Is and Ought

This is a long topic — but to give a one line slogan, what I would say is the following: “IS = OUGHT” In other words, reality does not distinguish between the way we live and the way things are. While one…

Pragmatism in Einstein and the Buddha

A curious reader might wonder why I have juxtaposed Einstein and the Buddha in one phrase. After all, one is the legendary founder of a world religion and the other was a physicist. The kind of person who takes one…

The New York Times and Liberal Racism

If you need any further proof that the New York Times is incorrigibly racist when it comes to international affairs, look no further than today’s (Saturday, December 10th, 2005) Times, here and here. On page 3, they have a rather…

Universalism and its discontents

By universalism, I mean the idea that there are some fundamental principles that are true of (or apply to) all individuals in some domain (my definition is more general than the wikipedia definition articulated in the article I have linked…

Two Kinds of Doubt

I was thinking about Descartes’ classic example of doubt. His attempts to identify the most secure form of knowledge lead him to his own consciousness as the unassailable ground of knowing. I agree with his assessment though I think it…

India’s Nuclear Conundrum

I was reading Amartya Sen’s “The Argumentative Indian” in which he has a chapter about India’s decision to test nuclear weapons in 1998. Sen’s piece is well reasoned and concludes (rightfully) that the Vajpayee government’s decision was a mistaken one.…

Are NGO leaders our new Gurus?

A familiar sight in NRI Desi progressive circles is the yearly visit by an NGO dignitary, the Magsaysay award winners and their like. The visiting activist tours the US and Canada, lecturing to sold out crowds in university towns like…

Death and Objectivity

The world is like an impression left by a story says the Yoga Vasistha. This world of ours is deeply impermanent. It is less of a ground than we think — one can try to play the scientific trick of trying to…