Friday, December 25

Has the Kalki avatar already been born in the form of Prophet Mohammad or Mirza Ghulam Ahmad?

things that you find out while browsing the interwebs. So I was looking for some more information on Kalki Avatar after seeing this amazing illuminated manuscript in the British Library. It showed the 10 avatars of Vishnu. So I went looking for more information on Kalki. Quite an interesting story, but then my attention was diverted by a line at the bottom of the wikipedia page where it said that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadi Sect of Islam claimed to be the Kalki Avatar. I quote,

"Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claims “Krishna... appeared as a Prophet in India... I am the Krishna whose advent the Aryas are awaiting in this age. I do not make this claim on my own, but God Almighty has repeatedly disclosed to me that I am the Krishna - King of the Aryas - who was to appear in the latter days...” (TEOI, V4, P83)

and then there was this entire debate about Prophet Mohammad, of all places, in Quora

Reminds of the time that I managed to wind up somebody on a mailing list when I said that given that the God that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship is the same (although some people quibble about it, see here and here), then Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all different sects. Not such a good idea. 

anyway, it was quite interesting to read the Islamic links to Kalki...

Thursday, December 24

Fwd: Should vegans eat meat to be ethically consistent?


This was an interesting argument from one of your oxford uni mates. Do you know this fellow?

I am conflicted about vegetarianism and non-vegetariansm. If you had asked me few years back, I would have been a strict non-veg, if you take my bacon away, there will be blood on the floor, and no pun intended. But I am starting to wonder now, from a medical perspective as well as an ethical perspective. And then there is the joke, I eat meat not because i love meat but because I hate animals. My work with the animal charity also is making me question non-vegetarianism. Finally, I go see the zoo's and feel really bad about the animals, specially after seeing them out in the wild, magnificent creatures and we pen them into tiny cages. Sad.

You may want to give this prize a shot..what do you think?


Practical Ethics
Ethics in the News

Should vegans eat meat to be ethically consistent? And other moral puzzles from the latest issue of the Journal of Practical Ethics
Dec 24th 2015, 05:32, by Brian D. Earp

Should vegans eat meat to be ethically consistent? And other moral puzzles from the latest issue of the Journal of Practical Ethics

By Brian D. Earp (@briandavidearp)

The latest issue of The Journal of Practical Ethics has just been published online, and it includes several fascinating essays (see the abstracts below). In this blog post, I'd like to draw attention to one of them in particular, because it seemed to me to be especially creative and because it was written by an undergraduate student! The essay – "How Should Vegans Live?" – is by Oxford student Xavier Cohen. I had the pleasure of meeting Xavier several months ago when he presented an earlier draft of his essay at a lively competition in Oxford: he and several others were finalists for the Oxford Uehiro Prize in Practical Ethics, for which I was honored to serve as one of the judges.

In a nutshell, Xavier argues that ethical vegans – that is, vegans who refrain from eating animal products specifically because they wish to reduce harm to animals – may actually be undermining their own aims. This is because, he argues, many vegans are so strict about the lifestyle they adopt (and often advocate) that they end up alienating people who might otherwise be willing to make less-drastic changes to their behavior that would promote animal welfare overall. Moreover, by focusing too narrowly on the issue of directly refraining from consuming animal products, vegans may fail to realize how other actions they take may be indirectly harming animals, perhaps even to a greater degree.

Ecuador Is The World's First Country With A Public Digital Cash System

Did you notice the payments scanner in the taxis we took in Quito? Here's a bit more information on the system. 
I was completely gobsmacked to be in a country which doesn't have its own currency that it controls. I know the euro is something like that but to live in a country which has willingly given up control of its currency means such a giant loss of sovereignty that I'm amazed. One of the reasons why I hate the euro. I as a citizen have no power over the currency is such a crazy situation. And then the irony that a leftist government (remember how all the guides were fulminating against the president?) having no control over its currency and being driven by the arch priest of right wingers, the USA. And the final indignity, the central bank building is now converted into a sodding numismatic museum. Tragic son tragic. 
Remind me to tell you about blockchains sometime. 

Ecuador Is The World'sic First Country With A Public Digital Cash System
(via Instapaper)

The runaway success of mobile money products like M-Pesa, which first took off in Kenya, has inspired dozens of copycats around the world. Many countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America now have services allowing people to store and transfer money using their cellphones. But there's something different about Ecuador's new Sistema de Dinero Electrónico. It's being operated not by a private phone carrier or financial company, but Ecuador's left-leaning government.
M-Pesa-like products have been hailed for bringing millions of people into the formal financial system, enabling commerce between people in different locations, and cutting theft and tax avoidance. But Diego Martinez, an economist in Ecuador's central bank, says the government wanted its own service, because it thinks it can reduce the transaction costs that come with private offerings.

Wednesday, December 23

The girl with a book

One of the lovely paintings I saw. I love these sights. When I’m able to discreetly look at these bibliophile girls who are buried in their books. How they twirl their hair around their fingers. How their eyebrows quirk and how their eyes widen and narrow and blink as they are immersed and follow the book. Forgetting the cacophony of the trains and crowds of people on the platform. Lovely.

Tuesday, December 22

slaughtering the commonly held shibboleths


I read this article today shown below. Its a great article son. Very very interesting. A small article but which really nails the commonly held tropes and shibboleths which are extant in the world today. Such a clear and articulate argument son. People do not really appreciate these basic truths. The links are very valuable as well. I have remarked on all these points generally other than perhaps the feminism angle, havent really worked or commented on it that much but very interesting son. Worth spending an hour to go through the links, you will find it very beneficial for your studies as well as arguments for politics and philosophy.   



My 13-year-old homeschooled sons just finished my labor economics class.  I hope they take many more economics classes, but I'll be perfectly satisfied with their grasp of economics as long as they internalize what they learned this semester.  Why?  Because a good labor economics class contains everything you need to see through the central tenets of our society's secular religion.  Labor economics stands against the world.  Once you grasp its lessons, you can never again be a normal citizen.