We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Keep 'Em Honest

19th c. Indian pandits
Source:  Kamat's Potpourri
Here's a fun website that I came across just recently: PunditTracker: Bringing Accountability to the Prediction Industry.  You can select your favorite pundit and find out how well she or he does at predicting the future.  It has two tracks, one for political pundits and one for sports.  Check it out, if you want to add a bit of entertaining distraction to your day.

According to Wikipedia, the term "pundit" comes from a Sanskrit word, pandit.  In English, it refers to "...someone who offers to mass media his or her opinion or commentary on a particular subject area (most typically political analysis, the social sciences or sport) on which they are usually knowledgeable (or can at least appear to be knowledgeable)."  In modern Indian usage, it means a, "...scholar and a teacher, particularly one skilled in the Sanskrit language, who has mastered the four Vedic scriptures, Hindu rituals, Hindu law, religion, music, and/or philosophy under a Guru in a Gurukul or has been tutored under the ancient vedic Guru Shishya academic tradition."  In Thai, pandit (บัณฑิต), is widely used in education circles to signify someone who has received a college or university degree. Its wider meaning recalls its Sanskrit origin, i.e. a person of wisdom and learning, a sage.

According to dictionary.com (here), the British introduced the word into the English language from Hindi in the late 17th century, and it did not begin to take on its current meaning until the later 19th century—perhaps beginning with a social club at Yale.