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
Where are our petabyte drives? Brian Hayes takes us through the reasons storage is “stuck” in the low terabytes. The tl;dr is that we got such exceptional capacity growth in the late 90s and early 00s we don’t need much more right now, so the focus since then has been on SSDs, networking, interfaces, etc, […]
Amélie Lamont, a former staffer at website-hosting startup Squarespace, writes that she often found herself disregarded and disrespected by her colleagues. One comment in particular, though, set her reeling — and came to exemplify her experiences there.
In this episode of the Flash Forward podcast we travel to a future where humans have decided to eradicate the most dangerous animal on the planet: mosquitos. How would we do it? Is it even possible? And what are the consequences? Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon We […]
You never know when new projects, ideas or opportunities can drop into your lap at a moment’s notice. That may require you to learn a new programming language like Python. Or maybe you need a primer on 3D game development. Or you might realize you could use a serious brush-up on iOS mobile creation.Point is, […]
Isn’t it about time to stretch what your Mac can do? I mean, you’ve got plenty of great programs now…but don’t you think you could use some new tools to get your creative, analytical and organizational juices really flowing? It’s spring, so we cleaned up a whole bunch of super-cool apps lying around and packaged […]
In the world of app development, there’s no greater arena to find success than with Android users. About 80% of the smartphones in use today worldwide operate on the Android operating system, so if you build a great app that Android users love, you’re an international rock star. You’ll be able to make sure your […]