Traditional and Conservative

One of the disadvantages of making a quiz is that the people who’ll attend my quiz tend to also read my blog. So, you can’t link to really awesome stuff you find because it’ll tip them off to your questions, or at least the source of your questions.

One such awesome thing which I can reveal now that the quiz is done is a blog called Round Dice. There’re very few posts, and the author stopped blogging altogether this February, but all the posts there are most awesome.

Posts from this blog which eventually became questions include one on kolams, one on the tribhanga pose, and one on Bhaskaracharya’s Lilavati. The tribhanga post is especially awesome, because it manages to link Chalukya sculpture to structural engineering, the Vitruvian man, and Anna Nicole Smith. Read.

There was also one post which didn’t really have any question-worthy funda, but which I particularly liked. It’s on the difference between being traditional and being conservative:

As I see it, a traditionalist is someone who uses the past in his/her daily life. For a traditionalist, the past is neither dead nor inaccessible. If a particular tradition no longer works —  slavery or foot-binding or burning widows —  it is modified to make a new tradition. The modification is usually a series of minor changes: a sari may be exchanged for a salwar, a particular dish may no longer be cooked, a man may go to Lamaze class, a Bollywood movie may include a gay character, etc. 

In contrast, a conservative’s relationship is not with the past, but with the future. The conservative does not love the past as much as he fears the future. The Shiv Sainiks flip out on Valentine’s day not because Urvashi never sent a “I heart you” to Pururava (she did), but because their version of the future only permits docile women. The actual past is quite irrelevant for a conservative.

Beautifully put.

0 Responses to Traditional and Conservative

  1. skimpy says:

    the first two fundaes – kolam and tribhanga were too awesome

    but lilavati is in the sistine chapel

  2. Ravages says:

    Read Vilayanur Ramachandran’s Reith Lecture? If not, read. Read! Read! And specially, read Lecture #3 – The artful brain – where Ramachandran talks about the thribanga and western perceptions of Indian art.

  3. Aadisht says:

    Read. On your photostream in fact. And the final question was based on that – I came Round Dice searching for more info on tribhanga, and found two other fundaes there for the taking.

  4. Ravages says:

    Oh! Well then. Good!

  5. Am an occasional reader… thanks for the kolam link. Awesome.


  6. Kolam…

    Some very satisfying geeky discussion later, we have a diverging view that many of the patterns could be (or are) common in nature, and all humankind at some stage copied these nature patterns in more-or-less similar ways.

    Nature maybe the common source though its more thrilling to think of ancient migration and remembered patterns.

    Sorry for off-topic and repeat comment.


  7. Mohan says:

    Brilliant! The links were absolutely brilliant! A thousand thanks! 🙂

  8. […] about two years ago I had linked to the blog of a guy called Anil Menon, where I had got a whole bunch of fundaes which I used to make questions for my KQA quiz. This […]

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