Saturday, December 29, 2018

Cosmo Shalizi takes on IQ


Because You Really Wished I'd Write More About Books
Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, August 2008
Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, June 2008
Last Words on Saletan
Reading Skills
In Which I Demand That Slate Refund My Subscription
Uncle Fritz Explains How It Feels to Argue about Intelligence Tests
g, a Statistical Myth
Yet More on the Heritability and Malleability of IQ
Those Voices Again
...In Different Voices
On the Superiority of Sociology to String Theory


Q: So the analogy suggests that IQ scores are...?
A: A proxy for the skills and habits encouraged by a bureaucratic society; skills and habits which can be at once highly heritable (because of strong transmission through family and neighbors) and highly learned (within the scope of what it is biologically possible for humans to learn and internalize). Innate ability needn't enter into it at all. The implications for democracy would be nearly nil.
Q: And the famous g?
A: Is a statistical artifact, or better yet a myth; but that is another story for another time.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Nassim Nicholas Taleb tweets about IQ

The twitter thread is here.  Please refer to the thread on twitter for full detail.

FYI: IYI = The IYI class: Intellectual-Yet-Idiot
One of the key take aways: "the only robust measure of "rationality" & "intelligence" is survival, avoidance of ruin/left tail/absorbing barrier, (ergodicity). Nothing that does not account for ability to survive counts as a measure of "intelligence".

Sorry for the poor formatting.  Will try to fix.

PS: Also found this:

“I suspect the I.Q., SAT, and school grades are tests designed by nerds so they can get high scores in order to call each other intelligent...Smart and wise people who score low on IQ tests, or patently intellectually defective ones, like the former U.S. president George
W. Bush, who score high on them (130), are testing the test and not the reverse.”

― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms


"IQ" measures an inferior form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects, meant to select paper shufflers, obedient IYIs.

Friday, December 07, 2018

IQ humbug

The weekly email from "Learning How to Learn" contained this:

Book of the Year
Our very favorite, most highly recommended book this year is Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War. This book ranks among our favorite biographies ever. Boyd was a genius level iconoclast (with a measured IQ of 90), and a rebel of the first order, who changed the military’s approach to war and saved countless lives while he was at it. Boyd took on idiocy where ever he found it, whether with bombastic Pentagon generals who were happy to fake important tests, or those who thought they could outgun him in the air. Boyd was so witty, engaging, and fearless in tackling new approaches, and the research behind this extraordinary biography is so artfully done, that it’s a “can’t miss” book for anyone who loves rebels and reading. OODA away!
The highlighted phrase caught my eye.  Wiki has an extensive article on Boyd; but (without reading the book), the best I can do is from a review of this book:

Coram pushes on quickly through Boyd's early school years, covering seemingly inconsequential tidbits such as Boyd's being gifted in math but being pegged with an IQ of only 90. Although the test was suspect, Boyd refused to retake the test and later Boyd used this score to humiliate those who challenged him in a battle of wits.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Green news - electric cars in China

Per John Cassidy in the New Yorker: in China

Under a new quota system that will go into effect next year, ten per cent of an automaker’s sales in what is now the world’s biggest car market have to be plug-in vehicles. In 2020, the figure will be raised to twelve per cent. By 2025, according to some estimates, electric vehicles could account for a fifth of all the sales in China.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Rangoli 2018

The tradition continues!
Previous years.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018


Via dailykos:

Emmanuel Macron has used the first world war armistice centenary commemorations to call for a “real” European army, warning that rising nationalism and populism threaten the fragile peace on the continent.

“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” Macron said as he visited the sites of the western front battlefields in northern France on Tuesday.

-- As reported in The Guardian (US) by Angelique Chrisafis, Tuesday, 11/6/2018

Friday, October 26, 2018

Collective Blindness

Margaret Talbot, in the New Yorker:
The Myth of Whiteness in Classical Sculpture
Greek and Roman statues were often painted, but assumptions about race and aesthetics have suppressed this truth. Now scholars are making a color correction.

Brinkmann soon realized that his discovery hardly required a special lamp: if you were looking at an ancient Greek or Roman sculpture up close, some of the pigment “was easy to see, even with the naked eye.” Westerners had been engaged in an act of collective blindness. “It turns out that vision is heavily subjective,” he told me. “You need to transform your eye into an objective tool in order to overcome this powerful imprint”—a tendency to equate whiteness with beauty, taste, and classical ideals, and to see color as alien, sensual, and garish.

Balu’s “The Heathen in His Blindness” is about a more difficult to discern collective blindness.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Media: Tone of global coverage of India and China

Via twitter, Shamika Ravi of Brookings India++ has these. Am looking for the paper.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

What is Myth?

Josh Marshall at writes about the myth of John McCain:
The key point in my mind is that the origin of the McCain myth, his towering figure-ness, is this very particular fact: through his story and his actions he had a profound appeal to a generation of men who had guilty or angry or unresolved experiences with the Vietnam War and who were, at this point in McCain’s career, themselves moving into mid-life.
and explains:
I should note here that when I use the word “myth” I do not mean it as a fairy tale or cover story. To say something is a myth is not to say it is either true or false. Myths are stories we tell to make sense of and give meaning to the unorganized facts of existence, which themselves are mute and have nothing to tell us. As humans, we can only really understand things through stories.

This above is to be understood in conjunction with:

Monday, August 20, 2018

USA: the joys of pot legalization

This was so not unforeseeable.
“Cannabis is potentially a real public-health problem,” said Mark A. R. Kleiman, a professor of public policy at New York University. “It wasn’t obvious to me 25 years ago, when 9 percent of self-reported cannabis users over the last month reported daily or near-daily use. I always was prepared to say, ‘No, it’s not a very abusable drug. Nine percent of anybody will do something stupid.’ But that number is now [something like] 40 percent.”
The Atlantic, America's Invisible Pot Addicts

India: the UPA's unsustainable growth spurt

In 2015, the Government of India adopted a new GDP calculation method with the base year of 2011-12.  (Resetting the baseline year is a routine matter.)   The new method was more comprehensive in the data it used.  Nevertheless, the new series provoked a lot of suspicion especially because the old GDP numbers were not restated in terms of the new series.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

First biomarker evidence of DDT-autism link

Via and

First biomarker evidence of DDT-autism link

National birth cohort study finds DDT metabolites in the blood of pregnant women are associated with elevated odds of autism in offspring
August 16, 2018
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
A study of more than 1 million pregnancies in Finland reports that elevated levels of a metabolite of the banned insecticide DDT in the blood of pregnant women are linked to increased risk for autism in the offspring. The study is the first to connect an insecticide with risk for autism using maternal biomarkers of exposure.


Brown's team found no correlation between the PCB by-product and autism. But when they measured DDT by-product levels in the blood samples, they found that mothers with high concentrations of this chemical — those in the top quartile — were 32% more likely than women with lower DDT levels to give birth to children who developed autism. The likelihood that a child with autism accompanied by intellectual disability was twice as high in mothers with elevated DDT levels compared to those with lower levels.
Brown cautions that although there seems to be a link between autism and DDT exposure, the overall risk of having a child with the disorder is low — even among women with high DDT levels. His group plans to look at other organic chemicals in the Finnish database to determine whether they might affect fetuses by interacting with DDT. 
Jonathan Chevrier, an epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, is interested in knowing whether DDT levels are linked to intellectual disability in children who do not have autism. He is currently following more than 700 children in South Africa — where DDT is still used — which could provide hints as to the mechanism by which the pesticide might affect the brain. It’s an important question, he says, given how much DDT persists in the environment, even in places that have banned its use. “At this point, essentially the entire planet is contaminated with DDT,” he says.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Naipaul quotes

Swarajya magazine featured some V.S. Naipaul quotes, of which two follow:

From ‘India: A Wounded Civilization’ published in 1976:

India has been a wounded civilization because of Islamic violence: Pakistanis know this; indeed they revel in it. It is only Indian Nehruvians like Romila Thapar who pretend that Islamic rule was benevolent. We should face facts: Islamic rule in India was at least as catastrophic as the later Christian rule. The Christians created massive poverty in what was a most prosperous country; the Muslims created a terrorised civilization out of what was the most creative culture that ever existed. India was wrecked and looted, not once but repeatedly by invaders with strong religious ideas, with a hatred of the religion of the people they were conquering. People read these accounts but they do not imaginatively understand the effects of conquest by an iconoclastic religion.
The effects of conquest - the Islamic histories describing the conquest of India pretty much describe what ISIS did to the Yazidis, we don't need to exercise our imagination any more.

On Ayodhya, according to Patrick French:
For the poor of India to identify something like this, pulling down the first Mughal emperor’s tomb, is a marvellous idea. I think in years to come it will be seen as a great moment.... It would be a historical statement of India striving to regain her soul. What puzzled me and outraged me was the attitude that it was wrong, that one must not undo the [Muslim] conquest. I think it is the attitude of a slave population.
I should mention that in the early 1990s I was on the opposite side of the argument.  My interest in Indian history began as I sought to justify to myself that my side of the argument - that the Babri Masjid should be let be - was right.   As in all matters that become political, all sides in the argument made false or misleading claims.  Also, the same outcome as that did transpire could have been realized in a more civilized and more lawful way.  Given that the Left's favorite religion is Islam (not just in India) and given that they controlled the discourse in India, getting through their distortion field took a while. In the final verdict, I must say that Naipaul is right.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Dr. Vishwa Adluri on the Mahabharata

Read the whole thing here.

In an interview with Swarajya, you stated, “Itihāsa is history that has overcome historicism: history that has become critical and self-consciousness.” Can you elaborate? How does this affect one’s understanding of the Mahābhārata?

Let us start with a philosophical problem. What is the reality of the external world and what is the validity of sense perception, our primary source of knowledge about the external world? Until we answer these questions, every history is merely contingent. We only have sense perceptions. Often, what we have is not perceptions of events but of artifacts, which we use to draw inferences about their underlying events, ultimately connecting the events into a narrative in view of some overarching purpose. There is thus no bare historical cognition. Rather, history is something we generate.

What we call “world history” is a creation of German scholars and philosophers in the nineteenth century. They provided a new intellectual framework for arranging events: the idea of a common historical space, a world stage on which cultures enter and successively vanish. This was a new way of looking at the world’s cultures—and of extrapolating the law of their succession. For Hegel, history was the process by which Spirit actualized itself, developing from primitive forms of statehood such as China and India to its ultimate expression, Prussia.

Compare this with the Mahābhārata: external reality is problematized through the author’s interventions in the narrative. Human affairs mimetically enact the paradigmatic conflict, the devāsurayuddha. Humans themselves follow the paradigm of their divine archetypes, the devas and asuras. Instead of a linear, progressive history, we have cycles of time. Instead of a distant salvific event, we have the inexorable rise and fall of souls caught between the conflicting imperatives of dharma and adharma. There is no national salvation; only singularized jīvas. This is a different understanding of history, closer to Empedocles, Plato, and Nietzsche than to Hegel and Ranke. Thus, itihāsa is a history that has become critical about external reality and self-conscious about history’s status as a narrative. And it is asking the Nietzschean question about the uses and disadvantages of history for life: Why do we need history? What purpose should history serve?


As progressive as Hiltebeitel’s stance on composition is vis-à-vis the German Indologists, it still grants them too much credence. Ultimately, all speculations as to authorship are trivial before the work, which by its very nature as a great literary work resists reductive analyses about the circumstances or motivations for its composition. This has been the greatest failing of Sanskrit studies generally. Every year more vapid dissertations appear, asserting that some work was written because the author wanted to enhance his status or to oppress someone or to insinuate himself with some sect or to assert the superiority of “his” gods. Every year more papers, these “unlovely exercises exacted by the scholarly code” as Arrowsmith calls them, are added to the pile. We are drowning in scholarship, yet little work of philosophical or artistic merit is done. Through Protestant literalism and its emphasis on the realia, we have entered a non-literary, indeed, a non-literate age. In Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche mocks the anti-intellectualism of the German university. Ironically, Sheldon Pollock runs around exalting the nineteenth-century German university (see my review of World Philology) when the best of the Germans already saw through it and discarded it.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Vedic Ritual along the Saraswati

Via Dr. Shiv:
Geography of Aryavarta (Indus-Saraswati Civilization) - Part-1: Talk by Sh. Mrugendra Vinod ...

Geography of River Saraswati (Indus-Saraswati Civilization) - Part-2 : Talk by Sh. Mrugendra Vinod

Identification of Unicorn (Indus-Saraswati Civilization) - Part-3 : Talk by Sh. Mrugendra Vinod

For those who can't/don't want to watch, but want a quick summary:

1.  A reiteration of the astronomical information in the Vedic literature that is date-able because of the precession of the equinoxes.

2. The geography of the Saraswati.

3. An explanation of the peculiar symbol appearing in Harappan seals as the yupa or tie-post of the sacrificial animals in the Asvamedha yagna.

On the geography of the Saraswati: in the Vedic rituals, there is one that is to be performed on the banks of the Saraswati.  It involves an altar on wheels, the yajamana throws a stick; the altar is moved to that point, the rituals are conducted; then the yajamana throws the stick again.  This is done going upstream from where the Saraswati disappears (Vinashana) through the junction with the river Drishadvati, which is a seasonal river, and then to the head of the Saraswati.   Then the final ritual bath in the Yamuna that is a day away. The ritual takes about 22 years.   The arithmetic (I haven't checked for myself) fits with the geography of the hypothetical Saraswati.

A key point that the speaker makes is that Western scholarship and those under its spell (that would include persons like me) have focused on the Rg Vedic poetry and rather neglected the ritual manuals.  Poetry is full of metaphor and can be interpreted in myriad ways;  but the ritual manuals are rather specific.

Another point is to understand how the tradition is taught and preserved.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Braided River

The Waimakariri River in the South Island of New Zealand is braided over most of its course
By I, Gobeirne, CC BY 2.5,

If you look for an inheritance tree, you will find a tree; but a tree is only a model.
Multiregional theory of human origins in Africa:
The New Story of Humanity's Origins in Africa
Several new discoveries suggest that our species didn’t arise from a single point in space. Instead, the entire continent was our cradle.

Perhaps the same is true for the Indo-European languages.

Excerpt, emphasis added:

This can be a tricky concept to grasp, because we’re so used to thinking about ancestry in terms of trees, whether it’s a family tree that unites members of a clan or an evolutionary tree that charts the relationships between species. Trees have single trunks that splay out into neatly dividing branches. They shift our thoughts toward single origins. Even if humans were widespread throughout Africa 300,000 years ago, surely we must have started somewhere.

Not so, according to the African-multiregionalism advocates. They’re arguing that Homo sapiens emerged from an ancestral hominid that was itself widespread through Africa, and had already separated into lots of isolated populations. We evolved within these groups, which occasionally mated with each other, and perhaps with other contemporaneous hominids like Homo naledi.

The best metaphor for this isn’t a tree. It’s a braided river—a group of streams that are all part of the same system, but that weave into and out of each other.

These streams eventually merge into the same big channel, but it takes time—hundreds of thousands of years. For most of our history, any one group of Homo sapiens had just some of the full constellation of features that we use to define ourselves. “People back then looked more different to each other than any populations do today," says Scerri, “and it’s very hard to answer what an early Homo sapiens looked like. But there was then a continent-wide trend to the modern human form.” Indeed, the first people who had the complete set probably appeared between 40,000 and 100,000 years ago.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Sri Lanka: Agriculture in the Pleistocene?

Anil Suri has an article at How Old Is Indian Agriculture?

The article goes over some well-known findings; but also makes an extraordinary claim.

To trace the trajectory from incipient cultivation as a dry crop to the wetland crop rice had become by around 7500 BCE, we must journey south, indeed, as far down as the southern part of Sri Lanka. To the mesmerizingly beautiful Horton Plains National Park, to be precise. Here, there is evidence of cattle herding and grazing, microcharcoal indicating the use of fire to clear the land of forests, cultivation of edible plants, and early management of barley and oats from – hold your breath – 15,500 BCE. It is believed the subcontinent experienced a semi-arid climate between 22,000 and 15,500 BCE, followed by a sustained, progressively warmer spell, with a concomitantly strengthening monsoon, starting around 16,500 BCE. Thus, early attempts at pastoralism and agriculture begin almost as soon as the climate became ever so slightly conducive. The climate got progressively better for agriculture, peaking in an extremely humid period around 6700 BCE. As the humidity increased, cultivated rice made its first known appearance here around 13,000 BCE. Notice that the early dwellers of the Horton Plains seem to have figured out which crop was best suited to a particular climate. Closely following the improvement in the climate, intensive agriculture in the region began around 11,000 BCE, and there was an abrupt shift in emphasis from oats and barley to rice after 8000 BCE. The fact that intensive rice cultivation was being done on the Ganga plain by no later than the mid-8th millennium BCE, as described above, shows there were many independent centres for the establishment of agriculture in the subcontinent, and that the progress in agriculture happened closely in tandem with climactic changes.

In around 16,000 BCE, which falls in the Ice Age, India and Sri Lanka would have been contiguous as the sea level was about 120 metres lower than it is today. (Around 8000 BCE, it was still 50 metres lower.) This early attempt at agriculture was no flash in the pan. Archaeologists believe that there is a continuity of agricultural tradition in the subcontinent right from then. The archaeologist, Premathilake writes, The evidence of early form of agricultural activities found in the Horton Plains do not appear to have got isolated at the regional level and similar type of evidence in the form of cultivated pollen and other proxies is available in the Indian subcontinent.

Horton Plains is called "Maha Eliya Thanne" by the locals.

  1. The above claim is based on the 2006 paper by R. Premathilake, "The emergence of early agriculture in the Horton Plains, central Sri Lanka: linked to late Pleistocene and early Holocene climatic changes", which seems to have been pretty much ignored, if one goes by the number of citations this paper has received.  A quick search does not show any follow-up activity going on either.

  2. The Premathilake paper says: "It is clear that incipient management of barley and oats occur around 15 500 BC in the Horton Plains as evidenced by pollen and other multi-proxy records (e.g. phytoliths, diatoms, stable carbon isotope, organic carbon, total carbon, environmental mineral magnetic). The semi- humid event between 15 600 and 14 000 BC corresponds to incipient management of cereal plants (oats and barley). The pollen evidence also indicates herding, possibly of Bos sp. and supportive indications are (1) forest clearance/ burning, (2) grazing, (3) pastures, (4) the presence of a characteristic edible plant, (5) a cultivated shrub, (6) various types of disturbed fields, e.g: patanas, (7) enhanced anthropogenic erosion as indicated by the initial increase of the values in magnetic susceptibility parameters (8) and high percentages of microscopic charcoal particles. These observations can be interpreted as the result of the initial stage of slash- and-burn activity."
Agriculture 16000 years ago is an extraordinary claim and I think that these findings are in need of independent replication; and presumably much more intensive studies of the Maha Eliya Thanne region are called for.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

On Denmark's Laws for Immigrant Ghettos

The NYTimes has a news-item  In Denmark, Harsh New Laws for Immigrant ‘Ghettos’.
Starting at the age of 1, “ghetto children” must be separated from their families for at least 25 hours a week, not including nap time, for mandatory instruction in “Danish values,” including the traditions of Christmas and Easter, and Danish language. Noncompliance could result in a stoppage of welfare payments. Other Danish citizens are free to choose whether to enroll children in preschool up to the age of six.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Luck or method?

Manasataramgini has a problem from plane geometry embedded in a short story, which I extract here:
Given a unit square, if a point lies on the same plane as the square at not more than a unit distance simultaneously from each of the four vertices of the square then what will be: 1) the minimum distance it can reach from any side of the square; 2) what fraction of the area of the square can the point be located in.
Since the short story includes the requirement of solving it in 7 minutes, I was asked to try my hand at it.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Wim Borsboom and the order of the alphabet

Wim Borsboom claims some insight into the origin of the order of letters in the alphabet.  I think the key question is how much of the pattern can arise by chance. blurb:

“Alphabet or Abracadabra? - Reverse Engineering The Western Alphabet” details a ground-breaking discovery: the origin of the western ‘abecedary’ - the alphabet's sequence of letters.(Not to be confused with the origin of the design of the western alphabet letters.)

It must have been somewhere between 3400 and 3700 years ago that the western alphabet's linear sequence of characters (abecedary) was created by following an already existing tabular model of a South Asian Pre-Sanskrit ‘abugida’ or ‘alpha-syllabary’. In spite of it looking quite disorderly, the western alphabet letter sequence is found to be based on that ancient orderly pattern, a pattern that categorized sounds by how and where they were articulated in the mouth.

This study retraces the steps of how that copying process took place, a process that also included a number of 'errors and omissions' made by one, perhaps two ancient scribes most likely from the Near East. The errors eventually resulted in the apparent disorder of the western 'ABC'. By tracking these 'copied' errors across a number of ancient alphabets, the author was not only able to reconstruct the copying process, but he also arrived at a date before which it must have taken place.
An interview.
Excerpts from the abstract:

 This paper proposes and details, how -- well before 3400 BP -- the current western Late-Roman  Alphabet character sequence [not to be confused with the graphic design of western alphabet letters] (the linear ABC or abecedary) was modeled after a pre-Sanskrit Devanagari-like character grid.....Even if the characters within the western alphabet (abecedary) look randomly distributed, we show how that letter-sequence was originally based on an ancient orderly pattern, a pattern that categorized sounds by how and where they were articulated in the mouth....When the western alphabet - once it is put in tabular format - is compared to an earlier and simpler "reverse retro-engineered" Sanskrit abugida....a percentage of similarity of only 25% (5 out of 20 characters) is calculated. However, after the error identifications and considering the varying but close pronunciations of several comparable characters as well as ...... a 90% match between them is obtained.

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?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Balu: Comparative Anthropology and Moral Domains


The knife appears to cut both ways: against the background of the western conception of’ethics’, Indian traditions ’chill the blood’.  Against the background of Indian traditions, the West appears totally immoral: Why does it appear so?  What causes this perception?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Where's the Beef?

Worldwide Patterns of Ancestry, Divergence, and Admixture in Domesticated Cattle

Bos taurus taurus was domesticated in the Middle East while Bos taurus indicus was domesticated in India. 

It is likely is that a hypothetical Punjab_N population from even before agriculture would have been related to the Iran_N people, somewhere along a cline between Iran_N in Iran (whose aDNA has been found) and peoples in India's interior. 

If Iran_N(eolithic) ingressed into India with a demic diffusion of agriculture, they didn't bring their cattle along. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Ancestry Models

In Lazarides et. al. 2016,,  modeling ANI (Ancestral North Indian)
While the Early/Middle Bronze Age ‘Yamnaya’-related group (Steppe_EMBA) is a good genetic match (together with Neolithic Iran) for ANI, the later Middle/Late Bronze Age steppe population (Steppe_MLBA) is not.
However, in Narasimhan et. al. 2018, Steppe_MLBA is seen to be a better match, and Steppe_EMBA is ruled out.  Underlying it are different other components of ancestry that are used.

In Lazarides,  the other components of ancestry are Iran_N(eolithic), Onge, and Han.
In Narasimhan, the other components of ancestry are Iran agriculturist (same as Iran_N?) , AASI (another name for Onge), and a composite of "Indus_Periphery" and Swat SGPT and early historic individuals.  

Why is it important? Because if these genetic findings are correlated with language (a big if!) and  because if the Rg Veda is taken seriously, e.g., its mentions of the Saraswati River, then a post-IVC arrival of I.E. is untenable.  Likewise with the Vedic Indra-Varuna-Mitra- Nasatyas in the Mitanni documents.  Steppe_EMBA doesn't rule out a pre-IVC-collapse arrival; but Steppe_MLBA pretty much does.

One should note that Steppe_EMBA itself lies on the cline between Iran_Chalcolithic and European Hunter Gatherer, and Steppe_MLBA is largely Steppe_EMBA but on the Steppe_EMBA - European_MidNeolithic_Chalcolithic cline.  (see Lazarides 2016 for this, excerpted diagrams here).
But in contemplating the difference between Lazarides and Narasimhan, it seems the Siberian Hunter Gather component is what makes the difference. 

A question would be - do Steppe_EMBA and Steppe_MLBA have "similar ancestry profiles"? Apparently in the context of the Narasimhan et. al. model, for the purpose of modeling ANI they do not.  Yet, for the purpose of modeling ANI,  Indus_Periphery and Swat individuals have a similar ancestry profile.  

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Some history of astronomy links

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Comment: Re: confused

Looks like my IntenseDebate comments system is hosed. At least it doesn't work consistently.

So, to reply to a comment until I figure out how to make things work:

Suppose you said that X and Y had a similar ancestry profile of a Norwegian and Italian mix, except that Y also had 22% Japanese ancestry. It makes one wonder, what does a "similar ancestry profile" mean?

How about "X is half tin and half copper" vs. "Y consists of equal parts of tin and copper with 22% arsenic"? Seems like the obvious analogy to me.

This analogy doesn't work for me for several reasons:

First of all, X and Y are different alloys, some variety of bronze versus arsenical bronze.

Next: the X itself consists of 14-42% AASI (and the rest Iranian farmer and Siberian Hunter Gatherer)

So this is like saying X is 14% tin and 86% copper or 42% tin and 58% copper and Y is various proportions of tin, copper and arsenic (arsenic averaging 22%).

Next: What does "similar ancestry profile" mean of X and Y when X and Y don't share at least 22% of their ancestors?

Next: since when is 78% of a genome similar to 100% of another? 

Next: A majority of Indians are somewhere on the ANI/ASI cline with little other admixture.  Would you say they "share the same ancestry profile"?

Next: Out of 246 groups of Indians that this pre-print had genetic profiles for, they excluded 106. Some for paucity of data; but others for having something more than just ANI/ASI.  i.e., for that part of the analysis, these 106 groups did not have "similar ancestry profiles".

Next: just as a practical thing - if someone said, I have the same ancestry profile as European Americans but also 22% African - well, unless they are "passing" this someone has gone from being white to being black.  Trump supporters (well, some of them) would likely riot over a statement that they share an ancestry profile.

IMO, on an entirely different tack, I get a suspicion that some of the genetics people don't really understand the algorithms that underlie their computational analytic apparatus; it is largely black-boxes to them.

 PS: Let's get to some amusing applications of "similarity".

These two geometric figures are similar though one is triangle and the other is a quadrilateral.

"I'll offer you a similar deal as I offered him, except you'll pay 22% more."

Confused: The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia

The recent preprint under discussion: The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia, has the passages below.

Suppose you said that X and Y had a similar ancestry profile of a Norwegian and Italian mix, except that Y also had 22% Japanese ancestry.  It makes one wonder, what does a "similar ancestry profile" mean? 

276 Third, between 3100-2200 BCE we observe an outlier at the BMAC site of Gonur, as well as two
277 outliers from the eastern Iranian site of Shahr-i-Sokhta, all with an ancestry profile similar to 41
278 ancient individuals from northern Pakistan who lived approximately a millennium later in the
279 isolated Swat region of the northern Indus Valley (1200-800 BCE). These individuals had
280 between 14-42% of their ancestry related to the AASI and the rest related to early Iranian
281 agriculturalists and West_Siberian_HG. Like contemporary and earlier samples from Iran/Turan
282 we find no evidence of Steppe-pastoralist-related ancestry in these samples. In contrast to all
283 other Iran/Turan samples, we find that these individuals also had negligible Anatolian
284 agriculturalist-related admixture, suggesting that they might be migrants from a population
285 further east along the cline of decreasing Anatolian agriculturalist ancestry. While we do not
286 have access to any DNA directly sampled from the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), based on (a)
287 archaeological evidence of material culture exchange between the IVC and both BMAC to its
288 north and Shahr-i-Sokhta to its east (27), (b) the similarity of these outlier individuals to post-
289 IVC Swat Valley individuals described in the next section (27), (c) the presence of substantial
290 AASI admixture in these samples suggesting that they are migrants from South Asia, and (d) the
291 fact that these individuals fit as ancestral populations for present-day Indian groups in qpAdm
292 modeling, we hypothesize that these outliers were recent migrants from the IVC.

449 Finally, we examined our Swat Valley time transect from 1200 BCE to 1 CE. While the earliest
450 group of samples (SPGT) is genetically very similar to the Indus_Periphery samples from the
451 sites of Gonur and Shahr-i-Sokhta, they also differ significantly in harboring Steppe_MLBA
452 ancestry (~22%). This provides direct evidence for Steppe_MLBA ancestry being integrated into
453 South Asian groups in the 2nd millennium BCE, and is also consistent with the evidence of
454 southward expansions of Steppe_MLBA groups through Turan at this time via outliers from the
455 main BMAC cluster from 2000-1500 BCE. Later samples from the Swat time transect from the
456 1st millennium BCE had higher proportions of Steppe and AASI derived ancestry more similar to
457 that found on the Indian Cline, showing that there was an increasing percolation of Steppe
458 derived ancestry into the region and additional admixture with the ASI through time.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

The Mosaic Distinction

Jaideep Prabhu in

Theo Sundermeier, professor of theology at Heidelberg University, makes an insightful distinction in his Was ist Religion? Religionswissenschaft im theologischen Kontext between primary and secondary religions. The former, Sundermeier explains, developed over hundreds, if not thousands, of years, usually within a single culture, society and language with which the religion is inextricably intertwined. These would include the Greek, Roman, and Egyptian religions as easily as Hinduism. The latter category of religions are those that originate from an act of revelation or foundation and are monotheistic, universal, and of the Book. Secondary religions denounce primary religions as paganism, a collection of superstitions, and idolatry. The three Abrahamic faiths fit this description well.
Note the Primary and Secondary Religions.
This seemingly obvious categorisation holds an evolution of great import. From primary to secondary, religion changes from being a system that is irrevocably embedded in the institutional, linguistic, and cultural conditions of a society to become an autonomous system that can transcend political, ethnic, and other boundaries and transplant itself into any alien culture. As Jan Assmann, an Egyptologist at the University of Konstanz, describes in his Die Mosaische Unterscheidung: oder der Preis des Monotheismus, this change, which he calls the Mosaic distinction, is hardly about whether there is one god or there are many gods, but about truth and falsehood, knowledge and ignorance.
Note Jan Assmann (thanks to a friend!)
Assmann argues that the Mosaic distinction created an entirely new category of truth - faith - and draws an interesting parallel with a scientific development that Werner Jäger, a 20th century classicist at Harvard University, described as the Parmenidian distinction in Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture.
Before the Mosaic distinction, there were four kinds of fundamental truths: experiential (water is wet), mathematical (two plus two is four), historical (the life of Mokshagundam Visveswaraya), and truths conducive to life (ethics). The Mosaic distinction cleaved faith from knowledge and installed the former as a fifth truth that claimed knowledge of the highest authority even if it could not be verified on scientific grounds.
Read the whole essay, please. Here's another key passage.

For the first time in history, justice, law, and freedom are declared to be the central themes of religion and the sole prerogative of god. Though technically true, this is a misleading statement. The monotheistic point of view is that since god is the true authority, only he can be the final arbiter of justice; the temporal laws of man are inferior to the divine. The story of the exodus from Egypt ties in well with ideas of liberation of the Jewish people from slavery. Furthermore, their escape, divinely sanctioned, also took the power to sit in judgment over them away from the pharaoh and invested it in god. The Shemot, or the Book of Exodus, is thus more concerned with political theology than with idolatry (the story of the golden calf). Thus, in monotheism, the political role of justice was given to religion. The authority of the king was superseded by that of the high clergy, god's representatives on earth, as papal power well into the Early Modern era demonstrated. This fusion of the political with the religious in secondary religions, but not primary belief systems, is exactly what makes secularism a requirement solely of the former in the modern era.
In pagan religions, justice was of this world for even the gods were of this world. A Roman or an Egyptian who had been wronged could appeal to the local magistrate for justice for its own sake without reference to the gods. Indeed, in Hinduism, dharma is not only properly a function of kaala, desha, and paristhiti but the chaturanga purusharthas mention it along with artha and kama as one of the three goals of mortal life. The ultimate goal, moksha, is beyond short-term earthly consideration. As Hindi novelist Gurudutt explains in Dharma tatha samajwad and Dharma, sanskriti, aur rajya, the individual is free to interact with the divine in a manner of his choosing but wherever he must interact with another, their conduct must be guided by the precepts of dharma, artha, and kama. Ethics and the law were intrinsically this-worldy and had no business to be under divine purview. Thus, justice, or ethics at least, existed much before secondary religions came on the scene but were not truly a part of the religious system.
 kaala = era;  desha = country, place,  paristhiti = circumstances (e.g., historical/social/political circumstances); chaturanga = four-fold; purushartha = object of human pursuit, goal of life;  artha = material prosperity; kama = pleasure; dharma = right way of living, human behaviors considered to be necessary to maintain right order in the universe,  duty, etc. (difficult to translate); samajwad = socialism; sanskriti = civilization, rajya ~= politics.

If you've come this far, here's a bonus for you:
(PDF file) Jan Assman, The Mosaic Distinction, Israel, Egypt and the Invention of Paganism.
The space "severed or cloven" by the Mosaic distinction was not simply the space of religion in general then, but that of a very specific kind of religion. We may call this a "counterreligion" because it not only constructed but rejected and repudiated everything that went before and everything outside itself as "paganism".  It no longer functioned as a means of intercultural translation; on the contrary, it functioned as a means of intercultural estrangement.  Whereas polytheism or rather, "cosmotheism" rendered different cultures mutually transparent and compatible, the new counterreligion blocked intercultural translatability.  False gods cannot be translated.
Primary and secondary religion; religion and counterreligion!  Where does it end?  

A comment from @bennedose

From here (copied in full):

This paper has some of the following issues which I find interesting. I believe that geneticists are mistaken when any good work that they do is mixed with the unscientific hypotheses about language spread that linguists have established for the last 150 years. Genes do not code for language. Genetic fact should not be mixed up with tenuous linguistic hypotheses.

1.The linguistics dates of IE spread are taken from David Anthony (ref no 46) whose assumptions linking the archaeology of Andronvo grave pits and Sintashta culture with grossly erroneous translations of the Rig Veda are untenable. In particular Anthony’s linking of Rig Veda 10:18 with Kurgans is based on an incorrect translation, apart from other assumptions.

2. This paper reinforces what was earlier suggested by Reich et al and Priya Moorjani (refs 44 and 45) that ASI-ANI mix occurred in the last 2000-4000 years ago. Both this paper and the earlier Reich paper suggest that there was lack of mixing of ASI and ANI before that. In fact this paper says that ASI and ANI were "largely unformed) 4000 years ago (page 14).

Now here is what is odd. If ANI and ASI ancestry represent IE speakers and Dravidian language speakers (respectively) and if they started mixing as recently as in the last 4000 years when the migrations are said to have occurred, but the admixture had NOT occurred before that date - it tears down all assumptions of a "Caste system" having been created by the migration of ANI/IE speakers displacing ASI/Dravidian language speakers. If they were mixing, there were not remaining separate. It is as simple as that.

If one assumes (probably wrongly) that IE languages came to India about 1500-2000 BCE then it appears that the real mixing of ASI and ANI started AFTER those people came contrary to all assertions by linguists that endogamy commenced in India with the arrival of IE speakers in India.

3. Of course all this ignores and fails to explain how the oldest IE language Sanskrit has references to hydronyms and the riverine geography of IVC area from 3000 BCE and the start of aridity in 2000 BCE - adding to the growing body of evidence that linguistic hypotheses have depended upon dubious assumptions.

It is notable that German and Greek have perhaps 25-40 % Indo-European language content, the rest of the words having a non Indo-European or pre- IE origin. However Sanskrit, the oldest known IE language has 97% Indo-European word content. This anomaly cannot be explained by saying that no language was spoken in India before the arrival of IE languages in 1500 BCE.

4. This paper makes statistical predictions about the entire Indian subcontinent with zero samples from IVC or anything east or south of that (as clearly admitted in the paper). The closest "south Asia" samples are from Swat in Pakistan. Swat is closer to "Turan" (Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan) than to major IE speaking areas of India like Bengal, south Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Eastern Gangetic plain. So linguistic conclusions connected to genetics need to be viewed with caution.

A Musing

Very roughly the story goes like this (don't use any dates or figures from here):

Let's look at 7000 years before present. What do we have?
- attested in Iran by aDNA "Iranian farmer".
- in India, unattested by aDNA, but reasonably safe theoretical assumption, the AASI profile.

What else in India? What would the ancestry of someone in Punjab 7000 years before present be? In the absence of anything other information we'd have to say, it is some combo of Iranian farmer + AASI.

Suppose we found in Punjab aDNA from 7000 years ago. Then whatever it was, it would not be explainable in terms of some contemporary Iranian farmer; at best it would trace to some common ancestor with the contemporary Iranian farmer aDNA, with the theoretical AASI thrown in. The finding in BMAC of 3 persons with AASI but no steppe ancestry suggests that this Punjab aDNA would also show no recent common ancestor with steppe.

The other peoples in India of 7000 years ago would presumably be better modeled via this Punjabi aDNA + AASI rather than Iranian farmer + AASI. But we don't have aDNA from Punjab from 7000 years ago, and so the only choice is to model people in India in terms of Iranian farmer (ostensibly an outsider) and AASI. And of course, in the absence of aDNA there is nothing really to model. A principle of parsimony says that the people of north India of this time had (Iranian farmer + AASI) ancestry. Nothing more can be said.

The same goes for Indians from 6000 years ago, 5000 years ago, 4000 years ago. 3000 years ago, we get the first aDNA in the Indian subcontinent, that from Swat. It can only be modeled in terms of aDNA found so far - Iranian farmer, Siberian and Central Asian Hunter Gatherer, Steppe MLBA, EMBA)  and theoretical populations like AASI. If we had aDNA from Punjab from 7000 years ago, for example, the best model of Swat aDNA might be rather different; just like the discovery of the aDNA of three Indus_Periphery persons turned the theoretical constructs ANI and ASI from being quite ancient (from more than 14000 years ago) to arising only post-Saraswati-Sindhu civilization.

One revelation of this paper (assuming that it is correct) is that genetic models seem to be not stable against small perturbations. Three samples of aDNA turned the origins of ANI and ASI upside down.

Similarly on the Eurogenes blog there is a post from about an year ago, that Indian populations are better modeled with Steppe EMBA than Steppe MLBA.  The recent pre-print finds Steppe MLBA to be more relevant. That is, with "Indus_Periphery" aDNA thrown into the mix, now Steppe MLBA provides a better fit for Indian populations than Steppe EMBA.  This is counter-intuitive to me, and IMO, is another indication of the instability of genetic models.

It may be a fair inference that further discoveries could destabilize the model that this pre-print proposes. Unfortunately it seems likely that little if any aDNA in the main part of India will ever be found.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Human generation times

1. The paper discussed in my previous two blog posts, "The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia" uses a time per human generation of 28 years.

2. This time is derived from a paper by one of the authors, "A genetic method for dating ancient genomes provides a direct estimate of human generation interval in the last 45,000 years", P. Moorjani et. al. That paper comes up with an estimate of 26-30 years, from which the mid-value is used.

3. "The Genomic Formation...." uses this human generation time of 28 years in two places.
...we estimate that the time of admixture between Iranian agriculturalist-related ancestry and AASI ancestry in the three Indus_Periphery samples was 53 ± 15 generations ago on average, corresponding to a 95% confidence interval of about 4700-3000 BCE assuming 28 years per generation
....Using admixture linkage disequilibrium, we estimate a date of 107 ± 11 generations ago for Iranian agriculturalist and AASI-related admixture in the Palliyar, corresponding to a 95% confidence interval of 1700-400 BCE assuming 28 years per generation.
4.  Here we notice something.  (107 + 11) generations * 28 years =  3304 years.  The Iranian agriculturalist and AASI admixture in the (modern) Palliyar  dates to 1300 BCE to 700 BCE.

5. Moreover, if we go with the generation time measured with the !Kung, 25.5 years - the lower end of P. Moorjani's estimation, it only makes it worse for the idea that all this admixture happened around the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization.

6. The ancestry of the Indus_Periphery samples may likewise become too late for the archaeological  record of agriculture.

PS: Note that for the Indus_Periphery, the date is 53 ± 15 generations prior to the date of the Indus_Periphery samples, i.e., prior to 3100-2200 BCE.

PPS: The life expectancy at birth in the Paleolithic is estimated to be 33 years per Wiki.  The per generation time of 28 years means that the average age of a woman relative to the birth of her children is 28 years.  E.g., if women uniformly bore children at ages 20, 24, 28, 32 the generation time would be (20 + 24 + 28 + 32)/4 = 26.  You can see that women would be bumping up into the life expectancy.  On the other hand, what is important is actually the conditional life expectancy, which is the life expectancy of women who survived up to at least one live birth, which may be better than that 33 years.  Still, one would think that in the Paleolithic, women in the 18-28 age group would have more children than the women 28-38 age group, if only for the reason that there's more of them.

PPPS: The Wiki that gives the Paleolithic life expectancy at birth also says "Based on the data from modern hunter-gatherer populations, it is estimated that at 15, life expectancy was an additional 39 years (total 54)"" Supposedly after surviving birth the probability of reach age 15 was 0.6.

A paper linked at the Wiki gives (figure 10) the yearly mortality rate ("Proportion that die") of the Aché people of Paraguay.  The yearly mortality rate starts at 0.10 around birth, and rapidly falls to 0.02 between five and ten years of age (the curves are different for males and females).  It then remains steady between 0.01 and 0.02 until age 40, after which it starts rising fairly rapidly.  A cohort of 100 women aged 20 years would reduce to 86 by age 30, and 74 by age 40 if the annual mortality rate ("proportion that die") was 0.015.

In comparison, in 2013, per WHO data, globally,  the adult mortality rate - the probability of dying between ages 15 and 60 - was for men 0.182 and for women 0.121.

Also note that if women were having a lot of babies, and if the population was growing very slowly if at all, then there must have been a corresponding number of deaths.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Map from: The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia

A pre-print on bioarxiv: The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia has this as figure 4:

Some interesting features:

1. Mehrgarh, the oldest agricultural village in South Asia dates to 7000 BCE, so the date on (1) doesn't square with archaeology.

2. The steppe folks had to take a really convoluted route to avoid BMAC (incorrectly marked as BAMC? on the map).

3. There is no archaeological evidence of the Indus Valley Civilization being carried into the south peninsula; but ASI is supposed to have formed during/after the collapse of the IVC.

4. Let us note that the Mittani documents of around 1400 BC record Indra, Varuna, Mitra and the two Nasatyas.  The Rg Veda with its North Indian geography also shows the evolution of one Nasatya into two; see this or below. Nevertheless, the old idea was that the proto-Indo-Aryans branched out east and west through BMAC, the western branch giving rise to the Mitanni documents. The route shown here and the suggested dates really make explaining the Mitanni documents even harder.

Thus, if this map is right, the mystery deepens.

PS: the more conventional map from Wiki: