Note to recruiters

Note to recruiters: We are quite aware that recruiters, interviewers, VCs and other professionals generally perform a Google Search before they interview someone, take a pitch from someone, et cetera. Please keep in mind that not everything put on the Internet must align directly to one's future career and/or one's future product portfolio. Sometimes, people do put things on the Internet just because. Just because. It may be out of their personal interests, which may have nothing to do with their professional interests. Or it may be for some other reason. Recruiters seem to have this wrong-headed notion that if somebody is not signalling their interests in a certain area online, then that means that they are not interested in that area at all. It is worth pointing out that economics pretty much underlies the areas of marketing, strategy, operations and finance. And this blog is about economics. With metta, let us. by all means, be reflective about this whole business of business. Also, see our post on "The Multi-faceted Identity Problem".

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hindu Studies Post 7 - An online survey at Stanford a.k.a. the Rich Scholar/Poor Scholar hypothesis of Hinduism

Please find below an online survey at Stanford:

It is useful in the social sciences to clarify your hypothesis/hypotheses prior to a study. Following this point as a guide to methodology, I will list out the hypotheses I am studying. (Update (July 29, 2:25 PM)): I have decided not to publish the actual hypotheses being used to prevent people from gaming the system. Instead, I have sent in my set of hypotheses to two professors. This is the usual methodology for the social sciences).

One of the main hypothesis in the theory of Hinduism I outlined earlier ("The End of History and the Last Hindu") is that Hindus after the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution fundamentally different from the Hindus before them. A theory is only useful insofar as it has predictive power.

This leads us to directly to a prediction of the theory : the ideas proposed by the Alternate School scholars of Hinduism (Wendy Doniger and Paul Courtright) are likely to be rejected by the majority of Hindus. This is for the following reason :
  • Wendy Doniger and Paul Courtright study the writings of Hindus prior to the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution and make predictions about Hindus today. This is bad methodology. According to this theory, the ideas proposed by the Alternate School scholars of Hinduism will be rejected by most post-Enlightenment Hindus.
The point is that the work done by Paul Courtright and Wendy Doniger is not just biased. It is wrong. It is bad scholarship written by not-so-rich people. So I suppose you could call this the "Smart Scholar/Dumb Scholar" hypothesis of Hinduism. But in order to make sure I am keeping within the confines of academic discourse, I am going to call it the "Rich Scholar/Poor Scholar" hypothesis. The hypothesis is that rich scholars are likely to do better research than poor scholars. The reason for this is that rich scholars are likely not only to have more resources, but also a greater incentive in terms of alternative career paths. So they would be more inclined to preserve their reputations in case the research does not pan out. Now, if you are Wendy Doniger or Paul Courtright, you are probably looking at research without regard to whether the writer is rich or poor. This may introduce a bias in your research finding unless you actively work to remove it.

Now, If you think are a 'Rich Scholar' of Hinduism, but have your name listed here as a 'Poor Scholar' (Wendy Doniger & Paul Courtright), I have three tasks for you:
  • Solve the puzzle I had posted in my previous post and send me the solution.
  • Take a look at Krishnan Shankar's research agenda and summarize in your own words how long it would take you to start taking a shot at solving the mathematical problems there.
  • tell me how much you made last year. No, just kidding. Just tell me how much you think the people who talked about the link between Hinduism as a religion (and this is important) and sex made by way of income and if they had incentives to project it that way.
Update: If my theory of Hinduism is correct, then I believe that the survey will validate the first and second hypotheses that I am testing (H1 & H2). H1 is that people who answer "Yes" to questions (1) and (4) will ... (I will keep this a secret, but you can be sure that there is a specific hypothesis H1 that is being tested.) H2 is that people who answer "Yes" to questions (1) and (4) will also ... (I will keep this also a secret, but, again, you can be sure that there is a specific hypothesis H2 that is being tested.)

Update (August 6): Changed the name of the hypothesis to the "Rich Scholar/Poor Scholar" hypothesis. Added some supporting text. Personally, I am just surprised that anybody would think of sex as anything other than an act of biology. Exchange of fluids between individuals, flow of hormones, et cetera. Nothing to do with religion, folks (and this, of course, follows Kant's reduction of religion to morality). Nothing at all.

What does sex have to do with it?