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SynTalk (short for Synthesis Talk) is a freewheeling interdisciplinary talk show with a philosophical approach to understanding the world from a long term perspective.

SynTalk (short for Synthesis Talk) is a freewheeling interdisciplinary talk show with a philosophical approach to understanding the world from a long term perspective.
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SynTalk (short for Synthesis Talk) is a freewheeling interdisciplinary talk show with a philosophical approach to understanding the world from a long term perspective.




#TIQW (The Isolated Quantum Worlds) --- SynTalk

Is there a rhinoceros in the room? Is the quantum world aesthetically weird? Are quantum systems only small? What is macroscopicness? Is there quantum behavior, but no quantum objects? Why is (?) there randomness, but not superposition (say), in the manifest world? Is the World one unified physical system? Are there local hidden variables? Can reality/realism be local? Can detectors detect determinate outcomes while themselves not being in a determinate state? Is interaction free measurement...


#TBAB (The Banal And Boring) --- SynTalk

Are only boring people bored? How standard are your windows? How did the trivial, marginal, & everyday come to the foreground in literature, architecture, language, & ‘living’? Does space emerge ‘from’ living? Has your built environment been handed down to you? Must tragedy only be about high-born individuals? Are you ‘free’ to be bored? Has modernity produced a certain kind of boredom? How have we come to expect agency over the world? Can ‘having tea’ be the point of a novel? Can one...


#TLOPE (The List Of Permitted Emotions) --- SynTalk

Do you talk to the Divine? Are feelings facts? Do you accept things as they are? What are you feeling at the moment? Are you agitated? Is sound the earliest primordial? However, do (say) colours, gestures, & silence also speak? Do emotions, fundamentally, emerge in cinema with the arrival of sound? How do we learn to say that we are not feeling well? Can emotions be thought of as objects? Which is the most ‘emotional’ part of the brain? Do words (& emotions) fall from heaven? How social or...


#TCOO (The Confluence Of Opposites) --- SynTalk

Are you neutral? Is neutral inert? Do you practice hypocrisy? What does it mean to be (an) opposite? Are capitalism and socialism always incompatible? Do opposites always attract (even in natural systems) – why not? How might opposites be brought together? Are (certain) paradoxes culturally contingent? Can the cultural be told apart from the religious? Where did the very notion of religion emerge from? Does every enzyme always have a precise lock-key relationship with its specific substrate?...


#TSOC (The Seeds Of Communities) --- SynTalk

Do you (only) like people like you? Is belonging ‘necessary’? Are communities homogeneous? How do communities become political actors from being social entities? Are community identities a way of becoming legible for the State? Does the idea of nations pre-suppose the idea of communities? Conversely, how do countries or communities fall apart? Are societies modern, & communities pre-modern? Can communities self-determine themselves as such? How much can communities scale? How is the...


#TIIP (The Ideas In Print) --- SynTalk

What would you have bought – an air pump, or a printing machine? What can you read? Does the idea of ‘writing’ automatically lead to the idea of ‘book’? Do you worship books? But, also immerse them in rivers? ‘Who’ has written the divine texts, & why? Do you (still) read aloud? Does the nature of support (say, clay tablet…) determine the writing style (…cuneiform)? Are media effects deterministic? What made paper cheap? What made/makes it to books? Why did the printing press not take off in...


#TLFD (The Last Few Days) --- SynTalk

Have you ever touched the feet of a dead body? Who will you die in the company of? Where do dogs go to die? Do they grieve others’ death? Is fear of death universal? What causes delirium? What role does religion play in dying? When do children first begin to understand that death is permanent, & that even they would die someday? Is every dying person also a living person? Could grieving turn into a disease? How ‘complicated’ can grief be? Do people who deny death often have horrible ends?...


#TSOE (The Suns On Earth) --- SynTalk

What came first – the nuclear power plant or the nuclear bomb? Do you fear nuclear power(s)? What was our experience of encountering coal? What is the relationship between energy consumption and well-being? What drives demand? Is more (always) better? Why did human population grow steeply from c. 1698? Where did the muscular Uncle Sam come from? Does pollution kill more people than wars? Is nuclearization value-neutral? How are human beings a part of nuclear power systems? How does (any)...


#TMAA (The Mediators And Actors) --- SynTalk

Are ‘things’ (truly) suppressed? What does it mean to act? (How?) is the fan in your computer doing something to you? Are there many kinds of intentionalities in the world? Do animals and machines also act? Are language, metaphysics, politics, agency – all – reserved only for us? Could politicization of the material world be thought of as depoliticization of the human society? What cannot interact? Is mediation a sub-species of action? Are definitions also actions? Is a detailed description...


#TCON (The Circuits Of Nomads) --- SynTalk

Are nomads free? Are nations stable? Do you take the ground for granted? Where are your ancestors from? Why did modern humans leave Africa? Are empires and nations products of circulatory processes? What circulates, & how? Have you heard of nomadic empires? Do nomads make good citizens? Is their relationship with the settled often symbiotic? Are the nomads not settled because the animals (that they live off) are not settled? Does culture reproduce the spaces of circulation via (say) music,...


#TMMOF (The Many Manners Of Falling) --- SynTalk

Why is that body heading the other way? Do different objects fall differently? Is it a mystery why bodies attract each other? What is the ontology of gravity? Did Newton find his own idea of universal gravitation absurd? When was Space first believed to be unlimited? Do belief systems and knowledge systems always influence each other? Does experience form intuition? Is a simultaneous process of falling in and falling out always ongoing in the Universe? What is it like to fall into black...


#TPPP (The Public Private Puzzles) --- SynTalk

Can you do whatever you want at home? Do you own private property? Do you hold (private) opinions? ‘What’ do you care for? Why & how do boundaries shift between the private and public realms? Do you have a right to health (& to smoke?)? Does economic development influence how public-private distinction is thought of? Is the process of drawing lines always political? Does increasing GDP always work automatically for publicly desired outcomes? Must private property also (eventually) be seen as...


#TAIU (The Animals In Us) --- SynTalk

Of what womb are you born? Are there good & bad animals? ‘Where’ is there no Law? Are the outlawed animal-like? Who gets to be a citizen of the polis? Are Pandavas princes in the forest? Are the freer nobler? Does the wolf look down upon the dog? Are animals truly in the open? Are humans, in a sense, the most abandoned? Is the jungle still within us? Did our ability to exchange (& imagine) enable us to curb our animal instincts and establish ‘humanity’? Where do Gods and demons come from? Is...


#TETH (The Euphoria The Humdrum) --- SynTalk

Are you in (deep) passionate love? Or, have passions calmed down? Do revolutions happen spontaneously, & what maintains them? How do we keep various commitments? Do you imagine yourself as an object? What bores you? Could we, sometimes, experience boredom in a deep kind of way? Can human relationships be authentically mediated by objects? Is consumerism itself a revolution? Do most of us not have a systematic view of the world? Do (only) individuals fall in love? Do we become more...


#TIAU (The Infrequent And Unlikely) --- SynTalk

Could traits trend? What do you want to detect? Are there many more rare species than common species? When is the past representative of the future? Are all models wrong and precarious? What, then, is evidence? Can surprises be modeled? Do unlikely events often happen in very likely ways? Are correlations higher on extremes? Are rare species more redundant? How might one find proxies for rarities? Is likelihood a comparative measure of ‘distance’ from the truth to the model? Is it trivial to...


#TNAOT (The New And Old Together) --- SynTalk

Is repair a form of creation? When can the new and the old coexist? Is the idea of ‘new’ itself, human and, new? Is this understanding always subject/context dependent? Why don’t we sometimes notice the new? What’s new for the deer in the savannah? Is memory history? When is the old also obsolete? Do events have both a past and a future? How is the past unlike an object? Did capitalism ‘create’ time? Did modernity change both the object and the subject? How do certain societies break away...


#TSAWM (The Strong And Weak Modes) --- SynTalk

Is Earth one system? How stable is New York? What sort of a person are you? How does the structure of your networks change the way you behave? How do you find out if something is good? Are societies with (Royal Family-like) strong hubs bad for social learning? Can atmosphere be thought of in terms of networks? Are unstable solutions more likely to become strong? Is it coincidental that strong El Niño and weak Monsoon often go together? Why/when did Krishna have to show his large magnificent...


#TFOS (The Faculty Of Suffering) --- SynTalk

Is it nonsensical to think that suffering is a part of the ‘human condition’? Are you a passive victim? Can you easily be more or less of yourself? Who suffers? Do we suffer because we are highly (self) conscious creatures? Are you forced to engage with the everyday? Does suffering have a duration, and can we live purely (& independently) in the present? Is violence inevitable in all lives? Can one voluntarily incur suffering? Does being a victim have any moral consequences? Can sacrifice be...


#TNAN (The Neighbours And Neighbourhoods) --- SynTalk

Are we neighbours? Do ghost authors write probabilistically? Could one build a house between your and your neighbour’s house? Can we draw a graph of the universe with colours of all the points in it? Do languages have distances from each other? How do sounds create neighbours linguistically? When/how can process states or words or sentences be said to be neighbours? Can A be a neighbour of B, when B is not a neighbour of A? Why can’t there be adjacent ‘points’? Are neighbours geometry...


#TTOTS (The Traits Of The Searchable) --- SynTalk

What makes Ujjain searchable? When did you last use a thesaurus? Does all search presuppose a structure, & can this structure be implicit? Is labeling necessary; when? How can one say if a text is structured? Are we all unique; but are we all also searchable because we belong to ‘groups’? Are all search problems matching problems? Is all search correlational? Can we search in different ways and find the same thing? Can different documents/texts/languages be coherent vis-à-vis each other? Is...