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Archive for December 24th, 2012

What all these measures will not address is the mindset

Monday, December 24th, 2012

[ by Charles Cameron -- concerning the implications of the phrase "all things visible and invisible" ]
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In the upper panel above, you can see a bunch of “guns and ammo” displayed on a table, and in the lower panel, a bunch of “hearts and minds” similarly displayed. Putting that another way, you can see guns and ammo but you can’t see hearts and minds — they’re invisible, you can only intuit them.

And therein lies the reason we focus so much on the quantitative and so little on the qualitative: we can see and count the one, the other is invisible and unaccountable.

**

I thought the paragraph that follows was terrific. The article I’ve taken it from happens to be about a multiple rape of a teenage girl this July in India, and it was posted on the Times of India site. If that’s an issue of importance to you, the article is Why Indian men rape by Anand Soondas. It’s not the whole article that I’m pointing you to, though — it’s just this one paragraph:

We at The Times of India in our edition today laid out a 6-point action plan to make India safer for women – harsher punishment, sensitization of the police force, setting up of fast-track courts, better patrolling, cleverer use of technology like GPS and CCTVs and a data base of public transport personnel – but what all these measures will not address is the mindset.

More specifically, I want to address you to its concluding phrase: What all these measures will not address is the mindset.

I want to re-purpose that paragraph. I want to remove the specific problem and proposed solutions, and to see the paragraph as a form, a vessel into which all manner of liquids could be poured.

The form would look something like this:

What follows is an n-point plan to make the world a better place — do x, do y, do z, do abc if it comes to that — but what all these measures will not address is the mindset.

What all these measures will not address is the mindset.

**

We almost always think about ways to fix the world, but forget that any and every fix has to work its way through not just our own mindset — though that can be a problem in itself — but also the multiple mindsets and differing culture sets of multiple others.

  • Do this, that and the other in Afghanistan — but what all these measures will not address is the mindset.
  • Do this, that and the other about Syria, about Egypt, about the Middle East, the Arab Spring — but what all these measures will not address is the mindset.
  • Do this, that and the other to combat global warming — but what all these measures will not address is the mindset.
  • Do this, that and the other about the possession and use of firearms — but what all these measures will not address is the mindset.
  • Do this, that and the other, and the world will be a far better place.

  • The thing is, you can’t simply deploy other people’s hearts and minds, the way you can deploy your own troops and materiel.

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