Such are the hazards of imprisonment within the DoubleQuote system — two, when three or more are available and relevant, becomes a constraint rather than a facilitation. So would any other positive integer — and god save us from the irrationsals!
The findings reported here converge with those of these other studies in terms of how people radicalize and become foreign fighters. However, they tend to diverge with regard to why they go. In the twenty interviews analyzed no one indicated, directly or indirectly, that forms of socioeconomic marginalization played a significant role in their motivation to become a foreign fighter. Moreover, the interactions with these individuals were so heavily mediated by religious discourse it seems implausible to suggest that religiosity (i.e., a sincere religious commitment, no matter how ill-informed or unorthodox) is not a primary motivator for their actions. Religion provides the dominant frame these foreign fighters use to interpret almost every aspect of their lives, and this reality should be given due interpretive weight.
There we are:
Religion provides the dominant frame these foreign fighters use to interpret almost every aspect of their lives
The disappoint stems from the desire to attribute the jihadist phenomenon to a single cause rather than to several causes that work in tandem to produce it. To my mind, the most salient are these: a religious heritage that lauds fighting abroad to establish states and to protect one’s fellow Muslims; ultraconservative religious ideas and networks exploited by militant recruiters; peer pressure (if you know someone involved, you’re more likely to get involved); fear of religious persecution; poor governance (not type of government); youth unemployment or underemployment in large cities; and civil war. All of these factors are more at play in the Arab world now than at any other time in recent memory, which is fueling a jihadist resurgence around the world.
I’ve never been clear-headed enough to follow Aristotle‘s distinctions between material, formal, efficient, and final causes, let alone discussion of hypothetical causes that follow their effects, but it seems to me that the two statements above are easily reconciled if we understand that there are many causes for disgruntlement, to which a religious solution is in all cases present as disgruntlement turns to ISIS-sympathetic recruitment.
Religion (as Dawson & Amarasingam have it, “i.e., a sincere religious commitment, no matter how ill-informed or unorthodox”) is the sine qua non of jihadism.
So yeah, doh! — with multi-factorial causality earlier in the process..
[ by Charles Cameron — or should that be Uber über alles?]
Forget billboards — motorists now have ads buzzing a few feet above their windshields — MIT Technology Review
There is an endless variety of possible starting points for a critique of oneself and the world. One might start from:
the message in a fortune cookie
whatever one’s parents imparted
whatever one rejected of what they imparted
Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates
a return to the Green Line
Palestine from the river to the sea
the sweet humility of the Magnificat
the fierce doctrine of Original Sin
the Cloud of Unknowing
the uncontaminated Unity of Godhead
the Buddha’s Noble Truth of suffering
the shining suchness of the Tathagata
something Karl Marx said, or Darwin
a tall tale from Chuang-Tzu
Lao Tzu’s unspeakable truth, unmappable path..
or the way someone reacted when one trod on their foot in the subway
Myself, I tend to go from either:
the Bene Gesserit adage, Fear is the mind-killer
or its obverse in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Yoga is the cessation of waves in the mind.
Which brings me to advertising.
Yoga is the cessation of waves in the mind.
Advertising is the paid attempt to capture my attention regardless of my wishes in the matter.
In terms of the Yoga Sutras‘s goal of an unruffled mind, advertising attempts to stir up trouble — not in Syria or Afghanistan, or even in my kitchen, but within my consciousness.
And I’m not alone in detesting this invasive behavior. “Nearly 90% of people watching timeshifted shows fast-forward the ads,” the Guardian reported in a piece titled TV advertising skipped by 86% of viewers, and while Victoria may have a secret ingredient which makes her ads memorable — I’m referring here, of course, to a recent Nobel Prizewinner — most ads are simply irritants.
The benefit of advertising, to those whom it speaks, is that it acts as a road-sign to what we may want. It’s adverse effect is to clutter up our lives with road-signs to irrelevant and possibly offensive destinations. Apples don’t need little stickers on them proclaiming “apples by the Creator” but a discreet mention of “All purpose disinfecting cleaner by Bright Green” was quite helpful to me the other day, as I was wandering the aisles of Safeway in search of a brand they no longer carry..
And yes. Advertising drives sales drives manufacturing drives employment drives a roof over the head for many who might otherwise find themselves in the rain. Granted.
[ by Charles Cameron — choice, chance and maybe destiny at the movies, on the road, in life ]
A while back, I lived in Cottonwood, Arizona, and drove the few miles back and forth between Cottonwood and Sedona most days each week for months. There’s a beautiful stretch of desert in between, I delighted in the journey, and no doubt my foot on the gas pedal quickened or eased off to some mild extent depending on what music I was listening to, how much coffee I’d had recently, how my most recent conversation or burst of writing had gone. And then one night a deer ran across the road, perhaps twelve feet ahead of my car.
Let’s say I was traveling at 60 for ease of calculation. 60 mph is a mile a minute, 88 feet per second. About a tenth of a second later and the deer and / or I would likely have been dead — one full second later, he or she would have crossed sixty feet behind me and I would have seen nothing, known nothing.
There are deer constantly crossing our paths sixty feet behind us and it’s a normal day at the office, it’s one more day like any other: sunny, then partly cloudy, with a ten percent chance of rain.
The average human life expectancy, or pretty close, in the United States these days is 690,235 hours. Here are two film clips, which will occupy just over a quarter of one of those hours if you watch them both.
No Country For Old Men:
The Magus — the entire film — runs an hour and 57 minutes, while No Country for Old Men runs two hours and three minutes, so those clips, 10 and 5 minutes long each, represent in each case a small fraction of the whole film — yet those two fractions have been selected out to be posted as YouTube clips — and they have something in common: life and death in a roll of the dice, the flip of a coin.
I’m guessing it’s that life or death in an instant play of chance that marks those two particular clips as worth noting and posting to YouTube — and that made that deer running across the road in my headlights so memorable.
The realization here: my life hangs, moment by moment across hundreds of thousands of hours, on such slight and unintended (“chance”) variations of physical fact & effect as how much my foot on the gas pedal imperceptibly quickens or eases off as a slight turn, rise or fall in the road..
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.