Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Rg Veda

Manasataramgini, biologist, Sanskritist, gifted amateur mathematician,  staunch Hindu, more so than the so-called Hindu right-wing, and most relevant, long-time staunch Aryan invasionist - for years, ridiculing any Hindu who thought there was no invasion -  feels vindicated by the recent findings in ancient DNA.  Nevertheless, with the postulated dates of incursions, he sees a problem, and to solve it, he postulates:

“we conclude that the core RV, meaning a certain archaic kernel of it was definitely composed outside India and probably much earlier even if the final redaction and compilation happened later in India. We see no other way out.”

The problem is that there is no such “core Rg Veda”.  Even the postulated oldest parts of the Rg Veda are from within India.

Thursday, June 14, 2018 - sigh

Over at, there is a discussion going on, "If you doubt that the AMOC has weakened, read this".  This is one of two articles mentioned by this commentary in Nature: "North Atlantic circulation slows down". 

As the blurb says,
Evidence suggests that the circulation system of the North Atlantic Ocean is in a weakened state that is unprecedented in the past 1,600 years, but questions remain as to when exactly the decline commenced.
And the article not by the leaders of the discussion at is mentioned thusly (excerpts):

"Thornalley et al. provide a longer-term perspective on changes in AMOC strength during the past 1,600 years....The researchers found that the strength of the AMOC was relatively stable from about ad 400 to 1850, but then weakened around the start of the industrial era.....However, the roughly 100-year difference in the proposed timing of the start of the AMOC decline in these two studies has big implications for the inferred trigger of the slowdown. Caesar et al. clearly put the onus on anthropogenic forcing, whereas Thornalley et al. suggest that an earlier decline in response to natural climate variability was perhaps sustained or enhanced through further ice melting associated with anthropogenic global warming. Nevertheless, the main culprit in both scenarios is surface-water freshening."
(Caesar et. al. is the first article.)   I quoted just about that much and asked for comments on this.  This morning there are 168 comments on that thread, most of them are entertaining, IMO, a troll; but my comment - nowhere to be seen.

From my perspective - entertain the trolls, and rail about Brietbart, ignorance, etc.; but ignore, IMO, a legitimate request to hear the perspective of the authors of the first article on this commentary.

If this is their attitude, then saving us from climate change will be in spite of climate scientists and not because of.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Foreign Direct Investment in India

The potential impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) on a national economy is perhaps best measured as FDI as a fraction of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The nation as an FDI magnet is perhaps best measured as FDI as a fraction of World FDI.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Influence of Sanskrit on the Japanese Sound Systems

For future reference.

The Influence of Sanskrit on the Japanese Sound Systems.
Buck, James H.
The Japanese syllabary of today would probably not exist in its present arrangement had it not been for Sanskrit studies in Japan. Scholars of ancient Japan extracted from the Devanagari those sounds which corresponded to sounds in Japanese and arranged the Japanese syllabary in the devanagari order. First appearing in a document dated 1204, this arrangement has been fixed since the 17th century. This arrangement was most convenient for the study of Sanskrit and was later applied by scholars of the history of the Japanese language. It was a convenient means to order information and perhaps, even, its early use has a parallel in the earliest English dictionaries which were arranged according to our present alphabet, but whose major purpose was the study of a foreign language. For the English, it was Latin; for the Japanese, it was Sanskrit. (Author/AMM)
Note: Presented at the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics, University of North Carolina, April 17-18, 1970

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Ta-Nehisi Coates' latest

The Atlantic has: "I'm not black, I'm Kanye".

It is a good piece of writing.  But consider:
It is hard because what happened to America in 2016 has long been happening in America, before there was an America, when the first Carib was bayoneted and the first African delivered up in chains. It is hard to express the depth of the emergency without bowing to the myth of past American unity, when in fact American unity has always been the unity of conquistadors and colonizers—unity premised on Indian killings, land grabs, noble internments, and the gallant General Lee. Here is a country that specializes in defining its own deviancy down so that the criminal, the immoral, and the absurd become the baseline, so that even now, amidst the long tragedy and this lately disaster, the guardians of truth rally to the liar’s flag.
Is there some truth in it? Undeniably.  But is this the America you experience and recognize on a daily basis? 

Or this:
There is no separating the laughter from the groans, the drum from the slave ships, the tearing away of clothes, the being borne away, from the cunning need to hide all that made you human. And this is why the gift of black music, of black art, is unlike any other in America, because it is not simply a matter of singular talent, or even of tradition, or lineage, but of something more grand and monstrous. When Jackson sang and danced, when West samples or rhymes, they are tapping into a power formed under all the killing, all the beatings, all the rape and plunder that made America. The gift can never wholly belong to a singular artist, free of expectation and scrutiny, because the gift is no more solely theirs than the suffering that produced it. Michael Jackson did not invent the moonwalk. When West raps, “And I basically know now, we get racially profiled / Cuffed up and hosed down, pimped up and ho’d down,” the we is instructive.
Really?  Sometimes music is just music, maybe? 

I don't deny Ta-Nehisi Coates his perspective.  But it is just one description that one of the blind men around the elephant; it doesn't describe the whole elephant. 

Now imagine that there is a whole mini-economy of academic India-studiers (Wendy Doniger, Sheldon Pollock, etc., etc.) , NYTimes-like "liberal" media and its "native informants" and an evangelical movement, all out to "civilize" the heathen Hindus of India, and de-primitivize them and so on, all of them Ta-Nehisi Coates in their perspective.  And they claim to have the certified stamp of understanding India. 

Perhaps when one realizes that the NY Times collective does not comprehend its native country, that throws doubt that it can provide a basis for understanding of the rest of the world, and one seeks knowledge elsewhere.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Balu: Introspection vs Reflection on Experience

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Book memo: The Hydrogen Sonata

Iain M. Banks has a reputation for his science fiction, so I said, why not?  Picked up "The Hydrogen Sonata" at the public library.  Well, I found it OK, not great.  Perhaps I picked up the wrong book?