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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.




#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...


#TSAM (The Still And Moving) --- SynTalk

How are you experiencing time now? Is everything moving? Is the Still merely an ‘extract’ from the flux? Do images constitute both matter and memory? Can a 3D representation be created from several 2D images? How is motion detected? Is the interrelationship between the cameras themselves crucial to figuring out the structure of space? Is the moving image (truly?) a composite of still images? What lies between the moving and the still – GIFs? Is the perceptual world constituted by our senses?...


#TIBR (The Irregular But Rendered) --- SynTalk

Can we avoid fractals if we want to? Are our fingers irregular? Is there thumb cancer? Or, toe cancer? Are all regular objects ‘algebraically’ representable? Are cones manifolds? Do cubes have an algebraic description? Can algebraic equations catch everything (?) that topology cannot? Might two visually indistinguishable manifolds vary dramatically? Can circles have a ‘complex’ structure? Do biological objects (including virus) have edges or points? Do multi scale interactions make hearts or...


#TTTT (The Turns Technology Takes) --- SynTalk

Are you thinking of going back to paradise? Does technology exist, autonomously, without us? Is it the new vector ruling the world? Where did the idea of newness come from? Does technology come (more) from arts & crafts than science? Do both socialism and capitalism go together with technology? Was Industrial Revolution science driven? Might religious change drive technology? Similarly, do new technologies change social relations? How is organic evolution different from the technological?...


#TOOD (The Opposites Of Dry) --- SynTalk

Are bones dry? Is blood sticky? Are cells ‘rough’? Do dead cells dry up? Are stiffer (cancer) tumours more dangerous? Would stickiness on another planet be a tell-tale sign of the presence of Life? Does the act of adding and/or removing parts make things imperfect. Therefore, are all engineered artifacts rough? Does wettability depend upon both materials? Why do cells jiggle inside the matrix? Are all living environments aqueous? Can the architecture of blood vessels or cells be...


#TVVS (The Very Very Slow) --- SynTalk

Are younger systems faster? Do elephants mate slowly? Is a plastic ruler always ageing? Is only glass glassy? Why are processes slow or fast, & how do they speed up or slow down? Do all systems have an internal clock? Is water fast because it acts like a large correlated spring? Is there such a thing as fully-dissolved? Are certain social systems stable because they remain ‘useful’? How does fashion change fast? Is slowness a sign of highly connected groups? ‘How’ does inter-caste marriage...


#TMOTU (The Mapping Of The Unknown) --- SynTalk

Was the Earth ever flat? Do we live in a ‘flattish’ Universe? What did we first notice in the starry sky; & was anything fixed? How did the notion of the atom come to be? Have you heard accounts of maps/globes that do not exist anymore? Was the ‘World’ once – just – Asia, Europe and Africa? Do maps always orient us spiritually within the larger (ever-changing) Cosmos? Is the Universe static? Are maps a theory? What comes first – theory or observation? How can we map something we don’t see or...


#TCOTI (The Context Of The Implicit) --- SynTalk

What paints the scene for you? Do you often get carried away? How do we recall the mutable past? Is all implicitness context, time, politics, language, and subject dependent? Is our freest choice also controlled by culture? What makes something visible, sayable, perceivable, or (even) intuitive? Can the visual be more implicit than the textual? Is sound most implicit? Is our implicit explicit for ‘God’? Is architecture, being both symbolic and real, the language of the given? Is architecture...


#TMFF (The Markets For Farmers) --- SynTalk

Do you consume Garcinia? What does it mean to (not) own land or the forests? Do farms and forests lie on a continuum? Can forests themselves be farmed? Does wildlife conservation impact people for whom forests are a source of livelihood? Do we eat what some animals would not eat? Do you primarily eat (volatile) fresh produce? How are agricultural markets different from, and similar to, other markets? Is the Market an alien imposition atop the subsistence ‘economy’? Why are farmers often...


#TPKT (The Places Knotted Together) --- SynTalk

How far are you? ‘What’ is a place? Are they a moment of ‘realized’ relationships? Are (say) air pollution, hospitals, hydraulic systems, temperature, diseases, real estate prices, and species distributed similarly spatially? Does it take a lot of work to make a place? What does it mean for places to be similar? Have we always been placed the same way? Why aren’t there tigers in Sri Lanka? Are habitats and species always strongly correlated? Might India be closer to Madagascar than Africa in...


#TMBA (The Murmurs Before Arrival) --- SynTalk

Do you forget names and words? Are you going to get Alzheimer’s soon? Is any experience fundamentally conditioned by time? What cannot be anticipated? Can murmurs function like (unprocessed?) signs? Why are multi-parameter signals very difficult to ‘observe’ ahead of time? Is knowing all the initial conditions the primary source of difficulty? How are social systems different? Can beauty be ‘a’ number? Are nucleation events always stochastic? Does growth of protein aggregates ‘fit’ the...


#TJAG (The Just Almost Games) --- SynTalk

What’s your kill count? Do cats and dogs play to win? Do you like running and racing? Does play express freedom while pushing at the boundaries of reality, materials, & rules? Does normal life lend solidity to games, even though they may be interrupted by reality? Are literature and games both forms of cultural simulation? Would a Martian visiting Earth be able to distinguish work from play? Why can games only be enacted (& not narrated) in real time by the player? Must players be aware of...


#TTAT (The Types And Tokens) --- SynTalk

Are you unique, even though you are of a certain type? What kind of a tree is the tree of life? Are all organisms, languages, and substances in the world distinct? 'Can' languages be genetically interpreted? How do we know if we have an origin common with (say) bacteria? Are types always fuzzy, and tokens always particular? Do types exist, & are they like classes? Does our craving for understanding lead us to structures, or does the World 'have' a structure? Are all languages tokens of a...