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Total number of comments: 6 (since 2013-11-28 16:44:42)


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  • The rise of Daesh/ ISIS, explained in 6 minutes
    • You can only do so much in 6 minutes. For me this was an excellent prĂ©cis and I learned a lot. Of course it left stuff out, the end of the Ottoman empire, Sykes-Picot, and several book-loads more.

  • France Crashes the Geneva Party, Scuttles Iran Deal
    • I'm struggling to understand how this plays into what I suppose to be France's post-colonial interests. I would expect them to be pro-Iran because they want to keep their Sykes-Picot derived influence in Syria and Lebanon. But they've flipped the bird to Iran and got cozy with Saudi thereby setting themselves up as not exactly Best Friends Forever with Hezbollah and the Assad regime, or so it seems. This is, to my untutored eye, a potentially significant realignment which is not just about nuclear Iran.

  • Isaac Asimov Predicts Interactive Internet 25 Years Ago
    • It wasn't all that bold a prediction in 1988. By 1988 the internet was hot if you were a nerd.

      The French made online purchases and organized protests via Minitel throughout the 1980s and Asimov probably knew about it. He had written a book about France. Minitel strongly signalled the future long before 1988.

      In the USA Arpanet had been going since 1969. It seems unlikely that Asimov would have been unaware of it.

      By 1990 even I had dialup internet access. It was useless, and I concluded that it was all hoohah. Bad call.

      He seems so innocent. He had no inkling that internet development would be driven by porn.

  • Christian woman in Egypt Shoe-whacks Salafi Fundamentalist for Calling her a Harlot (Photo)
    • Margaret Thatcher wore a headscarf when she visited Saudi Arabia because it was pragmatic to do so (she was selling weapons). It is not the custom for British women to cover their heads in public but it is the British custom to be pragmatic.

      The woman in the photo has my admiration and the man my contempt.

      The "unhelpful" advice deserves consideration. Sometimes being quiet is smarter than being confrontational and there's more liberty when there's less conflict.

      What I really don't like is the notion that all of our recently (Circa 200 years, which is only 3 of my lifespans) acquired ideas about the equality of women should be adopted immediately by the rest of the world. This is the same craziness as that of the contemptible man.

    • "Coptic Church officials in Egypt have unhelpfully urged Christian girls to wear a headscarf in this conservative Muslim country."

      I'm not sure why that's unhelpful. I believe there may still be Christian church congregations in Western Europe where the dress code is that a woman's hair and upper arms should be covered. It was certainly the case 50 years ago (when I last went to church) and I'm guessing that it was a relic of what became proper dress during the counter enlightenment.

      If wearing a headscarf is all it takes to secure agency it's a good deal. Disclaimer: I'm a man.

  • War of Logistics in N. Syria as Rebel Forces Close in on Aleppo Airport
    • The taking of Aleppo airport would, I'm guessing, increase the pressure on Lattakia which I understand to be an Allawite redoubt. Is it possible that Lattakia might fall soon and might that be the end?

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