Friday, March 25, 2005

gadzooks! toons, extemporaneous fan mail and all that jazz

The death anniversary today was most enjoyable. Having reveled since daybreak and continuing to revel now well after nightfall, I've grown giddy without horns emerging from the skull or an appendage sprouting from the tailbone. It never ceases to amaze me the euphoric stupor hours spent watching television can cause. The first round of amusement came from rebroadcast '90s science shows where scientists plead for the credibility of concepts now considered obvious; there is sinister, megalomaniacal humor in watching top-rated physicists reduced to uttering 'multiverse' with great hesitation, akin to watching Dr. Evil finger quote 'laser'. The second round of amusement came from flash toons, which I consider part of television despite not requiring a television set per se, one of which contains Mario and Luigi in coarsely pixilated form reenacting battles with Gumbas and Bowser in a masterfully choreographed spoof.[1] With a remix of nostalgic nintendo music perfecting the ambiance, even alcohol, were it present, could not add to the ecstasy. Ah, yes; may there be more days reserved for ecclesiastical solidarity. Cake, anyone?[2]

Credit for today's fruitfulness needs to also go towards my mother, without whose nagging at sun rise to make a deposit at the bank, fetch two packets of screws from Waterworks, and buy a gallon of milk, I would have woken up at dinnertime. Wasn't I supposed to find my own apartment after moving back to Connecticut last June?

Ehem. So, anyways; while other rounds of amusement occurred, such as viewing Jon Stewart's The Daily Show, their details elude me in my state of euphoria. One facet I do recall is my surprising, recent leaning toward things Indian. Below is the email I spontaneously wrote to a professor at Penn State regarding his rather popularly reproduced compilation of evidences[3] attacking the Aryan Invasion Theory, a theory of India's past initially purported by colonial powers and later glorified by the Third Reich:
Prof. Dinesh Agrawal,

I was surprised and delighted to see your consolidation of evidences many other scholars had espoused piecemeal, none individually denting the scholastic machinery that has made the hypothesis of an Aryan invasion of India a ubiquitous fact.

Although it was a reproduction of your 1995 soc.religion.hindu newsgroup mailing, I just recently read it. Having earlier read of excavations and other findings of significance in chronicling the history of ancient India, I long ago concluded that the position of supporting Aryan invasion of India having had happened was untenable; yet, I have seen and am continuing to see a growing adoption of this occidental view in general American education as India becomes a growing interest to the world. I have reservations and mixed feelings towards the transition, from where India is not taught about at all, to where it is taught under a vintage, hesperian lens.

Even among those I know were educated in India, to whom the weaknesses in AIT have been explained in Indian education, some shrug at their learnings as being nationalistic or unduly saffronized, while others, adamant about their xenogenic Aryan or indigenous Dravidian ethnicity, indulge in cliquish behavior under the faulty premise. Such baneful perceptions are reminders of the era we live in, birthed by lingering effects of colonialism and an attempt at discovering self-identity under globalization in which the West is inarguably the leader.

My questions to you are, what steps are being taken to correct historical inaccuracies; which governing bodies are providing the brief excerpts about India's history, ostensibly factual to the believing reader, that have managed their way into countless textbooks and governmental pamphlets; and why are universities, many of which have 'veritas' somewhere in their motto, dismissing the pursuit of truth on the grounds of lack of interest or by alluding that AIT opposition must be a special-interest group akin to evolution doubters attempting to overturn science with specious zealotry?

After watching insurmountable evidence contrarian to AIT be diligently gathered, verified by peers, and reported on by those in the scientific community devoting serious thought and time to Indian history, I am nonplussed at the general education system's insistence on republishing as the authority on Indian history the resources authored by those having put in the least thought and the least time. Only at the higher echelons of education, where being uncritical is a liability, is AIT successfully challenged. What is your view on this?

(My Name)

Yes, I rather love emailing strangers my prattle on obscure topics. I was amazed when I received Prof. Dinesh's quick reply, the content of which I won't publish without his consent, partly due to netiquette, and partly because there undoubtedly is some law requiring I obtain consent. In line with my recent attraction to Indianness, I found, an amusing blogpository (my coinage) of a half dozen Indian American bloggers with comedic reflections on life as it relates to Desis.

Oh, to the one person who reads this without my prodding, apologies for not posting a blog for nearly two weeks.

2005-04-06 15:34 Update — Drats, blogpository already coined! Cursed elund steals my coinage by developing a time-machine to travel back to 2003:

12-03-2003, 12:18 PM
Blogging has been going on for decades. I think it's hilarious that once somebody attached a funny sounding name to the activity that it suddenly became popular.

I don't have a blog, but I have nothing against them. Blogs come in different forms. Some are platforms for pundits and industry critics, some are really .plan files, some are online diaries, and some act as news aggregators, regurgitating or deep linking to new things on the web. Most have a little bit of each. Slashdot is sort of a public repository blog when you think of about it. A blogpository, if you will.

Blogging gives you a vehicle for adding freeform site content. If you don't have a blog, everything you add to your site needs a purpose. But if you have a blog, just blather away, opine on the business or other sites, or talk about your day. Don't have any news? Mention somebody else's news. It's easy, quick, up-to-date "content." If you find a way to be interesting, it's a good way to get regular visitors to your site.

On the negative side, making a successful blog requires -- besides interesting things to say -- commitment. With the exception of joke blog sites like Gabriel's dullest blog in the world, it takes daily or at least weekly effort to keep a blog updated. Like many team game development projects, it's easy to lose steam and fall apart. It's hard to garner new blog visitors when they see yours is updated infrequently, no matter how interesting your posts are.

Blogging can take less blatant forms, too. On my website I have a news box where I can post what's going on at Gearhand Studios. If I wanted to, I could update this every day. I don't, because I'm just pretty sure I couldn't say something interesting and topical every day. At least not in it's current format. It's definitely worth thinking more about.

quotted from indiegamer
google cache also available.

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