Thursday, February 13

Lie back and think of nothing

This was a very amusing read about the medieval marriage and superstitions in England. I quote the last paragraph:

Finally, the bride must not lie back and think of
England. Ideally she should think of nothing, as that
might influence the health and looks of the child she
might conceive that night

Wednesday, February 12

Do you complain about inequality? What kind?

Look at this graph of inequality. From the Human Development Report 2013.


People complain, with some justification, that the rise in inequality in income is bad. Hmmm, ok, I will give it a bit of credence but generally, don't give a shit. As a libertarian, you sow what you reap and as long as there is a minimum welfare state, you can earn what you want. But then here’s the question, what if rising inequality in income is accompanied with decreasing inequality in health and education?? Will you be willing to make the trade off? Or is there any relationship between these factors?

Tuesday, February 11

Read and Weep from page 203 onwards

The net result of all this is that neither Shias nor Sunnis nor Deobandis nor Ahl-i-Hadith nor Barelvis are Muslims and any change from one view to the other must be accompanied in an Islamic State with the penalty of death if the Government of the State is in the hands of the party which considers the other party to be kafirs. And it does not require much imagination to judge of the consequences of this doctrine when it is remembered that no two ulama have agreed before us as to the definition of a Muslim


Another quote

Pakistan is being taken by the common man, though it is not, as an Islamic State.
This belief has been encouraged by the ceaseless clamour for Islam and Islamic State that
is being heard from all quarters since the establishment of Pakistan. The phantom of an
Islamic State has haunted the Musalman throughout the ages and is a result of the
memory of the glorious past when Islam rising like a storm from the least expected
quarter of the world—wilds of Arabia—instantly enveloped the world, pulling down
from their high pedestal gods who had ruled over man since the creation, uprooting
centuries old institutions and superstitions and supplanting all civilisations that had been
built on an enslaved humanity. What is 125 years in human history, nay in the history of a people, and yet during this brief period Islam spread from the Indus to the Atlantic and
Spain, and from the borders of China to Egypt, and the sons of the desert installed
themselves in all old centres of civilisation—in Ctesiphon, Damascus, Alexandria, India
and all places associated with the names of the Sumerian and the Assyrian civilisations.
Historians have often posed the question : what would have been the state of the world
today if Muawiya’s siege of Constantinople had succeeded or if the proverbial Arab
instinct for plunder had not suddenly seized the mujahids of Abdur Rahman in their fight
against Charles Martel on the plains of Tours in Southern France. May be Muslims would
have discovered America long before Columbus did and the entire world would have
been Moslemised; may be Islam itself would have been Europeanised. It is this brilliant
achievement of the Arabian nomads, the like of which the world had never seen before,
that makes the Musalman of today live in the past and yearn for the return of the glory
that was Islam. He finds himself standing on the crossroads, wrapped in the mantle of the
past and with the dead weight of centuries on his back, frustrated and bewildered and
hesitant to turn one corner or the other. The freshness and the simplicity of the faith,
which gave determination to his mind and spring to his muscle, is now denied to him. He
has neither the means nor the ability to conquer and there are no countries to conquer.
Little does he understand that the forces, which are pitted against him, are entirely
different from those against which early Islam, had to fight, and that on the clues given
by his own ancestors human mind has achieved results which he cannot understand. He
therefore finds himself in a state of helplessness, waiting for some one to come and help
him out of this morass of uncertainty and confusion. And he will go on waiting like this
without anything happening. Nothing but a bold re-orientation of Islam to separate the
vital from the lifeless can preserve it as a World Idea and convert the Musalman into a
citizen of the present and the future world from the archaic in congruity that he is today.