough to allow it.

          Depending on how you see it the diversity can support a scenario of mixed HGs migrating as opposed to homogenized farmers.

          1. I thought people were liking basal eurasian to y E?

            Also your theory makes sense. Either scenario is possible. We need to look closer at SNPs to truly figure it out in the absence of Ancient DNA.

            Also Razib do you know if the Rakighari, Indus Perphiery, Iranian or Central Asian samples have been run through hirsiplex? I’d also be curious about EDAR, lactase persistence and any genes related to height and explosivness/fast twitch fibers.

          2. >I thought people were liking basal eurasian to y E?

            “Basal Eurasian” for now covers everything from the Mbuti/African-Eurasian split to the east-west split. It is a catch-all term for now. So far I have seen genetics folks on twitter (in one of Razib’s old threads) already distinguish between the basal Eurasian limited to Eurasians and the ANA basal Eurasian found in Iberomaurusians. Looking at the E phylogeny in Eurasia, it seems to have come from the ANA in Natufians (passed through some IBM/Halfan-like population). Iran-like populations have a very low affinity for ANA mixed populations like Iberomaurusians in spite of Ganj Dareh being 42% BE and Hotu’s 2016 estimation being 66% (though I suspect that the actual number is lower, since GD’s estimated amount went down from 48% to 42%, still, Hotu should have more BE than GD does). Rest assured, I can nearly guarantee the complete absence of E in Iran HGs once the Iran epigravettian samples are announced at whatever point in the distant future.

      1. How can they have it worth ways? On one hand they are the descendants of foreign muslims on the other hand they pull this shit. Even if it was true that the most important of South Asian history occurred in Pakistan they have destroyed this legacy and Indians are the inheritors of legacy. Also of course the IVC didn’t stop at the Wagah. And Buddha was born in Eastern South Asia. And related Prakits were spoken all over South Asia.

        Even if they believe their nonsense the Hindus and Sikhs of Pakistan (and those in India who have ancestors who migrated from Karachi and Lahore and such during partition) have the greatest claim to this legacy, they very people modern Pakistani persecutes.

        1. Yeah I thought they believed we are all heathen kuffars that worship statues.

      2. Don’t forget everything you do #incredibly_offensive, everything we do #contingent_political_reason.

        I was listening to Ali Sethi’s ‘Chandni Raat’ (btw good song) the starting text on screen says ‘Indo-Pakistani subcontinent’. The delusions Pakistanis have! Especially the ‘educated’ ones whose education focussed on learning:

        1)Using ‘narrative’ , ‘nazariya’ every few lines.
        2) In good English/Urdu even BS sounds melodious.

        The liberties they take with history and geography is unbelievably shameless. The more I interact the harder my position becomes. Read the comment sections when a Pakistani pilot/soldier dies in accident/action. Indians offering condolences, maybe one being an asshole and a hundred Indian guys apologizing for the offence. An Indian soldier martyred or suffered an accident, Pakistanis – ‘Hindoo baniya-chooda fit for building toilets’, ‘they are fighters not militants/terrorists’

        The good thing about this if we are able to do well it would burn them even harder. So maybe work 15 minutes extra every day to laugh at these a-holes in 20 years.
        Reading this subreddit gave me a headache. The depths they will fall to hurt us are unbelievable, there can be no compromise with snakes.

        1. I have to agree. Interacting with Pakistanis online moved me farther to the Right-nationalist side of things politically.

          Before, I figured “well, they’re probably well-meaning people from the other side of the line, we have some differences but in the end we’re not all that apart.”

          After, I realized “wow these people really do hate us, we’re never going to get along.”

          There’s a trad Pakistani in my residency class who is nice to me, but I’ve heard making derogatory comments about Hindus when he thinks I’m not listening.

        2. They finally got their first metro line in Pakistan. I heard some losers online bragging. Guess they’re unaware of India’s progress in infrastructure.

    1. I feel we are reading too much into it.

      Pakistan is a poor country with little achievement to its name. So they jump at any small bit of succour that they can get.

      It’s similar to how Indians claim we invented airplanes and shit.

      For most of recent history, the region that makes up Pakistan was sparsely populated by pastoralists and only got civilized in the last 3-4 centuries thanks to British. No one is proud of goat herds.

      1. This statement is so factually incorrect that you either have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to Pakistan or are being deliberately disingenuous.

        Lahore was the capital of the Mughal Empire for some time. The Badshahi Mosque and the Shahi Kila date from that period. Jahangir and his empress Nur Jahan’s tombs are just outside the city. To characterize us as “goatherds” for “most of recent history” is completely inaccurate and offensive.

        As for the complaint about “Indo-Pak” subcontinent, I see nothing wrong with that. Though I would personally use “Subcontinent” or “South Asian Subcontinent”, I understand where the impulse comes from. Contrary to what Indian nationalists think, the Republic of India does not own the entire subcontinent.

        The antipathy that some of you demonstrate towards Pakistanis is the mirror image of what some Pakistanis demonstrate towards “Hindu” India. If Hindutvadis and Paknationalists didn’t insist on communalizing everything, the rest of us could focus on the shared culture of North India, which belongs equally to all of us (and indeed wouldn’t exist without the Mughals).

        1. “To characterize us as “goatherds” for “most of recent history” is completely inaccurate and offensive.”

          I am not characterising you as a goatherd. IIRC you are Mohajir.

          My point was about Pakistani Punjabis on reddit who were trying to pass themselves off as subcontinent’s OGs.

          The ancestors of what constitute Muslim Punjabis today were not demographically as dominant throughout most of history and were mostly side characters in the various narratives of invasion and conquest. This is a fact. You can look up census numbers or any logical extrapolations of them. Even at the time of partition, Lahore was something like 30% non-Muslim.

          So claiming any sort of special connection with IVC or Taxila etc seems very revisionist and wannabe.

          1. Your comment that the region now known as Pakistan only got “civilized because of the British” was offensive and out of line. Lahore was a center of civilization long before the British arrived. The city was the Mughal capital from 1584 to 1598 and remained an important part of the empire after that. That alone disproves your whole point about “goatherds”.

            My ancestry is not really relevant but for what its worth I’m half Kashmiri-Punjabi. Even If I weren’t, I would still call you out on the ridiculous generalizations you made.

            Pakistanis have every right to claim IVC and Taxila since they are located within the geographical borders of our country. A territorial nationalism is far preferable to a religious nationalism any day. Most Indians also claim the Taj Mahal, though it belongs to Indo-Islamic civilization and not to Hindu civilization. However, Agra is part of the Republic of India and so Indians have a claim on the Taj. Your taking away from the Pakistani claim to IVC is as ridiculous as my trying to take away your claim on the Taj.

          2. I’ve shown that one Pakistani city was a center of culture prior to the British arrival and that is enough to disprove your claim.

            Your disparaging language towards 200 million people only reveals an attitude of contempt. Perhaps you should reconsider bigoted language like “goatherds” in the future. If similar language was used about Indians, people here would be crying bloody murder.

        2. There’s about 3 people who aren’t Paknationalists (or even more hardline than them) in Pakistan. One of them cohosts this blog.

          As for India, people (correctly) understand the Mughals as a primarily foreign dynasty, and are reacting accordingly.

          The Ganga-Jamuna-Tehzeeb stuff was on the wrong side of history. The world is moving on.

          1. I guess the issue is not really Pak-nationalism. The thing is the cognitive dissonance that every type of nationalism can be owned without giving away the previous one. That Pakistani feel that they can own Islamic and IVC nationalism at the same time is akin to Tamilians thinking they can espouse Dravidian and Hindu nationalism at the same time. Pak just doenst have enough to appropriate anything subcontinental-ness or IVC-ness, and even they know it. Its done mostly to poke Indians.

            What i dont get is Indians being naive and falling into all this Indus nationalism bullshit and the whole “Oh once you were all Buddhist” , “Oh y dont u be a bit dharmic…” LOL

          2. You clearly know nothing about the spectrum of Pakistani opinion, so your generalizations on that subject are worthless.

            As for the Mughals: Many of them were part Rajput. I’m always amazed that their mothers’ ethnicity doesn’t qualify them as native while their fathers’ religion automatically makes them foreign.

            Reputed historian Harbans Mukhia wrote a book entitled “The Mughals of India”. Most people around the world look at the Mughals as quintessentially Indian. It’s only Hindutvadis who have a problem with this.

            We know that you don’t believe in Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb. Fortunately, you don’t speak for the entire world (or even for all Indians). There are still plenty of people in India (though they are a minority) who believe in valuing the composite culture.

        3. “ If Hindutvadis and Paknationalists didn’t insist on communalizing everything, the rest of us could focus on the shared culture of North India, which belongs equally to all of us“

          Good point. I think a lot of pre Islamic culture is also shared Buddhism and Hinduism. Sikhism became an ethno-religion but the Takhts are spread out across the subcontinent.

          There are many differences as well of-course Pakistan has significantly more central Asian and west Asian influence then India.

          But India has a much larger and more diverse population.

          From an Indian point of view the differences between North Indians and Pakistanis don’t seem that profound compared to say the differences between Indians from Nagaland and Maharastra.

  21. Also I really hope there was a Saraswati river between the Ganges and Indus of importance just to shut these fuckers up.

  22. @DaThing

    What is IBM/Halfan mean? Isn’t E a result of Subsaharan introgression into the West Eurasian gene pool?

    1. IBM as in Iberomaurusian. IBM and Halfan are late UP to early epipaleolithic cultures of north Africa dating back to around 22,000 years before present. On the level of material culture the Natufians are a mix of Kebaran/Geometric Kebaran and the north African Mushabian culture. Mushabian is said to have been similar to IBM kind of like a descendant or at least a distant nephew. Looking at the DNA however it seems that Natufians don’t have the kind of SSA association that IBM Taforalt does. This could just be because of a localised NW African mixture event which wasn’t linked to the ydna E carrying Mushabian/Halfan/IBM-like population that moved to the Levant.

      However ultimately the E in north Africa does come from some ‘Ancient North African’ ANA group which split from sub saharans long ago, but only after SSA split from Eurasians so it is still some kind of divergent African. Even though Natufians don’t have recent SSA association that is found in Taforalt they still have the ANA from UP/early epipaleolithic north Africans.

      1. So let me try to understand this

        Africans and Eurasians split and then Africans split into ANA (ydna E) and SSA (ydna A and B?). Would you say ANA is “Negroid” for lack of a better term and how is it possible Natufians don’t have SSA influences if ydna E is ultimately SSA?

        Maybe I’m understanding this wrong. Sorry if I sound stupid.

        1. SSA are mostly E + A and B. I think that A and B came from a different kind of SSA population, but yes, I think that first there was an African-Eurasian split and then within Africans there was an SSA-ANA split among others. The non-Eurasian African groups heading south into SSA would be E1a and E1b1a while the northern ANA group would mostly just be E1b subcades like E1b1b.
          IDK if they were negroid.

          As far as SSA and Natufians is concerned- ANA would have split a really long time ago and would hence only show affinity to SSA when you compare them to Eurasians. Furthermore, the IBM people weren’t even entirely ANA, they would mostly descended from some Eurasian back-migration that mixed with the native north African ANA. This mixture would have ended up being minority ANA so it is only partially derived from a group distantly related to SSA. This mixture then goes back eastward into the Levant, mixing with the earlier (Kebaran) natives to form Natufians.

          This is why the more recent re-back flow from Africa to Levant would not have produced population with significant relatedness to SSA:
          -ANA is distant to other branches of Africans as it is
          -ANA would be a minority component in IBM and other post 30,000 BP north African cultures in general
          -The movement from Epipaleolithic Africa to Levant only contributes to a portion of the Natufian ancestry.

          Portion of a portion of the Natufian ancestry is distantly related to SSA, that is why Natufians don’t show close relatedness to SSA.

          1. Very interesting. Would you say modern North Africans are mostly of ANA + West Eurasian stock and would the same apply to Ancient Egyptians?

          2. Mostly? No, I don’t think so. Mostly West Eurasian related sure, but I don’t think that there is a large amount of ANA left in north Africa. Apparently northwest Africans have among the highest amount of Dzudzuana ancestry as per the Laziridis preprint. But that preprint hasn’t been published and there is apparently new info associates with the project that hasn’t been made public yet.

  23. Well, there are other people who say similar or worse things about Indians, but we grin and bear it because we need access to their markets.

    I dont think the India and Pakistan relations will improve simply because Pakistan has very little to offer India. There is the added issue that their laws and way of life are quite alien to most Indians now, especially India’s Anglicized elite.

    The spread of a ‘native’ English speaking ethnic group (East Indian Christians) and entrepreneurial groups like the Gujaratis have led to a very different ethos in India. This can be seen by the fact that Indian movies hold less and less appeal for Pakistanis with every passing year.

    1. Vikram says – “The spread of a ‘native’ English speaking ethnic group (East Indian Christians) and entrepreneurial groups like the Gujaratis have led to a very different ethos in India. This can be seen by the fact that Indian movies hold less and less appeal for Pakistanis with every passing year.”

      I believe that there is more to it than this. Indian cinema has transformed drastically in the last 5-10 years. It is no longer a progression of the Hindi-Urdu and “Ganga-Juma Tehzeeb” based ethos. Regional elements have come to dominate the new Indian cinema. You don’t need a Khan or a Kapoor to be the lead. There does not need to be an underlying theme of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood. The themes are much more based on material concerns and instant gratification.

      There has been an influx of new blood and this is foreign to the Pakistanis who grew up on a different diet of Indian cinema. Hence the decline in popularity of Indian cinema in Pakistan. It is basically more “foreign” to them.

  24. @thewarlock
    @H M Brough

    What’s the deal with the neuralink? Is it feasible (both technologically and regulation-wise) ? I saw JRE today, Musk’s claims about it are quite bold.

    I think he was full of shit when he used to talk similarly about Hyperloop, which is not a feasible idea. Is he BS-isg or are nerural-interfaces, neural repair etc really coming?

    The (brain)signal acquisition and processing side of things might actually be feasible.

    1. He’s BSing. Neuro is not my specialty, but I have many colleagues in the field. This Neurolink stuff has never come up.

      My rule of thumb is to ignore Elon Musk. He’s just a rich douche and a clown show at this point.

  25. @Jattscythian

    What are your individual results out of curiosity?

    I am ACTN3 heterozygote so mixed fast and slow but likely sprinter (consistent with my interests), average height per SNPs on gene plaza (consistent since I’m 176cm so pretty middling), I am a warrior homozygote (on warrior vs. worrier SNP), and am somewhat lactose intolerant.

    It would be interesting to see how they distribute among diff populations. Also, even if Bengalis are predisposed short like you say they can still make good distance runners, gymnasts, low weight class fighters and weight lifters, etc. sports for everyone and all structures and fiber types. just need right combo. American popular ones you like are just very size and explosiveness oriented



    Calls woke Mindy Kaling’s new show casteist. Her Hindu relative in the show saying she regrets marrying Muslim is automatically perpetuating islamaphobia. And someone walking after a prayer is “ableist”…

    So much weird shit in there. A Modi critique is there repeatedly. Lol if they can even disown Mindy Kaling they can disown everyone

    The Islamists have won the left. That is all

    1. Wow..unbelievable..
      Islamists have truly won the left. It worries me what will come next for Hindus and India, in America.

      What in the holy f*** is this:
      ” The stories we tell about ourselves matter now more than ever before because in a time of such deep polarization they can either help to bring us closer to genocide or help pave the way to understanding and for healing.”

      1. BTW, I’m just glad that the lead is actually dark, not a lighter skinned Indian, otherwise we would have had another epithet added to the long list already in the article

    2. I watched this show and liked it. However, the scene with the woman being shunned for marrying a Muslim was completely gratuitous. And even if she were being shunned, it was totally unnecessary for her to be divorced and to regret her marriage. It’s not like there aren’t successful Hindu-Muslim marriages.

      The mom’s comment about Modi was a throw away moment and not really worth complaining about.

      They did have that scene where Devi told Paxton that not all Indians are Hindu, which was a good moment. If Devi had had even a token Muslim friend, some of these issues could have been easily addressed.

  27. The Sonia Joseph shown in the article is most likely a Mallu Christian. Unfortunately I am seeing an increasing number of such women in my community. Probably because the immigrant generation all vote Republican so the second generation feels the need to rebel by becoming woke. But because their knowledge of Indian history/politics is limited to New York Times articles they end up sounding idiotic.

  28. JT, I would say that the scene of imagination has shifted from rural UP to Mumbai chawls to an upscale Indian and Western urban setting.

    Urbanity in India is principally defined by Indian Christians, Parsis and Gujaratis. Stock Hindus and Muslims are not cool. The language that urban Indians speak is the languages West Coast Christians and Parsis began speaking nearly a century ago. Then, the clothes that urban Indian men wear changed to the clothes these groups wore. And now, the clothes that Indian women wear changed to the clothes the women of these groups were.

    These groups have translated Western modernity to Indians. A possible challenger to their position might be the diaspora, but the culture they produce is too self conscious.

    1. Punjabi culture still overwhelmingly dominates bollywood and same with Punjabi looks. But yes it is becoming less prevalent.

      Gujaratis are self haters and still suck up to Punjabis when it comes to looks because Punjabis are lighter and more west eurasian (maybe 10% more) on average.

      this only comes to looks. Outside of that, Gujaratis view themselves as superior and have their own complexes. Even their self deprecating humor where they admit to a non martial culture is secretly poking fun at the paindus who they view as dumb enough to fight for them on the front lines. Gujaratis have only recently become a bit more honor culture minded since Modi and recruitment is up.

      Otherwise, they viewed the soldier class as uncouth, foolish, yet brave, just a sacrifice to venerate enough such that Gujarati lives don’t have to be put on the line.

      Some exceptions but Rajput and Parsi groups, but they are a minority.

    2. I am not sure of that analysis. Majority of creative people live in the urban settings of Mumbai and therefore it finds space on their canvass. Rural UP is a far away exotic place like fields of Punjab. At some point on past, a lot of people who contributed to hindi films were migrants fresh out of these areas.

      Quote /Urbanity in India is principally defined by Indian Christians, Parsis and Gujaratis./
      Not sure that is the whole picture. I don’t think urban class in Bangalore or delhi are looking up to same people. Parsis represent old money, gujratis along with sindhi , marwari and other entreprenual class represent new money.
      West coast Christians represents another ethnic group but I am not sure it has any outsized influence on people’s imagination.

      I would think the general globalisation, opening of market and Y2K emigration to US had more impact that any of these groups.

      1. The influence of West Coast Christians is subliminal and happens through their preponderance in urban English medium education. There was the influence of the globalized desi for a while, probably peaked around K3G, but since 3 Idiots, the diasporas cultural stock has gone down.

  29. Ok gotcha. Is the ANA component closer to Sea than West Eurasian or Basal Eurasian?

  30. Meant to type SSA not Sea.

    Also do we know if Sino-Tibetan speakers were south of the Himalayas since the Paleolithic or was their migration during the Mesolithic?

    1. ANA split from an African population, not a Eurasian one, so they are closer to SSA.

      The presence of Sino-Tibetan culture is associated with the northeast Indian neolithic age. However as mentioned earlier on, maybe in a different thread, Razib has shown some paleo-Tibetans being in the southern group as opposed to the east Asian one. There was also a separate paper (also has a post associated with it on gnxp) which models Tibetans with more ‘Hoabinhian’ type of ancestry (stand in for divergent ENA, divergent from east Asian point of view so like the southern group (AASI, Australasian .etc) basically). There is also the considerable presence of yDNA D among Tibetans, which I think comes from this southern group type of population that was living in Tibet before the arrival of the Sino-Tibetans who then mixed with the locals when they arrived.

      1. >Within Tibetan mythology, the origins of Tibetans are said to be rooted in the marriage of the monkey Pha Trelgen Changchup Sempa and rock ogress Ma Drag Sinmo.[37]

        Pha Trelgen Changchup Sempa the D-Z27276 carrier Denisovan enriched paleo-Tibetan? That is my guess for now.

      2. Interesting. Why couldn’t AASI proper figure out how to settle the Himalayas? Also why don’t we see more D in South Asia? Weird that Andaman Islanders have it but nothing in between.

        I’m mostly curious about/ referring to the Indian side of the Himalayas not the Tibetan or Chinese side.

        1. There was already someone else living there and part of their achievement must have been due to admixture with local Denisovans with crucial adaptations that were passed on to Paleo Tibetans. The AASI is a branch of the southern group which didn’t move into Tibet.

          A branch that is adapted to a very different environment from Tibet will take an incredibly long period of time until it can even survive in the environment of Tibet especially considering that the archaic population which provided the genes for adaptation was already absorbed by paleo Tibetans. If they had hundreds of thousands of years on their hand maybe we could have seen movements one way or the other.

          1. Yea that makes sense. I’m just pissed that East Asians get to have land on both sides of the Himalayas whereas South Asians don’t get their natural border with East Asians. Weird how the Western Himalayas have a completely different history. Seems like the history of South Asia is a bunch of introgression by East Asians (TB, AA) while we never move into their land and introgressed into their gene pool. Oh Well.

          2. I mean did introgress. Look at all of SE Asia. Maybe not all the way across Himalayas but there was introgression with even that Vijay empire in S India all the way to even indonesia

          3. The AASI would have mostly been a bunch of jungle adapted folks. Don’t expect them to tread into the Tundra-like situations that their Australoid Paleo-Tibetan cousins had already conquered. If AASI went north then there would be a branch of AASI left behind and you’d wonder why THEY didn’t go into Tibet.

    1. > The mighty Bamulian man ruled the SubHimalayan region for long from ca 0.5 to 0.05 million years ago, and pushed the tiny Soan Man deep into the Siwalik forests and Choes, and made
      him extinct or migrate elsewhere.

      This sounds like an interaction between pre-modern hominins like Denisovans of the region (500,000 to 50,000 years ago). IDK how you have conflated those with recent populations like Sino Tibetans and south Asians since both’s ancestors were the same group 50,000 years ago, the end of the Bamulian era that is discussed in the paper. Soanian on the other hand ended 125,000 years ago.

      This Soanian man was probably some smaller bodied hominin which in certain ranges was displaced by Tibetan Denisovans.

  31. That’s recent and minor it best. East Asians get to live in the subcontinent while South Asians hardly live in East Asia (other than Singapore lol). There’s no equivalent to Benaglis have 10-15% O in their paternal gene pool.

    I wish our ancestors were more adventurous and made the journey north.

  32. Also taking a look at y frequencies D seems common north of the Himalayas but Tibeo-Burman population south of the Himalayas in Nepal and such as well as Tibeto-Burman admixed people like Bengalis, paharis and Assamese don’t. Their admixture seems to be in the form of y O.

  33. Also I saw you mentioned this book on gene expression.
    I’ve scanned that book before. Interesting how Indian buddhism, Persian culture and Islam came together to make Central Asia so important to ancient science and math. I do wonder how much progress the world lost due to the turkification of the region. All of the great scientists of Central Asia were Iranian if not Persian raised in an Arabic/Islamic milieu.

    Do you agree with the author’s theory on the origins of RAM?

  34. How come the Western Himalayas and Pamirs weren’t affected by Sino-Tibetans the same way? It seems like AASI and ANI population expanded there before Sino-Tibetans had a chance (for the most part – even Baltis are pretty mixed and I think pretty recent to the region)

    1. Also don’t Paharis live pretty far north-
      (I know some are mixed but don’t most resemble mainstream South Asians , also some Newars clearly look mixed) so South Asians did end up living in some some pretty mountainous areas and like I mentioned the Western Himalayas and Pamirs never ended up being dominated by Sino-Tibetans. So if AASI or ANI had colonized a bit more we would have possible had a natural border to insulate us from admixture with Sino-Tibetans.

      1. I also read about Aryan preganncy tourism in Ladakh. Wtf? I’m guessing its more about the pre Tibetan (empire) population of Ladakh no ie Bropkas ?

        1. Total myth, 100% urban legend. No proof on the ground for Aryan pregnancy tourism, zilch, zip, nada.

  35. Kabir bhai wrote:
    “Reputed historian Harbans Mukhia wrote a book entitled “The Mughals of India”. Most people around the world look at the Mughals as quintessentially Indian.”
    But weren’t they South Asians, since the idea of India only got engendered in 1947, in Kabir bhai’s own words from a while back, or to be precise Central-North South Asians? So the title of Mukhia’s book is fallacious i believe. (I beseech Dr.khan to delete this comment if I’m erroneous in this assertion.)

    1. Don’t be disingenuous. India as a nation-state has only existed since 1947 (just as long as Pakistan has existed). Obviously, the land existed before that. As far as the Mughals are concerned, they referred to the land they ruled as “Hindustan”.

      1. Do you agree that Indians tend to think of Pakistanis as long lost brethren, whereas Pakistanis tend to view Indians as racially inferior? Even Hindu Nationalists just tend to view Pakistanis as just a part of the the diversity of their “Bharat,” simply people misguided by what they feel to be an evil and foreign ideology.

        On the other hand, I notice Pakistanis view Indians as immutably inferior by genetics and character. Both types of dislike can be taken as irrational. But I think it is far still better to dislike someone for what they can change rather than what they cannot change.

        1. Do you think part of it is due to idolizing Pakistanis due to them being more West Eurasian than Indians? I’ve rarely heard anything about Bangladesh as long lost cousins. Part of that might be the country is less radical but hasn’t the share of Hindus dropped from 22% at partition to about 9%?

          1. oh absolutely. I really think that if Kashmir was full of Rohingya like people, there would be less violence over it. It would still be geopolitically important, so there would be fighting. But I don’t think emotions would run this high. S Asians have an unhealthy obsession over claiming superiority via access to lighter skinned more west eurasian people. There is a huge multilayered mental cucking on the order of

            1. Indo aryan dominance
            2. Established caste system with more West Eurasians on top
            3. Dominance by different lighter skinned groups infiltrating from the West for millennia
            4. British. They also actively talked of the lighter more west eurasian people as racially superior.
            5. World order even post imperialism (well old school imperialism) still dominated by European people, especially Anglo American Elite
            6. Dissemination of media globally via initial wave of spread of telecommunications and globalization. This spread hollywood ideal which just reinforces this stuff because no S Asian groups are close to it but some are closer to it than others are
            7. Inferiority complexes that perpetuate this
            A Pakistani on quora once said:

            “One of the biggest comments you can give an Indian girl is to tell her she doesn’t look Indian.”
            It got a ton of upvotes. Change “Indian” to “S Asian” and “girl” to “people,” and I agree. I have personally seen this enough times.

            The whole:

            “My eyes are really a dark hazel and my hair is really a dark brown, come see it in the sun!” The wearing of contacts. The kardashianoid makeup. The avoidance of sunlight, even in the West. The layers and layers of caking (this is especially prevalent among Pak people but Indians of course do it too) to make themselves like 4 shades lighter weddings.

  36. @Razib

    Perhaps I am mistaken, but I think you have alluded to these complexities before

    “In Jind, a group of Dalits killed a Jat allegedly because his family brought shame to them by marrying one of their women.

    Jats are called “upper caste” and Dalits “lower caste”. Then, one wonders, why would the latter feel slighted when their women get a chance at upper social mobility?

    Because caste-realities are more complex than we think.”

    Dalits have more agency than ever, but they seem to be exercising it the same way their upper caste “oppressors” historically have done and continue to do. It’s not ideal. But I sort of get where they are coming from.

  37. Since there is some talk of Tibetans.

    How much genetic distance is there between Khampa Tibetans and other tibetans and non-Tibetan speaking Khampas ?

    Anecdotally tibetan Khampas are significantly taller on average and also look different facially then other Tibetans, but also surrounding non-Tibetan ethnic groups in Kham.

    (eg. compare dilgo khyentse to an average tibetan)

  38. So i follow a bit of Pak twitter. Right now the thing going on is Pak folks going to Instagram account of actors of turkish TV show Ertugul and commenting on their “un-islamic” acts (and feeling dissapointed) . The show has recently been dubbed in Urdu and is showed on the Pak state Broadcaster.

    The thing which struck me is how this is the closest parallel of the whole Ramayana reruns happening in India (in Hindi and on India’s state broadcaster, expectation from actors to maintain off screen conduct similar to onscreen). Which also illustrates the contrast of what Pak culture is really about (Islam) and the what Pak culture is bandied on the blog (IVC-nationalism, the current fav of Pak liberals and naive Indians )

    1. I think it is incredibly stupid of some Pakistanis to troll Turkish actors. First of all, these people don’t understand the separation between the actor and the character they are playing. Secondly, the actors are Turks and are not beholden to Pakistani conceptions of what is “Islamic”. Going after the actress for “indecent” dress was not enough, now they are going after Ertrugrul himself because he took a picture with his dog (and doesn’t he know that dogs are unclean according to Islam).

      The comparison between the “Ramayana” and “Ertrugrul” occurred to me too. What it really shows is how nationalism is constructed. India’s state broadcaster is showing a Hindu epic while Pakistan’s state broadcaster is promoting a story of Islamic heroism.

      On the point of what Pakistani culture is “really about”, you have to remember the concerted efforts to push Islam and to make it the main aspect of people’s identity. Identifying Ottoman history with Pakistani history is a new thing though. Even if one wants to show “Islamic” heroes, PTV should have made shows about the Mughals instead. At least the Mughals actually ruled South Asia.

      I also wonder how the Arabs are going to take this newfound love that Pakistanis have for all things Ottoman.

      1. I also wonder how the Arabs are going to take this newfound love that Pakistanis have for all things Ottoman.

        arabs care about persians and turks. they don’t think about pakistanis or indians or bangladeshis unless they need a job done. we’re beneath notice.

        1. Pakistan traditionally allies itself with Arab states (mostly Saudi Arabia). The Turks are not really pro-Arab. Now that Imran Khan is attempting to create nostalgia for the Ottoman Empire in Pakistanis and get us to see it as our history, what happens in case of conflict between Turkey and Saudi Arabia? Which side does Pakistan pick?

          1. turkish views of arabs are colored by racism and patronization. so yeah, not pro-arab (these views are old; there was an informal ban on arab generals in ottoman armies because the sense was arabs were bad managers/planners…the ban was countermanded for a very special commander in the 1700s, one reason we know about it).

            don’t know how paks will view this. culturally the pak affinity should be with turks. but arabicization of identity is a thing. my understanding is that the persian inflection of pakistani culture is giving away to a new artificial arabic strain (allah-hafez vs. khud-hafez).

          2. I was wondering more about the geopolitical implications of creating Ottoman nostalgia among Pakistanis. Arab states such as Saudi would not take kindly to Erodogan’s idea of a neo-Ottoman Empire. In case of a conflict between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, Pakistan would have to pick a side. Then all of this identification with Turkey and “two countries, one nation” thing will have been counterproductive.

            “Allah Hafiz” replaced “Khuda Hafiz” long ago. “Khuda” was seen as too general and “Allah” as the specifically Islamic God (though of course this is incorrect since Arab Christians also call God Allah).

          3. Quote / what happens in case of conflict between Turkey and Saudi Arabia? Which side does Pakistan pick?/
            Something similar to what happened last time in Arab vs Iran conflict. Initially Pak tried to be independent but then Arabs showed who is the boss with hard cash.

            Quote /Khuda” was seen as too general and “Allah” as the specifically Islamic God/
            Pardon my knowledge but isnt Allah and khuda referring to one true God. I thought even Christians were referring to same and differences were only about prophets.
            Also this arabisation by replacing khuda hafiz by allah hafiz or Ramazan by Ramadan is not seen evenly across Muslims world, is it?
            Not sure if Turks will be replacing Osman with arabic variant of Uthman any time soon!

          4. The point is that after creating such close identification with the Turks, it will be hard to go against them in case of a conflict.

            “Khuda” and Allah” mean exactly the same thing. The former is simply a Persian word while the latter is an Arabic word. The feeling however was that “Khuda” can refer to any god in general while “Allah” is the specifically Islamic term (it isn’t–it’s just the Arabic term). Anyway, this was all part of General Zia’s Islamization.


    Very interesting. Thoughts:

    -If no Neolithic migrations from the West how did South Asia get the West Asian agricultural package of wheat/barley/sheep/goats?
    -I believe South Asia has three types of rice: Japnica (ie basmati) in the northwest/north, aus rice in Bengal, Bangladesh and Assam, and indica rice(plus wild rice) everywhere else. Were these due to different migrations or one migration from the East? Where the Jhusi Neolithic people Western, Eastern or mixed?
    -Bos indicus occurs in Nagaland. Trade or a migration eastward from the West?

    1. >If no Neolithic migrations from the West how did South Asia get the West Asian agricultural package of wheat/barley/sheep/goats?

      Jarrige has argued for a local origin for the IVC barley. Wheat is indeed imported. In every single IVC site from Pakistan to north India, the dominant crop was either barley (argued to be local) or one of the locally derived millets. In the mature period there were some places which saw a sudden surge in wheat.

      Argue for an early bronze age wheat carrier migration if you want to, because the data doesn’t correspond to a neolithic one. It will be nonsensical but at least it mildly corresponds to the known data.

      Now moving on to the animals- in most of the sites, the majority of the remains belonged to either the Zebu cattle or the water Buffalo, both of which are local species. There is indeed the minority presence of imported goats and sheep and I will also grant you that the frequency proportion of the animal imports is generally higher than the proportion of the imported grains but it is still a minority.

      The process of selecting wild grain for later crop production is a long and taxing process. For them to bring their grain along with themselves during the neolithic, only to switch to local wild grains (not productive the the beginning) and just focus on making it harvest-able and then to switch to the original wheat crops during the early bronze age makes little sense. A much more parsimonious explanation would be a local origin of the neolithic with late mesolithic north Indian + Pakistani hunter gatherers engaging on selecting wild grains and animals for domestication. Once the society was advanced enough by the early neolithic, they were able to make contact with near eastern farmers and through this contact, they traded for items and acquired the wheat and sheep and goat from the near east during this time.

      1. Thanks. South Asians don’t get enough credit for domestication. Like you said zebu cattle and water buffalo are native domesticates. The chicken is another one.
        Now I wonder what’s the story on the three types of rice(japonica, indica, aus).

  40. // The thing which struck me is how this is the closest parallel of the whole Ramayana reruns happening in India (in Hindi and on India’s state broadcaster, expectation from actors to maintain off screen conduct similar to onscreen) //

    It is false equivalence and I think you are being disingenuous.

    Firstly because Ramayana and Mahabharata were shown a generation ago. These are very old shows, produced in the rickety days of Doordarshan before economic liberalisation set in. The sort of expectations old aunties had of the actor playing Krishna 30 years ago is hardly equivalent to kids trolling people on twitter today.

    Secondly, they are Indian shows with Indian actors enacting Indian myths, retold countless times before whose references are woven into the fabric of Indian speech. I did not learn of the Ramayana/Mahabharata from a book but was told stories of “ram-lökhyman” and “arzan deev” (as Rama-Lakshmana and Arjuna are known in Kashmiri) by my grandparents.

    1. Well i did say the closest parallel. But y would u say i am being disingenuous?

      The reason i made the comparison of off screen and onscreen persona is because there are hardly any historical-mythical show in Pakistan from what i can remember, where actors are being asked to appear in character in real life. Shaan or Mahira aren’t at least. Also if there would have been Instagram in the 80s we would have seen folks doing the same. I see on twitter people nagging the reel Rama and all , to act majestic and all. Of curse its not exactly the same, so closest parallel.

      “Secondly, they are Indian shows with Indian actors enacting Indian myths, retold countless times before whose references are woven into the fabric of Indian speech”

      Yeah and Ertugul is a muslim show with muslim actors enacting Muslim myths, which automatically makes it a Pakistani show. I am not sure what exactly is the point here. That since its Turkish, its not Pakistani mythos? Then perhaps how u and I understand Pakistan is different.

      1. Most Indians (at least Hindus) are intimately familiar with Ram, Sita etc. In contrast, most Pakistanis probably had no idea who Ertugrul Ghazi was prior to Imran Khan promoting this show.

        As the father of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Ertrugrul Ghazi is obviously important to Turks. But it is much more unclear what all this has to do with Pakistan.

      2. This kind of expectation among sections of population is not unique to India or Pakistan.

        Ingrid Bergman played Joan of Arc in 1948.
        So when she had an adulterous affair with Roberto Rossellini, it became a huge scandal and she was even denounced in the US Senate.

        Their country has moved on now. The rest of the world will as well.

      3. Quote / Yeah and Ertugul is a muslim show with muslim actors enacting Muslim myths/

        As Kabir already pointed out it is more of Turkish history rather than Muslim myth. He is important for Republic of Turkey’s history ( not sure whether that should even include Turks in general) and not to wider Islamic world in same way.

        Had that been show about Prophet, it can represent the same connect across Muslim world but that is not possible due to other issues.

        Looking strictly at exaggerated expectations from actors in period drama, there is a parallel between Ramayan/Mahabharat and Ertugrul albeit with 2-3 decades of time difference. I dont think same expectations were voiced from actors in Bollywood films about Bajirao, Jodha Akbar and others.

        The complaint was on narrative or story angle used inside the film and not about personal life of the actors involved.

      4. Anything which is Muslim will be automatically be a hit in Pakistan, notwithstanding its ethnicity .The success of Ertugul shows that. There is a reason y operations in Pakistan were named Gibraltar, and Pakistani fighters fought in Bosnia.

        So yeah, for the rest of the muslim world who have their own ethnic heroes they can make all this difference b/w Turk/ non turk and all. For Pakistan Ertugul will suffice.

        P.S Ertugul is a big hit in Kashmir valley as well.

        1. Yes in that sense you are right.
          With Pakistan syndrome, 10% Steppe difference is definitely more relevant than 1000 km of physical separation.

          Seems to be a good show, let them enjoy!

        2. You are ignoring the fact that Ertrugrul was heavily promoted by the Prime Minister (who clearly has an agenda of promoting his own version of “Islamic” history). He has subsequently promoted another Turkish show.

          Just because we happen to share a religion with the Turks doesn’t make us Turks and neither does it make Turkish history Pakistani history.

          As for Kashmir, you can understand why Kashmiri Muslims would want to watch something that shows Muslims as heroes. In the battle with “Hindu” India, they would of course focus on their Muslim identity.

        3. The Ertugul thing is fascinating, it’s definitely trending on desi Twitter. I actually saw a couple of episodes after a Pakistani friend recommended it, and found it decent and a bit OTT by Western standards but not desi standards. It does shed some light on the warlike nature of the Turks, these were the people who put delivered the killer blow to the Byzantines after all.

          Being totally honest here, I don’t see what the big deal is. Human identities are always imagined to some extent, so if Pakistanis want to express an affinity for the Turks due to their shared religion then why not. They’re opportunitic, they may well start cultivating an interest in ancient Chinese classics soon. Is it all that different from a Tamil or an Assamese guy who takes an interest in the Mahabharata, which is based on events that took place in NW India? I feel that the sort of folk (mainly N Indians, I’m generalising here) who take a special pleasure in slamming the Pakistani for aping the Arab are also the ones who feel most insecure when said Pakistani were to turn around and express affinity for the IVC or say the Vedas or Yoga.

          Saying this as a cosmopolitan Hindu, insecurity is a very bad look

          1. // Is it all that different from a Tamil or an Assamese guy who takes an interest in the Mahabharata, which is based on events that took place in NW India? //

            Yes, it is different.

            Firstly we don’t know if the events in MBh even took place ever. Fictional characters tend not to have descendants.

            Secondly, it is a mythical epic of religious and cultural significance. People find it important because of Hindu cultural tradition. Kids grow up with stories of these epics in Assam or Tamil Nadu just as well in Gujarat or Kashmir. And there are local recensions of these stories too.

            Thirdly, the spread of these myths across the Indian mainland was organic, which is why it is so hard to tease out local from “foreign” element in such myths. It is a fool’s errand.

            Compared to the priors we have for MBh in India, barely anyone would have heard of ertugrul in Pakistani Punjab a decade (or a year) ago. Heck! to a standard-issue Punjabi the name sounds like some medicine to relive constipation…


            What I find disingenuous is this whole thing some Indians have developed recently (likely an affectation of some sort) that Pakistanis are some exotic species of animal. Pakistan has serious Islamism issues and there are deep (some would say irreconcilable) differences in culture with India. Yet that is a far cry from imputing that a Turkish Netflix series about the Seljuks is somehow of epic religious significance because of Islam or whatever. Statements like these do not sound clever but disingenuous or trolling (or plain stupid).

          2. Well said Slapstik.

            As a Pakistani, I certainly had no idea who Ertrugrul was. I knew the names of some of the more famous Ottomans (Suleman the Magnificent, Mehmet the Conqueror) but not the founder’s father. I saw one episode on Netflix and wasn’t that into it. Personally, “Medici: Masters of Florence” was more appealing.

            I have no issues with people enjoying whatever TV shows they want. However, for the Prime Minister himself to be pushing Turkish history so vigorously is a bit strange. Being Muslim doesn’t make us Turks. We are South Asian, whether we like it or not.

      5. // Yeah and Ertugul is a muslim show with muslim actors enacting Muslim myths, which automatically makes it a Pakistani show //

        You are bullshitting (or trolling, if there’s some ironic distance involved here), and I think you are intelligent enough to know that you are.

        1. I am not sure, what exactly am i saying wrong here?

          Anyways after a lot of to and fro the other folks commenting have said exactly the same thing.

  41. @thewarlock

    Good thing there’s no disputes over the Kalash/Chitral valleys or we’d have seen a world war by now lol.

    Do Pak nationalists claim Jammu and Ladkh too (at least the Dardic/Muslim portions ie Kagril)?

    On a related note its looking more and more like South Asians are actually Native American after all (paternal gene pool is predominantly West Eurasian, maternal gene pool is mixed but mostly East Eurasian). Which would make me uncomfortable worshipping eastern features to some degree too.

    1. I really hope haplogroup H Y DNA can be shown to be AASI. It will allow me to maintain my reverse cuck trolling position in the never ending battle against the internet steppe ubermensch delusionals

      1. What a weird idea. If H is AASI then that indicates West Eurasians were able to successfully cuck AASI. If almost all Indian paternal lineages are West Eurasian including H then you don’t have that problem. Either way I think you’re out of luck. H in Neolithic West Asia and Europe without any AASI ancestry whatsoever.

    2. Both India and Pakistan claim the entire former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. The dispute is not effected by the racial/religious composition of the sub-regions.

      1. Are you fucking kidding me? The entire argument is around religion when it suits Pakistani interests.

        1. The official Pakistani argument is based on the fact that the princely state as whole was Muslim-majority. The point is that the demographics of the sub-regions are not a factor. If they were, then India would not claim G-B since has always been overwhelmingly Muslim

          1. Quote /f they were, then India would not claim G-B since has always been overwhelmingly Muslim/

            Overwhelmingly Muslim does not prevent India from claiming it. I dont know if India has ever used that in any claims be it G-B or Arunachal pradesh

          2. And? The princely state doesn’t exist anymore. 80% of ownership is possession.

            Punjab and Bengal as a whole were proabbly majority Muslim too. They were partitioned. Only a true idiot would claim Jammu for Pakistan.

          3. The point is that the demographics of the sub-regions has nothing to do with the dispute over Kashmir. Both parties claim the entire princely state.

      1. Its associated with ANE. Whether or not P is ultimately SE Asian is another matter. Q, R2, R1a and R1b were all spread by ANE or WSHG like populations.

        1. ANE is mixed and north Indians are only minority east Eurasian, this doesn’t make mtDNA M not east Eurasian.

  42. On a related not its crazy how little South Asia has contributed to humanity (other than the number zero and negative numbers although I believe the latter were discovered in China). Whereas China has contributed the printing press, paper, toilet paper, painting brushes, toothbrushes,silk,rice,gunpowder.

    I think people have made the argument that even African Americans in the past 250 years have so have contributed more than South Asia in the past 15000 years. Even in IT (Brian Fox invented Bash. Did South Asians invent any programming language). I also think most people consider Asians to have invented more in IT.

    Here is the argument:

    Is this true? Some of these are myths especially the food ones. Potato chips and peanut butter was not invented by blacks. I believe BBQ is European and Native American in origin. Beinigets are just donuts. Not sure how those are African (

    There was some debunking of this.

    But then there was debunking of that.

    So not sure what to think.

    1. lol you hold more anti S Asia critiques than 4chan . Just read a little more bro. Buzzfeed, youtube, and reddit? You a sound trollish now lol

      You were hell bent on proving gracility, inherent diminutive statutes, inherent sports inferiority, your lack of optimism in India’s potential to progress, your unusual annoyance of E Asians on “both sides of the Himalayas” and S Asians not, the pattern is getting kind of cringe man.

      Read a little more. You won’t be so down on S Asia. Where did you get the base of these unusual beliefs of placing the region so low as to not have achieved what an ultra oppressed class of just one nation achieved more in 250 years?

      I suspect you are in a lot of pro islamist and alt right spaces like certain types of wacky forums. Stay out of there lol. Full of socially, psychologically, and morally demented people. Your time also would be better spent directly reading a history book than quoting reddit, youtube, and buzzfeed.

      Find an academic paper even that says Indian civilization is innovatively inferior compared to all others. You won’t. Even historical texts that slander Indian civilization won’t do that lol.

      I’ll give you a start. Look up the Kerela School of Astronomy. You sound like a reasonably smart guy. Don’t get in bed with such nonsensical perceptions of reality before much more careful investigation that in all likelihood would reverse them.

      Jai Shree Ameen
      May the skymother bless you
      May the jungle father give you strength

  43. Most of the technology that we take for granted today arose in the last 500 years in Europe as emergent nations on that continent engaged in competitive death matches. Even in the last 100 years, much of new technology (internet, airplanes, satellites, semiconductors) arose due to military competition.

    As historical legacy, cultural capital matters a lot more. India probably has more of this than any nation except England. It is not a coincidence that the two societies on this planet that have industrial scale cinema are an Anglo one and an Indic one. Hope we can up our game on literature and video games as well. The potential is there.

  44. @Jatt_Scythian

    I used to think the same not very long ago, most likely because of all those “there’s always an Asian better than you” memes

    However I was reading an interview involving Lars Heikensten, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation. He said-

    “In fact, in Asia, it is only Japan that has more Nobel laureates than India.”
    It was interesting considering the fact that there are several countries in Asia with better socio-economic standards than India

    So then I checked up other major scientific/mathematical awards-
    (Note: When I say Indian, I mean Indian descent, nationality may vary)

    Turing award- 1 Indian, 1 Chinese

    Fields Medal- 2 Indians, 1 Chinese, 1 Hong Konger, 3 Japanese, 1 Vietnamese, 1 Kurd, 1 Iranian

    Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research- 1 Indian, 1 Chinese, 6 Japanese

    Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award- 2 Indians, 2 Chinese, 1 Japanese, 1 Hong Konger

    Abel Prize- 1 Indian

    Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics- 2 Indians (one of them is an Indian born in Kenya but later moved to UK, wild ride), 1 Chinese, 1 Hong Konger, 1 Iranian and 4+ Japanese including their teams

    Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics- 1 Hong Konger (also won a Fields Medal)

    Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences- 3 Chinese, 3 Japanese

    And then there’s the Nobel Prizes in scientific fields that I mentioned about

    China isn’t that ahead of India in terms of contribution to humanity (I mean in modern times)

    Japan is on a whole another level though.
    Wouldn’t say that East Asia has achieved more than India, it’s just mainly Japan.
    Apart from China and Japan there’s barely any input from East Asia.
    Meanwhile South-Eastern Asia has contributed anything at all

    And the key point here is that India is one of the poorest countries in Asia, most of Eastern and South-Eastern Asia actually have a much higher GDP per capita and HDI score

    And since religion is a popular theme on this blog-
    Even though brown people (by brown I mean South Asia + Middle East, don’t know how you guys usually use the term) consist of around 900 million Hindus and 800 million Muslims (the two largest groups), most of the prizes were won by people of Hindu background

    Furthermore it’s insane how many prizes Jews have won, they don’t even account for 0.5% of the world’s population and have won so many awards, even more than the Japanese

  45. The list includes lots of Indian Americans. However most of these awards are highly academical in nature, the findings may or may not have any commercial value.

    Several other Indian-American inventors such as Ajay Bhatt (invented various things including USB and PCI Express), Narinder Singh Kapany, Amar Bose etc. don’t have such prestigious awards, but their inventions and findings actually have a direct impact on most of our everyday lives.

    And then there’s another set of people such as Ramanujan, Satyendra Nath Bose, G. N. Ramachandran, Abhay Ashtekar etc. who had a lot of impact on the fields they worked in, but never really got much recognition.

    Even the middle-east spends more money on R&D than India does. China and Japan both spend well over 2% of their GDP, and Japan is clearly showing results. It’s obvious that India needs to start dumping more money into R&D. India isn’t even spending 1% of the GDP on R&D.

    It’s sad but impressive at the same time.

    EDIT: Don’t know here Jatt_Scythian’s reply went, it was here when I started typing this.

    1. Yea not sure why the Middle East is such a wasteland. Obviously not Islam since there was plenty of Persian and Arab conribution to science, math and medicine during the Islamic Golden Age.

      So we’re really only behind people of Western European ancestry (And Japan but obviously they were helped by Americans) who to some degree got lucky by having good geography (isolated but close enough to receive innovation and trade from the Islamic World and India and China). Do you think we’ve contributed more to humanity than Africans/African Americans given that the buzzfeed source was based on a lot of myths?

      1. The entire continuum of Indian civilization? Compared to African Americans, yes. They have a much shorter history and were enslaved for most of it. Compared to the whole continent of Africa I think is pointless to answer. Africa is a very big place with many civilizations with in it. So I would assume Africa as a whole of course has contributed more historically. Much of it is probably lost though.

        1. Why would you assume that? Size doesn’t matter that much imo. See Western Europe. I would imagine culture and population size/density does. Africa , Asian Russia,and the Asian steppe are large regions but haven’t contributed much imo (minus Moors and Ancient Egyptians). If something is lost has it really contributed to humanity?

          1. so I included those within Africa. Based on that and assuming contributions from the rest of the vast continent, I think Africa would win? I am also quite ignorant about anything beyond superficialities about African civilizations like Mali. I am not well read enough to give a good opinion.

      2. I would argue that Islam is precisely the reason.

        Just because there was an Islamic golden age once upon a time does not mean Islam can’t be the reason anymore. People change and so does their attitude towards their religion.

        I’m not as knowledgeable as most of you when it comes to history, but I doubt Muslims back then made Islam their personality/identity like many Muslims do today.

        And it’s not like Islam is limited to one particular region (which is economically poor or anything) like Hinduism, Jainism or Sikhism. There are 50+ Muslim majority countries spread over various continents, consisting of people with different ethnicities, languages and cultures.

        And despite all that, there are just 3 Muslims who have won Nobel Prizes in scientific fields (one of them is an Ahmadi, who aren’t even considered to be Islamic by the other sects). And among all the other awards I mentioned- you’ll find like one or two Iranians here and there in total, that’s about it.

        Being the second most populous religion (spread over a large area), you’d surely expect there to be a lot or Muslim winners among all those prizes. I don’t see anything getting in their way.

        If you take into account all of Asia, Islam is actually the largest religion (around 1.1 billion followers), yet the overwhelming majority of Asians who have contributed to science and technology in the modern era are actually non-Muslims. It’s not a mere coincidence.

        You would logically expect Muslims to win more awards than Hindus (or Jews, as for that matter), because they are much larger in number and are spread tall over the world with many of them living in regions with a high GDP per capita and good HDI scores, yet the result is actually the other way around.

        And Jews just totally blow everyone out of the water. They make up like 0.2% of the world’s population but have won 20% of all Nobel Prizes.

        1. I’m a statistics nerd and it amazes me how many statistical methods, machine learning and deep learning techniques were invented by Jewish guys. Neural networks and support vector machines to name a few. The rest is mostly white guys with an occasional contribution from an Asian (usually Japanese – Akaike information criterion).

          1. I wish I studied finance or engineering instead of medicine. I went traditional desi route, despite my favorite subjects being economics and math. It’s safe, but it isn’t intellectually rigorous in the same way. A lot of it is algorithmic and heavily rules based. It really is an effort contest. The benefit is that it whips you into shape. You become pretty disciplined. The detriment is that you become more robotic in your thinking, and it sucks up a lot of your time. The latter results in depleted energy levels for other types of pursuits to branch out. This is at least until you are established. There are some exceptions, geniuses like Atul Gawande. But they are exceptions for a reason.

          2. @thewarlock
            Remember grass is always greener on the other side. Many of my Indian grad student colleagues in engineering wish it was the other way round for them. The reason is that it is very difficult, borderline impossible to be original in most of the engineering and most smart people openly admit that we are C grade applied mathematicians.

            There are the occasional Vapnik-Chervonenkis type stunners but for the most part it is extremely hard working and bright people wishing their work had some real meaning like saving lives, inventing something important.
            As for mathematics, it is a completely different beast. I don’t think any even moderately talented person has ever done any good maths. Proper Analysis, topology, differential geometry etc is maybe five times more difficult just to understand, and hundreds of time more difficult to be original in than almost all of Engineering. Trust me on this I am in a T-10 engineering program in one of the most difficult/engaging fields and we are no match for good mathematicians.

            Maybe a lot of it is down to how I learnt to do maths in India with less emphasis on writing rigorous proof and more on getting answers (multi choice MC bubble filling) very quickly. In these MC type exams we Indians are invincible almost demi-gods but even the smartest engineers amongst us from India are no mathematicians.

  46. Have any South Asian languages been maternally spread? Asking because I was reading about the Balti people and they looked very mixed. Turns out they adopted their Tibetan dialect recently (seventh century). They have Tibetan mtdna but are indistinguishable from other neighboring populations In ydna (although I’d like to see a larger sample).

  47. Diamer Basha (super big) Dam contract awarded in Pakistan to China (70%) and Pak Army (30%) for a total of about $9 Billion. When completed it will be one of the biggest dams in the world. Points:

    1) Awesome! Once in a decade kind of stuff, will have its own NatGeo megastructures episode, some good action after long time. Wish engineers like me from India had an opportunity to have a go at it.

    2) Cost and time estimates are not going to hold by a very wide margin most likely will end up costing twice as much.

    3) I am no Medha Patkar nor am I being jealous(no ‘sour grapes’) but it is a monumentally stupid ego project. Big Dams (although awesome for engineers) are not the future.

    4) The dam fund of ex-Chief Justice. LoL!

    5) Check these petroglyphs that will be sunk:
    I can only hope they will save it.

    6) I think smaller dams, check dams, barrages would have been better. But after all one of the reasons Pakistan was formed to do away with the competition from (seemingly superior, more successful and self made) Hindu professionals and industrialists. So, to each his own, build the damn thing.

  48. “As for mathematics, it is a completely different beast. I don’t think any even moderately talented person has ever done any good maths.”

    this is very true. even with exceptional visual spatial IQ and logical skills, mostly one will only be able to understand existing math. to be able to create new math one needs an altogether different level of mental faculties, which most people lack.

    1. There is a training aspect to it though. Moderately smart American kids who would not manage to get into any good school in India end up being good coders and engineers. In a few senior undergraduate math classes that I have endured in the US, there are quite a few guys who are diligent, methodical, trained to be familiar with notations/definitions and get the job done while I have struggled because of over-reliance on the cleverness faculties and desire to somehow get ‘answers’ by hook or crook. Repeated observation of Indian immigrants is that they ‘get it’ quite quickly but don’t have the training/aptitude to recreate proofs.

      I have known very smart guys in my days in Kota cram schools and in college who ended up being ‘clever’ but not ‘genius’.This emphasis on solving problems to get answers vs writing rigorous proofs destroys aptitude. Our lower level private/state-technical colleges are abysmal and places that should have been good mistake doing ‘tricks’ for being incisive.

      This ‘clever’ trick based learning also drives the love for algorithms and Computer Science amongst the very brightest. But fundamental flaws in originality can be seen in our ICPC results, despite all the talk of our coding prowess we suck big time. And don’t even get me started about olympiads, wherever there is true world level talent we get hammered as if our IQs were in double digits. I have a few things in mind that I want to do when I get some power but something needs to be done about our mathematics. Our current state of affairs is shameful.

      Something similar is happening in our non-STEM fields too where good writing skills are not considered worthwhile investments in schools. Let’s see if we can all do something about it and give kids in 2040 a fighting chance.

      1. I met a guy who medaled in the IMO (I think bronze- but nonetheless impressive) on the interview trail for medicine residency programs. The guy was in his 30s.

        He had completed medical school and training already in India and like many became disillusioned with the country, thus prompting him to immigrate and try to train in the US. He was an accomplished academic physician in India.

        Naturally, I asked him why he had not pursued something like pure math or even engineering/CS at an IIT type institution, given his huge achievement of IMO medaling.

        He told me that he did not get the sufficient scores on IIT entrance exams to get in… So he picked medicine because that was his second choice. I was like wtf. They couldn’t make an exception for an IMO medalist? MIT loves those people, as do all of the American top schools. I think India has a lot of misallocated talent like that.

        My father, who has some higher educational background in both countries, told me that the goals are vastly different, at least broadly. India seems to create many “very good” students, those who are simply competent enough to work at MNCs and provide for their families, thus giving them enough purchasing power within India or sufficient funds to send back remittances to stimulate economic activity and subsequent/concomitant GDP growth both directly and indirectly.

        On the other hand, many other countries take a “diamond in the rough” model, one where intellectualism and creativity for each of their respective sakes is nurtured. The US follows this model more closely. China somehow does both because they use their great organization and authoritarian model to parse out the super talented early, pushing them to pursue specialization and exceptionalism, whether it is olympic weightlifting or mathematical Olympiads, and then pushing the rest towards this “very good” Indian model.

        I think India needs to emulate China in this regard. Heck I think even the US does, given how the average American student has fallen so much by the way side, at least in comparative global rankings. The issue is that the US system is quite decentralized. This leads to a diversity in learning and teaching modalities and probably contributes to producing more and more exceptional kids. But the tradeoff is a populace that is on average worse off relative to the rest of the world, something that also seems to be following a more intense downward trajectory.

        The counter to that seems to be that the world is trending towards an economic state where we may need only a small number of super elites carrying the brunt of the load, with the rise of machine learning and ever improving automation. In a UBI state, maybe decentralization and creative learning should be the norm, given most people will just receive a check every month and extra income will mostly come from their ability to entertain others. But I think we are far enough away from that. There is still a ground reality of our world requiring more and more skilled workers. And that model isn’t a guarantee.

        1. Making into India’s national IMO team is big enough. I couldn’t have done it even if I tried. I had a cram school classmate who went to Chemistry olympiad. The guy was from some shit city in Rajasthan (Karauli I guess) but was gifted with maybe photographic memory or something. Ended up doing some random engineering course at IIT, followed by attempts at entrepreneurship and finally MBA. Some part of me knows deep down that this is due to lack of money and more importantly social/family backing and getting rich would really help. What would also help is if we had men better than Yogi Adityanath/Mayawati in power.

          God! we are a nation of disappointing people.

          1. @Bhimrao,

            The comment about being the nation of disappointing people. There was a philosophy blog from India long while ago with the motto “do your average, not your best”. I think that’s the motto of India. That’s what is sustainable and makes society more resilient.

            I gather you are an engineering grad student in the US with some understanding of watershed management. At a guess, you would be having enough exposure to both probability and complexity.

            Don’t you think that kind of inefficiency (like your friend) is what adds redundancy to the system (as a society) ? There are smart people everywhere with exposure to different facets of life rather than chasing a single thing that will optimize their talent.

            I am not sure if optimization of individual talent is actually optimal for society. Maybe you can strong man your notions of individual talent optimization a bit more from what can go wrong to the society because of that.

            [ Good luck with grad school. I miss those times of intellectual adventures]

          2. Kind of agree with what you say. I actually mirror what you say when I talk to a friend who is sitting for IAS and is even more warm-blooded, action-oriented than me about how to ‘fix’ India. My restlessness stems from the shabbiness of life in India. It is rich, intense life experience and I often joke Indians have actually figured life out quite well. The premise for the joke is that most people in India don’t work aggressively and are perpetually in vacation mode. Staying close to family in a small town with low expenditure and low expectations from life. They are not sad people, they are like the hippies on retirement experiencing an exotic culture.

            I also understand that numbers don’t favour us. We just don’t have the same number of skilled/smart people. Not one IIT, IISER or IISc can even stand up to even a mid-rung American University, like Iowa State or GWU. Gora people have been producing good graduates in hundreds of thousands for the last two hundred years. They have been poaching the smartest (and as their spouses the best looking/fittest) people for so long. These guys have added redundancy and hidden advantages at so many levels in their society. Think about it, a guy as Razib works for a small company like Insitome while in India we have to make do with public intellectuals who are nowhere near him. American systems in academia, industry, finance, media(mind control), the military have been polished by smart people for generations. Their capacity for recognising where and how to act and muscle to see it through will remain higher than us for quite some time. My nature compels me to feel uneasy about this.

          3. “God! we are a nation of disappointing people.”

            mostly we disappoint ourselves. the world doesnt have high hopes form us any more 🙂

            but then we look left and right (meaning towards and pak and bang), compare our HDI with them, and start feeling smug again.

          4. By shabbiness, I meant lack of glory/achievement in science/sports/industry etc.

        2. “My father, who has some higher educational background in both countries, told me that the goals are vastly different, at least broadly.”

          India is a very low trust society and till recently had extremely scarce resources in higher education.

          So an appearance of ‘fairness’ is also a very important aspect of the education system.

          The IIT entrance exams kill all your enthusiasm for learning but they are fair and give a seemingly equal shot to everyone (modulated a bit by affirmative action) so they persist.

          Clueless parents and politicians confuse the numerical toughness of getting into these institutes with excellence.

          “I think India has a lot of misallocated talent like that.”

          There’s a lot of useless bureaucracy in India. IIT-Kanpur for example has some 80-odd students in Civil Engineer major in every undergraduate batch.

          These seat allocations were done in 1970s or 80s. Today, there’s not enough industry demand for civil engineers and most of these students end up working as self-taught coders or go into some non-technical field.

          A number of these seats can easily be converted to CS or EE seats that require less resources to teach and also have a higher RoI in terms of salaries. Every good US universities like MIT etc does that.

          But bureaucratic entitlement among profs and a socialist mindset prevents any sort of response to market requirements.

          “This emphasis on solving problems to get answers vs writing rigorous proofs destroys aptitude.”

          Our abysmal schooling system is to blame. It fails at both:
          1. Spotting and honing geniuses
          2. Providing adequate education to the masses

          Successive governents in India have under-invested in primary education in favour of higher education right from Nehru.

          As a result, we have a tiny sliver of over-educated but still below potential elites (the IIT folks etc) and large masses of people who are barely able to tie their shoelaces.

          If you walk into a restaurant in any big city, you’ll see 5-6 waiters loitering around. Labour is cheap. But only 1 or 2 will have enough cognitive ability to take your orders, serve you food, prepare a bill, make electronic payments etc.

          The rest will just look at you in confusion and go call one of these other smarter folks.

          Basically, our education system is failing in providing these people even basic communication skills and numeracy.

          I don’t even think college education is very important for 95% of jobs. So focussing on school education alone can have a huge multiplier effect on economy.

          As for doing mathematics, language skills are a very important part of being able articulate your thought process. But Indian education system discourages that in favour of symbol manipulation, even in good schools.

          There’s also a ‘fairness’ factor at play. You can’t have Maths-A and Maths-B for people of different ability/inclination. Everyone has to study from the same shitty NCERT textbooks and take the same shitty rote based board exams. Not to forget the rampant grade inflation.

          So you’ve killed a lot of that mathematical potential right at the school level.

          Things like math camps or recreational math competitions are extremely niche and limited to maybe elite schools in Gurgaon, Bombay etc.

          Even vast majority of upper middle class students living in cities like Lucknow, Vadodara, Patna etc don’t have access to these things.

          We might be a 1.4 billion country but we are performing at an effective potential of a 20 million one.

          1. @Prats
            You from Kanpur-Civil?
            We used to call them Mistri(masons), likewise Kam-akal for chemical, ghasi for Agricultural, batti for Electrical and so on.

  49. Quote /India is a very low trust society and till recently had extremely scarce resources in higher education.

    So an appearance of ‘fairness’ is also a very important aspect of the education system./

    Exactly. If you can’t distribute the wealth, atleast distribute the problems equally. Does that help in keeping social equilibrium ?

  50. Despite people looking at CS and ECE, most exciting things to do in India are in Civil. Number of dams, metros, highways and pipelines are all being given up for foreign contracts and imported design.

    There is a lot of good to do with both waste management and water resources but all the “smart” people seem to focus on fame and glory and outsource both of these to NGOs and Bill Gates.

    In terms of glory, it’s too soon to expect it out of a country that big and diverse. Prosperity takes time, and it’s what reduces disease load, improves nutrition and overall cognitive functioning.

    It’s too much to expect high cognitive functioning population when falciparum malaria or childhood diarrhea can knock out a genius kid to be average adult.

    1. ‘Despite people looking at CS and ECE, most exciting things to do in India are in Civil.’

      I don’t want to sound as if I am ranting but hear me out on this. My ex-flatmate in the US was a graduate student in Civil Engineering who came from a top-tier Engineering school in India. He was motivated, hardworking and borderline obsessed with structural engineering. He had worked for L&T or TCE to build the new ISRO rocket launch pad in Sriharikota. He said he left because they paid him 4.5 Lakh per annum to literally build rocket launch pads. He finished his M.Eng. in less than two years, landed top internships and job offers and makes $ 85K in the northeastern US. No one is going to stay back for 4.5 lakhs~$6K/year. Almost all my college friends who went to Shapoorji Palloonji (in my time used to pay about 8-9 Lakhs) or L&T (7-8 lakhs) left to do MBAs and make a lot more. The money or appreciation just isn’t there for proper non-circuital/non-coding (CSE, ECE, Electrical, Instrumentation) engineering and people get tired or become pragmatic about how will they ever buy a home (upwards of 1 crore in tier-1 Indian cities) and start a family.

      Scores of people who were making 4-5 Lakhs in India move to the US for this reason, it just pays a lot of money. There is no stopping this brain drain.

      1. I understand. Half my graduating class is still doing civil engineering in India. Quarter picked up software and a quarter on non-tech.

        Being civil engineer sucks right after graduation. It sucks the entire 20s. Then you come to 30s and if you are any good your value keeps going up. There are billions hinging on your decisions and you get paid well.

        20 lakhs in state-level cities with low stress on real estate and commute is not an issue. Most of my friends are in independent consulting after graduate school in the US and make even more.

        The competition goes down because people make other choices in short term that get harder to sustain over long term.

        The software and MBA friends have ever going competition with how quickly domain knowledge gets upgraded. Not the case with slow changing fields like civil.

        Lifetime earnings and post retirement demand should count in a career decision.

        1. ‘Most of my friends are in independent consulting after graduate school in the US and make even more.’

          They went back to India to do consulting?
          btw you a civil engineer? (Mistri as we used to call them in college) Are you practicing in India or the US?

          The only ones that I know who are still in civil engineering are the ones who were either from small villages and weak in English (hardworking engineers none the less) or went the IES route, married and settled in a state level city. Anyone who went to Mumbai/Pune/Bangalore for TCE, L&T or Shapoorji grew restless feeling left behind and switched field. Some Reliance Industries people also stayed one actually started some crack detection using acoustics startup with Reliance’s money, another got into oil storage unit inspection robotics (spent some 5 lakhs of company money and failed) and the very best/lucky guy got into a sub sea autonomous submersible startup backed by Reliance. Reliance is good in that sense that it spends money on these real things.

          btw my father worked for a subcontractor of Simplex. These guys are thorough professionals, grade one world class civil engineers, but too many Bengalis in the company. Interestingly my father told me they make train bogie castings and tunneled for Kolkata metro without boring machines, all those many years ago.

          1. Yeah, they went back after PhD in the U.S, Japan etc.
            Yeah I am a practicing Civil in R&D from Canada, and occasionally we work on Indian infra as foreign consultants.

      2. Btw good on your friend for career move. 1-2lakhs /year was what Simplex and L&T paid 20 years ago. But those are just stepping stones. Worley, AMEC, and MNCs have all set up shop in India.

        They pay in dollars to send the same Indian grads to work on Indian infra. (e.g. my grad school friend went back and opened branch office in Chennai for structural design for one of the MNC). I am not so pessimistic on brain drain. People change when children come into the picture.

      3. “There is no stopping this brain drain.”

        I am not as concerned about brain drain as brain wastage.
        Right now
        5 out of 100 get decent education opportunities
        2 out of these 5 actually are interested in what they study
        1 out of 2 moves to the west.

        This number is huge because India is a huge country. And I think it is a good thing because at least some potential is realised and India receives some second order benefits in terms of remittances, credit, institutional know-how.

        On the other hand if we could give 20 out of 100 a decent education in an area they were interested in, I wouldn’t mind even 5 out of 100 moving to the west as long as the remaining 15 were useful.

        Note – all numbers out of my ass.

        “Half my graduating class is still doing civil engineering in India.”

        That seems awfully high. I guess the telecom/smartphone revolution and cheap VC money changed the market significantly between 2000 and 2010.

        I doubt even a quarter of my friends from Civil would still be in the field. Most of those who are would either be PhDs or in the government.

        People would often tease Civil folks with the line “Civil mein boom aane wala hai”. (There’s going to be a boom in Civil)

        This was funny because this boom had been on its way for the previous decade but had still not arrived.

        1. ‘People would often tease Civil folks with the line “Civil mein boom aane wala hai”. (There’s going to be a boom in Civil)’

          Laughed for one whole minute remembering this one. Good one! Keep it up.

          ‘cheap VC money’
          Entrepreneurship is difficult man, I don’t think there is any cheap VC money. The startup ‘competitions’, ‘meets’, ‘clueless/useless judges and coaches’ , ‘clone of American/Chinese unicorn business ideas’, ‘coders even worse than me’ and the whole circus of India’s startup scene is dizzying. Please comment on how you see it, I remember you went in on your own hard earned money but please describe the VC money scene in India.

          ‘I am not as concerned about brain drain as brain wastage’
          True, very poignant and should be stressed more.

          ‘On the other hand if we could give 20 out of 100 a decent education in an area they were interested in, I wouldn’t mind even 5 out of 100 moving to the west as long as the remaining 15 were useful’

          Hit a nerve.

          Couldn’t have said it better. Most(90%) of my friends who went BS/BA/B.Com. route tried their luck (literally they were trying luck) at certification exams in Company Secretary, Chartered Accountancy, professional Actuary or Auditing and never got the professional licenses (they failed the exams). Then there are crores and crores of people wasting away on bank PO, clerk and other SSC shit exams. It’s really painful for me to watch such misery despite potential. They wasted away and have never had a job. I can almost name atleast 40 who were in my school class of say 50 who never amounted to anything, are unemployed (unemployable) and simply wasting away. In my neighbourhood (mohalla) there are hardly any people with any jobs or businesses, most do petty jobs as part time salesmen, or simply sit in the local ground. I have seen atleast two full generations of these men(don’t even start about women) just wither away. The colleges affiliated to a central and a couple of state universities near my city don’t even have regular classes, people just go there to give exams. It’s shameful how fucked up this ‘education’ is, I actually feel thankful for the B.Tech. mills atleast they teach people algos and data structure. Most Indian graduates don’t deserve a job better than the 3 Lakh PA mass recruiters.

          And all this ‘skill India’ nonsense never works. Man we should actually do something about this. Trillions of man hours are being wasted every year, all this creativity and muscle that could be put to some use.

          We really should do something about this.

        2. Prats, couldn’t agree more with your comments on how as a society, human resources are under-cultivated and mismanaged. We really don’t know how much potential we’ve wasted, everyone will have a different estimate. Some people believe the cream always rises to the top and others suggest that aptitude is socially constructed and that under the right conditions many an auto-driver could be elon musk. Somewhere along the way, regrettably, we’ve created a society where all but the most elite young men lack the confidence to work independently, whether it be in the hospitality space, property management, or as machinists. These are roles that will be plentiful in a developing economy and can be dignified steps along the way to inter-generational upward mobility. But in India, line cooks don’t become executives chefs and then restaurant entrepreneurs because the underclass lack the social capital to pool resources and sell something aspirational to the classes above them. In developed economies, lower-middle classes are able to sell highly desirable objects and experiences to the upper classes at a premium.

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