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.

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

Diversity & Inclusion


Diversity & Inclusion is one of the most beautiful concepts when it is applied to its real sense. It has a straightforward and unambiguous meaning. An organization, a team or even a civilization can no longer afford to exclude the different voices, different from traditionally theirs. If they do, they compromise on width, depth, efficiency, perspective, and completeness of the state they are trying to achieve.

For example, take a team consisting of a perfectionist and a taskmaster. A taskmaster can complete 95% tasks seldom haphazardly, but with paramount efficiency and productivity. A perfectionist will take it from here. He surely will take his own sweet time. Still, he will ensure that the job is comprehensively and conclusively completed in a form normal human being can comprehend. Imagine a team constituting with only one sort of them? Team taskmaster can deliver tomorrow afternoon with many bugs. A perfectionist will provide you with a perfect solution, but only by the subsequent quarter.

Even with this simple truth is widely misinterpreted, often deliberately.

  1. The ask amazingly simple. Include the diversity into the team and follow a democratic process. It generally gets confused and leads to giving power of veto, virtually an authoritarian decision making.
  2. Most definitions list out the race, gender, religion, and caste etc. All these correct, but this list should only be kept in the appendix. This list will keep in growing and evolving in all its probability. We cannot dilute the spirit of it with specifics.
  3. This goes without saying, freedom of expression holds the paramount value of any teams. There should be a channel for everyone to speak their heart out.

Let us discuss what it’s not.

  1. It is not a vehicle to correct historical injustice. If you give D&I the time to evolve, it will address all your grievances in this regard. Unfortunately, some of the torchbearers use D&I as a tool for overcompensating or even underrepresenting a group of people.
  2. D&I is a progressive concept on itself, but you cannot form a team entirely made of progressives, which fails the entire purpose. This applies to any groups part of a D&I team.

A couple of examples.

Exhibit 1. This is an image of the editorial board of a once-popular online newsmagazine. They often accused of torchbearers of progressiveness in the modern internet world. No wonder their articles are monotonous and predictable.

Source : Mic.com

Exhibit 2. This is an image of Late-night talk show hosts. I have seen episodes of most of them. They all dress, look, talk, laugh, joke and express opinions about if they all came out of a mould. They are irritatingly predictable.

Source www.vanityfair.com

Let me know your thoughts about this, do write your reviews in the comments section.

[Book vs Movie]Calling Sehmat vs Raazi


Generally, I do not get involved in the business of comparing the movies against the Book based on. The primary reason for that is that I will have to read fiction for the comparison. And I hate reading fiction! Nevertheless, here is an attempt. This is more of a fictionalized biography rather than a novel, hence the exception 🙂

The movie in the discussion is Raazi starring Alia Bhat. She is a nepo-kid with reasonably good acting skills amongst a truckload among quintessentially bad actors and movie makers. For a change, the movie is loaded with decent actors; songs are brilliant with excellent lyrics. Its quite old movie by now and you would have seen it already. The book is based on “Calling Sehmat”, authored by Harinder Sikka penned on fictionalized biographical narration based on what he gathered from actual Sehmat.

On an overall and surface level, the movie captures the essence and sequence of events described in the Book. However, there are a few fundamental differences, which could be deliberate or creative. I will leave you to decide:

  1. The movie does not capture the first chapter of the Book. The chapter is an essential part of the storyline, but the film chooses to leave behind. The book takes its own time, deservedly, to define Sehmat, her love interest, passion, etc. The movie does not care about any of that.
  2. The movie Sehmat is a weak girl who flinches with the pistol backfire, the book’ Sehmat is a cold-blooded determined soldier who is willing to kill, lie, kidnap, and blackmail for her nation which was at war. The Book’s Sehmat does things as her conscious directs her, while the movie’s Sehmat does it as obligations to her Indian handlers.
  3. The movie ultimately leaves put last few chapters, which most probably is to avoid hurting sentiments of a rowdy family lived terrorizing a village in rural Punjab. Also, they probably do not want to show Sehmat owes her newfound sanity to a hermit.

Also read: Letting Meghna Gulzar direct Raazi was the biggest blunder, rues Calling Sehmat author Harinder Sikka

Bahut Hua Samman (2020) – Movie review


A couple of the movies dropped over OTT this weekend. Probably all of you chose to watch Master by Vijay. But, unfortunately, I can not stand that guy. I know what exactly to expect there – he will be shown in every frame of my TV scratching and rubbing his stubble as if its a kind of skin conditions. I wouldn’t say I liked his antics during the 90s and 00s, and now, I most certainly do not. 

The other option was Bahut Hua Samman (2020) with Sanjay Mishra leading the show. I was promised a slapstick comedy with the nostalgia of a mechanical department of engineering college with the synopsis and reviews. It was indeed a comedy movie if you can tolerate lots and lots of swearing referring to female relatives of each other. 

Good actors and direction make it okay for you to sit for two hours and engaged. That’s it. That’s all the good stuff in it and let me dedicate the rest of the post what I observed beyond the silly comedy.

Baba goes for morning dump with a Bluetooth headset

The movie’s prime protagonist goes after a name ‘Baba‘, whose primary pastime is to take digs at capitalism 24×7. His political ideologies fall somewhere between an anarchist and a Marxist. For example, even though he is recognised in academic circles, he is so rebellious that he openly defecates outside his house. Toilets are for the subjugated and the weak. However, he has customised an Amazon Echo which answers to ‘Apeksha’, who apparently is his imaginary daughter in law. He has ready-made plans for rob banks and even to pull down governments. 

Let me summarise a cliched and predictable plot quickly so that you don’t bother watching it. Two useful for nothing college students (Cliché) gets recruited to baba’s idea of robbing the bank. They eventually manage to reach the locker room with the help of a Union leader like figure (cliché) only to find his sand-mafia acquaintances have robbed it already through the front door. They have an ordinary concubine who shows her skin for living and as her hobby (cliché). Then police, politicians, religious leaders, businessmen and academicians hand in glove with this nexus. Arson hoarding Marxist baba saves the day being Rambo and by donating sperm to IPS officer with her kinky husband. !

Let me list what’s wrong with the movie.

  1. The movie’s flow is inspired by 2008 film “The Bank Job” starring Jason Statham. It is easily predictable when a particular locker was tasked to be picked first to gather scandalous document. 
  2. You remember the recent OTT Tamil movie Mookuthi Amman had a protagonist who calls himself as Engels Ramasamy? He was named after Friedrich Engels for his father’s ideological attachment. That was the first clue that the movie is taking a left and will take a swipe at anything stands against ideology. This movie has something similar. Ever since Sanjay Mishra’s character introduced, there is a constant swipe at liberal economy and capitalism. 
  3. Short selling of Shares !! It’s definitely not a joke in India. Even then, the protagonists bring down a publicly-traded company just with the knowledge they gained from a Brad Pitt movie? 
  4. Akhand Bharat Sansthan is the name of antagonists’ company. It is something similar to Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali. They apparently invent a super narcotic and inject into all they FMGC products! They do it being a publicly owned and traded company – nice! 
  5. Can you show name a single Bollywood movie where an industrialist is the right person! Go ahead. You can even start from the year India was economically liberalized. Let’s begin with Shah Rukh’s Baazigar or Anil Kapoor Laadla. Apparently, they are evil by default and no exceptions.
  6. Potty Jokes in 2021! My God!
  7. A comedy movie ends with a Moral to the Youth on how to save democracy! Are you kidding me?