Indian Cuisine is g Loaded

Linda Gottfredson anecdote about Arthur Jensen (h/t Emil):


In my experience, normie/NPC contempt for Indian cooking is almost as great as for classical music. Now we know the reason why.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. It’s germ loaded all right.

  2. Don’t know about Linda Gottfredson’s g but education?

    “…after getting his BA from Berkeley….When we were assigned to Malaysia, I had to get out a map to find where it was.”

  3. I fell in love with Indian food many years ago but as I began to learn more and more about India’s inhabitants and their culture I began to get cold feet. A strange case of transition from love from the first bite to being almost grossed out. A prejudice related to the familiarity breeds contempt phenomenon. So even I still find Indian food tasting great and I am able to cook it I usually skip it if I have a choice.

    And then Indian food is not that good for your g not that I care about it personally because I do not have g. But Arthur Jensen’s mumbo jumbo mathematics may have something to do with his love for Indian food.

    Study: Lead Poisoning Could Lurk in Spices,8599,1971906,00.html

    Pediatric Lead Exposure From Imported Indian Spices and Cultural Powders

    Lead, Mercury, and Arsenic in US- and Indian-Manufactured Ayurvedic Medicines Sold via the Internet

    How Safe are Your Masalas and Spices?

    Imported Indian rice and spice contain ‘worrying’ levels of chemicals, says report

  4. It’s not really surprising, in my view. Men are probably more interested in geography than women, who are, for instance, somewhat less likely to know about geostrategic concerns in WW2. Men are fascinated by war; women are horrified. Men are also naturally more nomadic and think about the possibilities of going places.

    I wish the State Department was like a young Gottfriedson. Total ignorance is better than conceit. I wonder what she thinks of the Peace Corps now.

  5. anonymous coward says

    Now that’s what I call flavor of Asia.

  6. Thulean Friend says

    Indian cooking should be held in contempt, as well as those who promote it. Civilised nations usually have moderate amount of spices because these countries understand the art of the subtle. Dumb people overdo everything, including spices. Just as dumb people overdo jewellery (see Africans or indeed Indians and their fetish for overly blingly gold).

    Occassionally very smart people will enjoy dumb things, such as Slavoj Zizek unironically positively reviewing Transformers 3 in a glowing article. Doesn’t make Transformers any decent. Indian cuisine is the Transformers of the culinary world.

  7. Toronto Russian says

    not that I care about it personally because I do not have g.

    I’m the kinda g the little homies wanna be

  8. Wouldn’t go so far as to hold Anatoly in contempt because he likes Indian food, but otherwise fully agree.

    Anatoly, if you crave spicier food, there’s a lot of stuff you can do without torturing your stomach with Indian food.

    Are chili pepper (specifically, grinded dried red chilli peppers) and black pepper commonly used in Russia? They go along well with an enormous amount of dishes, including plenty of ordinary, otherwise plain ones (i.e. meat and potatoes or meat and rice).

    Also, you can always spice things up with a small side dish of marinated chili peppers. I hope that they sell them in Russia.

    For spices that are not exactly hot, but still make things much tastier, savory (Satureja) is quite underused in most cuisines and is also something that goes along well with many dishes.

    Also, if you haven’t tried, I sincerely recommend you to try spreading Fenugreek (powder) and red chilli pepper (powder) over a toast with butter. It’s one of the tastiest things you can make in 2 minutes, or in general.

    It has to be real butter of course, with no palm oil in it. Spreading it on the toast while it’s still hot and seeing it melt and being absorbed in the bread, then spreading fenugreek and red pepper on top. One of the best things you can have for breakfast.

  9. Daniel Chieh says

    Wouldn’t go so far as to hold Anatoly in contempt because he likes Indian food, but otherwise fully agree.

    I forsee an excellent future of Mr. Karlin baiting his comment regulars with this now.

  10. Why the association of Indian cuisine with spicy food in particular?

    It only applies to certain regions. Just like Chinese cuisine isn’t all Sichuan.

  11. Daniel Chieh says

    Since this is a food-related thread, I recommend anyone who hasn’t tried Russian style pickled tomatoes to do so. Tomatoes are an interesting fruit that takes on savory characteristics under processing and pickling really makes it stand out.

  12. Because I assumed your love for spicy food which you’ve mentioned before is the reason you overrate Indian cuisine.

    I know it’s not all spicy, probably half the Indian dishes I’ve tried weren’t particularly spicy but I still didn’t like them (that was back when I was less racist too and didn’t associate India with poor sanitary practices).

  13. I agree. Have you tried picked bell peppers Slavic style? Not spicy at all, but have an interesting, slightly bitter taste (I guess it’s popular in Germany too, for I’ve purchased the ZerGut brand & although its good, not quite a cigar when compared to homemade Babushka made).

    I’d love to read a review of Karlin’s comparing Indian Curry dishes with Thai ones. Any fans of Massaman curry out there? Not particularly spicy, but very, very tasty. The Indians invented it, but perhaps the Thai’s perfected it? Just wondering?…

  14. Obviously someone who hasn’t attempted to cook indian food. Indian cuisine (with a few notable exceptions) does indeed have more spice than western cuisine, but it’s a very common rookie mistake to add too much when you attempt to cook it yourself and end up with something that tastes of aftershave; it’s certainly not a spice freeforall, they need to be proportoionate to the other ingredients.

  15. Civilised nations usually have moderate amount of spices because these countries understand the art of the subtle. Dumb people overdo everything, including spices.

    That’s why the increasing popularity of hot sauces that young European males like to put on everything and in excess to demonstrate their machismo to other males might be a sign of civilizational regress.

  16. Not so sure about AK’s conclusion here. In England, there are curry houses in pretty much every neighbourhood, generally run by Bengali muslims pastiching north Indian/Pakistani food for english tastes (waiter service or takeaway, alcohol served, thick gravy, no bony meat, no offall, no visible oil). They’ve been popular since about the 1970s and all walks of life go to them, though they’re starting to decline a bit now due to competition.

    In my experience, curry IS like kryptonite to pre-boomer proles, though there’s not many of them left alive now. Offal serves the same function for boomer+ proles. Maybe Paya is the ultimate prole repellent.

  17. it’s her self-teaching that’s high-g, not the cooking.

    all these savoir-vivre type thread only show there’s nothing someone won’t (ab)use as a class marker.

    any civilization’s task it is to make it so the “right” things confer status. so, for example, inventing the internal combustion engine instead of reciting holy books verbatim from memory.

  18. Doubt it, bland food, at least in England, is a postwar phenomena that’s now starting to disappear. Reasonably well off Englishmen used to eat kippers and kidneys for breakfast, hung meat for weeks, laced recipies with copious amounts of sage and drank porter beer, fortified wines and brown spirits neat, all extremely strong flavours.

  19. There was an Indian restaurant near me that had delicious food. Once, I went to use their mens room and there was no hand soap in it, like they’d never even set up the dispenser.

  20. Well, I read it to mean that it’s not that Indian cooking is g-loaded but “foreign” cooking is g-loaded. Willing to learn foreign language, cooking, culture is g-loaded.

    I like some Indian food but too many dishes are very similar to one another in term of texture. They cooked everything into one big mush, which is good for old people and those without a good dental plan.

  21. Massaman curry out there? Not particularly spicy,

    Sorry, I meant not particularly hot – Massaman curry does indeed include a lot of spice, just not fiery hot. Love the peanut infusion too.

  22. Verymuchalive says

    Yours is not an uncommon experience. I’ve known several people who were Indian food fans when younger. Usually it starts out as liking for strong spices. Then they find out the strong spices are there for a reason. Over the course of the years, they come to appreciate quality ingredients which don’t need to be hidden by strong spices.
    Rather like classical music. You can start out liking trashy pop, but over the years come to appreciate classical music.

  23. I think corporations are to blame for the post war cuisine in the US when cooking from canned ingredients was promoted and TV dinner were consider so cool that even people w/o TV were purchasing them because they like them or as some say to signal that they already had a TV set at home. Millions served in military and got used to processed food could be another reason. But I do not think that this trend went that far in France or Italy. The least industrialize countries were spared. What is good that the process is being reversed.

    Bland and subtle are not the same thing. And I would not worry about drinking porters or strong spirits and putting traditional herbs like sager, marjoram or oregano but once you begin to feel that you need put a hefty dose of Tabasco on your scrambled eggs fried on butter with freshly chopped chives I would be concerned.

    BTW, where I come from they say that a kidney dish should give away a hint of urine otherwise it is boring. Some people wash tripes several times and precook them in separate water while other prefer the strongest smell they can produce.

  24. Better visuospatial intelligence may help with maps as well.

    Men are also naturally more nomadic and think about the possibilities of going places.

    In my experience, women tend to fantasise about travelling more than men, but I may only think that because I have heard women prattling more.

  25. The joy in Indian food taken by Anatoly Karlin, is a sign from the heavens encouraging AK to take a further step, and delve into the very liberating, woke, and yes, nationalist spirituality, that has its home in India … the sensual heritage of the Kama Sutra and tantra, and the noble ancient chad archetype of the warrior, are all there, amidst a freedom to pick the best pathway for oneself … AK is himself visibly well along one of the classic yogic pathways, the pathway of reaching the divine through knowledge

    But maybe the most helpful thing to recall here, is that the most beloved spiritual writing of India, the Bhagavad-Gita, is the tale of a brave warrior, Arjuna, who has doubts about war and killing and death … but it turns out that Arjuna’s chariot driver is god himself in the form of Krishna … Krishna stops and freezes time itself there amidst the thousands on the battlefield, whilst he explains what life is all about … As he says, you can neither truly kill nor be killed, because we are all in god and all eternal … what matters is to do what is right … so be brave, and fight … here is the story in a fine 10 minute video (poster mis-spelled ‘counsel’ as ‘council’ in his title)

  26. Women as solo tourists, are one of the new growth markets for tourists in our generation. I know a few like this.

    Even on airbnb, a large proportion of reviews (if you book single rooms) are from women tourists.

    Also a significant proportion of immigrants, are young, single women immigrating between cities within the country, and between even countries.

    However, between undeveloped countries to developed countries, it seems much more men only immigrating, including many troublemakers (really you couldn’t design a more troublemaking immigration profile).

  27. Yes! I too love Indian food but I cook it myself after being disappointed by too many Indian restaurants.

    I witnessed too many shady things like reusing leftover food and microwaving dishes. I assume the sanitary conditions will be low of course lol.

  28. Chet Bradley says

    I like Thai curries but it’s very hard to find anything resembling authentic Thai curries where I live (Seattle area). Generally in restaurants Thai dishes are westernized, and on average curries are the most westernized: too sweet, wrong ingredients, dairy cream instead of coconut milk, etc. I like Thai curries the way they are prepared in Thailand.

    I think that the westernization of Thai cuisine is due to the fact that there aren’t enough Thais to serve as a customer base, so you have to cater to westerners and you modify the dishes the way you the owner think they the customers like it. Some Chinese restaurants manage to avoid this trap. There are enough many Chinese around so that the restaurants can rely on native Chinese as customers and don’t need to ruin the dishes trying to westernize them. Those restaurants are the best.

    I don’t buy Anatoly’s thesis on correlation between classical music and Indian food; IMO it’ s the opposite. I love classical music, esp. Baroque, and I don’t like Indian food. No subtlety in it. What would classical music be without subtlety?

  29. Indian epics are sort of boring and gay compared to the Illiad and the Odyssey to be honest

  30. Women as solo tourists, are one of the new growth markets for tourists in our generation. I know a few like this.

    Why is this?

  31. I hope you have a good non Indian source for Indian spices.

  32. Swedish Family says

    In my experience, normie/NPC contempt for Indian cooking is almost as great as for classical music. Now we know the reason why.

    This may be, but a basic error with this argument is that common people, if treated to the good stuff, have rather good taste in food, while it’s a rare person who enjoys classical music beyond the most superficial level (“Oh, I know this waltz from Tom & Jerry!”). Which is to say also, yes, that Indian cuisine’s poor reputation is well deserved.

  33. Swedish Family says

    Any fans of Massaman curry out there? Not particularly spicy, but very, very tasty. The Indians invented it, but perhaps the Thai’s perfected it? Just wondering?…

    By far one of the worst Thai curries. Thanks for reminding me that it’s an Indian import! 🙂

  34. In my experience, normie/NPC contempt for Indian cooking is almost as great as for classical music. Now we know the reason why.

    I’m not sure exactly what Karlin meant by stating this, I’m not hip to some of his hipster like usage of acronyms. 🙂 It was, however, Verymuch alive that stated:

    You can start out liking trashy pop, but over the years come to appreciate classical music.

    Which may ring true, however, a lot of pop music isn’t trashy at all. Personally, I listed to about 5 hours of classical music at work, and then for the last 3 hours or so. I usually listen to modern Latin Jazz. My own personal collection is also divided into a similar configuration, with a heavy smattering of world/new age and of course a lot of pop too.

    I know next to nothing about Indian food, however, but have developed a great fondness for Thai food. I enjoy all of the Thai curries, however, the massaman holds a special attraction for me. I’ve learned to make it at home in a crock pot. I start by using a premade thick curry paste, but inevitably doctor it up with other traditional goodies: lemongrass, fish sauce, a little hotsauce, tamarind and even some peanut butter. Coconut cream is de jure. Yum! 🙂

    I haven’t had a chance to try the Indian version?…

  35. This is certainly not the case in Britain.

  36. Good points.

    No doubt the number of far-flying tourists and the percentage of far-flying women have both increased quite a bit, compared to the ’60s. Probably some interesting sex differences in destinations. I suspect women are more interested in sun worship.

    Traditionally, men are more ready to pull up their roots, to take risks, and to have wanderlust. Where does the female drive to travel come from? I suspect the social experience. Probably magnified by such things as social media and digital pictures.

  37. I don’t know, just a few years back a CNN poll listed the Thai version of massaman curry to be the #1 most delectable food dish on the planet, included in a list of 50 (chocolate and Peking duck made the top 5, two other of my favorites):

    Emphatically the king of curries, and perhaps the king of all foods. Spicy, coconutty, sweet and savory, its combination of flavors has more personality than a Thai election.

    Even the packet sauce you buy from the supermarket can make the most delinquent of cooks look like a Michelin potential. Thankfully, someone invented rice, with which diners can mop up the last drizzles of curry sauce.

    Read more: World’s 50 most delicious foods #3 |,2#ixzz5S3o5HcXp

  38. People seem to be missing the ‘humour’ tag.

  39. Thorfinnsson says

    Pounding garlic and ginger into a paste and blooming your spices is the extent of la technique a la Indie. That’s seriously it. It’s not impressive at all.

    Are the flavors good? Sure. But that applies globally for said climactic zone. Depending on personal preferences you might favor Mexican, Caribbean, Ethiopian, Indonesian, etc. over Indian.

    That Indians produce decent tasting vegetarian cuisine is noteworthy, but owes to a fundamental deficiency of Indian civilization.

    No doubt Indian flavors are already now being employed in “fusion” cuisine however which involves Western technical mastery.

    Outside of Japan and the West I’m not aware of any culinary traditions which involve technical mastery. Perhaps Chinese to some degree, certainly century eggs are impressive. Come to think of it perhaps the Levant?

  40. Thorfinnsson says

    Also worth noting that this anecdote is from 1988. The term “foodie” had yet to be coined, there was no Food Network, and American epicureans at the time still considered American cuisine to be a culinary wasteland. The country’s most famous chef was cajun supremo Paul Prudhomme. High end restaurants, even in New York, were still serving beef wellington, steak diane, bananas foster, etc. (all still excellent dishes incidentally). Foreign cuisine had greatly superior social status, and it was a mark of sophistication to enjoy and appreciate foreign cuisine.

    Foreign cuisine is still something of a status marker (particularly if it’s obscure/novel), but today someone of Jensen’s temperament might well instead become an expert on traditional Southern barbecue or a steak geek.

  41. There’s nothing “subtle” about heavy food loaded with butter, cream, lard, etc. Non spicy cuisine with heavy dishes using copious amounts of butter, cream, lard are unsubtle and “dumb” in their own way.

  42. The popularity of hot sauce has nothing to do with “machismo”. Guys who feel the need to demonstrate their “machismo” through food do so by adopting the paleo or carnivore diet, avoiding soy, etc. That is a literal attempt at “civilizational regress” as it’s an attempt to resurrect pre-civilization, paleolithic dietary patterns.

    Whites in the American South, Louisiana, Texas, and the Southwest have loved hot sauce for a long time. Whites elsewhere are now more exposed to hot sauce and spices than they were in the past.

  43. Daniel Chieh says

    The Chinese were fairly obsessive. There are also quite a few different “old” styles of cooking, which were then merged and kept shifting as early restaurants were established and the population was fond of “exotic” foods from elsewhere.

    Not long after the expansion of the Chinese Empire during the Qin dynasty, Han writers noted the great differences in culinary practices among the different parts of their realm. These differences followed to a great extent the varying climates and availabilities of foodstuffs in China. Many writers tried their hands at classification, but since internal political boundaries over the centuries did not coincide with shifting cultural identities, there was no way to establish clear-cut or enduring classifications or ranking of foods and cooking styles. Different ethnic groups might occupy only small areas, but their cuisines were included in systematic lists from early on. Certain broad categorizations are useful, however:

  44. Agreed. Speaking of hot sauces, the McIlhenny Company dates from the late 19th century.

  45. Ketogenic diet is the fastest/easiest way to drop weight rapidly. Nothing even comes close to optimizing those two as well.

    Apart from that, many (perhaps most) who adopt those diets do so because they suffer from serious allergies and/or immune disorders. The incidence of which is rapidly increasing, possibly as a result of a century’s worth of accumulated genetic maladies after the end of Malthusian selection for fitness. Jordan Peterson and his daughter are good examples.

  46. Do you buy Peterson’s claims regarding his health and diet? He seems to have mental issues. There are older videos of him talking about his mental issues and how he’s been taking various meds for his mental health for years. I think whatever mental issues he’s had have caused him to believe that he had certain food and allergy issues. This sounds ridiculous to me:

    “Well, I have a negative story,” said Peterson. “Both Mikhaila and I noticed that when we restricted our diet and then ate something we weren’t supposed to, the reaction was absolutely catastrophic.” He gives the example of having had some apple cider and subsequently being incapacitated for a month by what he believes was an inflammatory response.

    “You were done for a month?”

    “Oh yeah, it took me out for a month. It was awful …”

    “Apple cider? What was it doing to you?”

    “It produced an overwhelming sense of impending doom. I seriously mean overwhelming. There’s no way I could’ve lived like that. But see, Mikhaila knew by then that it would probably only last a month.”

    “A month? From fucking cider?”

    “I didn’t sleep that month for 25 days. I didn’t sleep at all for 25 days.”

    “What? How is that possible?”

    “I’ll tell you how it’s possible: You lay in bed frozen in something approximating terror for eight hours. And then you get up.”

    The longest recorded stretch of sleeplessness in a human is 11 days, witnessed by a Stanford research team.

  47. Daniel Chieh says

    I actually haven’t. I’ll check them out.

  48. I thought intermittent fasting is the way.

  49. Not the vegetarian varieties.

    “””Correlation of IQ with different blood biochemical parameters shows a positive relationship with total cholesterol (only from animal), high density lipoprotein cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, very low density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides and with serum bilirubin the correlation is found to be negative.”””

  50. Easiest/fastest. IMF is about 10x harder off the keto diet.

    The Chinese noted with surprise and disgust the ability of the Mongol warriors to survive on little food and water for long periods; according to one, the entire army could camp without a single puff of smoke since they needed no fires to cook. Compared to the Jurched soldiers, the Mongols were much healthier and stronger. The Mongols consumed a steady diet of meat, milk, yogurt, and other diary products, and they fought men who lived on gruel made from various grains. The grain diet of the peasant warriors stunted their bones, rotted their teeth, and left them weak and prone to disease. In contrast, the poorest Mongol soldier ate mostly protein, thereby giving him strong teeth and bones. Unlike the Jurched soldiers, who were dependent on a heavy carbohydrate diet, the Mongols could more easily go a day or two without food.

  51. Indian cuisine is pretty much the opposite of paleo right? No meat.

  52. Guys who feel the need to demonstrate their “machismo” through food do so by adopting the paleo or carnivore diet, avoiding soy, etc. That is a literal attempt at “civilizational regress” as it’s an attempt to resurrect pre-civilization, paleolithic dietary patterns.

    Very well said.

    The diet has zero actual effectiveness, but is primarily adopted as a cultural signifier and for reasons of self-image.

    Its like a tatoo 🙂

  53. Traveling has become cheaper and easier for everyone.

    I guess the experience and social-media status is a major motivation for solo female travelers.

    Spiritual points might be another…I backpacked alone across Sri Lanka for two weeks, and met a few female solo backpackers, all of whom had stayed in Buddhist meditation retreats or yoga camps to “discover their spirituality”.

  54. Depends on the area,

    If you include Milk then many areas especially the Northwest (Panjab) are heavy milk.

    Like traditional strongman drink multiple gallons of milk along with Ghee & Almonds, Bananas etc.

  55. Daniel Chieh says

    Are eggs permitted? Theoretically that ought to cover the essential amino acids along w/ milk, I think.

  56. Chet Bradley says

    I’ve learned to make it at home in a crock pot.

    You are likely better off this way, i.e. if you follow a traditional recipe it’s not going to come out all messed up like in most restaurants. Your main limiting factor is the ability to find the authentic ingredients (e.g., little green eggplants for the green curry, as opposed to common big purple eggplants which completely mess up the dish – wrong flavor, wrong texture, wrong everything). Your second limiting factor is that you haven’t grown up eating that food so you initially don’t know how it’s supposed to taste like based on grandma’s cooking, but that can be overcome by sampling the authentic version from proper sources (travel to Thailand, eat dishes natives prepared at home, etc.).

    As you can likely tell, my favorite curry is the green one.

  57. India hate thread? India hate thread.

  58. At my go to Thai restaurant, run by natives, they only provide four kinds of curry (all made with coconut milk): red, panang red, yellow and massaman (brownish beige). I’ve never tried green curry – tell me more. I could visit this place and just eat their delicious coconut/chicken/mushroom soup. Sweet, sour, hot, savory, Ahh….

  59. Chet Bradley says

    This one seems pretty good, just based on the ingredients:

    Basically the main vegetable should be little green eggplants and then chilies, basil, and kaffir lime leaves. No bell pepper, no beans, no carrot, no other nonsense like you see in some recipes. Buy the green curry paste from an Asian grocery, preferably one made in Thailand (nobody makes curry paste at home any longer). You can put any chicken meat type that you like (white/dark) instead of the whole chicken, and you can also replace chicken with pork or beef. Most curries don’t originally use pork, because curries come from the south, which has a Muslim minority, and they don’t eat pork. But you won’t mess up a curry by using pork since the flavor isn’t as dominant as beef.

    Happy cooking!

  60. Muchos Gracias my Compadre. All of the ingredients are to my liking, and I’ve been looking for more ways to use eggplant. I’ve seen ‘galanga’ in the Asian grocery stores, but don’t know what it tastes like. I’ll stick to the pre-made paste.

  61. Green curry is actually my favorite of the main Thai ones. You’re missing out.

  62. It’ high on my radar scale…I enjoy all of the Thai curries. This is perhaps the only one that I haven’t tried yet.

  63. The diet has zero actual effectiveness

    Uh-huh. Tell that to my before/after pictures.