A frank discussion chez Esmaili

Pegah Esmaili’s answer to Do ex-Muslims face discrimination at their homes?

No not at all, only my grandmother has a few times looked at me as if “what the fu*k are you trying to be my beloved damn grandchild? weren’t you praying till…like 2-3 years ago?”


It looked a little bit like this, didn’t it?

I did leave out Pegah’s altar to a potato chip. Luckily.

Why are there several anti-Islamic parties in Australia?

Other answers have addressed why there are anti-Islamic parties in Australia.

Why are there several anti-Islamic parties in Australia?

Splinterism, an endemic issue with extremist parties, and movements in general preoccupied with ideological purity rather than electoral success through coalition politics. Communism is even more notorious for splinterism, after all.

Latest instance I can think of: the United Patriots Front has splintered from Reclaim Australia, because Reclaim Australia wasn’t monomaniacally anti-Islamic enough.

But if we go through AIJAC’s list, we see another reason: anti-Islamism is not a defining characteristic of many of the parties listed there; it’s just a common attribute of populist right/far right groupings.

What would you choose in the following coin flip scenarios? Explain your thought process.

I did Engineering as an undergrad. So I should have a good appreciation of statistics, and work through the odds, right?

Screw that. I played a slot machine once when I was 16, lost all the money I put in after being ahead, and I’m not doing that shit again. I refuse to set foot on my own into the Melbourne Casino (although sometimes I have no choice, such as my cousin’s wedding reception, or my wife buying tickets to see *sigh* Richard Marx).

Besides, Melbourne Uni’s teaching of Engineering is crap, and the way they teach maths to engineers is even worse. You can taste the contempt from the lecturers. Anything I learned in probability and statistics went in one ear and out the other.

So I’ll take the 1K. Every. Fricking. Time.

Which, of course, is why I am not loaded.

What is the translation of Antiochos’ script in the temple of Laodice in Nahavand, Iran?

Thank you very much, OP, for providing the link.

This is in fact the same letter as that other one you provided, Can modern day Greeks understand and read ancient scriptures in ancient ruins (Like this one?)

Since you’ve provided a clean transcription I don’t have to squint at, happy to do it:

King Antiochus to Menedemus, Greetings.

We want to increase the honours of our sister Queen Laodice even more, and we consider this most necessary, not only so we can live with her caringly and like a guardian, but also because we want to act piously towards sacred things. And we are taking care to do what we should do and what it is right to do, to meet her needs, with family-like love. And we have decided, just as head priests commemorating us have been set up during our reign, that head priestesses commemorating her should be set up in the same places, who will wear golden crowns bearing her image; and they will be enrolled in the covenants, along with the head priests of our ancestors and our current head priests. So since Laodice was brought up in the places under your rule, let everything written above be carried out, and let copies of the letters be written on columns and set up in the most conspicuous places, so that now and forever our favour to our sister should be made clear through these.

119th year of the Seleucids, month of Xanthicus.

Is it considered a sin for an Orthodox Christian to drink alcohol in moderation?

Another cultural Orthodox here. I too was allowed beer with lemonade or watered down wine as a kid. I was also told I couldn’t be a sinner as a kid, because I didn’t have the capacity of mature judgement yet. (The legal system acts in a similar way.)

I presume your parents are just using sin to discourage you without having to explain themselves. Greeks in their position might say krima “shame”, maybe even krima apo to Theo “shame according to God”. But I’d be surprised if they used the term amartia “sin”.

How many names from “The Greatest Dutchman” poll do you recognize?

Top 10:

  • Pim Fortuyn. That gay guy who hated Muslims and got killed.
  • William Of Orange. That guy the Dutch National Anthem is about.
  • Antoine van Leeuwenhoek. That microscope dude.
  • Desiderius Erasmus. That guy who was the premier scholar of his age.
  • Anne Frank. With the diary.
  • Rembrandt Van Rijn. The paintings guy.
  • Vincent van Gogh. The other paintings guy.


Top 50:

  • Christiaan Huygens. Optics dude.
  • Freddy Heineken. Beer dude, got kidnapped.
  • Baruch de Spinoza. Nature Is God philosopher dude.
  • M.C. Escher. Every geek’s favourite graphic artist.
  • Queen Beatrix. Or whoever the second last queen was.
  • Hendrik Lorentz. The guy whose equations Einstein used.
  • Abel Tasman. The guy who discovered Tasmania.


Top 200:

  • Johannes Vermeer. The other other paintings guy.
  • Thomas à Kempis. The mediaeval theologian guy.
  • Willem III of Orange. The Glorious Revolution guy. Mr Queen Anne.
  • Piet Mondriaan. The painter guy with all the squares.
  • Paul Verhoeven. Showgirls. Enough said. (19/100)
  • John de Mol. Isn’t he the guy who invented Reality TV? *Checks* Yeah. Screw that guy.
  • Bernard Haitink. Conductor guy.
  • Koning Lodewijk Napoleon. Oh, that’s cute. Calling him by a Dutch name doesn’t make him any less a rent-a-king Napoleon dropped off out of his family progeny.
  • Pieter Brueghel. That painter dude with the bleak landscapes, that Pat Nixon namechecks in Nixon in China.
  • Louis Andriessen. Hey, I remember him, he’s the dissonant minimalism guy with a bug up his ass about the Canon. I liked De Staat, actually.

24/200, but I’m sure a couple of those are technicalities.

I tied with Peter Flom, which surprises me.

Missing from the list:

That was awesome fun, Jordan. Let’s do it again some time!

How does it feel like to write 1000 answers?

You wanna know how it feels like to write 1000 answers?

Well this is how it feels like!

It feels like I should be grateful to Brian Bi for t3nsor/quora-backup. Which has made THIS possible:

In glorious Baskerville.

Yeah, Baskerville! Fond memories of my childhood World Book Encyclopaedia.

The plain Greek is a bit lumpy, but the italics make up for it. Almost.

Seriously? I do feel a sense of achievement. Some of those answers have been throwaway, but most of those answers, I’m proud of, throwaway or not. They’ve been me. And they’ve captured some good journeys.

Following Uri Granta’s lead, a few stats about the journey, although I’ve focused on different things.

The distribution of topics on the profile page is a sledgehammer, and I prefer to have a priority list of narrower topics. The topics list also doesn’t capture topics you don’t know about, but write about anyway.

Here’s my topic list as *I* actually like to think of it. Catch-all topics in boldface.

Greek Alphabet: 8
Modern Greek: 10
Greek Language: 201

English Language: 94
Latin: 9
Esperanto: 9
Lojban: 6
Klingon: 6
Specific languages: 27
Historical Linguistics: 13
Semantics: 7
Pragmatics: 4
Profanity: 4
Dialects: 13
Linguistics: 87

Etymology: 16
Diacritics: 3
Capitalisation: 3
Surnames: 7
Names and Naming: 5
Writing Systems: 3
Alphabets: 5
Language: 31
Grammar: 9
Words: 4

Crete: 7
Ancient Greece: 20
Roman Empire: 9
Ottoman Empire: 6
Greek History: 3
Culture of Greece: 7
Classics: 4
Greek Ethnicity and People: 12
Greek Mythology: 6
Cyprus: 2
Greece: 23

Politics of Australia: 6
People of Australia: 6
Australia: 15

Classical Music: 17
Music: 11

Orthodox Christianity: 3
Richard M. Nixon: 6

Quora Usage Data: 10
Quora Community: 12
Quora: 78

Survey Question: 26

Other: 129

… That’s a lot of Other; and I really couldn’t get it any more granular.

At least the blues in the pie chart confirm it: I’m still a linguist.

The graph of the addiction seems to point to January and June:

And how loquacious have I been?

Minimum 1, maximum 1715, average 191, median 147, mode 81.