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artistAt the moment I am taking a break between non-internet related professional obligations. No real time to write something interesting, though I now plan to write a post with the tentative title of “the pagan kafir origins of Islam.” This, inspired by my quick reading of Warriors of the Cloisters: The Central Asian Origins of Science in the Medieval World. I figured I should read this book before getting to The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies. All part of my attempt to practice what I preach in obtaining a wide portfolio of quasi-competencies.

I have probably posted the picture to the left before. I don’t know. I was four years old in it. I’ve been revisiting old pictures of myself as my own children have been maturing. I can see my daughter particular right now when I look at these images. It’s all rather strange.

(for those of you curious as to my severe mien, it’s a cultural norm not to smile too much in pictures in Bangladesh, at least during that period)

 
• Tags: Miscellaneous, Razib 
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  1. Yes, you posted it at least once before, but there’s no harm in putting it up again. You were a nice looking kid.

  2. Is that an early Blue Steel? Or Aqua Vitae?

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    no
  3. @Anonymous
    Is that an early Blue Steel? Or Aqua Vitae?

    no

  4. That photo gives you some gangsta cred.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    Would have been more "gangsta" if he had a gold necklace.
  5. I googled the word “mien”, and here it is:
    mien, noun … a person’s look or manner,
    especially one of a particular kind indicating their character or mood.

    “he has a cautious, academic mien”

    The last example is, IMHO, very adequate.
    Traditional …

  6. How does Warriors of the Cloisters compare to Empires of the Silk Road? Equally info-heavy and sprawling (not meant pejoratively, btw) or more of a cohesive, unitary argument?

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    u could check page count :-) it is a short monograph, not a magnum opus, as the latter was.
  7. Have you read http://www.amazon.com/Early-Islam-Critical-Reconstruction-Contemporary/dp/161614825X/ref=pd_sim_14_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=614cyv0xnJL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR104%2C160_&refRID=1YWDV8QG5VTN8V1TW960

    I have not read it but am hoping to do so soon.. it seems like it overlaps with your topic.

    I hope it is better than this one: http://www.amazon.com/What-Koran-Really-Says-Warraq/dp/157392945X/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8 which I did happen to read and which has some interesting things in it, but the essays are mostly old and ibn warraq makes no attempt at synthesizing what we know into one coherent account of the topic. Having scanned a couple of his other books, i think he is just not capable of doing that. I am hopeful that your essay will do a much better job (and will include more on the POST-Islamic origins of classical Islam…Warraq spends most of his energy on trying to show that bits and pieces come from this or that pre-islamic middle eastern source, but the work was completed in Baghdad, by scholars who had a LOT of Persian and central Asian connections. That (I am guessing from your post) is what we will learn about from your essay.
    I am looking forward to it. 🙂
    btw, I read this book (borrowed from the UCLA library) a few years ago. It is very dated, and Torrey takes the basic Islamic storyline (Mecca, Medina, the whole thing) for granted, then hightlights the parts he thinks are cribbed straight from Judaism. Still interesting. Someone has posted it on an Islamophobic website: http://www.truthnet.org/islam/Jewish/Preface/

  8. @Seth Largo
    How does Warriors of the Cloisters compare to Empires of the Silk Road? Equally info-heavy and sprawling (not meant pejoratively, btw) or more of a cohesive, unitary argument?

    u could check page count 🙂 it is a short monograph, not a magnum opus, as the latter was.

  9. Razib, in a similar vein you might enjoy Lost Enlightenment, Central Asia’s Golden Age… It shows the centrality of the Northeastern Persian world to what we know as Islamic civilisation.

    My parents have been working in Pune for the last few years and one of the things that amuses my little brothers is the stern, unsmiling gaze of their Indian friends in photographs. So it seems that is a cultural trend with a certain persistence.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    read it http://www.unz.com/gnxp/how-turan-invented-islam/
    , @Yudi
    It was also common in Western family photos several decades ago. It used to take a long time for the picture to take, so having a straight face was probably a lot easier on everyone.
  10. @Firdausi
    Razib, in a similar vein you might enjoy Lost Enlightenment, Central Asia's Golden Age... It shows the centrality of the Northeastern Persian world to what we know as Islamic civilisation.

    My parents have been working in Pune for the last few years and one of the things that amuses my little brothers is the stern, unsmiling gaze of their Indian friends in photographs. So it seems that is a cultural trend with a certain persistence.
  11. @Dirk Dagger
    That photo gives you some gangsta cred.

    Would have been more “gangsta” if he had a gold necklace.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    the small number of readers who have met me in real life can attest i'm a gentle and cheerful person :-)
  12. @Twinkie
    Would have been more "gangsta" if he had a gold necklace.

    the small number of readers who have met me in real life can attest i’m a gentle and cheerful person 🙂

  13. @Firdausi
    Razib, in a similar vein you might enjoy Lost Enlightenment, Central Asia's Golden Age... It shows the centrality of the Northeastern Persian world to what we know as Islamic civilisation.

    My parents have been working in Pune for the last few years and one of the things that amuses my little brothers is the stern, unsmiling gaze of their Indian friends in photographs. So it seems that is a cultural trend with a certain persistence.

    It was also common in Western family photos several decades ago. It used to take a long time for the picture to take, so having a straight face was probably a lot easier on everyone.

  14. Dam na vad, Banda.

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