New book concept: Feedback requested
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14-06-2011, 02:45 AM (This post was last modified: 14-06-2011 02:56 AM by Casanova[OCAU].)
New book concept: Feedback requested
Hi All,

I'm fairly new to the forum, so if this thread isn't in the right section, please tell me and I'd be happy to close and reopen in the appropriate section.

What Am I looking to do:
Write a book, aimed particularly at the Indian Hindu market, with a view to convincing them that Hinduism and its associated orthodox philosophies has held back Indian progress for centuries and continues to hamstring its development

Why am I doing it:
Over the next few years, I will be travelling relatively frequently to various countries, and I need a 'project' outside of work that will serve as an appropriate distraction.

Additionally, I notice there's a fair amount of work and effort put in, in terms of dealing with a lot of the 'retardation' that comes with Christianity and Islam, but not a terrible amount when it comes to Hinduism.

What is my plan/Where am I?
My action plan is:
1) Do ground level research to prove the concept, find out if there's enough information around and use it to cement my own view
2) Use this information to construct a high level 'story board'/skeleton
3) Research and 'fill in' each of the 'sections' of the storyboard

I am currently only in the very early stages of research/concept development. I think I've gotten enough to prove the concept, and am in the process of bashing out a 'story board'

What would I like from you:
Your thoughts and feedback!!! Suggestions on how to pitch the message better, resources, holes in my logic/thinking, etc. Some occasional moral couldn't go astray either!

To be honest, my updates may well be erratic, as I move in and out of various roles with their own relative work loads, but I intend to complete this piece of work in my spare time, and my job occasionally can require fairly onerous hours.

My thoughts on the storyboard

1) A brief summary of atheistic philosophies in classical India
2) A brief summary on how they were received by their contemporaries and how their champions were treated (ala. the consolations of philosophy)
3) Impact this had on ancient India. What key 'turning points' where there in the Indian civilisation and how did the prevailing religious philosophy influence the outcomes it did
4) History and state of atheistic philosophy in Modern India
5) Impact this has had on modern India. What key 'turning points' where there in the modern Indian political landscape and how did the prevailing religious philosophy influence the outcomes it did
6) What outcome will it continue to have, if it goes on unchecked?
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14-06-2011, 04:33 AM
RE: New book concept: Feedback requested
Sounds like a challenge, so best of luck. If you ever publish it, I might consider reading it (given the reviews are good Big Grin).

Just a question; do you want to get answers yourself of do you have a specific goal in mind with this project?

I don't think there are alot of real historians or anthropologists on this forum, but if you need some specific feedback feedback or answers, go ahead.

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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14-06-2011, 04:40 AM
RE: New book concept: Feedback requested
(14-06-2011 04:33 AM)Thammuz Wrote:  Sounds like a challenge, so best of luck. If you ever publish it, I might consider reading it (given the reviews are good Big Grin).

Just a question; do you want to get answers yourself of do you have a specific goal in mind with this project?

I don't think there are alot of real historians or anthropologists on this forum, but if you need some specific feedback feedback or answers, go ahead.

lol my goal would be to get it published. I wasn't terribly interested in 'arguing the merit of the atheist standpoint' from a 'factual' point of view. I mean in my eyes, there's quite a lot of material for that out there and really, it takes an exceptional level of dogma and ignorance not to see the 'factual' side of it. What I'd be looking to address is the 'what harm can it do'/'if it makes someone feel good/gives them peace, then whats the harm' argument.

To be honest though, it is just to kill time. I'll be sent to some pretty remote and relatively unsafe parts of the world, and I'll need something to keep me occupied in the evenings when I can't go out!

From this forum, yea, I'd really be looking for feedback in terms of the strengths of arguments, whether there's anything that I haven't considered, or should consider to strengthen my argument..

I do want to get the answers myself, but I'd like a sounding board essentially. I mean I'd like to avoid some of the logical fallacies that we accuse the religious of making!
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14-06-2011, 05:57 AM
RE: New book concept: Feedback requested
(14-06-2011 02:45 AM)Casanova[OCAU] Wrote:  Hi All,

I'm fairly new to the forum, so if this thread isn't in the right section, please tell me and I'd be happy to close and reopen in the appropriate section.

What Am I looking to do:
Write a book, aimed particularly at the Indian Hindu market, with a view to convincing them that Hinduism and its associated orthodox philosophies has held back Indian progress for centuries and continues to hamstring its development

Why am I doing it:
Over the next few years, I will be travelling relatively frequently to various countries, and I need a 'project' outside of work that will serve as an appropriate distraction.

Additionally, I notice there's a fair amount of work and effort put in, in terms of dealing with a lot of the 'retardation' that comes with Christianity and Islam, but not a terrible amount when it comes to Hinduism.

What is my plan/Where am I?
My action plan is:
1) Do ground level research to prove the concept, find out if there's enough information around and use it to cement my own view
2) Use this information to construct a high level 'story board'/skeleton
3) Research and 'fill in' each of the 'sections' of the storyboard

I am currently only in the very early stages of research/concept development. I think I've gotten enough to prove the concept, and am in the process of bashing out a 'story board'

What would I like from you:
Your thoughts and feedback!!! Suggestions on how to pitch the message better, resources, holes in my logic/thinking, etc. Some occasional moral couldn't go astray either!

To be honest, my updates may well be erratic, as I move in and out of various roles with their own relative work loads, but I intend to complete this piece of work in my spare time, and my job occasionally can require fairly onerous hours.

My thoughts on the storyboard

1) A brief summary of atheistic philosophies in classical India
2) A brief summary on how they were received by their contemporaries and how their champions were treated (ala. the consolations of philosophy)
3) Impact this had on ancient India. What key 'turning points' where there in the Indian civilisation and how did the prevailing religious philosophy influence the outcomes it did
4) History and state of atheistic philosophy in Modern India
5) Impact this has had on modern India. What key 'turning points' where there in the modern Indian political landscape and how did the prevailing religious philosophy influence the outcomes it did
6) What outcome will it continue to have, if it goes on unchecked?

Hi, I'm new to the forum too. Having just spent too many years researching and critiquing the history of Christianity and its relevance today, I'll throw in my 2c worth.
Don't do it. It is too hard. Your job will be more difficult than mine was because I assume you are not a Hindu. You are already way behind the eight ball if that is the case.

You will arrive at some great truths but will have some trouble selling them to others. No disrespect to you or your intellect, but one year into your project you will probably think "oh fuck, I don't quite understand this, its a bit more complicated than I thought". You may or may not give up.

Your ambition to change things is admirable but you will probably have limited success. Don't get me wrong, I myself am still going to have a go at changing the world....but....you need to know it ain't easy. Check out all the other literature on the topic. Do you really have something, many things, new to say? Have you got a marketing plan to get your ideas out there? There are thousands of brilliant books that have never sold. You need to understand how the publishing world works before you start. Don't forget it will have changed in 2 years time.

I suggest you pick an easier topic and really learn how to sell it.

Hope I don't sound patronising. cheers, Mark
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15-06-2011, 02:57 AM
RE: New book concept: Feedback requested
(14-06-2011 05:57 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(14-06-2011 02:45 AM)Casanova[OCAU] Wrote:  Hi All,

I'm fairly new to the forum, so if this thread isn't in the right section, please tell me and I'd be happy to close and reopen in the appropriate section.

What Am I looking to do:
Write a book, aimed particularly at the Indian Hindu market, with a view to convincing them that Hinduism and its associated orthodox philosophies has held back Indian progress for centuries and continues to hamstring its development

Why am I doing it:
Over the next few years, I will be travelling relatively frequently to various countries, and I need a 'project' outside of work that will serve as an appropriate distraction.

Additionally, I notice there's a fair amount of work and effort put in, in terms of dealing with a lot of the 'retardation' that comes with Christianity and Islam, but not a terrible amount when it comes to Hinduism.

What is my plan/Where am I?
My action plan is:
1) Do ground level research to prove the concept, find out if there's enough information around and use it to cement my own view
2) Use this information to construct a high level 'story board'/skeleton
3) Research and 'fill in' each of the 'sections' of the storyboard

I am currently only in the very early stages of research/concept development. I think I've gotten enough to prove the concept, and am in the process of bashing out a 'story board'

What would I like from you:
Your thoughts and feedback!!! Suggestions on how to pitch the message better, resources, holes in my logic/thinking, etc. Some occasional moral couldn't go astray either!

To be honest, my updates may well be erratic, as I move in and out of various roles with their own relative work loads, but I intend to complete this piece of work in my spare time, and my job occasionally can require fairly onerous hours.

My thoughts on the storyboard

1) A brief summary of atheistic philosophies in classical India
2) A brief summary on how they were received by their contemporaries and how their champions were treated (ala. the consolations of philosophy)
3) Impact this had on ancient India. What key 'turning points' where there in the Indian civilisation and how did the prevailing religious philosophy influence the outcomes it did
4) History and state of atheistic philosophy in Modern India
5) Impact this has had on modern India. What key 'turning points' where there in the modern Indian political landscape and how did the prevailing religious philosophy influence the outcomes it did
6) What outcome will it continue to have, if it goes on unchecked?

Hi, I'm new to the forum too. Having just spent too many years researching and critiquing the history of Christianity and its relevance today, I'll throw in my 2c worth.
Don't do it. It is too hard. Your job will be more difficult than mine was because I assume you are not a Hindu. You are already way behind the eight ball if that is the case.

You will arrive at some great truths but will have some trouble selling them to others. No disrespect to you or your intellect, but one year into your project you will probably think "oh fuck, I don't quite understand this, its a bit more complicated than I thought". You may or may not give up.

Your ambition to change things is admirable but you will probably have limited success. Don't get me wrong, I myself am still going to have a go at changing the world....but....you need to know it ain't easy. Check out all the other literature on the topic. Do you really have something, many things, new to say? Have you got a marketing plan to get your ideas out there? There are thousands of brilliant books that have never sold. You need to understand how the publishing world works before you start. Don't forget it will have changed in 2 years time.

I suggest you pick an easier topic and really learn how to sell it.

Hope I don't sound patronising. cheers, Mark
Not at all. I really appreciate your honesty and openness Mark.

My family are fairly orthodox Hindu bramhins so I'm fairly familiar with the dominant Hindu schools of philosophy and history.

I totally understand your point about 'selling it to people', and its something i'm concerned about. That's mostly why I joined this forum.. in the hope that there might be someone on the cusp who could provide some feedback.
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15-06-2011, 03:31 AM
RE: New book concept: Feedback requested
I should add that there is a real benefit to yourself if you undertake this task. You will learn a lot about the world, and that's great and valuable. Getting your ideas out there is a whole other kettle of fish.

The real difficult thing will be selling your ideas to others. There will be people putting you down or, worse, just curtly dismissing you.

If you want to be famous , or rich, and you would like to do it as an author, consider the following. The no 2 book on Amazon this week is a book for kids/ adults with 36 pages, mostly pictures, called "Go the fuck to sleep", or something similar. The author has made a fortune. I'm guessing he spent 2 days on writing the book and 2 years in planning the marketing. A few weeks earlier the no 1 book was written by a preacher describing his 4 year old son's trip to heaven and back...it could have in reality been written by anyone.

If you live your dream you will probably spend 4-5 years researching and writing your book and then will be faced with....um....how the hell am I going to market and sell this thing? You will probably already be a bit tired and pissed off with the topic, and then you have to face selling it.

Perhaps it might be easier to pick an easier topic? Cheers, all the best, Mark
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15-06-2011, 05:45 AM
RE: New book concept: Feedback requested
I'm a studied anthropologist (not someone with a degree =p) I could look up some stuff for you if I can ever find time, but nowadays I'm just so busy with work that I never seem free.

I have my own book ideas to fail to get to.

If you have specific questions I can probably find you the answers. Try to get some contacts in the areas. I forgot the name of a small village which has set up a system which allows the poor to be well fed while maintaining order. I'll see if I can recall the information as that could help immensely if they aren't Brahmin. The caste system has way too many religious influences to suggest that a village would seek to help the poor while being Brahmin.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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16-06-2011, 03:47 AM
RE: New book concept: Feedback requested
(15-06-2011 05:45 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  I'm a studied anthropologist (not someone with a degree =p) I could look up some stuff for you if I can ever find time, but nowadays I'm just so busy with work that I never seem free.

I have my own book ideas to fail to get to.

If you have specific questions I can probably find you the answers. Try to get some contacts in the areas. I forgot the name of a small village which has set up a system which allows the poor to be well fed while maintaining order. I'll see if I can recall the information as that could help immensely if they aren't Brahmin. The caste system has way too many religious influences to suggest that a village would seek to help the poor while being Brahmin.
Your offer to help is greatly appreciated Lilith. I suppose, for the moment, I'm still in the very initial stages. What I'm particularly having trouble finding is research around how great classical Indian philosophers and scientists were treated by the orthodoxy of their day, how their findings/research were viewed, and what did that result in, in terms of their subsequent use.

The example that immediately springs to mind is of Aryabhatta, who postulated that the Earth was round and revolved around the sun, in direct contradiction to the orthodox view of the day.. But I'm looking for more research around that.

Perhaps I should read the The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen again. Essentially, what I'm looking to do is take a step forward from this and discuss how the prevailing philosophy resulted in a stifling of this debate (or viewpoints contrary to the orthodoxy). I'd like to take it a step further than 'catelogueing' events of great debate and talk about how it has held the Indian civilisation back.

If you come across or know of any material similar to the aforementioned book, please flick me a note.

I will most certainly look into the example you have provided, and the caste system is another point. Most other cultures have had an entrenched 'class system' in the days gone by and most have managed to break out of it. However, the turning of India's into a religious precept have materially increased the difficulty in getting rid of it in that society. It is widely acknowledged in India as one of the ills of Indian society that still haunt it, and there are a range of political and economic reasons why, but I think it still could do with an an analysis from the philosophical point of view as well.

Quote:I should add that there is a real benefit to yourself if you undertake this task. You will learn a lot about the world, and that's great and valuable. Getting your ideas out there is a whole other kettle of fish.

The real difficult thing will be selling your ideas to others. There will be people putting you down or, worse, just curtly dismissing you.

If you want to be famous , or rich, and you would like to do it as an author, consider the following. The no 2 book on Amazon this week is a book for kids/ adults with 36 pages, mostly pictures, called "Go the fuck to sleep", or something similar. The author has made a fortune. I'm guessing he spent 2 days on writing the book and 2 years in planning the marketing. A few weeks earlier the no 1 book was written by a preacher describing his 4 year old son's trip to heaven and back...it could have in reality been written by anyone.

If you live your dream you will probably spend 4-5 years researching and writing your book and then will be faced with....um....how the hell am I going to market and sell this thing? You will probably already be a bit tired and pissed off with the topic, and then you have to face selling it.

Perhaps it might be easier to pick an easier topic? Cheers, all the best, Mark
Thanks Mark. I'm an ex strategist and now a career Banker, so the fortune side of my life is well and truly sorted.. and fame for fame's sake doesn't mean anything to me.. but actually, the ability to 'sell' my argument would mean a lot.
What I mean is that I would want more than personal enlightenment out of it.. so I see what you're saying. Perhaps I will consider narrowing the scope of my mission.. or at least making the goal less lofty!! Thanks for your thoughts!
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16-06-2011, 04:12 AM
RE: New book concept: Feedback requested
(16-06-2011 03:47 AM)Casanova[OCAU] Wrote:  
(15-06-2011 05:45 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  I'm a studied anthropologist (not someone with a degree =p) I could look up some stuff for you if I can ever find time, but nowadays I'm just so busy with work that I never seem free.

I have my own book ideas to fail to get to.

If you have specific questions I can probably find you the answers. Try to get some contacts in the areas. I forgot the name of a small village which has set up a system which allows the poor to be well fed while maintaining order. I'll see if I can recall the information as that could help immensely if they aren't Brahmin. The caste system has way too many religious influences to suggest that a village would seek to help the poor while being Brahmin.
Your offer to help is greatly appreciated Lilith. I suppose, for the moment, I'm still in the very initial stages. What I'm particularly having trouble finding is research around how great classical Indian philosophers and scientists were treated by the orthodoxy of their day, how their findings/research were viewed, and what did that result in, in terms of their subsequent use.

The example that immediately springs to mind is of Aryabhatta, who postulated that the Earth was round and revolved around the sun, in direct contradiction to the orthodox view of the day.. But I'm looking for more research around that.

Perhaps I should read the The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen again. Essentially, what I'm looking to do is take a step forward from this and discuss how the prevailing philosophy resulted in a stifling of this debate (or viewpoints contrary to the orthodoxy). I'd like to take it a step further than 'catelogueing' events of great debate and talk about how it has held the Indian civilisation back.

If you come across or know of any material similar to the aforementioned book, please flick me a note.

I will most certainly look into the example you have provided, and the caste system is another point. Most other cultures have had an entrenched 'class system' in the days gone by and most have managed to break out of it. However, the turning of India's into a religious precept have materially increased the difficulty in getting rid of it in that society. It is widely acknowledged in India as one of the ills of Indian society that still haunt it, and there are a range of political and economic reasons why, but I think it still could do with an an analysis from the philosophical point of view as well.

Quote:I should add that there is a real benefit to yourself if you undertake this task. You will learn a lot about the world, and that's great and valuable. Getting your ideas out there is a whole other kettle of fish.

The real difficult thing will be selling your ideas to others. There will be people putting you down or, worse, just curtly dismissing you.

If you want to be famous , or rich, and you would like to do it as an author, consider the following. The no 2 book on Amazon this week is a book for kids/ adults with 36 pages, mostly pictures, called "Go the fuck to sleep", or something similar. The author has made a fortune. I'm guessing he spent 2 days on writing the book and 2 years in planning the marketing. A few weeks earlier the no 1 book was written by a preacher describing his 4 year old son's trip to heaven and back...it could have in reality been written by anyone.

If you live your dream you will probably spend 4-5 years researching and writing your book and then will be faced with....um....how the hell am I going to market and sell this thing? You will probably already be a bit tired and pissed off with the topic, and then you have to face selling it.

Perhaps it might be easier to pick an easier topic? Cheers, all the best, Mark
Thanks Mark. I'm an ex strategist and now a career Banker, so the fortune side of my life is well and truly sorted.. and fame for fame's sake doesn't mean anything to me.. but actually, the ability to 'sell' my argument would mean a lot.
What I mean is that I would want more than personal enlightenment out of it.. so I see what you're saying. Perhaps I will consider narrowing the scope of my mission.. or at least making the goal less lofty!! Thanks for your thoughts!

Congrats on having your life so sorted re money...lucky you lol. Yes ...to convince a lot of people of your ideas is difficult...no matter how damn good the ideas are. If you realise this right from the start you will improve your chance of success. I'm impressed u r so open to advice....a sure sign of a wise man...well done
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16-06-2011, 04:27 AM
RE: New book concept: Feedback requested
Quote: Congrats on having your life so sorted re money...lucky you lol. Yes ...to convince a lot of people of your ideas is difficult...no matter how damn good the ideas are. If you realise this right from the start you will improve your chance of success. I'm impressed u r so open to advice....a sure sign of a wise man...well done
haha thanks. I think I would be kidding my self if I didn't say most of what I have learned of the world so far, I have done by listening and talking with other people and critically considering their views.. more so than reading, frankly! lol I dunno... I guess I've always been particularly young in whatever I'm doing (skipped grades in school, youngest to hit certain job grades at work), so I've always had to learn by listening to and relying on people far wiser than me to get ahead I suppose!!

But yea... having no money issues certainly takes one big stress off life!!
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