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Comment Re: Hey India! (Score 1) 89

Must be :-). Despite having a much lower income, Indians splurge nearly the same amount on Fireworks on Diwali as Americans do on the 4th of July... nearly a Billion dollars per year, per country, with the Indian figure rapidly climbing as the economy improves. Wonder how much China burns through, since that is another fireworks culture.

Comment Re: Hey India! (Score 1) 89

> Americans have been using that "superior rocket technology" on the 4th of July; for a long time.

Meh, US is very young. "long time" can only mean so much for it. India's firework festival is called Diwali.
It goes back at least a couple of millennia.

Comment Re:Indians. (Score 1) 89

> because the rich-poor divide is even wider in India than it is in other nations

India's Gini index is the same as that of Switzerland & Canada and better than US & UK.
Argue with numbers please, not your prejudices and cliches.

Comment Re: Hey India! (Score 1) 89

> I'm sure one day, as a culture, they'll offer some insight no one has considered.

What one day? The very number system we are using, y'know, the decimal number system, with its zero and all, is Indian... not Indo-Arabic, just Indian. Without the decimal system, there wouldn't be any advanced math, not with the Roman numerals. Is that insight enough?

> It still appears that the worst thing India ever did in its bubbling history was to say "good by" to Alexander's Army.

"good by"(sic)? Alexander does not even appear in Indian history. He was almost a nobody for India. He barely knocked at its door, before turning back.

> And to this day, the curse of looking upon Alex's rear end has not gone away. India remains a culture that peaked over 3600 years ago.

India was quite prosperous, richest in fact, right until 300 years ago. As far as this ISRO bit, India had superior rocket technology right until 120 years ago.
India's downtime will be a mere blip in the annals of history.

Comment Re:Indians. (Score 4, Insightful) 89

> There was no 'GDP' before the advent of modern economy from the West.

You can say the same about History. That does not mean that we cannot look into the past beyond the origin of its current method.

There is an entire field of study, Quantitative Macroeconomic History, that estimates historical GDPs. Angus Madison did pioneering work in the area

> Everyone was growing and eating their own food, including peasantry in India.

That's a rather naive understanding of history. Indians were trading with the West for millinea, with spices, gold and gem stones. That was the whole point behind the accidental, and even an unwanted discovery of Americas (seen as a block in the route for centuries) by Europe, because the Arabs blocked land trade routes.

Yes, everyone was growing their own food because shipping was not at all reliable for managing food on stormy sea lanes. But the ancient world was doing plenty of trading for lighter materials and luxuries.

> What 'statistic', if you look at 'statistics', India is lower than Sweden. Yeah, that Sweden, where a condom breaking during consensual sex is a 'rape'.

True. There is no uniform definition of rape, which makes comparisons difficult. Sweden definition is indeed absurd. And no, I am not arguing that it is better to be a woman in India than in Sweden. I am however arguing that the status of women in India is no different than women in countries with similar socio-economic development.

> In India rape isn't 'underreported', it is a part of the culture. Rape is not reported in the jungle, it is the way of life.

Hogwash. You are speaking from a superficial understanding based on press reports with little understanding of India. There is no codified cultural support for rape, apart from being a patriarchal society from still being an agrarian culture. If there was, Indians would not have raucously shut down the capital for weeks in response for a rape. That's the story. Not the rape. What is the strongest response of the US civil society for its worst rape case? The few rural bumpkins who rape in India are no more representative of India, than are gang bangers in ghettos representative of US.

Comment Re: Hey India! (Score 1) 89

> Actually India receives a lot of financial aid (Hundreds of millions of pounds every year)

"Hundreds of millions" is a "peanut" as the Indian finance minister put it and said India does not want it.
Millions are nothing in terms of national budgets. US aid of $91m to India (2014) is less than roughly 0.005% of India's GDP (>$2T nominal). Most of it is used to exert influence via NGOs, not actually help the poor. UK does more, but is equally inconsequential... and unwelcome. The idea that India is running on the charity of the West is absurd and laughable.

> some of the worst poverty in the world

It's PPP GDP is $8T, almost half of US. India is like European Union. Different states, run semi-independently with different policies, and very different economies co-exist. There are states in India with sub-saharan development, while others produce elite that can almost rival US/European work force. The idea that any country should stunt the productivity of its most productive citizens, because the development is uneven is also silly. You have people who can understand nuclear physics and then you have people who have trouble learning to read and can only do subsistence agriculture. You let everyone do what they can for the country (what do you suggest? - that the state should decide what people should pursue? Sounds like communism). Pouring money into places without the foundations to absorb it is a waste of resources. It was already tried in India and lessons were learnt. Development is a slow, generational process - you increase education, gradually in each generation, and people will take care of everything automatically. You can't instantly install it with money. If you could, Iraq and Afghanistan would have been Israel by now.

> polishing your Porsche whilst your kids are starving to death

Also uninformed is the notion that Indian space program is a vanity project, it isn't, its state capitalism. With the launch vehicle, India has declared its capability to provide launch services in *every* segment of the launch market... and it can do so for much cheaper than *everyone* else. ISRO is Bangalore... for SPACE. It has already been making a profit for a while now. This is how India earns money, to fund welfare for its poor states. Its best resource is inexpensive knowledge workforce, not oil. That should be admired, not criticized.

Comment Re:Indians. (Score 4, Informative) 89

> India was a fucking jungle before the white man colonized it

India had roughly 29% of world GDP before colonialism. It was 3% after colonialism ended. Without colonialism, India would have industrialized earlier, perhaps after Japan (which almost ended up in China's position with the Black Ship episode, but got its reprieve with US civil war).

> How far ahead has it gotten for the 60 years of independence?

Quite a bit actually. The development indices were quite stagnant while the British were in India. Every one of them shot up after they left. Obviously there is still ground to be covered.

> Have you stopped gang-raping your women already? No? How come?

Show me one statistic that says rape in India is higher per 100K, than it is in US or elsewhere. It isn't, even if you account for high under-reporting. The press had its fun highlighting anecdotes, but failed to make a scholarly case. Rape is a problem everywhere. The claim that India is a special case cannot *statistically* be made.

Comment Re: Hey India! (Score 4, Informative) 89

You need to put that in context of the size of India's economy. Most of that "aid" is about buying influence via NGOs. India says that it does NOT want aid and calls it "peanuts".
"Indian ministers tried to terminate Britain’s aid to their booming country last year - but relented after the British begged them to keep taking the money"
"We do not require the aid. It is a peanut in our total development spending."

US aid to India is even smaller - about a third to a sixth.

Comment Re:Certainly a great achievement (Score 3, Interesting) 89

India does not do its space program for pride reasons. Its control room is rather unglamorous. Its space program already turns a profit, as an outsourcing entity. I read during the Mars Orbiter news that ISRO can hire rocket scientists for as low as $12K (that's cheaper than Indian software engineers who work for multinationals in India, although as government jobs, they probably have better long-term benefits and job security). It can be a LOT cheaper for ISRO to develop a space program than it costs NASA. India has some unique properties. Its manufacturing is underdeveloped, but its knowledge economy is far more advanced than its per capita figures would normally allow it to be. ISRO is perhaps simply taking advantage of that.

> because at this point, with the number of competitors, I don't believe it.

There aren't that many competitors and India is already deep in the fray in the standard launch market (it is not a hypothetical). This vehicle allows it to enter the heavier launch market that eluded it so far. I can see India dominating the launch market to the same extent that it does with the software labor market... on cost propositions for routine, straight-forward work (its Mars mission was the cheapest inter-planetary mission ever - $70m). Comparing costs does not work.

Comment Re:Hey India! (Score 4, Insightful) 89

Was the world doing Mars missions in the 60s? India's space program makes money for the country. Think of it as one way to fund those municipal services you speak of. It was not done for bragging rights. India has already positioned itself as the outsourcing destination for satellite launches. The one capability it lacked was the launch of heavy satellites. That is fixed now and it can compete with European launch markets.

Comment Re:"Nature" is not a legit publisher (Score 1) 186

> It was clearly a load of Bat Guano to claim that all 60 were principals who researched and wrote the article.

You are missing the point. Its that authorship credits should not be just limited to just the principals. You haven't seen the article about the one with 5154 authors?

You better have a lot of valid arguments before dissing one of the top journals in the world (not an opinion - going by impact factor).

Comment Re:More like that's where hockey sticks come from (Score 1) 186

> "climate science" has been so discredited that it will no longer be possible to convince people this is the case.

Climate Science is only "discredited" in US. Its non-controversial science for the rest of the world. US citizens have *by far*, the largest carbon foot prints per capita - current and historical. So it is only natural for them to be in eager denial. If it wasn't this, they will look for something else to discredit inconvenient facts.

365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer. = 1 Lite-year