114 thoughts on “Open Thread – 10/29/2021 – Brown Pundits”

  1. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/indias-1st-long-range-1-ton-guided-bomb-test-fired-hits-target-100-km-away-101635521080880-amp.html

    India’s 1st long-range 1 ton guided bomb test-fired, hits target 100 km away

    From the Kargil war to Operation Bandar in Balakot in 2019, India in the past has been using Israeli laser-guided bombs. The successful test of the LR Bomb makes India capable of staying well within its territory and hitting enemy targets at 100 kilometres with high accuracy.

      1. Ismein daba ke paise kamayenge yeh logg, itna (relatively) mushkil bhi nai hai yeh toh. MagniX, RR, Safran bahut logg kar rahe hain. Hum logg abhi soo rahe hain, giving everyone a head start then India will play the eternal catch-up.

  2. I finished “Nigeria: What Everyone Needs to Know,” and thought it was great. People here in particular should read it so they can learn about the African giant and in a roundabout way, get a new perspective on India by looking at a country similar to and yet different to it. I especially liked the part where the Nigerian forum Nairaland apparently is nicknamed “Angryland” because of all the heated political discussions there. They really are just like Indians…

    I have started reading the same book in the series about Ukraine. Unfortunately this book appears to be an openly partisan account. This surprised me because the Nigeria book was written by figures affiliated with CFR (American foreign policy establishment think tank), and the Ukraine one was written by an established academic. You’d expect it to be the other way around, but guess not.

    1. Interesting – Indians always complain about their country – look how backward/weird/violent/corrrupt India is in comparison to any randomly chosen Western country. I always reply – our right comparator is Nigeria. Complex in terms of languages, religion, ethnicities, colonialism, etc. Developing just like us, with a large well-educated class with similar westernization trends. Just that India does not have oil.

    1. Feel bad for the ICC. They rigged everything up to make sure India at least makes the semis. Now even that is highly unlikely and if it did happen somehow, would be extremely suspicious.

      Dont let this tournament cloud your judgement of the Indian cricket establishment. We are winning series comfortably in Australia and England, and regularly make finals/semis of big tournaments. Even at U-19 level, four out of last five finals.

      1. Don’t think so, PAK, IND and NZ are #2, #3, #4 on the ICC rankings, this was meant to be a highly competitive group (and also obviously need to milk the IND vs PAK hype). England is the lucky one here, #1 in the world and no competition in their group. Toss seems to be playing a huge role.

        Kohli and Shastri’s decision making is holding India back a lot.
        We had bowling issues last games, and so they went ahead and totally ruined the batting order. Makes perfect sense.
        Why Varun Chakravarthy, why not a more experienced spinner? Chahal is great at baiting batsmen and getting wickets.
        Where is T. Natarajan? Can consistently bowl yorkers.
        Where is Siraj? Has made massive improvements over the past year.

        And it just looks like India can’t juggle between formats well enough. Made massive strides in test cricket but T20 is falling off.

        1. Natarajan was tried in the England series and wasnt particularly successful. In any case, the reasons for India’s struggles are rooted in policy. Our players dont play in leagues abroad. This is great for our test team since players focus on domestic first class cricket (apart from IPL), but hurts our white ball prospects. T20 cricket is evolving rapidly and we are behind the curve.

  3. A commie friend of mine doing PhD in one of Oxbridge told me that she really wants to celebrate Diwali with a party or something but is afraid that she’ll be labelled an upper caste Hindutva apologist. Lol.

    Is the situation really that bad?

  4. It took a while, many seem to have gained enlightenment regarding trushki . Why did it take you guys this long, was it not obvious from the start?

    1. Economically, Punjab needs India much more than India needs Punjab. Jat Sikh demographics are also not looking all that great. So this exercise is irrelevant.

    1. Shoaib Akhtar has gone bonkers. Maybe he mistakes India for America, that we will let this slide. Kutta hamare tukdon pe palta tha, aaj daant dikha raha hai.

      Apna time aayega. Isko toh thuka chatwayenge.

    1. I wonder how this will affect flows of IT migration to the valley and elsewhere.

      I know it doesn’t seem like it but the migration of top talent from India is only speeding up, especially post-second wave.

      It’s become very difficult to hire good engineers here.

      I think there’s going to be a period of 4-5 years for academia to catch up to industry demands. So I predict a cool off period in Indian tech after a couple of years of hot growth.

      Hope I am wrong, though.

      1. I think India needs to get to around 10-15k PPP per capita GDP (PPP adjusted) for migration to slow down.

        I think it gets worse before it gets better.

        Demand for software engineers is extremely high rn, everywhere.

    2. “I wonder how this will affect flows of IT migration to the valley and elsewhere.”

      I think the bulk of migration takes place for reasons of quality of life and well-being rather than pure financial motives. There are plenty of high paying jobs in India, even outside tech. Also, a salary of $100,000 in the valley does not go very far, especially if you have a family. Public schools here are also quite poor (very surprising), so you have to shell out upwards of $ 25K to send your kinds to a private school. And everyone knows about the housing situation.

      But the living environment in the Bay Area is quite nice. Indian cities are unsettling and depressing, even in comparison to San Jose.

  5. https://twitter.com/gauravsabnis/status/1455176623205068803

    “Interesting that even in this nakedly religious pandering, his choice for Hindus is not legacy centuries old pilgrimages like Badri-Kedar, Rameshwaram, Puri, Dwarka, Ashtavinayak, etc.

    It is Ayodhya.”

    Folks from non/less Hindu regions think they are exactly the same as folks from more Hindu region, when it comes to Hinduism. They aren’t. And the prof is realizing it.

    1. Kejriwal’s naked pandering also shows who has the zeitgeist on their side. Most politicians are just spineless weatherwaves and he is no different. The fact that he chooses a North Indian, more specifically UP, place is surely a confirmation of your less-Hindu vs more-Hindu thesis.

    2. Probably a more prosaic reason for this. Kedarnath requires a 16 km hike to a remote, poorly-supplied area in which eating a simple samosa can induce near-fatal dysentery.

      Ayodhya requires a drive.

      1. Probably the same reason he said Ajmer Sharif instead of Mecca or Medina…way less expensive to get there.

      2. Well there many pilgrimage spots which aren’t as arduous as Kedarnath and also cheaper.

        But i guess, Kejriwal knows which way the wind is blowing, and understands that even a yet to be built Ram temple carries more oomph than the other pilgrimage spots. Because its in a more Hindu region. 🙂

  6. I think Kejriwal’s strategy has its merits. Somehow the BJP hasnt been able to get the charge of ‘anti-Hindu’ to stick on him the way it has for the Congress, TMC and SP.

    1. I think it still early days for AAP-BJP rivalry. BJP sort of tactically supports the growth of AAP, in states like Himachal, Goa etc, because that’s there insurance against Congress. Similar to how Shiv Sena’s growth in the 70s and 80s helped the Congress by undercutting the Commies.

      Once AAP is a big enough player, i think that’s when we would know BJP charges stick to them or not. I would venture a guess that it will.

    1. This is what happens when u go woke before getting rich. Coupled with Indian ( of all ideologies ) tendency to suck up to white folks.

      I fear what will happen once black folks start lecturing us as well. I mean at least we can brush aside white arguments ( as colonizers ) and brown arguments ( as sepoys). What will we call black folks?

        1. Bhim, if nothing else I hope I get rich before I go woke. Just give me some good EV stock picks bro. 😊

          1. Bhai not my forte. Doing stocks properly takes too much brain and time. I am short on both.

            Valuations bahut ajeeb hain yaar, last week I got a job offer from a Lidar company. BC jhaant kuch nai aata saalon ko, andhi-tukki kuch bhi maar rahe hain in DSP. Maybe hardware side mein kuch machaya hoga but I don’t think so. Billions of dollars ka market cap hai.

            30 % I am mistaken being too cocky + Dunning-Kruger.
            70% Sab bhagwan bharose hai.

            Agar chaar-paanch reasonably phodu aur balls-wale bande hon toh I think India mein pull off kar sakte hain dhang ka hard-tech startup.

            Gora janta bahut articulate hoti hai and we mistake it for competence, easiest to spot this thing in American dentists (even doctors). Aise bhi koi asmaani teer nai maar rahe hain yeh logg to deserve a life so much better than in India.

          2. There is only one EV stock that will make you money in the long term. That is TSLA. Everything else will either under perform, be inflated on hype or outright fraud.

          3. The technically most difficult and highest margin activity in the entire EV value chain is cell electrode manufacturing. Pick a company that can do that well (Panasonic, LG Chem?).

            Else, pick some company with good supplies of lithium.
            (Either a mining company or a recycling company like Redwood, American Manganese etc)

            Most car makers barring Tesla are struggling to get their EV operations off the ground. There’s a chance that one of the German guys will also eventually make it good but I don’t know which one. Volkswagen, probably.

  7. i am hearing some fire crackers of deepawali. although the participation of children is a bit less, as one boy told that he is not bursting any because of pollution, things are not totally silent.
    i feel some of them are bursting crackers as a sign of hindu resistance…

  8. Does anyone know whats going on at Rivigo ? Has their relay model not turned out to be viable ? Looks like their co-founder Gazal Kalra left in May. Would be sad if this startup fails, they really were trying to solve a difficult problem.


    1. 5 years ago I was exploring some tech startups in India and was referred to Rivigo by some VC friends. I met Gazal Kalra and their ‘CTO’ at the time who had been in Adobe earlier.

      They seemed to me like a bunch of MBA types who were interested in running a trucking and logistics firm but also had a tech division to attract venture capital investment. Their tech division existed purportedly to make their operations more efficient by through use of IoT sensors on their trucks and Big Data analytics. However, their tech hires and senior management vision did not inspire much confidence at that time. They had much to say about their ‘relay’ model and not much to say about the tech side of things.

      I remember thinking that this company should decide whether they want to be in the technology business (where they would develop and sell IoT technology to trucking companies) or in the trucking business (where they would focus on running trucks and buy all the tech they need).

      Also that a new player run by MBAs would find it hard to make money in the trucking business where margins are razor thin and competition is fierce. Software and technology is where the margins are high and startups have a chance to score, not in running trucking operations.

      1. Thanks for sharing this tidbit. I had thought that if Rivigo was able to succeed, it would be one truly innovative and influential start up to come out of India. Trucking is genuine problem all over the world.

  9. Indian players need to eat more. Look at Ravi Rampaul of West Indes, likely a descendent of SC UP/Bihar migrants.

    Strength culture is much better among W Indian desis. Growing up around NYC, some of the most impressive desi guys were West Indian. They had a good combo on average of size and leanness, whereas some of the so called “martial” descended groups were just obese or “healthy” as Indians like to put it.

    1. Ditto. Paradox games have taught me more history than my schools. Though Vic 2 was perhaps the least fav of mine.

  10. https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/israeli-startup-develops-balloons-to-capture-carbon-2599724/amp/1

    Sky’s The Limit: Israeli Startup Develops Balloons To Capture Carbon

    The company aims to build larger balloons within two years that could each be deployed to remove a tonne of carbon a day at a cost below $100, much less than comparable on-ground facilities currently in use.

    High Hopes Labs developed a system that captures the carbon where it has almost solidified, far above the Earth.

    “The beautiful thing is that capturing gas is very easy when it’s close to freezing…,” CEO Nadav Mansdorf told Reuters.

    “Carbon is freezing in minus 80 degrees (Celsius) and the only place that we can find carbon in a temperature close to that, is 15 kilometers (9 miles) above our heads.”

  11. A country that did not attend the COP26 bullshit show.
    f China’s experimental reactor is a success it could lead to commercialization and help the nation meet its climate goals

    The reactor is unusual in that it has molten salts circulating inside it instead of water. It has the potential to produce nuclear energy that is relatively safe and cheap, while also generating a much smaller amount of very long-lived radioactive waste than conventional reactors.


    1. Biggest, but by no means not the only, advantage of molten salt reactors over solid fuel reactors is that they can use a lot more of the fuel, as in higher efficiency of the fuel usage.

      1. This too seemed important if viable

        Thorium is a weakly radioactive, silvery metal found naturally in rocks, and currently has little industrial use. It is a waste product of the growing rare-earth mining industry in China, and is therefore an attractive alternative to imported uranium, say researchers.

        But it has so far not proved cost effective because it is more expensive to extract than uranium and, unlike some naturally occurring isotopes of uranium, needs to be converted into a fissile material.

        Some researchers support thorium as a fuel because they say its waste products have less chance of being weaponized than do those of uranium, but others have argued that risks still exist.

        1. Yes. Also, there are other kinds of molten salt reactor designs as well that use Uranium directly instead of Thorium. In general, it is worth at least testing out more generation 4 concepts.

  12. “Muscle strength and contractile quality would appear to be sensitive and early indices of the trajectory toward diabetes in Asian Indians and more so than skeletal muscle mass. It is thus important to recognize the importance of functional measurements among this population when considering the role of muscle in diabetes. The data also would suggest that specific muscle conditioning (e.g., resistance training) might have efficacy in improving function as well as muscle mass, and thus aiding in the prevention of the trajectory toward the development of T2D.”

    Please lift…


  13. I’m about 50 pages done with “Ukraine: What Everyone Needs To Know.” I’ve gotten to the 1930s.

    The book isn’t too bad. I assume that the author’s review of Ukraine’s early modern history is accurate. But it is partisan. He goes out of his way to challenge Russian nationalist “myths” every step of the way.

    He also ties historical events to a larger struggle between liberalism, democracy, and rule of law (on Ukraine’s side) and a kind of nationalist atatvism (on the Russian one). Is this an accurate framing? We’ll only have our answer in 20 years or so.

    1. -Narrative is deity.
      -My deity is the true deity. Your deity is a false deity.

      Something like that.

      1. Right. I honestly feel that this guy didn’t want to write a book, he wanted to write a 7000-word-or-so polemic, but got press-ganged into writing a book.

        I looked up this book on college syllabuses to see who might be reading it. Looks like it’s not really assigned (yet?), but his other works are assigned in American and European IR and Slavic Studies classes. I assume his target audience is Americans headed into foreign service and related fields, and indeed his views are de rigueur in American policy circles, so I guess it’s working out for him.

        In the interest of fairness, I will show a polemic from the other side, in fact from Putin himself (but probably ghostwritten if we’re being honest).


        1. Yeah most sides play the narrative game, especially if they have more to gain from it than from pursuing truth or a non subjective analysis.

  14. what happens if congress ruled states do not cut petrol/diesel prices? it appears that modi has stumped them.

    1. @warlock, is this so off the mark or even a bad thing? A pakistani is essentially putting themselves at the heart of indic civilization. We can debate it, but its a more realistic starting point than absurdly positing the indus as external to the indosphere altogether. I don’t dismiss a soft version of “indus man”, in that it seems reasonable that among the numerous distinct subcontinental cultural zones, punjab-upper sindh is a coherent one somewhat distinct from gangetic or kutch. (but firmly a subcontinental phylum)

      1. They do at least three major things wrong with it

        1. Some deny that broader umbrella under indic civilization. They even use the term “gangadeshi” with a lot of negative connotations and consistently imply all of the top achievements of the S Asian region came out of the Indus. They also deny the strong continuity between the Indus-Gangetic plains.

        2. They assert that they are an entirely separate race from Indians, not even under the same umbrella. They do this in supremacist coded language at best and at worst like what you find among the pakdefensoid types is straight up racial hatred.

        3. They are inconsistent with their geographic and ethnic logic. The Indus Valley ranged from 100% mesolithic iranic to 50% mesolithic Iranic+ 50% AASI. None of the prior extreme exist or anywhere really in the middle because all of the major groups in Pak have the infusion of too much steppe, other than the significant 30% dalit population of Pak Punjab and Sindh. But Biradri ethnosupremacists often disown these types as “fake.” Hence the vitriol they give you when you point to the Lahore sample on Harrapaworld.

        The closest to the 50% 50% mix in India are also Punjabi dalits but also Central Indian shudras (Marathas and patels) and S Indian mid castes (reddys valemas). They are the closest things to anything at all on the ethnic spectrum of the IVC. Sindh has too many individuals with like 20-30% steppe that really changes their mix, even if they score high on the iranic component.

        They also finally deny Gujarat was in the IVC. They like to include Haryana because of the “martial” prestige and high steppe people there. It goes along with Biradri ethnosupremacism, the actual assertion of this entire Indus theory. They don’t like a place such as Gujarat fitting into that paradigm.

    1. At this pace, we see year-end FX reserves at $1bn. We stick to our call that the Jan 22 bond will be paid, essentially depleting most usable reserves

      Sri Lankans have penchant to getting rabbits out of the hat.
      Even if that means China bailing us out.

      Import restrictions have been somewhat relaxed.
      So maybe the powers that be , know something we dont.

  15. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/my-job-only-reason-i-watched-meenakshi-sundareshwar-without-cancelling-netflix-157420

    Dravidian fury… LOL

    “I have many questions starting with, is there a different, geo-locked version of this film for only north Indian viewers, because exotifying, caricatures, and stereotypes pretty succinctly describe the version of Meenakshi Sundareshwar we Tamils have suffered. Secondly, Tamils and the rest of south India have existed for generations, despite the Hindi belt politicians’ continued attempts at cultural colonization. I’d go so far as to say, many of us delight in how the south remains a bastion against these attempts.

    … and Dravidian lament…. LOL

    “Regarding the casting of north Indians who can’t speak a word of Tamil to star in a film centered around Madurai, grating as it is, I suppose Tamil cinema has itself to blame too. If our industry didn’t have such an obsession with pale north Indians who don’t even speak the language, to the point that it appears the industry despises dark-skinned Tamil women, I’d be able to call out the infuriatingly alien casting choice by Vivek Soni with more authority. Most Tamil film directors appear to wish that the women of our state looked like north Indians.”

    1. @saurav
      Apart from my sense that the “more hindu” vs “less hindu” filter is largely semantic. (i think more/less “indian” could work just as well). I’d think you’d sufficiently agree with this writer that the cultural distance between Hindustan and Tamizhakam is so significant that telling each others stories is problematic…almost like two different countries! More asabiyya is good for everyone in times of peace, but maybe not so good in conflict periods. Understanding the trade off is the key. Currently pan-indianists have set their tolerances so tight for any intra-indic discord without acknowledging the trade-offs they’ve accepted by perpetuating a low-asabiyya national identity.

      1. Good ideas.

        Though the reason i don’t put ‘more Indian’ vs ‘less Indian’ is because ‘India’ of today moves thru the vertical of more/less Hindu. But it wasn’t true of ‘India’ of 15th century. Or it might not be of 23rd century or whatever.

        I do agree that cultural distance between Hindustan and Tamizhakam are significant. Though i still feel a lot of is made up. Still, its Tamizhakam which has to understand that they are the ones who are ‘different’ and Hindustan the ‘norm’.

        Finally Ibn Khaldoun himself points out that asabiyya is strongest in times of conflict, and dissipates once the culture becomes ‘comfortable’ in its laurels. I would argue that we need more asabiyya than ever. Especially to iron out ‘intra-indic discord’ 🙂

  16. https://caravanmagazine.in/religion/ravan-gond-king

    “In the religious texts of the Aryans, you will only find malicious and vile representations of Adivasis and Ravan, who belonged to the divine lineage of the samboo. They stoop very low to portray him as evil, despicable, unworthy, arrogant and proud—as not human at all but a demon. He is portrayed as if he did not have a shred of human kindness, love, estrangement, thought, wisdom or goodwill.

    In fact, he was just as human as any other, with two hands, two legs, two eyes and one head. He was the son of the extremely beautiful king Vishravya, also known as Kuber Virendra. Vishravya, in turn, was the son of Pulastya and Trunbindu. Ravan was actually known as Raven, the Gondi name for a blue-throated bird. This bird is considered the totem of the clan he belonged to; in those times, people were often referred to by their clan symbols. By identifying him as Ravan in historical and religious texts, the Aryans obfuscated his clan identity and directly linked him to their lineage.

    1. Isn’t Ravan supposed to be a Shiva bhakt and a high caliber Vedic pundit / scholar.

      The Ramayana is about Vaishnava morality and righteousness of Rama vs all.

      I think the Hindu myths should be fair game of literary analysis but the Indian left wing takes are always politically charged. Prefer a tradition attitude of reverence and respect to that.

  17. f. w. deklerk has died. i feel he would have been considered more successful if he had carved out a modest ‘ afrikan stan’ with a sea port. this white enclave would have also been useful as a western out post.

    1. de Klerk was made into a villain by white Afrikaaners who did not want Apartheid to end. These hardliners never wanted to face reality: the system was impossible to maintain, sanctions had by that point become extremely brutal.

      Regardless, I think his greatest legacy is one which is rarely talked about: right before Apartheid ended he dismantled the entire South African nuclear program. Given how unstable, corrupt and inefficient South Africa is today, it would have been a nightmare with nukes.

  18. https://youtu.be/YTMtvGk_Kzw

    Maybe there isn’t anything unique with Hinduism’s veneration of cows and every society does the same with their main agricultural animals. We just retain it to a greater degree because we didn’t become abrahamicals. According to this video, It’s illegal to kill donkeys in Cyprus , that’s what made me think this

    1. Yes, even the Dinka of South Sudan venerate cows. In the Indic example, the broader cultural sophistication allowed an elaboration of ritual and thought about this I suppose

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