[THE TEN SOCIAL MEDIA COMMANDMENTS]
0/10
Been practicing most of these for a while, will be more stringent now on. Doesn't amount to much, but that's my contribution to a cleaner, more evolved ecosystem. At least my own immediate vicinity.

Will you?
1/10
No hashtag, no trend-hopping.

Trends tempt opinions; often even on issues we otherwise wouldn't. This dilutes intellect. Energy that could've gone into deserving causes closer to hear get wasted on trivial garbage-of-the-day. Tweet to opine, not opine to tweet.
2/10
No sharing scandalous videos.

Not even to condemn. Not even to ridicule. Their makers thrive on reach; don't give them that. Issues can be highlighted without scandalizing them for shallow publicity. A rape can be condemned without sharing its livestream.
3/10
No engaging trolls.

Neither retweet, not reply. May look like cowardice to them but there's neither glory nor class in shallow oneupmanship. Make them earn your attention. By matching your class. By demonstrating integrity to discourse. By being decent.
4/10
No dismissing reason.

At the very heart of this is airtight non-partisanship. The voice of reason can come from any quarter. So long as they're from a place of intellectual honesty, hear them out. No shame in learning from someone you disagree with. That's discourse.
5/10
No naming attention-seekers.

Not even in jest. Not even in anger. Not because it's libel, but because that's what they want. They crave attention, starve them. Reference them by adjectives if necessary. Give them the one thing nobody wants: Social media death.
6/10
No cliché.

Many jokes and wisecracks, unbeknownst to the ones making them, happen to be long past their shelf life. Witticisms like jumla, 15 lakh, achhe din, presstitute, etc. are no longer witty. No problem with that, except, people stop taking you seriously.
7/10
No memes.

Again, barring an ocassional exception, these are generally meant to appeal to the very bottom of the pyramid. You're way above that. Don't fall in that trap. The more you please that lot, the harder you impeach your own station.
8/10
No courtesy likes.

There's great tweets, and there's not-so-great tweets. Just because someone happens to be a friend or a respected figure, doesn't mean everything they tweet is going to be top-shelf. Hit that heart icon only when it is. Make your likes mean something.
9/10
Non-partisanship

It's possible to be political, yet not beholden to a party. Or even ideology. No ideology is ethically kosher. Judge an opinion on its own merit and not that of its maker's. Not doing so is an insult to your intelligence.
10/10
No heroes

This ties in closely with non-partisanship. Leave hero-worship for the lowest common denominator. Nobody deserves 24/7 adulation. Personality cult is detrimental to society. You do that on Twitter and all you'll gather is fellow sycophants. Do you want that?
*heart

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More from @Schandillia

19 Sep
[QUICK THREAD: THE YAVANAS]
1/22
Long, long ago, a people inhabited the regions around the Aegean Sea — Roughly what's today Greece and western Turkey. They were called the Pelasgians. Classical Greek folks like Homer called them, often reverentially, their ancestors.
2/22
One day, upset over something their king did, Zeus unleashed upon the world a mega flood to wipe the slate clean. Everyone died. Except Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha. Deucalion had built a boat to wait out the deluge. Later, the couple had a child.

His name, Hellen.
3/22
Hellen went on to court a water-nymph and together they had 3 sons, Dorus, Xuthus, and Aeolus. Dorus and Aeolus went on to spawn 2 primordial tribes of the region, namely Dorians and Aeolians, respectively. Xuthus further had 2 sons, Achaeus and Ion.
Read 22 tweets
14 Sep
[QUICK THREAD: THE JADEJAS]
1/63
Muslims took much from India, but they also brought much. One of those gifts was opium. From toothache to gonorrhoea and from cholera to male impotency, this thing was closest you could get to panacea back in the day.
2/63
Besides being an excellent analgesic (we still use morphine to kill severe pain), it was also a decent aphrodisiac and the mediaeval world's most sought-after date rape drug. But the latter wasn't exactly its most sinister application. That goes to something else.

Murder.
3/63
These were no ordinary murders because these weren't seen as crime, at least not at first.

Going further back...

Sure Afghans introduced us to opium. But not to opioids. That stuff predates them, and even Islam, by centuries if not millennia.
Read 65 tweets
1 Sep
[QUICK THREAD: XERXES, RIKSH, AND THE BIG DIPPER]
1/10
This brilliant thread by Crystal speaks of the word for dog in a tongue that went extinct more than 3,800 years ago. Do read even if you not into linguistics. And once done, come back to the rest of this.
2/10
Crystal's thread rang a bell. The word "ur" sounded familiar! There's coincidences, many coincidences.

About 6.5-4.5k years ago in the region around the Caspian, there lived a people we today call the Proto-Indo-Europeans. They spoke a tongue we call the PIE language.
3/10
The PIE folks didn't write anything down do there's no way for us to know for sure how they sounded or what their grammar was like. But with methodical linguistic extrapolations and educated guesswork, we've managed to reconstruct it with remarkable fidelity.
Read 10 tweets
31 Aug
[THREAD: VALLEY OF FLOWERS, FLOWERS OF CARNAGE — II]
1/166
A convoy of 4x4 army vehicles left the Trehgam base at 9 on the night of Feb 23, 1991 and barreled down a snow-covered road through the mountains. It was a bright moonlit night.

...about to get very dark.
2/166
Led by a Col. K S Dalal, the convoy carried at least 125 armymen of the 4 Rajputana Rifles, 68 Mountain Brigade in 4 companies: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta. The brief was clear: Get there, seal exits, search every home.

A cordon-and-search operation.
3/166
These operations are a standard response to any intel on a militant hideout in a village. This one was also triggered by one such tip. Of the 4 companies, Alpha and Delta were to "cordon," and Bravo and Charlie to "search."

Destination was an hour away.
Read 167 tweets
27 Aug
[SUDARSHAN TV]
1/6
I don't do this often but jeez, @Twitter, how is this man still around? How's he getting to polluting your platform with such impunity? This isn't dogwhistle, this is IPC sections 95 and 153(A)!

CC: @CPDelhi, @cp_delhi, @noidapolice

#SuspendSureshChavhanke
2/6
Basically, @SureshChavhanke, in his infinite wisdom, is attributing a "jihadi" conspiracy to a certain community doing well at the Indian civil services. Why?
CC: @TwitterSupport, @misskaul, @vijaya, @TwitterIndia, @VerifTracker, @TwitterSafety

#SuspendSureshChavhanke
3/6
Every Indian citizen is eligible to participate in India's civil administration. As citizens, this right is enjoyed by Muslims as much as their non-Muslim compatriots. What's "jihadi" about it? Is a law being broken? Is peace being compromised?

#SuspendSureshChavhanke
Read 7 tweets
25 Aug
[QUICK THREAD: DEBUNKING 79°41'54" E]
1/19
For years, Hindutva experts have peddled to gullible suckers a myth. Read about it in this @timesofindia piece from 2016 here. This thread intends to scratch the surface and see if it holds water.
toistudent.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/holy-trai…
2/19
Here's my findings:

There's many Shiva temples that do sit around 79°E, that's true. But there's many more that don't. The claim speaks of "major" Shiva temples, so it depends on how one defines the term.

I'd consider the 12 Jyotirlingas as pretty major, wouldn't you?
3/19
Here's their coordinates (longitude only, in °E):

1. Somnath, Gujarat: 70.401389
2. Srisaila Mallikarjuna, Andhra Pradesh: 78.8667
3. Mahakaleshwar, Ujjain: 75.768333
4. Omkareshwar, MP: 76.151056
5. Kedarnath: 79.066917
6. Bhimashankar, Pune: 73.536
Read 19 tweets

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