Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Microbial Magic in Pakistan. High-tech does not equate with well-educated nor intelligent. Consider this item hilited on AOL News today.
Pakistan is recovering from an episode of widespread panic that gripped the nation late last week thanks to a vicious prank. Cell phone providers reported a high volume of customer-service calls inquiring about a deadly virus transmitted by cell phones. This illness was not some kind of bacteria you pick up from talking on a dirty phone, but a curse said to be responsible for 20 deaths. According to Reuters, the hysteria reached such critical mass that many mosques were warning of the virus and cautioning cell users to "be aware of God's wrath."(I suppose "be aware of God's wrath" should have been "beware God's wrath", but that's a quibble.)
Government officials are now said to be bracing for further civil unrest when word of Cooties spreads.
The problem the world has always had is that a great many people can cope with some of the gizmos or technologies that science produces (like fire, in ye olden days, then the pulley, Archimedes screw, vacuum cleaner, videocassette recorder, personal computer, and cellphone in more modern times), but all this intellectual sophistication is but a perilous superstructure built on a base of fearful superstition. There are people who can master the intricacies of molecular biology or nuclear physics but who still check their horoscope every day. Makes you proud to be human, doesn't it? Jeez.
(This is an entry for Tuesday uploaded Wednesday due to time (and energy) constraints.)
(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 3,617 — for Israel.)
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