A Start of Semester Quiz

I often post about Herero, southern African Bantu-speaking ranchers.  I plan to continue because they are prosperous people with strong families and little crime or disorder.  They also defy western definitions of things like marriage, family, male investment, and so on.  My purpose in these posts is to describe this matrilineal society that works because much of the left end of the SES distribution in the US seems to be following the same social development.  Perhaps there are lessons from the Herero that as citizens we should understand.

But nothing so serious today: this is just for fun.  I am posting a quiz.  I can’t offer my voice on your answering machine for the first correct answer, but that answer will certainly receive praise and applause from our audience.  Tune in tomorrow for the answer if it does not appear sooner.

Sitting around the fire late one evening with our neighbors, drinking tea and smoking [redacted], a young woman about 20 spoke up with a question.

“Henry, you Europeans are reputed to be very smart.  If you are smart you should know who discovered zeroo (rhymes with “me too”) twendia.”

“I have no idea what zeroo twendia is” I said.

“I don’t know what it is either but I know who discovered it”

So here is your quiz: who discovered zeroo twendia?



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14 Responses to A Start of Semester Quiz

  1. Matt Parrott says:

    The Indian mathematician Pingala?

  2. Internet Person #7 says:

    Does “twendia” mean “after” in kikuyu?

    • harpend says:

      No idea about Kikuyu, but I should have mentioned that my conversation with Sally was in English. Many people, especially younger people, adopt English nicknames. I can’t remember Sally’s real name.

  3. M. Möhling says:

    Sally, because she made it up first?

  4. thrasymachus33308 says:

    The Indians, and their mathematical prowess explains why they have such a wealthy and technologically advanced civilization. Oh, wait a minute, India is a stinking dump.

    • Dear thras

      If according to you and other alt-righters’ musings, the West turns into a stinking dump due to Progressive ideology, would you accept this explanation you just gave of India for the West? There are competing hypotheses and all may explain the poverty and stinkiness of various parts of the world. Looking at South Korea, we do not think North Korea is poor due to genetics. Looking at Africa, you probably posit that since Africa hasn’t really ever had a native advanced civilization, that its poverty its probably genetic. India, on the other hand, has had prosperity in the past, and admirers as well from Alexander the Great’s generals to American Transcendentalists. India has also had a tradition of smart realpolitik as seen in The Arthashastra. None of this proves that India could ever become as prosperous as the West but it also disproves that everything wrong is due to cultural or genetic factors. Personally, I blame mostly socialism.

      • thrasymachus33308 says:

        Hindu civilization is on some level brilliant. It has been stable for thousands of years. Westerners or Christians can’t keep a theology or form of social organization going for more than a couple of hundred years. But there is such a thing as too much stability. India can’t change quickly because of socialism, colonialism, corruption, and any number of things few people understand. On the other hand, if the rest of the world collapsed into chaos and starvation, India would probably keep chugging along.

  5. dearieme says:

    I’m old enough that our history lessons at school contained a good account of the Portugese explorations: the names that stick are Prince Henry the Navigator as the early impresario, Bartolomeu Dias as the man who rounded the Cape, and da Gama as the chap who pushed on to India.

    In many ways it makes a better story than the Columbus jaunt, which is really just a tale of two miscalculations and a wonderful stroke of luck.

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