The indoctrination of children

There have been several studies examining brainwashing and it seems that it doesn’t work well or not for very long.  Indoctrinated PoWs or cult members tend to revert back to their normal selves after leaving that environment and returning to the familiar comforts and habits of home.  So that’s good.  I cannot find said studies now to link but evidence is for fascists.

However, there is one group that is exquisitely vulnerable to any sort of brainwashing, be it political, religious or otherwise: Read More

TV in the Middle East

My TV broke.  It won’t turn on.  I think it got fried by a power surge.  Probably the parts and skills to fix it cannot be found here and it will never work again.  But I’m not missing much.

Though I am in Africa, for some reason I get several hundred Middle Eastern satellite TV stations beamed into my dish.  I’ve flicked through all of them so that you don’t have to.

Here is what I found: Read More

Things you don’t know but probably should

Book review of Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell.

If you want to see what poor economic management looks like in practice, you will not have great trouble finding it.  Come over here to sunny Bumfuckistan.  The government has so utterly hobbled business with such a myriad of arbitrary and capricious regulations that all economic activity has ground to a halt.  Almost all the factories and large stores have closed down.  Tourism is near non-existent.

In his insightful conclusion, Sowell notes that politicians, no matter how counterproductive their policies, are not basing them on nothing at all.  They are basing them upon Read More

Africa wins again

There’s a saying here.

A Norwegian resources company finds rare earths in a remote part of the bush.  They try to set up the infrastructure to extract it.  They dig the hole, build the accommodation, and get almost all the permits.  Then they try to build a road to the port.  The road would go through the President’s friend’s hobby farm.  Permission is denied.  No alternative is found and the plan is Read More

The big trade

You can’t time the market.  But as to reacting to what’s just happened – that requires no crystal ball.  I can’t tell you what will happen tomorrow but ask me whatever you like about yesterday.

Proviso: I am not qualified, nor morally or temperamentally suited to offer financial advice.  The following is purely my own opinion.  Anyone who takes this advice will probably end up penniless and hawking their arse down St. Kilda.

So we all know the next big crash must be Read More

What makes you happy?

In an essay of Montaigne he discusses the three things that still make him happy during his advanced years of pain and declining health.  These are: conversation with good friends, enjoying whatever intimacy he can still manage with his ladies or the fond memories thereof, and spending time reading and pacing about his library.

Is it not fine to reach an age when one finally knows what one wants to do?  So many people do not reflect on this foundational truth, instead mindlessly pursuing money, popularity, drunkenness, promotions, fame, a big house, or a sporting trophy, only to be disappointed once they get it.

Imagine for a moment that you had ample Read More

Blocking WordPress

Several countries block WordPress, this one included.  Mind you, over here such measures are necessarily low tech.  Bumfuckistan only manages to block sites that actually have ‘wordpress’ in the URL so anyone who has bothered to splash some cash for his own web address sails through freely as water through a net.

However, this block works far more effectively here than the cleverer censorship conducted in China simply because Read More

Why a country is as it is

Recently the government here decided that the precarious water situation was under control.  City water had improved so much that they decided to ban private water truck deliveries.  After all, that water is more expensive.  It must be a scam.  City water ought to be good enough for anyone.

My canny reader wonders, why on earth would residents pay extra for unnecessary water anyway?  Do we really need a law against it?  You might as well ban staring at the sun or poking broken glass up your urethra.

TIA, mate.  This Is Africa.  Some houses are supposed to be Read More

Don’t give to beggars

I was walking to the gym and saw two young, attractive white girls coming the other way.  This is not an everyday occurrence.  As I neared them they passed a begging mother with a couple of little children, and they gave the kids some chocolate.

The children were delighted and the mother was glowing, saying something to them like, aren’t you lucky?  Those kind foreigners gave you some chocolate!

And those girls, obviously Read More

Empathy and the rabbit incident

For some time I have puzzled that mothers and fathers here do not kick up much of a fuss about the enslavement of their children.  Their only way out of national service is to get pregnant (not an option for all), to sneak across the border or to just get lucky with some sort of medical or family grounds for release, which is not easy.

I know a guy who was forced to Read More