Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Cartelian logic: 101

Chapter 1: Longest leap of faith axiom by Libertarian blogger and renowned Cartelian Aadisht

If
you find this advertisement tasteless then you belong to a certain 'leftist religion' that venerates poverty.

But wait! The lesson in logic is not over yet. Did you know that you are also a condescending prick who looks down upon liberalisation, just because you find that Brand Equity ad tasteless? No! It's elementary my dear Watson. Benevolent human beings that the Cartelians are, they enlighten you advertisement-haters about 10 Commandments of your religion they have oh-so-helpfully compiled. Don't you see the obvious logical inconsistency in that position? Sigh!

What would this world have come to had we not had the Cartelians to remind us of our elementary lessons in logic!

Therefore students the next time you decide to find an advertisement tasteless, you better check with the High Council of the Cartel about its stance, unless you want to be derided by them and their numerous 'enlightented' followers and forced to join as members of this ghastly leftist religion.

Update 2: My comments are back online at Aadisht's blog.

Update: Aadisht has clarified his stance here. He only meant to call out the three bloggers he had linked to and wasn't trying to forcibly convert the rest of us who also found the ad offensive. So the charges against him under the anti-conversion law have been dropped. I have many issues with his clarification and have left a detailed comment there. Those interested may read it there.

Apology: Drunk as I was in my zeal to score cheap debating points I saw things which were never there in the first place, I must apologise to Aadisht for misrepresenting him. He never called anyone a 'leftist fool.' I have said he did while responding to Kya yaar tu bhi in the comments section of this post. I have removed the following line from the post. You illogical dumbos, don't you understand that you cannot hate that ad and yet profess to be in favour of liberalisation. I very clearly misunderstood and unintentionally misrepresented him on this one.

31 comments:

Mridula said...

Good one Chetan. I liked your reploy at the 10 Commandments post a lot.

Venu said...

I liked the comment you put up at the original post.

But I think you impute too much power to the 'Cartel'. I've begun roaming around the indian blogosphere since around the time of your longest comment controversy, and ever since then I've been wondering if you didnt make too much about libertarians strangling the blogosphere. It maybe partly because of your comment that their importance has waned. The Indian Economy Blog, which to me is the better face of libertarianism in the blogosphere, is less smug and more matter-of-fact (if you discount occasional posts by Amit Varma).

Chetan said...

Mridula: Thanks.

Venu: Probably I imputed much more influence to them than they possess. I don't know. But currently the number of bloggers has increased exponentially so there is a dilution owing to that. Besides part of the reason why I criticise their condescendation is that I really like them and what they write. Some of them are my good friends. I chat with them on regular basis. They are very smart people and can write some exceptional posts if they get down to it.

It is precisely because of that that condescending posts such as these get my goat. I find them totally unecessary and Cartelians indulging in the same things that the socialists indulged in once; the holier than thou approach. If you are going to call out other people on their logical fallacies and take moral high ground when they impute motives to your positions, then you better learn to stick to your high standards and maintain your reputation by being consistent and logical. I have no problems with Nilu doing such things. He is consistent in his recursive hypocrisy philosophical position.

Going by your excellent comments on Other India blog you too are in favour of liberalisation, and yet if you found this advertisement offensive the Cartelians and their blind followers who rely on Cartelians totally for their thinking will look down upon you just because you found an ad exploitative!

And yes, I too think that the Indian Economy is a fine blog with really good discussion in the comments.

Sanket said...

Chetan, I had posted a comment at Aadisht's place. Let me post it here as well.
-----

Great rebuttal Chetan! I too fail to understand the logic here. There are so many ads I find tasteless. For example, I had seen a billboard having a Shopper’s Stop ad that said something to the effect - “[shopper’s stop is] the difference between a hefty pay package and no job!”. I had found it utterly tasteless and stupid. Similarly, I find the “mission statement” of Khadder stupid. I had posted about it over here. Well, and how are one finding an ad tasteless and one buying the product or not related?! I totally fail to understand the whole connection.

Chetan said...

Sanket: Let's hope we get some explanation about the connection Aadisht sees but we so obviously don't.

Vikrum said...

Nice article Chetan. Do you have a number for the High Coucil of the Cartel? I have some questions I'd like some advice about some questions, and hear that their imams are quite approchable. Thanks in advance.

AnalCrapLib said...

I JUST discovered this fascinating webpage - turns out the Cartellians have a high-volume mailing list - with as many as a thousand mails a month - where they decide their strategy of self-advancement, attacking those who they don't agree with like a cowherd, and generally about which logical fallacies they are allowed to commit on Fridays.

Towefinger said...

Yeah, the "cartellians" do seem like a bunch of school bullies

MumbaiGirl said...

I wonder if I had praised the ad, what religion I'd have belonged to...

Kya yaar tu bhi said...

Chetan,
Are you by any chance arguing for a consensus on taste ie. You want the Brand Equity mediafolks to run their ads by the holy trinity of Shivam Dilip and Uma before chaapoing them ?
btw, if a self-righteous blogger blogs 10 commandments self-righteously knowing ahead of time he is blogging self-righteously, then he cannot by definition be self-righteous since he's actually being satirical, no ? what is that axiom about impossibility of particle being in two spots at same time.

Chetan said...

Vikrum: You are not ready yet to receive the phone number of the High Council. Remember, 'you don't go to the Cartel, the Cartel comes to you.' Till now I believed it meant something else. It was yesterday that I found out that it means that the Cartel will visit your blogs to determine your religion.

AnalCrapLib: You forgot to mock the third word, instead of Lib you could have written it as gLib. However, the attempt at word play with references to posterior parts and things therein may make many of my readers queasy and also when made by a commenter who does so anonymously affects my credibility. I would request you to keep the tone in the comments as civil as possible.

Towiefinger: I wouldn't go as far as saying that.

MumbaiGirl: You will have to seek answers from the High Council on that one. I being a staunch followers of the leftist religion won't be of much help.

Kytb: With due respect where have I argued for or even insinuated regarding a consensus on taste? But does the holy trinity lose the right to merely say that they found the advts in bad taste only because they happen to belong to the holy trinity? In fact it is Aadisht who is calling for a consensus on taste by saying that anyone who doesn't like the ad is a leftist fool. Besides I agree with the thrust of the argument. Those commandments are true for many people in real life as well as in the blogosphere. But choosing to indict people who found an advertisement tasteless for all of the above crimes is plain stupid and even against Libertarian ethos. A person is free to find anything tasteless.I will ask the same question I asked small talk in the discussion on Aadisht's page.

Do any of these posts call for a ban on the ads? Are the writers rioting outside Economic Times office stoning it? Are they asking for any income redistribution? They are simply saying that they found the ad tasteless. What goes of anybody’s father if they find an ad despicable? What pomposity are you and Aadisht refering to? You didn’t like their blog post deriding the ad, does that mean you are pompous? Within your haloed Libertarian logical framework tell me what is wrong if someone says that he/she found an advertisement offensive and how that qualifies someone to be a leftist? Us minions who blindly follow those 10 commandments would be forever indebted to you for enlightening us about the follies of our ways.


Self-righteous or not, do let me know if you understand the link between not liking an ad and writing about it and being a sanctimonious leftist. Just as I would hate a holy trinity to be given a right to vet an ad, I would hate the Holy Cartel to be given the right to determine the line of what makes someone a leftist in the blogosphere. If they call out people on all sorts of logical fallicies, they better stick to their standards and not do the same things they despise in others or else admit to being hypocrites like everyone else and then go about making merry writing such inane posts. Oh by the way, do read my comment there. It might clarify a few things.

Kya yaar tu bhi said...

Are you saying this Aadisht dude does not have a right to call trinity leftist fool, but trinity has right to find ad tasteless ? In point of fact, both are happening. Trinity is saying ad is tasteless. Aadhist is saying trinity is leftist fool. Neither has gotten hurt or indicted or any other legalese you care to employ. Obviously you realize that each blogger is a walking talking ad. Million bloggers out there, junta only has so much time. So you guys & gals seek to outdo each other with fancy headlines, lots of rhetoric & posturing. But end of day nothing tangible achieved. Unless you consider sharing ideas itself defacto achievement. In which case not much diff between blogosphere and the toothless grannies in my native agraharam. They too shared arbit info about various sons & grandsons & world affairs and paalkaran and pookari amidst eating sundal and farting as a result of its fiber content. Matter of fact I am listening to one podcast of two southies Neha and Kamala. Kamala goes, so you did tsunami blogging. Neha goes, yes it was back breaking! I perked up. Back breaking ? Now I have, in my unwise youth, worked with laborers, carrying cement sacks on my back. I have carried bricks on my head, worked with laborers in construction crew. Nothing glorious, we were just poor and in fact I was in my early teens, my companions were 8 and 9 year old kids who should have been in school. That was backbreaking. So I am having full affinity with backbreaking workdoing people. So let us see what backbreaking tsunami work was done - apparently 8-9 windows were opened on one laptop, then cellphones were answered, pictures uploaded on some flicker website, mainstream news tabulated on another website...so the backbreaking work was along these lines. Ok, I kill the podcast with disgust. If you are going to go fullon rocking with indicting, logical consistency and other heavy adjective, I wish it onvolves some worthwhile Jessica Lal or Priyadarshini Mattoo, not some stupid third party ad. Ofcourse that is just my wish and you can find it tasty, tasteless, backbreaking, whatever. Now where is my Nicki Bakshi fullon rocking hotandhappening mp3 ...

Chetan said...

LOL! I have no pretenses of achieving something through blogging. I am here to have fun during my jobless stint and make friends. But why not make it more fun by 'going fullon rocking with indicting, logical consistency and other heavy adjective.' And I love toothless grannies who gossip. They make the best sabudana khichadis!!!

BTW, do you have something against girls named Neha? :) Another thing. Aadisht didn't call the trinity a leftist fool, he called anyone who didn't like that ad a leftist fool. But you already knew that. ;) You like engaging me and I have time on my hands. So we can carry this conversation throughout the day if you so wish! Also liked that last line about going back to Nicki Bakshi! I am going back to my "Na aye piya" from Hazaaron Khaishen Aisi.

Kya yaar tu bhi said...

Chetan, Are you by chance in touch with indicast people ( http://indicast.blogsome.com/ ) ? If not I think you should immediately jump on board. Then I can listen to you & this Ravi Kiran wet toilet paper guy, Chocolate Goldcoin CIA Higgins, and assorted coterie on mp3. Why I like Indicast so much is because it is exact opposite of these Other India type elite assholes. TIndicast tells it like it is without contorted verbal gymnastics. Also because I don't like reading compared to listening. Also because it has potential to make real money. If they charge $1 per download I will happily pay. Ofcourse if you charge $1 for your blog I will reboot your laptop and all 9 windows. No I don't know this neha from lamppost so why I will hate her ? I just got email about her podcast and I tried listening that's all. Ok bye for now.

?! said...

Chetan

It looks like you'll have to relinquish your longest comment tag after all ...

:)

Tarun said...

Really nice template-customisation and header. :)

Chetan said...

?! a.k.a. Dubious: Long time since I visited your blog! Been on a job hunting spree that has kept me occupied.

Tarun: Thanks. I am glad you liked it. I took me quite some time to design it.

Gaurav said...

Another thing. Aadisht didn't call the trinity a leftist fool, he called anyone who didn't like that ad a leftist fool.

Ummm.....

Search for the following words - leftist, fool, on the said blogpost by Aadisht did not yield any results.

Chetan said...

I have apologised for the leftist fool remark. However I stand by my interpretation that the religion Aadisht refered to was leftist. Read the 10 commandments I have posted while ignoring the word Cartel and Libertarian. Anyone reading them will still come to the conclusion that I am talking about Libertarians without explicitly mentioning them.

If someone repeats ad nauseum that poverty has increased since liberalisation and when pinned down say that they are not blaming Liberalisation but saying it hasn't helped many. At least in that case you refused to believe them going by this post. In the same way Aadisht refered to all the leftist caricatures in the 10 commandments of poverty and now you want me to believe that Aadisht wasn't refering to the left? I ask, "Why dont you also say, the commandments were talking about NAMBLA's right to free-will." ;) Just kidding!

Venu said...

Man, do you go overboard! :-). I think you've driven home your point well enough. Its beginning to cloy a bit. Maybe you should say a word or two about kytb's condescension when he says Gaurav doesnt know what libertarian means.

Chetan said...

Venu: :) I know. I am just bored here sitting alone with nothing to do as my room mates have left for their weekend spots. Sorry if you found that cloying. I have a habit of belabouring a point. About Kytb... I had written a comment on Aadisht's blog which has gotten deleted along with my other comments. Those spam filters are frustrating. I should have posted that comment here immediately. Also, take kytb's pronouncements with a pinch of salt. He has a penchant for making provocative statements just to invoke a response. His condescention is purposefully purposeless if you know what I mean.

Kytb:(This is in reference to your comment on Aadisht's blog.)

Now wait a minute! Where did Dilip come into picture anywhere???

And to be frank I am glad that Gaurav is the way he is. I mean I for one commend the spirit that the Libertarians were doing things which were not in their self-interest. For some reason I hadn't thought of them that way till Gaurav explained. And there is no inconsistency in Gaurav's and other Libertarians' position. CCS, the most prominent Indian Libertarian think tank also says something similar about indirect taxes affecting the poor. My point was that there is no need to condescend to anyone just because they are offended by something said about a group which they don't belong to. Everyone of us indulges in that at one point or another. It is called having an opinion! So there is no need to publicly condescend. That I went overboard in a bid to score points is unfortunate. But I had nothing against Aadisht. "Hum to sirf itna chahte hai ki aap blogoarthiyon ka swagat unhe pan na karke kijiye." I would not like to see Libertarians going down the 'holier than thou' rabbit hole. We have had enough problems with socialists who indulge in that.

Kya yaar tu bhi said...

Hello Venu,
I know one prisoner in Guantanamo prison cell who knows what freedom means. But what will he do with that knowledge - he is still prisoner, no ?
Similarly, Gauravan is well versed with libertarianism but he lives in present day India. I am simply wondering how relevant that knowledge is, under the circumstances of his current citizenship.

btw, everything does not have to be judgement, condescension, statement, pehlu, perspective, whatever. Some times ( in my case make that 100% of the times ), it is simply timepass. Don't read too much into it. Otherwise you will become like that French student who has submitted a PhD thesis in Film Theory on Govinda's Gravitas among Greater Indian Masses - Gestalt, Grammar and Groupdance in Ghatkopar. Definitely a must-read.

Venu said...

Chetan (and kytb),
I do have some idea of kytb's style (which I thoroughly enjoy) as in one of his comments about grandma's farting and all. Behind the provocativeness and I-do-it-for-timepass explanations, however, I cant doubt that he is seriously skeptical about Indians claiming to be libertarians. I dont want janta to always go out of their way not to give offense to others (indeed I think that kind of PC majorly plagues all public debate in India), but I would dearly like it if kytb could give an explanation of why he thinks libertarianism in India is irrelevant. And which I have provoked him into giving. ;-)

I know one prisoner in Guantanamo prison cell who knows what freedom means. But what will he do with that knowledge - he is still prisoner, no ?
Similarly, Gauravan is well versed with libertarianism but he lives in present day India. I am simply wondering how relevant that knowledge is, under the circumstances of his current citizenship.

[I cant speak for Gaurav, but I would like to put up a short response here, as I would rather call myself a libertarian (with a small l) than anything else.] I am not pessimistic enough to compare India and Guantanamo. Still, a prisoner who knows what possibilities freedom holds is far more likely to fight for his freedom than somebody who doesnt see freedom as the primary issue.

Chetan said...

I am not pessimistic enough to compare India and Guantanamo. Still, a prisoner who knows what possibilities freedom holds is far more likely to fight for his freedom than somebody who doesnt see freedom as the primary issue.

Bravo! Excellent point.

Gaurav said...

[I cant speak for Gaurav, but I would like to.....

Venu, I agree completely with what you say in this regard.

Gaurav said...

Chetan, one very important difference before you compare the points I raise with the points those who are criticisng the ads.

What I or other libertarians usually write about is rights being trampled upon. Or rights being stolen. The right to own property, the right to sell your property at the price you deem fit, the right to start a business selling electrcity or education etc. The government and its cronies in most cases are trampling on these rights and stealing money. There isn't too much black and white here.

Now I agree that there is no immediate personal connection between those causes and me right now because I happen to be well off. But that does not mean I stop caring about the policy my government frames because if someone's rights are being trampled, then it is wrong, and even in a libertarian society there need to be disincentives on trampling rights. It is my government, one which I am forced to pay taxes to and so I am in my rights to ask what is being done about it.

The comment I made on presstalk was to basically debunk insinuations that Libertarians only care about urban issues, mobile phones and growth rates....all "far removed" from reality. It does not mean I am selfless and speaking on behalf of anyone. I am as much a part of the system as anyone.

The difference here is that the ads are being carried by company A and feature persons A & B. Others have no stake in it. And no clear cut rights are being trampled upon. Certainly no stealing is taking place. Do they have a right to protest? Of course they do. Free speech and all. But mind well that they are taking offence "on behalf" of someone since they are not personally involved. Again, as I said, they have a right to express what they want. But then Aadisht also has a right to poke fun at them.

And you have the right to compare their protests with my protests aginst statist issues.

And I have a right to say the comparison is flawed. :-)

Exercise your right to admit the same. :-P

Chetan said...

Gaurav, I would have admitted the same, but I am a lazy lazy person. I hate to excercise my right to admit. The cost benefit analysis says that it is a ghate ka sauda. ;)

Jokes apart, I know that the situation is nuanced and that you talking on behalf of poor and the ad-bashers talking on behalf of poor aren't exactly the same. Precisely the reason why it is a comparison not a metaphor. I didn't say Gaurav did a HOTHL today at presstalk nor did I say Gaurav has converted to their religion. :)

By using three examples, those of jholawala NGO, Jessica Lal and yours, I was trying to point out how fraught with problems this whole things of deciding what constitutes 'speaking on behalf of someone.' It was therefore that before launching into the comparison between bloggers protesting against Jessica Lal verdict and your comment on presstalk, I had posed a question...

And where to draw this line on speaking on behalf of someone?

At some point of time we all speak on behalf of someone. If I write a blog post frowning on the Iraq war or what kytb spoke about Neha writing a piece on Gaza patti, which you will agree is far removed from Indians, does not mean that I venerate the Iraqis or Neha venerates Palestinians. It also does not mean that we are anointing ourselves as sole spokespersons, It does not logically follow from writing a post on the issue that we claim to be the only ones understanding it.

Let me tell you a secret. This thing that me and Neha are indulging in is something called having an opinion and sharing it. And everyone indulges in that at some point of time including Aadisht, How that translates into someone being clubbed into a certain religion having those axioms is the crux of the matter here. More so because of Cartelians insistance/veneration of logic. Show me logically how Mumbai Girl writing that piece translates into her being a follower of those commandments. You do that and I will excercise my right to admit!


The difference here is that the ads are being carried by company A and feature persons A & B. Others have no stake in it.

Ahem. Aren't you forgetting the most crucial actor C in this equation??? C for consumer! Towards whom the ads are directed at? How can you say that the consumers have no stake in something which is clearly directed towards them? In fact you saying that you have a right to speak on behalf of poor because you are an actor in the system and criticising the goverment indirectly affects your well-being it much more of a stretch than a consumer protesting against an ad directed towards him/her.

Gaurav said...

Chetan, of course they can express their opinions. I never said that they can't.

A stake as a consumer is a lot different from a stake as a victim. Hope you agree. Especially if you are a "prospective" customer. In other words, if power reforms, education reforms, labour reforms are stalled, what goes of my father? Well, what goes of my father is tax money and rights. If the ads are tasteless, what goes of my father? Nothing, really.

That's the difference, capisce?

The purpose of my comment was to just point out the difference in the comparison you made and not defending Aadisht's post. Aadisht is perfectly capable of defending his own opinions and I will leave that to him. He is travelling these days so hasn't been able to respond or fix that comment spam bug. But I will say this. Asking someone to "logically show" how a piece which is satirical is asking a bit much. How would you feel if you were asked to logically defend your blogaratha.

A satirical piece, especially one that is a bit provocative and over the top, will indulge in some generalisation and exaggeration. It is usually done for effect. What matters is whether you agree with the basic 'nub of the matter' as Wooster would say. You have stated that you do. Then further splitting hair over the logical impeccability of that post is just that - splitting hair. You agree with the basic thrust na? If you didn't agree with it, then maybe we had a reason for debate.

Also, your 'cartellian 101' post was also similarly satirical, induling in generalisation and exaggeration. Hence no one really took offense or it or asked you to explain and logically demonstrate how those ten commandments follow. Even I just commented pointing out what I perceived were inconsistencies in your serious non-satirical comments.

Artful Dodger said...

Kya Yaar Tu Bhi said:

"so you did tsunami blogging. Neha goes, yes it was back breaking! I perked up. Back breaking ? Now I have, in my unwise youth, worked with laborers, carrying cement sacks on my back. I have carried bricks on my head, worked with laborers in construction crew. Nothing glorious, we were just poor and in fact I was in my early teens, my companions were 8 and 9 year old kids who should have been in school. That was backbreaking. So I am having full affinity with backbreaking workdoing people. So let us see what backbreaking tsunami work was done - apparently 8-9 windows were opened on one laptop, then cellphones were answered, pictures uploaded on some flicker website, mainstream news tabulated on another website...so the backbreaking work was along these lines. Ok, I kill the podcast with disgust."

Classic. it also unmasks a certain holier-than-blogger who used the tsunami coverage , most of which was fabricated, to get back to a place which shunned him orginally- the mainstream media.

Ahhhhhh said...

Gaurav said
Now I agree that there is no immediate personal connection between those causes and me right now because I happen to be well off. But that does not mean I stop caring about the policy my government frames because if someone's rights are being trampled, then it is wrong, and even in a libertarian society there need to be disincentives on trampling rights. It is my government, one which I am forced to pay taxes to and so I am in my rights to ask what is being done about it.

So, one has to establish some kind of personal stake in something before protesting about it. So Gaurav won't protest about the policies of the Sri Lankan or Pakistani government because he cannot establish a personal stake in their policies. Rachel Corrie cannot protest for Palestinians because no personal stake can be established. Mumbai Girl should not express her displeasure because no personal stake can be established.

So now the question is not whether mbgirl is a BHL but whether Chetan's analogy can survive wikipedian links to logical fallacy, mad commonem and don esquirite.

BTW, why did Gaurav approvingly link to Aadisht's post which lampooned Mumbai Girl's post when clearly Mumbai Girl's post did not infringe on Gaurav's or Aadisht's rights or affect their tax cuts. Methinks Gaurav should stop the hair splitting and learn to take a few punches gracefully. He doesn't have comments turned on his blog anyway.

Chetan said...

To whoever left the comment that has now been deleted: Your sentiments have been duly noted. Your comment has been deleted as a personal request by a close friend. The point you made was valid and I am considering putting up a policy regarding comments to avoid mischief. Next time I will not allow the two commenters you point to, to take cheap potshots. Thanks for understanding.