To randomly investigate something.
The first thing people usually want to know is “why this name?”. And likely so, naming stuff is fucking hard – the thing is delayed to almost a year because of the naming problem.
While coming up with names, my mind came up with ones like globalliberal or thenrirants or theliberalrants but none of them just felt right. I didn’t want to sound like some guy in a suit, fat and sounds like Chetan Bhagat is writing this blog. Then more “research”, says the name needs to be “catchy” and “one-word” because it’s too much to expect the modern swiping people to put too much effort into remembering it.
I wish I had a cool story like mixing up “rant” with “investigate” but I basically just found the word readymade on urbandictionary when going through the definition of “theoradical” which was a strong contender in the list of names.
And while “theoradical” was something I did actually did create by joining “theory/theoretical” with “radical”, it’s insane to know that it actually is an entire branch of philosophy already. Reminds me of how the world has already done everything and we are just moving the pieces around.
Ranstigate fit the bill — one-word, sounds like a verb, somewhat “edgy”(hope so) and coincidentally fits the nature of the site — “randomly investigating stuff”. “Ranstigate it” is soon going to be right there with “google it”, so be the first to subscribe before it becomes cool.
What is it about?
Since a young age, growing up in India my OCD brain spends a lot of time thinking about how F***ed India is as a country. It’s 1.2 billion people and most of them just living like insects in either villages or those cities like Mumbai. Packed into trains and buses like ants. This obsession led to a lot of reading, podcasts, and thinking.
And it seems some core areas have answers, real answers and not the garbage we get on the mainstream media. These answers have only been made possible by the internet. These core areas I believe are Culture, Philosophy, Psychology, Economics, and Politics. They seem like big abstract “unimportant for our daily” lives kind of ideas, to most they seem just like big words rich drunk people throw around at parties. However, I think these are an integral part even in the tiniest smallest you can do.
Take the idea of nightclubs. Those magical expensive places which fill most of us middle-class plebs with dreadful anxiety. Think of how far we have come as a species that we have these things running in every major city and we go to get drunk, dance and find easy sex. Women are there all dolled up in those nice gowns or whatever.
The nightclub is only possible because of how these areas have evolved over the years, our free-market innovation-driven economics created the middle class, the peasants never had money to go drinking in ancient Egypt, our individual respecting culture and philosophy accepts this open display of fun, sex, music, and drinking and in most places we don’t really have to worry about getting beheaded or stoned to death for this “debauchery”. Our social contract constitutional based politics(thought broken) keeps our governments in check and luckily we do not have to worry about living by the current gang in power’s religious views on clubbing.
And in places where you cannot go clubbing, some gutter like Saudi, you would see these core areas have not developed or any attempts to reform have been thoroughly destroyed.
A One Man Show
The process of how something is done often changes the perception of the end result for me. This I guess is why I cannot stand bollywood because of the nepotism in that clan. The thought that the alia bhatts who are heralded as this top a list actor just being there because of her father’s contacts just dirties the process completely and I can’t help lose respect for anything she touches, even if I secede in my logical thinking that she’s now a fine actress.
This phenomenon is infinitely stronger with arts and creativity. An in that the idea of just this one person doing this X thing be it a video series, documentaries, but most strongly I feel this for writing.
The idea of a this one person writing a blog over a 1000 articles and each one painting a picture of this person you have never met really fascinates me. It takes away all the other factors which might influence the writing. More so that fact that today we all can do this. Simple common folk can write articles and have them read all over the world and discuss ideas and the idea of not being famous or an expert on the topic doesn’t matter, because we are doing the work of thinking here which is the most important.
We can discuss topics from psychology to economics and our job could be that of a cab driver and it’ll still be a fun conversation. It’s a lot like tyler durden’s “it’s only after you lost everything, you are free to do anything”. However, we only gain.
On being Right
Recently on the most amazing website out there called Reddit, someone put this list of things he’s learned as he hits 30.
8 really is a tough one, while I know wise guys are going to go all “well 2 and 2 is 4 you idiot, F your feelings” in their cartman bitchy voiceover, but other than this one is a real problem. What objective right or wrong answers do we really have for questions like
is having children the right thing to do?
should the state pay the hospital bills for someone F**d up in a car accident?
should the US go in and liberate north Korea, where most of the country still doesn’t have electricity but nuclear weapons?
do Indians have anything to be patriotic for — broken roads, filled with garbage, beggar poor kids playing cricket and talks of military tanks in universities
Half the problem is most of our social problems have so many layers and variables, and most of us do not put any real effort into understanding those, we were never taught to wear those kinds of thinking glasses and instead, we all are raised with the biases, prejudices, religions, and stupidity of those surrounding us. In the book Sapiens, one of the central themes was how our abilities to create fictions like laws, money, contracts, numbers over real reality enabled us to take over the planet. Now the work of our modern era is to keep the correct fictions and discard the rest.
Hence, I have now decided that putting too much effort into being right is just going to delay this whole train and so I would rather just move on to the next point.
The Work of Thinking
Instead of trying to be right, I’d rather try to put enough effort into figuring out all those known unknowns and unknown unknowns.
Failing to put in the work of thinking is why all countries don’t look like the United States and the reason poets like Atticus rival Joe Rogans and Sam Harris. It’s why just having data, books and explainer videos at “our fingertips” doesn’t really mean everyone would understand god doesn’t exist or for that matter even care for the said data, books and videos when he can just watch porn. All that parental bad programming, genetics and life experiences get in the way, and you cannot really do much thinking because you don’t really what that means. Something Sam Harris once said, “what evidence would you provide someone who doesn’t believe in evidence”, or Ayn Rand’s “A is A”, or like the ancient Hindus in India, why would you dare build ships when you are convinced that the sea is a god and would get angry — A was not A for them, it could turn into a god.