The lobster debate, Social Hierarchy and Jordan B Peterson


While reading the latest book I picked up, I came across this fascinating and fantastic trivia about lobsters’ behaviors. I assure you that you too will be surprised to learn about it. It is a very cool analogy and the correlation between the Human kingdom and Animal ones. This can be utilized to reason out a few characteristics such as male dominance, the effect of antidepressants and the social hierarchy, including even patriarchy. It goes like this:

  1. Like any animal kingdom species, lobsters get into disputes and fights to register male dominance. As usual, the battle is to determine who is the best suitable mate to carry the gene forward. As decided by binary results, the lobster that won the brawl will flex and get bigger physically, advertising his victory. The looser will shrink physically.
  2. Suppose you inject antidepressant, like serotonin, to the lost lobster. It stretches and gets bigger and ready to fight again. By the way, the same hormone work works on the human as well,
  3. An interesting point to note is that these neurochemical behaviors exist in the animal kingdom for 2.5 million years. i.e., Even before trees became into existence.
  4. A defeated human, such as with PTSD, will have the hippocampus shrink and the amygdala grow. A hippocampus can grow back with the help of anti-depressants. However, amygdala never grows back. Similarly, a defeated lobster will have its brain dissolved, and a new one grows back but not of the same one before.
  5. Basically, the argument is that the animal kingdom, including humans, organizes itself in the inevitably aligned social hierarchy, which is evolutionary and driven by neurologist chemical reactions. Not due to a political system such as capitalism. In other words, the human hierarchical organization in the political system has the evolutionary design to blame, not the other way around.
Photo by Roger Brown on Pexels.com

Apparently, this conclusion is based on a study on lobster, collective behaviors, social hierarchy etc. And the books where I picked up is “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos ” by Jordan B. Peterson. I will not be able to validate the theory as I am not qualified enough to do this. But he is a well-published author, Professor, clinical psychologist and public intellectual. I am gonna have to go with him this time.

Most rules of these books are controversial now, often unnecessarily. Jordan and his book are receiving end of American university students’ anger and social figures leaning left. Most noise comes from those who have not read it, instead of having their knowledge based on 140 characters of Twitter. Understandably the book is not an easy read. The technical terms, psychological reasoning etc., make it a laborious read. Unless you made up your mind to complete it, it is not gonna finish itself.

I recommend this to you if you are still interested, take it as a fresh perspective on the latest sets of social debates.

Yuval Noah Harari – Trilogy


Okay, it’s done. I’ve read all three books of Yuval Noah Harari, a self imposed challenge BTW I highly recommend that you read them, these books are gems of the books.. 

Unfortunately, my views and ratings seem to be in line with many critics on the Internet, have nothing more to add, it will be redundant. Also, I am quite late in the game, and hence mine is probably the millionth post on this topic.

Anyways, I have listed them in the order of my likings :

  1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
  2. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
  3. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Summary : 

  1. Highly recommended, you are missing out if you have not read them yet.
  2. You do not need to be an avid reader to pick those yet has profound Thought-provoking concepts. If you want your kid or loved ones to pick up the reading habit, then these are the right ones.
  3. Slightly leftist, but generally liberal.
  4. Straightforward read, and definitely not not laborious reading such as works of Christopher Hitchens 

If you want to turn a few pages before you decide to buy them, here you go :

India’s love affair with poverty


We can list down a thousand reasons why India cannot lift millions of her citizens out of poverty even to this age. Corruption, the inefficiency of her pillars, the socialistic past, the siphoned off wealth by colonizers, so on and on. Among all undeniably valid excuses, one of the critical factors is probably a psychological one. Various studies and theories on India’s poverty map indicate that the mentality and the torchbearers of Gareebi Hatao could be at blame. Apparently, out revered and romanticized feeling towards poverty is one of the most significant constraints.

Believe it or not, India loves her poor and would like to cherish it. In other words, we subconsciously feel it’s a sin to dream big. While West celebrates Scrooge McDuck and Jordan Belfort showering themselves on dollar bills, India celebrates poor Sudhama, a poverty-stricken childhood buddy of Lord Krishna. Western media, entertainment and literature industries talk about getting rich quickly; their Indian counterparts say it’s absolutely OK to be the poor. Western movies depict insanely lucky at Las Vegas bounties, Vin Diesel robbing bank lockers, and million-dollar lottery wins. Indian, however, its quite the opposite. One of the three idiot’s mothers do not have enough money for roti, and another does not have the cash to buy a camera. Of course, these get a background score of violins playing for gut-wrenching music.

Only Striving for excellence, the will to make a change, and showing impatience towards mediocrity can lift us from poverty, not an endless list of excuses.

Anyways, this is one of the reasons I hate the movie, Slumdog Millionaire. Even though it’s a well-made film, I’m not too fond of it. It has won many, many academy awards. I dislike it, not just despite of, but because of.

Compare this against the OTT series, Scam 1992. It shows two brothers constantly and impatiently looking out for a way to get out of the pigeonhole they lived in.

Singlehandedly, Slumdog millionaire has managed to cause irreversible damage to slum dwellers of Mumbai and pan India. In fact, It has created an entirely undesirable new industry – slum tourism. Despite the quick buck it brings in, it builds a psychological effect on the residents. Its a thought of “it might as well be OK to stay there forever”. I believe you are already aware by now; apparently, there is an entire ecosystem that has evolved just to cater to the slum tourist needs. Tour guides who can help you navigate the slum with the best possible experience. These guides will come packed with water, cookies, sunscreen lotion, identify the best photo opportunity for Instagram, hold you an umbrella and wipe your seats.

Don’t get me wrong, its not an India image I am worried about. Who are we kidding? A slum is a slum. But lets not celebrate it, lets acknowledge it as a staging area of migrant workers abandoned their farming role, and came there in search of better life. And for heavens sake, lets get them out of there.

BTW, The West’s fascination with the underdog is another topic altogether. They simply want to put the underdog on a frame or a cage, exhibit it, and maybe even take a poke at it. I cannot explain this fully, but I believe it is related to the hunger for existential superiority of culture, ideology, and even religion. They love slums, and if it’s legal, they might even make a zoo. Please be informed, I am NOT making this up. This has happened before. History provides a myriad of examples. Let me pick the first one that comes to my mind. Please follow this link for more on same category

An Indian family and their elephant on display at Berlin Zoo through Rare Historical Photos

A case for ‘pure poison’ coconuts


In your opinion, what is the most vilified food item or ingredient that ever is, and does not deserve the hate?

Let’s see. There’s dietary fat, where two whole generations reduced it’s consumption because FDA said so. There is an ongoing phobia of gluten, where an entire section of society avoids consuming it because it’s bad for a tiny fraction of humanity. Ajinomoto (monosodium glutamate) might deserve to be notorious, but Jury is still divided on this one.

There are also sugar or high fructose corn syrup, which were adequately proven to be the reason behind the current obesity pandemic. But these do not attract sufficient regulation to control consumption.

Anyways, I was referring to the Coconut. This has a tragic story. Coconut is called all the names and condemned for a few decades now.

In 90s urban south Indians, with their infinite wisdom, stopped eating coconut products and oils and switched to sunflower. Thanks to a few “scientific” articles of modern food gurus, Indians chose to abandon the natural food ingredients they had been using for centuries if not the millennium. A few south-east Asian countries made a fortune exporting palm oil to India catering newfound coconut phobia of Indians. India is the largest importer of Vegetable oils. India still does meet more than 70% of her cooking oil demand through imports.

Over a couple of decades, there were sporadic epiphanies in the food-science world that Coconut might actually maybe good. Additionally, it’s actually not just ‘good’ it’s a superfood. There was a flood of articles comparing it’s smoking temperature, fat composition etc. with the celebrated Olive Oil. It apparently stands at the same level as olive oil and other Indian products such as ghee and butter.

Even then, a small section of food experts still carried on with their campaign against Coconut. One of the recent examples I can give is a Harvard professor called Coconut is pure poison. I am not paraphrasing; I am actually using her own words “pure poison.”. So, Coconut fearmongering continues for another generation.

I am going to leave you with a rebuttal by Eric Berg. Enjoy.

Valentine’s day movies


I am not a fan of Valentine’s day; I have never celebrated and probably never will. But of course, I am not gonna undermine its need, or go to the extent of condemning it. It could use a better name, though. Regardless of the superficial purpose of such greeting card days, including Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, daughter days etc., it certainly helps the economy with its tiny spikes in the consumer market. Also, I believe it provides and small little purposes to otherwise monotonous days.

My idea of Valentine’s day is, to crash on the recliner, grab a beer, popcorn and watch that Hollywood or Bollywood has to offer this year around. Additionally, Sundays are not meant for intellectually taxing stuff. They are dedicated to comedies, romantic or otherwise.

I watched two. Surprisingly, they were genuinely nice ones, worth more than a lazy afternoon time pass. I recommend them to you to watch, they are streaming online.

By Source, Fair use, Link

“The map of tiny perfect things” is now streaming on Amazon prime video is a semi-sci-fi romcom. The skeletal theme is covered repeatedly in many movies before. Be it cute Bill Murray starring “Groundhog Day” or even Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt starrer dystopian the “Edge of Tomorrow”. A temporal anomaly created by singularity by a tiny perfect thing makes protagonists loop their day. He gets a bland non-eventful side of the loop while she receives a sad part of the circle. That is the all the spoilers, for now, please go watch it. Basically, a whole universe, including the parallel ones, conspires to create a perfect moment for them.

The second one is not technically themed movie, but Disney’s Hotstar advertising it only today. JoJo Rabbit, an Oscar-winning period drama, a comedy, war movie, and atypical love story. It is about a boy, a massive fan of the Adolf, borderline fanatic, owing to a generation of long propaganda. He derives his life direction of life from an imaginary Adolf, moral or otherwise. He eventually falls in age-inappropriate love with his someone the very propaganda demonizes. Please watch it, you would love every frame of it. This movie deserves more Academy awards than the only one it won.