Flat Earthers

I ran across this article today. It's on a blog that says that Afghanistan is 10 minutes out of the stone age, which is a novel way of putting it.

Anyway, it basically explains the same problem I have when I communicate with people myself. I tend to assume that they will have the same grounding in science and logic, wherever possible looking for double-blind placebo-controlled experiments to validate all information, multiple independent sources etc.

Obviously that assumption is incorrect, but I am used to some sort of basic intelligence where people do question information from biassed sources. Hell, they even question their own government, even when it has a lot of evidence to back it.

So I was surprised to see that Afghans tend to be so dumb that they just take whatever nonsense the Taliban spew as the default truth. I mean, the Iraqis didn't do that with Saddam. They instead got their information from the rumour mill because they knew they couldn't trust anything Saddam said.

Anyway, this conversation that the soldier had:

“They really think that you are so stupid that you would believe something so ridiculous?”

Blank stare. The man searched for something… something that wasn’t coming.

“I’ve been talking with you for several minutes. You are going to go to college in Jalalabad to be a lawyer. I know that you are too smart to believe such a ridiculous lie.” Clearly, he wasn’t; but it was beginning to work on his brain.

should not be down to an individual soldier to come up with. There should be civilians teaching basic logic via TV, radio and schools. I mean, what's the point in having control over the media if you aren't using it to counter the Taliban? We're supposed to have a massive advantage over the Taliban because we get to control the airwaves. But apparently we're not doing it and it's left to some poor soldier to spend his time explaining fundamental logic. It must be infuriating for him that it's left to him.

I have tried raising this with my Afghan contact and will see if he has any suggestion. He's already confirmed what I suspected - the Afghans are racist and are voting along ethnic lines rather than judging who has the best policies/integrity.

While this still allows the Afghans to come up with something better than the Taliban, and I specifically like this quote:

"They don’t want a dialogue; they want to make all the rules. So they blame others for the result of their sociopathic behavior. ... bunch of thugs who cannot grow up and behave like reasonable men capable of living in a society where they are not guaranteed having everything their way."

That's basically what we're fighting. People who haven't grown up. Logic skills that belong in kindergarten. Tolerance levels that are pre-kindergarten.

The war against these things should be fought with education. With friendly forces now controlling the education system and airwaves, it should be possible to make progress. At the current rate it looks like we're talking decades.

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