Showing posts from January, 2012

Some Thoughts on Islamic Feminism

Saying that Quran is not inherently a patriarchal text does not automatically imply that Quran is inherently feminist either. Of course, feminist interpretations of Islam are possible but patriarchal interpretations are not just possible, they are already existing and dominant, and one cannot see much objective reason as to why a feminist interpretation should have more theological validity than a patriarchal interpretation as being the true interpretation, apart from the fact that it corresponds to feminist morality. If Quran cannot be read and understood at all without some sort of interpretation being imposed on it during the process, as the enthusiastic liberal Muslims who play the interpretation card would like to believe, then it implies that the text alone is devoid of meaning and there is nothing inherent to the Quran. It is inherently neither patriarchal nor feminist; it becomes either of these by virtue of the interpretation we choose to see it through. Yet this conclusion …

A Vocabulary of Delights

A young monk, with little exposure to the company of women, finds himself aroused and seduced by a peasant girl:
"What did I feel? What did I see? I remember only that the emotions of the first moment were bereft of any expression, because my tongue and my mind had not been instructed in how to name sensations of that sort. Until I recalled other inner words, heard in another time and in other places, spoken certainly for other ends, but which seemed wondrously in keeping with my joy in that moment, as if they had been born consubstantially to express it. Words pressed into the caverns of my memory rose to the (dumb) surface of my lips, and I forget that they had served in Scripture or in the pages of the saints to express quite different, more radiant realities. But was there truly a difference between the delights of which the saints had spoken and those that my agitated spirit was feeling at that moment?" [Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose]
Unacquainted with the vocabula…

Annie Oakley Heart Target

Annie Oakley’s heart target Source: The New York Times

Freud on Homosexuality

A Little of It

"And when the grace and protection of the Divine Mother are with you, what is there that can touch you or whom need you fear? A little of it even will carry you through all difficulties, obstacles, dangers..."
Sri Aurobindo

Winter Park: A Minimalist Reproduction

A minimalist reproduction of:

Uzzle Burk, Winter Park, Central Park, New York, 2000 Source: A la recherche du temps perdu

Philosophy of Cosmology

What Happened Before the Big Bang? The New Philosophy of Cosmology

What existed before the big bang? What is the nature of time? Is our universe one of many? On the big questions science cannot (yet?) answer, a new crop of philosophers are trying to provide answers.

Read this brilliant interview of Tim Maudlin. He approaches the interaction of philosophy and physics with a lot more rigour and understanding than what we find in Hawking and Krauss.

The One Electron Universe

"There's an idea that suggests all the universe's electrons are actually one particle forever traveling backwards and forwards in time. It's a simple, elegant idea that solves some of physics's biggest mysteries. There's only one tiny problem....
This is the story of that bizarre thought experiment and John Archibald Wheeler, the brilliant, largely unsung physicist who came up with it."
Read more at io9: What if every electron in the universe was all the same exact particle?

Philosopher T-shirts

Somebody make my girlfriend wear this... please?
This is so totally mine.
For these and more of other awesome philosopher t-shirts, check out tresnormale.

Revelation 2012, Corps et Ames

The Academy of Caesar and Chaumet presents the true revelations of 2012

bodies and souls

look at me
at this instance, naked, free of the body and spirit

in understanding all the (extraneous) stimuli, I submit only to my impressions
(because) I am truly free of body and soul
(being naked and not covered)

again a virgin

I return to the disorder

and the last wing falls (or the last paper will tell) that I will return to this dance

and I will help me by myself

I will dream rich dreams

I will free my emotions

I will no longer live in subtitles of others
but only with the fruits of my tongue

I will be complete
I will comprehend your suffering

I will also laugh and we'll see the light

I will embrace your craziness
your impossibilities

your inevitabilities, your inviolabilities.

there are so many uncertain roads, I may rest cold., abandoned

I believe I plunge

at this moment so free
of body and spirit



beautifully translated into English for this blog by Sharmeen A. Khan ©


In order to truly understand God's mysterious ways, one must, in essence, become God.

Steinbeck on Love

"There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you -- of kindness and consideration and respect -- not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had."
John Steinbeck
[hat-tip: 3 Quarks Daily]

Yesterday's Dreams

Jack Vettriano, Yesterday's Dreams
Jack Vettriano's is "a cool, sharp world of edgy romance and sexual tension. He has the ability to make you feel nostalgic for things you never actually experienced in the first place." Sir Tim Ric

60-Second Adventures in Thought

Here are 6 brilliant short videos (combined in a single one) by the Open University explaining 6 famous thoughts experiments in a fun and easy to understand manner, and that too in mere 60 seconds. Enjoy!

1. Zeno's The Paradox of the Tortoise and Achilles
2. The Grandfather Paradox
3. Searle's Chinese Room
4. Hilbert’s paradox of the Grand Hotel
5. The Twin Paradox
6. Schrödinger’s Cat

[hat-tip: Brain Pickings]


#TS113 prompts: palmistry, a small death, raconteur
She foretold that little by little the stories within him would die, so he slept with her and set them all free with a petite mort #TS113

On Diaries and Death

@AfiaAslam raised a question on twitter whether it is ethical to preserve diaries after the death of their writers. Here are my thoughts on the matter:
While some may say that a diary is, by default, meant to be for author's eyes only, the situation is not entirely so clear in real life, where people attach different degrees of privacy to their diaries. Some may wish to guard them obsessively, others may not be so averse to their being read, especially after they are dead. In situations where the wishes of the author are not known, and in the absence of any clues that may indicate what the author would have preferred, or if such a desire is not evident through the contents of the diary, and the material in the diary is not of a personal and sensitive nature, then I do not see any reason why it should constitute a moral violation.
If the writer had expressed a desire that the contents of the diary be kept private and/or the material in the diary is of a personal and sensitive natu…

Subconscient Patriarchal Heritage

“Patriarchy does not just influence people through socialization, but also through our collective subconscient heritage, which is a kind of cultural infrastructure into which we are born.”

Quantum Ethics

Emanuel Derman in his post 'To me you’re a wave, but to myself I’m sometimes a particle' compares moral behavior with the wave/particle duality in Quantum Mechanics. Just as behavior of matter can simultaneously be viewed as being a wave or a particle, he says that behavior of humans can simultaneously be viewed as having responsibility for their actions and as not having free will.
He writes:
When I do something GOOD, I like to say I acted freely, and I experience it that way.
When I do something hurtful or BAD, I sometimes excuse myself by saying I couldn’t help it (meaning I experience the cause as compulsion, provocation, reaction, environment, upbringing, parents, circumstances …)
But, when you do something GOOD OR BAD, I tend to praise OR respectively blame you as though you acted freely, in either case.
People can be simultaneously responsible for their actions, and yet not exercising free will. Or vice versa.
Quantum ethics.'
As far as descriptive ethics g…


Every inch of freedom hijabees gain in this patriarchal culture comes at the expense of the freedom of non-hijabees.
My comment on this blogpost.

Guilt and Resentment

Our tendency to be guilt-ridden shows the moral capacity that we possess, and our tendency to transform that guilt into resentment shows the limitedness of that moral capacity.