Thursday, April 26, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The UK based Guardian reported on April 9, 2012: “Afghanistan announces satellite tender” (see http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/09/afghanistan-satellite which is also the photo source). The article describes how the Afghani government is looking for a partner to help them bring television and the Internet to all parts of Afghanistan. The article also talks about the open and competitive nature of Afghan television and the scrambling for frequencies by broadcasters.
When I saw the article I was reminded of the Saturday Night Life Eddie Murphy skit series centered on providing fondue pots for the African Nation of Namibia (see http://snl.jt.org/comm.php?i=F). The implication to me is that the last thing an African developing nation probably needed was the luxury cooking item used for melting cheese or chocolate and dipping items into the resulting gelatinous mass.
The population of Afghanistan is overwhelmingly – say 75% or more rural (one source is: http://foodsecurityatlas.org/afg/country/socioeconomic-profile/introduction). While having the signal is fine and dandy, you also need a few other components such as: receiving instruments, electric power for the receiving instruments and, oh yes, a population willing and able to use these new devices and the content for them to experience.
Of course such an effort would not happen for quite some time, but it seems to me that MISO in particular should not count on this medium in the near future.
A counterpoint could be made that the leaders and more educated population lives in cities and that perhaps there has been a stimulation of migration from rural areas to cities in Afghanistan just has there has been in China and Africa. If so, then beefing up the electronic media profile makes a great deal of sense.
My gut however, believes this is a Quixotic effort destined to fail due in part to the fact that investment partners are looking for a return on their investment.
What do you think?
Thursday, April 5, 2012
The world situation called for something a little lighter this week and so I offer PSYOP and the world of Drag. For my non-American readers RuPaul is a famous American “Drag Queen”. Drag is the slang term for men dressing in women’s clothing. The 29 March 2012 issues of Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2122130/Chief-army-officer-Afghanistan-orders-guardian-angels-protect-U-S-troops-insider-attacks.html), the on-line version of the UK publication the Daily Mail, had an article “Meet the Taliban Transvestites: Rebels are captured dressed in drag” – which is also the photo source.
The photo shows Taliban who were arrested east of Kabul. While I’ve never been to Afghanistan, it is my distinct impression that women are not afforded a very high status in Afghanistan and that a man in woman’s clothing would surely be a step down in status.
It strikes me that this image and the message “only cowardly men disguise themselves as women” would be a good one for MISO purposes. Likely they would be most effective in areas where these individuals might even be recognized.
In any event, the picture struck me as a good diversion from the grave nature of much of what is going on in the world today.