I have no idea how the people I meet manage to even cross the road. "That's not a semi-trailer metres away - so it's safe to cross!". Today's argument with one of my left-wing colleagues went like this:

LLL: I saw a documentary on Afghanistan last night, and women are afraid to show their face or they'll be killed!

PE: And? That was happening before the invasion.

LLL: No, now!

PE: Sorry. I meant it was ALSO happening before the invasion. No-one expected all problems to miraculously disappear the day of the invasion. The point was to get the Afghans on a PATH where they can address these problems. The women have now been empowered and if they don't like what Karzai is doing, they can vote for someone different. They even had a female candidate to choose from, and about half the electorate is women.

LLL: So are you saying democracy always works for everyone?

PE: No, I'm not even claiming that. Just that in Afghanistan and Iraq they have democratically chosen someone better than the dictators they had before.

LLL: In Iraq under Saddam there were hospitals, now everything has been destroyed.

PE: Under Saddam he was chopping out people's tongues! What were they doing in the hospitals? Sewing people's tongues back on?

LLL: That happens under every dictator, and is happening in America too. You know if anyone says anything against the US government, they get killed!

PE: What? There's 150 million Americans against the US government. How many are being killed?

LLL: It's being covered up! You know there was this one guy who got sacked from ASIO because of something-or-other. What sort of freedom is that?!

PE: Hang on, let's start with the mass murder. Where is your evidence for the murder of Americans by the American government?

LLL2 (backing up LLL): Of course there's no evidence - there wouldn't be - it's being covered up!

LLL: Yeah, and Bush is rigging the elections!

PE: If Bush is rigging the elections, how did the Democrats manage to win the Congress and Senate at the last elections?

LLL: They didn't!!!

PE: You're disputing that the Democrats control the Congress and Senate?!

LLL: You know, the Americans woke up!

The conversation came to a close at that point after she decided to go on yet another tangent about some friend that she had who said something-or-other. Otherwise I might have at least pressed her to clarify that Bush was rigging the elections in favour of the Democrats, or that the elections weren't rigged after all. I might then have gone further and asked her approximately how many Americans are being murdered by the American government every year, and what opinion was being suppressed by that action, and how does that opinion compare with what you see on the LLL blogs.

An Iraqi once complained to me that I was trying to apply logic to a country with no logic (ie Iraq). I guess you don't need to go to Iraq to see that in action.

I really am at a loss of what to do. Why can't these people apply their same screwball logic when it comes to something that I can get some benefit from? E.g. Why can't I offer to give them $5 for 5 * $50 notes, based on the fact that because of inflation, higher numbers don't mean anything anymore.

Although they're pretty close to that already. I was complaining that the exams were ridiculously weighted in favour of grammar and vocab. Someone who actually understands maths told me "no, you're meant to scale it so that grammar and vocab is only 20% of the total". Ok, great, and I went ahead and did that. Then I explained to the other teachers that they were doing it wrong. And then explained it again. And again. And the person who told me about the weighting explained it. And then explained it again. And again. Then I wrote a document on how to calculate it. But they didn't understand that either. Then I created a spreadsheet. Some tentatively follow that, but others insist that the old way was so much easier. The fact that grammar and vocab was scoring 60% while listening was scoring 4% was lost on them.

I wonder if I can offer to do the score calculations in exchange for them marking the exams? But if I keep on this path I'll end up back as a computer programmer again!

What a world. Really, what a world. Although I think it'd be pretty boring if everyone was as logical as me. On the other hand, are the gross human rights abuses that are a product of this illogic a price worth paying for an entertaining world?

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