Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Back to the Future

Once again, The New York Pravda misses the forest for the foliage.

SAUDI ARABIA, home of Islam’s holiest sites, flush with oil revenue, and increasingly the most influential player among Arab countries, has long resisted changing its ultratraditional ways. Now the intrusions of global economics and technology have begun to challenge some traditions in ways that the country’s idealists could not. And the strain that this is causing is showing in the form of surprisingly open debate about how much Saudis really want to modernize...

If there was anything open about it, I'd be surprised.

And, as usual, at the very end, once the mindless praise of the Royal House is ended, the cut to the chase:

...The leadership, for example, has not pushed to change a public school curriculum loaded with teachings that promote intolerance — even hostility — toward other faiths. But the curriculum often has been criticized as failing to prepare Saudi graduates for the modern world. So, after an international ranking put three Saudi universities among the world’s worst, the king announced that $32 billion would go to new education-related projects, including a plan to bring in foreign consultants.

In other words, the signals remain mixed. Ms. Abou Khalid, the sociology professor, said that for 14 years she and a few other women gathered in their homes to debate and discuss issues. A few months ago, the government announced that sites for such gatherings must first get permission, effectively shutting them down.

Muhammad Al Zulfa, a historian and member of the Shoura Council, an advisory body to the king that resembles a parliament but with no legislative authority, said: “The conservatives are not happy to see any change.” “The conservatives say they are protecting the values of society,” he said. “They are protecting their privileges...”

Much the same could be said about Bu$hie's base. In the end, Jihadist or Crusader, the men at the top have much more in common with each other than with the greater part of humanity.

They both view their ascendency as inevitable and a God-given right. They both seek to press their advantage at this moment in history. Why?

Because of this inevitable fact:

Except for those who own the world, a post-industrial return to Iron Age technology for the greater part of humanity will bring the old ways back.

If we let them do it.

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