Wednesday, April 29

Philosophy in Early Modern India


One of the challenges in studying in a European centric education system, which holds for you and I is that we don't get exposure to other schools of thought. Whether it be Indian or Islamic or meso American or what have you, it's challenging. 

I am still almost zero in the philosophical perspectives of the sinic or Japanese thinkers of yore. Sitting in Asia at the moment and I can literally feel the difference in thinking of the people around me. Despite the outward western trappings, the way people think is different. 

Very important to learn these things. If you wanted to make money or deal with these people, then it's good to learn :)


Begin forwarded message:

varnam | In Pragati: The Lost Age of Reason: Philosophy in Early Modern India by Jonardon Ganeri

In Pragati: The Lost Age of Reason: Philosophy in Early Modern India by Jonardon Ganeri

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 10:30 AM PDT

Recently the Society of Biblical Literature published the bookNeo-Babylonian Trial Records (Writings from the Ancient World) by Shalom E Holtz. According to the description of the book, “this collection of sixth-century B.C.E. Mesopotamian texts provides a close-up, often dramatic, view of ancient courtroom encounters shedding light on Neo-Babylonian legal culture and daily life” and 50 cases are documented. Going even back in time, in 2062 BCE, an Indus colony existed in Mesopotamia and we have detailed documentation from that period mentioning the names of the colonists along with grain delivery records and debt notes. When it comes to India during that period, such detailed records are lacking.

Due to this, daily life in the Indus-Saraswati period is documented not from written records, but from archaeological evidence. As scholars get into the history of Indian philosophy, they run into new issues; there is not much biographical detail of the philosophers. In fact a common trend among Indian philosophers was to avoid writing personal details, and not have any mention of the social and political context, as they would be just distractions. While we know about Machiavelli’s childhood from his father’s documents and his personality based on the chronicles from his contemporaries, all we know about the Varanasi philosopher Raghudeva Bhattacharya that he was a student of Harirama, lived in Varanasi and had his work translated by Mahadeva.

Monday, April 27

Let Them Eat MOOCs

One dissenter on mooc's son. I've just recently started on these and am on my 3rd one. 

I can see the benefits of a mooc but for the life of me, I cannot understand this argument that it's destroying education and it's culturally challenging and and and. And colonialism? Lol. I'm not sure this fellow really understands what it means. The difference is of distance, channel and cost. I teach at universities where students access my lecture via video conference. No difference. Channel same thing. And same with cost. I don't ask to be paid to teach. 

Luddites son. Life is changing. I think your generation is perhaps the last one to have formal education with degrees. By the time your son comes along, technology will have made education in large lecture halls lasting years will be defunct :) fun times

In the meantime, kannu, be a devotee of constant learning. May Saraswati bless you. And I'm proud of what you are son, not because you got into Oxford but because of the fact that you are now a good man. Truly a good man. 



Let Them Eat MOOCs

One late afternoon last spring I received a visit from a former student and budding entrepreneur. I usually schedule these meetings at the end of the workday. It feels like a treat, witnessing aspiration and insight blend into leadership to create something new.

Luis (not his real name), however, had not come to see me for leadership advice. He had come to pitch his tech startup and ask for my involvement.

The venture, he explained, would contribute to the ongoing disruption and reinvention of business education and allow anyone anywhere — not just those as fortunate as himself — to have access to my teaching and insights online,for free.