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.

How do Turkish call Turkey, the bird ?


Interesting question, eh? Believe it or not, they call it Hindi! And, in the Turkish language, Hindi means Indian. So, a bird that is popularly named after their country is called Indian in their own country. Be mindful that this bird is not native to either Turkey or India. Leave the countries aside for now – they are not even from the same continents.

Photo by ASHISH SHARMA on Pexels.com

Despite its abundantly clear origins, America’s, the world mostly attributes it as Indian. These names got the geography wrong by about half a world’s hemisphere. Take, for example, Turks call it Hindi, the French call it Poulet d’inde (Indian chicken), in Latin they call it Gall dindi (Indian chicken), Israelites call it Tarnegol hodu (Indian chicken) Russian as Indiuk, Polish: Indyk.

Some of these names even go to the extent of naming after an Indian city Calicut of Kerala. The Dutch call it Kalkoen, Indonesia: as Ayam kalkun, Danes call it Kalkun, Swedish as Kalkon, German as Kalkuun and Finnish as Kalakuna.

Fantastic! Any thoughts on the reasons behind these nomenclatures?

You can listen to the post, if you prefer that to reading

It’s less likely merchants from Calicut went to the Atlantic Ocean to pick these ugly birds from central America and supply it to these European nations. Why so much confusion. At the least, Indonesians should have known better. They must have seen it being imported from the Pacific rim rather than the Indian ocean.

Copyright 2007 : University of Amsterdam and Leiden university, used under fair use

Is this because Europeans referred to it as bird from Native American Indian? Less likely, as some of these names go to a specific of city or ports.

Is it because the bird looks ugly and strange as us Indians? Maybe?

I assure you that this is not where confusion ends. Egyptians call it Greek while Greek and Scots call it French! Malaysians call it Dutch, while Portuguese call it Peru (finally, the one American country accused). Arabs interestingly call it either Indian or Roman, depending on their mood. Good stuff.

While you are here, did you know English is probably the only language to call pineapple a pineapple? Rest if the world calls it ananas. I grew up calling it ananas in all languages I spoke, including my mother tongue.!

Strange world, eh?

The Only Explanation by itchyfeetcomic.com

FOMO – Fear of missing out


The bathtub was invented in 1850, and the telephone in 1875. Had you been living in 1850, you could have sat in the bathtub for 25 years without the darn phone ringing. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Also,

Don’t believe everything you read on the internet – also Abraham Lincoln.

Let’s discuss a very relevant and important topic called FOMO – the fear of missing out. Please take a quick survey and you will be clear on what it is:

  1. How many times have you slipped into the bathroom while rushing half naked back to the living room to receive a relentlessly ringing phone, probably a spam caller? Also, as part of the lesson learnt from the previous incident, do you now take your phone to the bathroom?
  2. Do you set the alarm to wake you up at sharp 12 am just to wish your college roommate or a distant cousin a happy birthday?
  3. Do you browse through every combo offer of Domino’s app on their discount on Saturday pizza? Do you compare each option at various other vendor sites and end up ordering a topping that you don’t even like?
  4. Do you have at least 5 social media apps notifying you that your ex-ex-ex colleague went to Ooty and wore a dress with a new purple shade?
  5. Have you bought a new iPhone who’s only significant improvement from the previous version is a screen larger by 0.003 inches?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you are suffering from a FOMO. Evidently, it’s a highly contagious social epidemic with severity ranging from depression all the way to walking dead zombies. It is a pretty severe matter fueled by social media and directly proportional to the number of people befriended on those platforms.

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels.com

These are my thoughts on is how you can fix it.

  1. Make liberal use of the ‘do not disturb’ mode. The world is not ending tomorrow. Whatever grabbed your attention can wait. If that call were about the world is ending tomorrow, then would you rather know it today?
  2. Do not multitask. It is overrated.
  3. Do not let any app to chime your phone, except maybe for the caller app, no one else.
  4. Use your nature-given eyes to enjoy concerts and events, not the phone. Prioritize your life over the recorded history of your life.

There are more tips and suggestions from experts. Please go through 10 ways to overcome FOMO and overcome FOMO

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