Identity > Facts

When narratives put forth in fake-news messages upheld values such as “Hindu power and superiority” and “preservation and revival,” then “validation of identity trumps verification of facts,” the study claimed.

—Quartz, in ‘In India, BJP supporters are more likely than others to share fake news

Tyler Cowen on India and its fragmentations

It’s not just Hindu nationalism on the rise, rather India seems to be evolving intellectually in a multiplicity of directions, few of them familiar to most Americans.

In India, history ain’t over, and further ideological fragmentation seems to be the safest prediction. Note that ideas are very often a leading indicator for where a nation ends up.

—Tyler Cowen, in ‘Expect America and Europe to Matter Less in 2019

Plight of us lovely huggers amongst the aloof…

We love Thanksgiving. We cook everything. But we’re still learning many things about the American culture. Back home everyone likes to hug and kiss on the cheek. It communicates that you care about someone. But here it is different. My friend tried to give me a Thanksgiving handshake at the gym today. But I went in for a Thanksgiving hug. And he only gave me a Thanksgiving half-hug. A few months ago I was called into Human Resources, and they said: ‘Mr. Mauricio, no more hugging at the office. It is making people uncomfortable.’

— Mr. Mauricio, in ‘Humans of New York

P.S.: I’m a big time hugger. The British around me are definitely not. I’m available for hugs.

Laws, institutions, and republics

Pompey the Great would snap at magistrates who challenged him: “Cease quoting laws to those of us with swords.”

Eventually all pretense of civility was dropped and Rome was engulfed by a series of destructive civil wars that destroyed the republic once and for all.

— The Washington Post, in Perspective | This is how republics end

The power balance – India v Facebook

Even officials in India, a major power, struggled to get the company to listen. Indian pressure on Facebook, however, has dropped since the arrival of new government leaders who rose, in part, on a Hindu nationalist wave still prevalent on social media.

NYT: With Alex Jones, Facebook’s Worst Demons Abroad Begin to Come Home