Abstract- The Brahmo Samaj's Unitarianism did not just polarise the Hindu bhadralok into 'idolators' and 'True Brahmins'- it broke a previous cultural compact with the Muslims which granted the latter higher normative status- thus making the former's material success a mere 'majazi' (illusory) illustration of the futility of materialism because only the impoverished Muslim toiler, or Sufi Pirzada, enjoyed true (haqiqi) felicity, both now and ever-after. Furthermore, since militant iconoclasm would have involved smashing up Granny's Puja-room and she'd slap you silly if you tried, both Brahmo Unitarianism and neo-Sanatan Univocity needed to go flex their muscles elsewhere- hence 'Tiger' Jatin & Jugantar, 'Baby' Aurobindo & Anushilan, not to mention the bespectacled 'Bose Bros' & Forward Block- which earned them the enmity of the British overlords whose avaricious Rule had permitted the Hindu resurgence in the first place. The result was that the Hindus became fragmented and subject to pogrom where they were in a minority- so much so, that they ultimately needed Nehru to protect them and permit them to continue to play-act a type of populist politics whose reduction ad absurdum would be either Pir Gholam Sarwar Husseini's 'creed equals class' ethnic cleansing in Noakhali or, amongst tribes too primitive for Islam to have even taken root, the revival of head-hunting a la Charu Mazumdar.
Was there any way for all this to be avoided? Yes. Raja Ram Mohan Roy should have rejected Unitarianism (silliest sect of Xtianity ever) & embraced Unitittyarianism- i.e. the belief that 'though nipples are many, titty is one'. This is the one mahavakya of true Upanishad. Mind it kindly. Aiyayo.
Peter Unger summarises the essential features of Singer's shallow pond gedanken thus-
'The path from the library at your university to the humanities lecture hall passes a shallow ornamental pond. On
your way to give a lecture, you notice that a small child has fallen in
and is in danger of drowning. If you wade in and pull the child out, it will mean getting your clothes muddy and either cancelling
your lecture or delaying it until you can find something clean and dry to wear. If you pass by the child, then, while you'll give your
lecture on time, the child will die straightaway. You pass by and, as
expected, the child dies.'
Suppose the lecture you are about to give is not shite. Suppose, furthermore, that someone attending that lecture isn't just a Credential-seeking swine but someone with power to do some good in the world. If you are a Utilitarian, you should go give your lecture and after ensuring that you have convinced the one guy in the audience who isn't a Credential-seeking swine you should make an emotional confession of your crime and hand yourself over to the police. Suppose no Police or Judiciary exists. Then, if you believe yourself to be bound by some implicit or unstated Social Contract, you should administer to yourself the extreme penalty for culpa levis in concreto. Alternatively, just fucking get your shoes dirty, save the kid and take him along with you to deliver your lecture. It will go over big. Singer in devising his gedanken, and Unger in quoting it, don't get that their lectures are shite. Not wearing dirty shoes while giving your lecture might matter to Credential-seeking swine and the sort of Rent-extracting Institutions that cater to them. But both are shite. So are you. More generally getting paid to be a great big fucking gobshite aint Ethical, it aint part and parcel of 'Philosophy' or 'Public Justification Discourse' or any such thing. The way Singer sets up his gedanken and the manner in which Unger comments on it shows that doing Ethics in the Academy turns your brains to shit and makes you a deeply unpleasant person. Should we get our shoes dirty wading in to prevent Singer or Unger or whoever else has succumbed to this witless academic availability cascade from drowning in the ornamental pool of their own infrahuman stupidity? Purvapaksha- Yes, but only to kick them in the teeth coz, heck, the pool is shallow, they're gonna drown anyway, so like the least bad person to kick in the teeth is a Singer or Unger and, anyway it will give your pleasure, but them gobshites will scarcely even notice coz of the massive amounts of faeces protecting their dentures. Uttarapaksha- What's really important is starving babies. Clearly, kicking Singer or Unger in the teeth has an opportunity cost coz while you are doing so some one or other of the women you have kidnapped and forcibly impregnated could get loose and go get an abortion. But, at the margin, the loss of a single starving child might trigger the tipping point of your own salience in the Rent-seeking Charity racket which arises out of everybody else's obligation to send money to starving children. Look at what's happening in Kerala, a State which Unger mentions lovingly. You simply can't afford to take time off raping women and kidnapping kids to go kick Unger and Singer in the teeth. If you aint holding a sufficiently large number of starving kids hostage, the Utilitarian calculus suggests that it is worthwhile to beat you and throw you in prison rather than carry on adding to the number of starving children and thus creating a corresponding fiduciary obligation on the part of those who haven't been raping and kidnapping like crazy and thus have no starving kids of their own. Siddhanta Mahatma Gandhi said 'Health is the only Wealth- not Silver...or Goooooooold'.
At the Student Union pub, the evening after our first Social Choice theory lecture with Amartya Sen, the Teaching Assistant lowered his voice to a whisper and told us the terrible story of 'He who must not be named'- a brilliant Bengali whose fundamental research extended Arrow's impossibility result to prove the non existence of cats. Like Godel's proof of God, it relied on the theory of ultrafilters which we ought not to mess with lest we meet a similar fate.
Just recently, the neighbor's cat has been jumping through the window and making disparaging meowing noises- possibly of a racist or sexist nature- and this has got we wondering. Is there a simple way to derive the same result as the too brilliant Bengali?
How about this?
Suppose there's a cat whose meows are always decodable as equivalent to the results of a perfect Social Choice rule. If the rule is impossible so is the cat. However any cat responding to the right incentives- tummy rubs and treats- can produce a string of mewing noises decodable in the desired manner. Therefore all cats are impossible. Q.E.D.
King Shibi was sitting on his throne dispensing justice when suddenly a dove flew into his audience hall and pleaded for asylum. At that very same moment, a hawk swooped in and demanded the right to devour its lawful prey. Shibi satisfied both parties by cutting off a portion of his own flesh to ransom the dove.
Shibi's action set no precedent for Indian Law Courts because it clearly wasn't a sustainable solution to what, following Buchanan, we call the Samaritan's dilemma, whereby protecting the weak may end up creating a perverse incentive destructive of the very institutional foundations of Social Justice such that, in the end, everybody is worse off with the weakest suffering most.
Why are you posting about this on a Sunday morning, yaar?
Kindly put up naked pix of P.Chidambaram to get us salivating again, coz we're clean out of Alka Seltzer and Granny drank all the good Vodka and just last week I tried to make a Bloody Mary with Old Monk but threw up all over my Hindi tuition-wallah who, fortunately has an M.Phil in Linguistics from J.N.U, and thus was inured to that sort of thing.
The answer, my dear Mani Shankar, is I'm going to prove Congress lost due to foreign hand only.
Using advanced mathematical techniques, we can establish sans doubt, cavil or infirmity of suspicion that Amartya Sen (who now traitorously says Modi has every right to rule despite being a low caste chai-wallah) was the true architect of the Congress debacle in the recent election, because, clearly, Sonia Madam & Rahul Baba did nothing wrong at all, nor did NaMo's Nazi goons do anything right at all, so all is the fault of the 'foreign hand' (not hands, due to messing up India is bayen haath ki khel- and done by left hand only) which clearly points the finger at Sen due to he is being helped by the indubitably foreign (because Belgian rather than Italian) hand of the all the more sinister, for Hindi speaking, Jean Dreze.
'Was there a specific article or paper which prompted this burst of spleen? If so, you've failed to link to it. I haven't come across 'merism' in the literature before- who has time to read everything?- but, imagine it arises in 'Law & Econ' with which I'm not that familiar. 'I suppose a merism for the Market would be 'buyers & sellers'. So long as one always has to quote both one's buy and sell price, like an old fashioned stock jobber, then no 'uncorrelated asymmetry' (Maynard Smith) arises and so the Evolutonary Stable Strategy is mixed Nash rather than a pure conditional. 'To quote Wikipedia- 'The usual applied example of an uncorrelated asymmetry is territory ownership in the hawk-dove game. Even if the two players ("owner" and "intruder") have the same payoffs (i.e., the game is payoff symmetric), the territory owner will play Hawk, and the intruder Dove, in what is known as the 'Bourgeois strategy''. 'I think the charitable way to look at Sen's merism 'niti and nyaya'- for Justice Public Discourse- is to separate out the 'Bourgeois strategies' of 'Niti' (where the Institution or 'rule bound' individual has well defined 'territory ownership' and the other party feels they don't) from 'Revolutionary' Nyaya which takes nothing for granted regarding 'territory ownership'. 'I must admit, it's some years now since I read Sen's book which, in any case, was meant for a popular audience. Still, my question is, why not give the man the benefit of the doubt? Surely we can all accept that 'uncorrelated asymmetries' can be distortionary and that Sen is the leading Public Intellectual calling attention to this?'
I'm afraid, I can't point to a specific article or paper which uses the word merism to denote the 'covering set' of a mereology. That bit is idionomic.
However, Anonymous's basic point re. uncorrelated asymmetry arises in the theory of discoordination games (i.e. where agents get a bigger pay-off from interacting with those dissimilar to themselves).
A good example is Conley & Nielsen 2008 who write 'We also consider a discoordiation game in which agents beneﬁt from interacting with others who have learned a diﬀerent strategy than they have. For example, agents might learn how to be leaders or followers. Not surprisingly, we ﬁnd that both these behavioral norms will coexist in equilibrium. What is surprising is that we also ﬁnd that there must necessarily arise in equilibrium a class of “social market makers” who have learned to pay both social roles. This is true even if there is a cost to learning strategies. In contrast, there is no role for social market makers in coordination games and they disappear entirely in equilibrium if there is even a slight cost of learning new strategies.'
Note, a 'market maker' is the same thing as Anonymous's 'old fashioned stock jobber' and functions in Conley & Nielsen in a manner that improves on the 'uncorrelated asymmetry' equilibrium such that pure, conditional, hawk dove strategies get increasingly delinked from 'territory ownership' i.e. are now defeasibly Bourgeois or stochastically Socialist (i.e. represent a mixed strategy) and converge to the Morishima Rational Distribution- i.e. ultimately ownership is something solved for endogenously by looking at the shadow price vector and meditating on golden path dynamics. In other words all agents' ex ante 'regret minimization' (or learning heuristics or mimetic monadology) converges to the canonical, information conserving. Evolutionary Stable Strategy.
Sen's merisms- e.g. 'niti/nyaya' or 'transcendental approach vs human development based'- are discoordination games. As Conley & Nielsen show, this could be a good thing supposing such games correspond to genuine uncorrelated asymmetries- e.g. members of a vulnerable Minority who need to reduce harmful interaction with the Majority, and those from the Majority who wish to altruistically interact with the Minority- then, Sen is a 'cultural market maker' and good luck to him, he's doing something valuable because it may really be the case that 'the Justice of the 'Dalit'' is different from 'Justice' as conceived by the Bourgeoisie who thereby assert 'territory ownership' over the Transcendental and thus assure themselves obligatory passage point status and the right to levy Tiebout Manorial rents in a manner adverse to the majority of their class fellows- i.e. them dirty one percenters wot got an Ivy League Edumication and bought the White House for their house nigger just to show off.... sorry, I've run out of my organic Waitrose Pina Colada mix and am now mixing my Bacardi with Mountain Dew, so things are gonna go downhill from here pretty damn fast..and anyway what was I saying?..right..urm... fuck it... the point about 'cultural market makers' is that they gotta say 'hey guys, there's gonna be a much bigger pie, bigger portions for everybody, if we figure out how to get handicapped people productive- which means don't lynch them while they are working, wait till they've retired- or, actually, just steal their pension fund and have a good laugh as they hobble around scratching their woolly heads and copiously menstruating and well, whatever else it is they do gets them banned from the Country Club.'
Sen isn't doing this. Or perhaps he is. Maybe I should read his book.
Still, the takeaway point from all this today, is, kids, Shibi's dove actually has a co-evolved, intra-species eusocial, hawk response in accordance with the 'handicap principle' If a dove seeks refuge with you, clearly you are a dove and must raise up your flock to chase off the eagle. Amotz Zahavi has shown why this is good for Eagles without being harmful to doves.
King Shibi, unlike Yuddhishtra, hadn't learned Statistical Game Theory. That's the only reason a 'Samaritan dilemma' arose. More broadly, a nyaya/niti disjunction only arises from a cognitive bias re 'territory ownership'. As for Sen, true he contributed to Rahul's debacle, but the main reason to mention him is to simply point out he's shite. Will somebody please give him a Magsaysay award already just to make this clear?