Archive for July, 2011

Decolonisation: Conversation in the Sun (Updated to 15 Sep 2011)

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
Here is my paper, talk, for the decolonisation conference.
Here is the report in the Sun by its former chief editor, Zainon Ahmad, 1 July (click to enlarge)
Zainon's article
(or online).
Here are also the reactions (click to enlarge).

Decolonising math and science

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
There was a conference in Penang on “Decolonising our universities” 27-29 June. A very interesting part of the conference was to share similar experiences of colonial and racist deceit with people from different parts of the world.
Another very interesting aspect was the involvement of a number of young student rapporteurs, and to watch how their understanding of the world was transformed a bit.
Present-day universities are modeled not on Nalanda, but on the Western system of universities which began in Crusading times with Bologna, (more…)

Zeroism vs formalism in math

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Jay Jolly asked:

“Could you expand more on the the concept of “Zeroism”as applied in Mathematics?What changes do you foresee in pedagogy of Mathematics if the philosophy is changed from formalism to zeroism?”

First I have a whole chapter on zeroism in my book Cultural Foundations of Mathematics (chp. 8 with the subtitle: sunyavada vs formalism). (The editor of a Cambridge journal solicited the book for review, and the reviewer then lied that the book did not contain any philosophy beyond chp. 2 to justify the extraordinary procedure of reviewing only 2 chapters of the book. This is in the long Western tradition of suppressing and defaming opposing viewpoints when unable to counter them. Even today, Western universities don’t teach non-Western philosophy presumably just because they are afraid this would damage their own philosophy built on the weak foundations of theology.)

What is zeroism?

There are three aspects of zeroism which are relevant. First, zeroism regards the empirical (though fallible) as an appropriate means of proof, superior to any metaphysics. (This is contrary to formalism which is wholly metaphysical, and regards its particular metaphysics as superior to both physics and all other systems of metaphysics.)  Zeroism accepts fallibility, as in the fallibility of science.

Second zeroism accepts the impossibility of “perfect” or precise represenation of anything. (more…)

Ending Academic Imperialism: a Beginning

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Here is my new book (ISBN: 978-983-3046-15-7).


Academic imperialism begins with Western education, which has not been seriously challenged in hard sciences. Colonialism changed the system of education to stabilise Western rule through indoctrination. The change was possible (e.g. by Macaulay in India) just because a large section of the colonised elite had already swallowed the 18th c. racist history, that only the West had innovated in science. That bad history was bolstered by a bad philosophy of science, both fundamentally warped by the religious fanaticism which overwhelmed Europe from the Crusades in the 11th c. until the 17th c. Therefore, to end academic imperialism it is necessary to take the following steps.


Probability in Ancient India: Response to Witzel

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

As modified and posted on H-ASIA, June 25, 2011. 

Witzel will be remembered for the amusing botch he has made. This sort of thing is an extremely common occurrence among Western scholars whose scholarship is hence unreliable, for they are so often so eager to demonstrate their own superiority by trying to score a point. (Remember that editor of a  Cambridge journal who solicited my book for review, and passed it on to an “expert” so  illiterate in philosophy that he did not even understand that the philosophy was in chp. 8!)


Probability in Ancient India: the H-Asia debate

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

The debate seems to have generated wide interest, so I thought I would record it here. Here is my original post on H-Asia. The comment from Michael Witzel, of Harvard University, is given in the comments section under that.

Probability in Ancient India
The history of Asia is somehow understood in the West in such a way as to *exclude* the history of science, and, by extension, the possibility that the Asian philosophies can ever contribute significantly to present-day science.