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When I was in college, a 16 year old girl promised to marry me. She wanted to name our baby “Sachin”. I believed her.

When a policeman once asked me whether I’d like to get my passport on time, I smiled with gratitude and slammed the door on his face.

When I once read, “Ron Paul is a gynecologist, and he is self-taught.”, I did not understand why this evoked laughter in an audience. I still do not.

I’ve always had a tenuous understanding of sarcasm and double-speak. I take words literally. When I was a child, it took me many years to understand hidden insults. 

I’ve never had it any other way. I was not sarcastic as a child. I was too innocent to understand the art of insinuation. When a teacher was sarcastic to me at 9, I understood her only a year later. When I fully understood her, I felt numb, as if I were struck by lightning. I stood still, staring at my coconut tree. It was too late, because I’d left that city and moved into another school. There was nothing much I could do about this. This was deeply unsettling. Continue Reading

Books, Uncategorized

Nobel laureate Dr. James D. Watson, Chancellor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.I believe you are the kindest to people when you tell them exactly what you think, in the clearest possible terms, in the most uncompromising manner, without hostility, without manipulative intent. It is sheer evasion and malice that stops people from seeing this. Normal human beings find this very hard to understand, because they are cheap. But, the details of their narrow-mindedness doesn’t interest me at all.

Little people evade the truth because truth is not a great ally in persecuting brilliant, honest men. This is what happened to James Watson. Watson now wants to sell his Nobel Prize to make quick cash. Read what he has to tell you:

“I’ve had strong opinions probably since I was born. It makes you unpopular, but what can you do?”

“If someone’s liver doesn’t work, we blame it on the genes; if someone’s brain doesn’t work properly, we blame the school. It’s actually more humane to think of the condition as genetic. For instance, you don’t want to say that someone is born unpleasant, but sometimes that might be true.”

“People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty. I think it would be great….”

“I think it’s irresponsible not to try and direct evolution to produce a human being who will be an asset to the world.” 

“When you interview fat people, you feel bad, because you know you’re not going to hire them.”

“All our social policies are based on the fact that Africans’ intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really. People who have to deal with black employees find equality is not true.”

“If you really are stupid, I would call that a disease. The lower 10 percent who really have difficulty, even in elementary school, what’s the cause of it? A lot of people would like to say, ‘Well, poverty, things like that.’ It probably isn’t. So I’d like to get rid of that, to help the lower 10 percent.”

“If we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn’t we? What’s wrong with it? Evolution can be just damn cruel, and to say that we’ve got a perfect genome and there’s some sanctity?”

“Ultimately, we’ll help the people we discriminate against if we try to understand more about them; genetics will lead to a world where there is a sympathy for the underdog.”

“One could not be a successful scientist without realizing that, in contrast to the popular conception supported by newspapers and mothers of scientists, a goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid.”

“To succeed in science, you have to avoid dumb people… Even as a child, I never liked to play tag with anyone who was bad as I was. If you win, it gives you no pleasure. And in the game of science-or life-the highest goal isn’t simply to win, it’s to win at something really difficult. Put another way, it’s to go somewhere beyond your ability and come out on top.”

“If you accept that people are the products of evolution, then you have to have an open mind to the truth. Unfair discrimination exists whether we like it or not; I wouldn’t have married a gum-chewing vegetarian.”

“It is necessary to be slightly under employed if you are to do something significant.”

“No one may have the guts to say this, but if we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn’t we?”

“Never be the brightest person in the room.”

“I just can’t sit while people are saying nonsense in a meeting without saying it’s nonsense.”

“Constantly exposing your ideas to informed criticism is very important, and I would venture to say that one reason both of our chief competitors failed to reach the Double Helix before us was that each was effectively very isolated.”

Books, Uncategorized

1) Journalists often claim that Economics “has not been very successful in predicting the trends in history, and that this suggests that Economics is far from being a science.”  When I read a journalist who makes this claim, it is clear to me that he is a fraud, a total fake. I have never read a serious economist who believes that this is the purpose of the economic science or even that economists can forecast the future.  But, you do not have to be an economist to know this. It is obvious to anyone with a passing familiarity with the subject. This does not, of course, mean that we know nothing about the future, or that we cannot anticipate certain trends. Decent economists never encourage this tendency of journalists, and tell them that the monthly changes in economic indicators are not as important as they believe. But, their attitude is “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”. This is a classic case of projecting ones own inferiority onto others. They assume that this is the goal of economics. Then, they blame the economists for not living up to their expectations. These critics of economics cannot even describe the content of economics with reasonable accuracy. This is true of all such frauds.

2) When I read a writer who claims that a particular view is not “subtle” or “nuanced”, or that it is a “black-and-white” perspective, I assume that he is a fake.  People who love the truth have no use for this sort of criticism. People want to believe that a view that they disagree with is not “subtle” or “nuanced”, whatever that means. Often, these people have no understanding of the complexity of the position that they criticize. They simply assume that it is a childish view, because they do not like it, because it appears extreme, or because they hate good prose. Again, this is a projection of ones own inferiority onto others. Continue Reading

Books, Uncategorized

Fritz Karinthy’s “The Refund” is a play I liked when I was 9. I read it to my little brother, and he liked it too. I lost the hard copy, but you can find anything over the web. Do read:

Play logline

A man about 40 returns to his old school and demands to refund the tution fees paid by him 18 years back for the reason that the education given to him never proved useful and that he is now not good for anything.

The Principal is seated at his flat-tapped desk in his office in a high school. Enter a servant.

THE PRINICIPAL: Well, what is it?

THE SERVANT: A man, sir. Outside. He wants to see you.

THE PRINCIPAL [leaning back and stretching]: I receive parents only during office hours. The particular office hours are posted in the notice-board. Tell him that.

THE SERVANT: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. But it isn’t a parent, sir.

THE PRINCIPAL: A pupil?

THE SERVANT: I don’t think so. He has a beard.

THE PRINICPAL [disquieted]: Not a parent and not a pupil. Then what is he?

THE SERVANT: He told me I should just say Wasserkopf.

Continue Reading