Friday, June 06, 2008

needham was a convert to communism and extolled china's illusory innovations

jun 6th, 2008

it is true that the chinese did invent a lot of very practical things, like the compass, the printing press, etc.

but india was even more inventive: it invented the calculus (the kerala school of astronomy), it invented grammar (panini), it invented the decimal system, it invented meditation, it invented surgery. but india gets no credit for any of these things.

a lot of whites have become cheerleaders for china and looked at it through rose-colored glasses. not clear exactly why. these days, the brits are openly whoring for china, as they have nothing left to sell than their ability to shill.

a significant amount of indian innovation was 'awarded' by needham to china. and the chinese have been quick to claim credit for all sorts of things, including inventing buddhism, the martial arts, etc. a lot of it is due to the fact that the chinese have always despised whites and made no secret of it. but indians have never had a superiority complex -- even though we are superior -- and so others felt free to dis us. lesson: obsequiousness does not pay (are you listening, manmohan singh?)

also, the water-works by karikala chola built 2000 years ago -- eg. the grand anicut -- are still standing, and still functioning. of course, the 'economist' and other india-baiters would never recognize this.

furthermore, chinese civilization, it turns out, is *later* than the early indus-saravati, which shows unbroken continuity to mehrgarh, 9000 years ago. the contemporaries of the indus-sarasvati are mesopotamia and egypt; china came later. but all the white guys say "china has an unbroken civilizational continuity of 10,000 years; india gained independence in 1947". see an interesting, but unfortunately, pakistan-centric article in science regarding the indus-sarasavti recently


Shahryar said...

I think you are in danger of attributing Needham's biographer Winchester's shortcomings to Needham.

Extracts from Needham On Early Indian Inventions Of Hydraulics, Cotton-Gins And Alcohol Distillation by D.P. Agrawal.

His [Needham's] statements on India, often occurring as asides, were never carelessly made, and invariably gave a critical assessment of the existing state of research; and he often gave good guidance on areas that needed to be explored (P.246).
Needham, in Science and Civilisation, Vol. IV(2), gave a clear definition of the two forms: the noria having the containers fixed to the rim of the wheel and the saqiya on the rope or chain flung over the wheel (p. 356). Having done so, he was able to follow up the evidence gathered by Coomaraswamy and Laufer and argue that the earliest water-wheel in India was the noria and that India was probably the country of origin of this device.

The reasons Needham adduced for this conclusion were two-fold. First of all, the noria was in the Hellenistic world in the first century BC and in China in the second century AD. This proximity of date in such distant civilizations suggested an intermediate source of diffusion. Secondly, he located the earliest recorded reference (derived presumably from Coomaraswamy) to the noria in the term cakkavattaka (turning wheel) used in the Cullavagga Nikaya (assigned to ca. 350 BC) for one of the three permissible models of water-lift.
Habib said that with almost no materials in his hand relating to the history of worm-gearing in India, Needham (Science and Civilisation, IV(2), pp. 122-24) yet proposed that the device originated in India. His argument was based on the presence here of the charkhi or cotton-gin, with two elongated worms serving to turn its rollers in opposite directions. Noting its presence in Indo-China and Xinjiang, Needham further speculated that it reached China from India by two routes, via Burma and Indo-China, in about the fifth century AD and via Central Asia in the thirteenth. This would mean that the cotton-gin must have been in use in India before the sixth century; but there was no evidence to prove this when Needham was writing.

TambiDude said...

"even though we are superior --"

superior as to what? One noted Indian Mathamatician in US has told that the scientific research output coming out from India is worse that Iran. Ouch. that hurts. to be worse than a muslim country.

It seems you don't believe in "walk the talk".

Arvind said...

tambidude, the research from Nehruvian run India is indeed inferior. It doesn't hurt me to see that the Nehruvian-Stalinist establishments come out with drivel.

slim_shady said...

Tambidude, I believe the superiority being referred to here is the function of the collective achievements of Indian civilization, which far exceed the achievements of others over time - not necessarily only in a comparative sense, although there too it's not difficult to make the case, but also in the sense of (at the risk of sounding too proud) being the originator of all religion and philosophy and culture and pragmatism, and therefore seeing other cultures as mere derivatives or excesses of pre-conceived worldviews.

What you are referring to when questioning this superiority are the modern day activities of a political nation that has been subjugated for a millenium and is currently run by nitwits.

nizhal yoddha said...

shahryar, maybe i was hasty in attributing motive to needham. but there is consistent white refusal to give credit to india/hindus for anything, because it was part of their colonial strategy to talk about the 'civilizing mission' of the white guys. they suggested that if they hadn't arrived, india would have been a cesspool. actually mohammedans say this too, according to them india was an uncivilized place until their barbarian hordes arrived. it is just a rationalization for conquest.

nizhal yoddha said...

now, now, guys, let's not beat up on tambidude. all our statements can be coherent if we simply agree that tambidude himself is inferior. :-)

Shahryar said...


You are quite right about the history we were taught as colonised people - it is all lies where everything was invented by the Greeks!

In my opinion, the project for false history started with the Roman Republic/Empire who used their lies to justify their plundering and enslaving their neighbours aka civilizing the barbarians! Hence all the Roman histories about Celts, Goths, Vandals, and other "barbarians" are suspect. This project was continued by the Roman Catholic Church; it enjoyed over 10 centuries of monopoly defining intellectual life in Europe.

The Arab National Movement, aka Islam, also followed the Roman model; the central precept of which is to revile others.