Friday, September 26

Why the West craves materialism & why the East sticks to religion: By Imran Khan

Here is an article by the most amazing Pakistani Leader of Opposition. A beautiful example of how ignorance mixed with a stupid idea of religion mixed in the crucible of politics makes you come across as a blithering idiot. Lets not forget that this man, for all his new found piety, abandoned his daughter. So the very idea of hearing about how good a Muslim he is, is anathema to my ears. 

Second, as an example of muddled thinking, he mixes east, religion, family, Pakistan, all into this incredibly stupid mess. He forgets that the east was the place where a religion came to being without a concept of a god like Jainism. Or charvakya in Hinduism. But then again, for him to admit that India or anything pertaining to India exists will be difficult. And he takes off on the Ahmadi's. 

finally, this man has an execrable sense of history if he thinks that religion hasn't killed in the east. Do you know son, Muslims have killed far more Muslims than any non Muslims? Or the huge religious wars in Asia? Heck, does he forget the terror wars in Pakistan against the Shia? 

This is what happens when religion goes into the brain son. Stay away from organised religion. Stay away from people who bang on about how good their religion is. More importantly, stay away from the useful idiots who look up to excrescences  like this fellow. They suck out intelligence from their surroundings leaving a fact and smartness and intelligence barren scorched landscape behind. And this is for all religions. The Catholics who protest against abortion or contraception or Hindus who bang on about maryada or Santan Dharma without having even read one book or behave like hooligans or these kinds of Muslims who think like this. 




Why the West craves materialism & why the East sticks to religion: By Imran Khan > Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf > Insaf News

My generation grew up at a time when colonial hang up was at its peak. Our older generation had been slaves and had a huge inferiority complex of the British. The school I went to was similar to all elite schools in Pakistan. Despite gaining independent, they were, and still are, producing replicas of public schoolboys rather than Pakistanis.

I read Shakespeare, which was fine, but no Allama Iqbal — the national poet of Pakistan. The class on Islamic studies was not taken seriously, and when I left school I was considered among the elite of the country because I could speak English and wore Western clothes.

Despite periodically shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ in school functions, I considered my own culture backward and religion outdated. Among our group if any one talked about religion, prayed or kept a beard he was immediately branded a Mullah.

Because of the power of the Western media, our heroes were Western movie stars or pop stars. When I went to Oxford already burdened with this hang up, things didn’t get any easier. At Oxford, not just Islam, but all religions were considered anachronism.

Science had replaced religion and if something couldn’t be logically proved it did not exist. All supernatural stuff was confined to the movies. Philosophers like Darwin, who with his half-baked theory of evolution had supposedly disproved the creation of men and hence religion, were read and revered.

Thursday, September 25

Ferguson’s Formula

One of my Hero's son. The man is a legend and here's his success in his own words. Fascinating. Small things but these are difficult to make sure they are done. 

Planning. Foresight. Thinking about what might happen and then ensuring that you put in mitigating actions to avoid. Think about it. He put in a 4 year plan to win a trophy. It's a long time to plan son. And requires awesome dedication to keep on the path for 4 years! 

Good stuff to read and learn. Don't think it's worthwhile to put this in your personal statement but the sentiments are valid. 



Ferguson’s Formula


Photography: Sean Pollack

Some call him the greatest coach in history. Before retiring in May 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson spent 26 seasons as the manager of Manchester United, the English football (soccer) club that ranks among the most successful and valuable franchises in sports. During that time the club won 13 English league titles along with 25 other domestic and international trophies—giving him an overall haul nearly double that of the next-most-successful English club manager. And Ferguson was far more than a coach. He played a central role in the United organization, managing not just the first team but the entire club. “Steve Jobs was Apple; Sir Alex Ferguson is Manchester United,” says the club’s former chief executive David Gill.

In 2012 Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse had a unique opportunity to examine Ferguson’s management approach and developed anHBS case study around it. Now she and Ferguson have collaborated on an analysis of his enormously successful methods.

Anita Elberse: Success and staying power like Sir Alex Ferguson’s demand study—and not just by football fans. How did he do it? Can one identify habits that enabled his success and principles that guided it? During what turned out to be his final season in charge, my former student Tom Dye and I conducted a series of in-depth interviews with Ferguson about his leadership methods and watched him in action at United’s training ground and at its famed stadium, Old Trafford, where a nine-foot bronze statue of the former manager now looms outside. We spoke with many of the people Ferguson worked with, from David Gill to the club’s assistant coaches, kit manager, and players. And we observed Ferguson during numerous short meetings and conversations with players and staff members in the hallways, in the cafeteria, on the training pitch, and wherever else the opportunity arose. Ferguson later came to HBS to see the ensuing case study taught, provide his views, and answer students’ questions, resulting in standing-room-only conditions in my classroom and a highly captivating exchange.

Wednesday, September 24

Science Is Not Your Enemy


This is a fascinating article on how science is perceived by many specially the religious sort. 

I do think that the author protests too much as broadly in developed countries and many other countries who aren't, science has won. If you want proof, compare the various human development indices and whether their constitutions have something religious in them. If they do like Nepal did, Poland and Saudi Arabia do, you know immediately that that is a place to be laughed at. Or pitied. Anybody who believes without evidence should be mocked hard and frequently because their beliefs can also be dismissed without evidence. 

Anyhow. Interesting reading also from an English logographic perspective son. Many words are technical. Pretty heavy duty writing. Test your understanding of the words. Also check your power of concentration. When faced with heavy writing, the tendency is to skip. But that's the key to mental discipline son. Force yourself to read and comprehend. It trains your mind to overcome higher and higher barriers. And then think, have I understood this good enough to make Diya understand? 



Science Is Not Your Enemy


Science Is Not Your Enemy An impassioned plea to neglected novelists, embattled professors, and tenure-less historians


The great thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment were scientists. Not only did many of them contribute to mathematics, physics, and physiology, but all of them were avid theorists in the sciences of human nature. They were cognitive neuroscientists, who tried to explain thought and emotion in terms of physical mechanisms of the nervous system. They were evolutionary psychologists, who speculated on life in a state of nature and on animal instincts that are “infused into our bosoms.” And they were social psychologists, who wrote of the moral sentiments that draw us together, the selfish passions that inflame us, and the foibles of shortsightedness that frustrate our best-laid plans.

These thinkers—Descartes, Spinoza, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Leibniz, Kant, Smith—are all the more remarkable for having crafted their ideas in the absence of formal theory and empirical data. The mathematical theories of information, computation, and games had yet to be invented. The words “neuron,” “hormone,” and “gene” meant nothing to them. When reading these thinkers, I often long to travel back in time and offer them some bit of twenty-first-century freshman science that would fill a gap in their arguments or guide them around a stumbling block. What would these Fausts have given for such knowledge? What could they have done with it?

WATCH: Leon Wieseltier’s rejoinder: Science doesn’t have all the answers

We don’t have to fantasize about this scenario, because we are living it. We have the works of the great thinkers and their heirs, and we have scientific knowledge they could not have dreamed of. This is an extraordinary time for the understanding of the human condition. Intellectual problems from antiquity are being illuminated by insights from the sciences of mind, brain, genes, and evolution. Powerful tools have been developed to explore them, from genetically engineered neurons that can be controlled with pinpoints of light to the mining of “big data” as a means of understanding how ideas propagate.

Monday, September 22

Top 10 Libertarian Supreme Court Decisions

Here's a good overview of some areas which Libertarians get involved in and some which they are still fighting for. For example, I was quite happy with the fact that UK decided not to get involved with Syria. I find this idea that the state can, willy nilly, go about choosing a side and getting involved in a war, bombing people, is as equivalent to the Syrian govt doing poison gas in its cities. The UK govt's job is to protect ourselves, not everybody and his dog. Not only that, it has to think about the cost of the war, which you have researched, we will be paying for the iraq and afghan war for a long long time. And for what?

Still, read these cases son, very useful to know the boundaries and areas where you as a Libertarian need to be involved with and know where to draw the lines. 



Top 10 Libertarian Supreme Court Decisions -

It’s no secret the U.S. Supreme Court has often been a disappointment to libertarians. Whether the justices are giving the green light to eminent domain abuse, securing absolute immunity for dissolute prosecutors, or rubber-stamping the latest power grab from Washington, the Court routinely fails to live up to James Madison’s famous description of the judicial branch as “an impenetrable bulwark against every assumption of power in the legislative or executive.”

But that doesn’t mean the High Court always gets it wrong. Here, in no particular order, are 10 Supreme Court decisions still standing where the Court put individual liberty and limited government first.

10. Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925)

In 1922 the Ku Klux Klan and other anti-Catholic groups spearheaded an Oregon initiative designed to eliminate the state’s private schools, many of which were run by Catholic charities. Under the terms of the Compulsory Education Act, all children between the ages of eight and 16 were required to attend "a public school for the period of time a public school shall be held during the current year." The Society of Sisters, an Oregon corporation organized in 1880 to care for orphans and carry out various educational purposes, challenged the law in court, arguing that it violated the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, which forbids the states from depriving “any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

The Supreme Court agreed. “The child is not the mere creature of the state,”declared Justice James McReynolds in a unanimous decision rejecting “any general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only.” Thus the right of parents and guardians to send their children to private school was secured.