I always enjoy Rob Arthur's Narco Polo comics. Rob is the author of an interesting book called , You Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos, "which takes an anthropological look at how wrong and debilitating our beliefs are about sex, drugs, and more."
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. Under its brutal rule there were public executions and amputations weekly. Music, television, dancing, and public laughter were banned.* (2, 3) Women could not go out in public unless they were completely covered with a burqa and escorted by a male relative. Women caught with finger polish had their finger tips cut off.
In 1997 the Taliban Supreme Court ruled that, “the addicts of illegal drugs should be referred to the hospital/treatment center to receive proper treatment. If an addict after receiving treatment and being rehabilitated restarts using drugs, in this case he will be entitled for receiving punishment [sic].” (2)
In practice, the Taliban’s edict was not effective as Afghanistan had almost no rehabilitative services at the time. Nonetheless, the fact that the Taliban’s extremist leaders expressed more humanity than the United States federal government on this issue is remarkable.
* There were loopholes. For example, religious songs without instrumentation were allowed, as well as patriotic chants such as “Taliban, O Taliban, you’re creating facilities, you’re defeating enemies.” (1)
1. Nadya Labi, “Rhythmless Nation,” Time.com, 15 Sep. 2001. LINK
2. David Macdonald, Drugs in Afghanistan: Opium, Outlaws, and Scorpion Tales (2007), pp. 47-50.
3. Physicians for Human Rights, “The Taliban’s War on Women,” 1998. LINK (PDF)
Taliban’s Drug Policy Was More Humane Than US’s
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image. But the Illum’s cutting-edge technology records the direction of these rays, generating […]
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