Talking Points 26th November

Hundreds of Thai protestors have taken over Bangkok’s international airport demanding the removal of the current government. The escalating protests have disrupted thousands of passengers from around the world and but have lead to a quick response from army chiefs. Are disruptive protests effective? And are violent protests are justified?

Are virtual worlds turning children’s brains into mush? That’s just a slightly exaggerated version of what Britain’s leading brain expert says is actually happening. Professor Susan Greenfield says children’s ability to make relationships, even to distinguish falsehood from reality, is declining fast as a result of online surfing. And teachers in the US are concerned that too much technology is interrupting the process of development. Should we always embrace new technology?


And Obama has asked the current US defence secretary, appointed by President Bush to stay in his job. Is a new approach in Iraq and Afghanistan really possible?

13 Responses to “Talking Points 26th November”

  1. 1 John in Salem
    November 26, 2008 at 14:11

    re: protests
    Violent protests are a bad strategy. Other countries are more likely to support governments that have to put down violence.

    re: technology
    My wife has been an educational technology consultant for many years and can tell you that the primary reason for most teachers’ reluctance to use technology is being intimidated by it. Today’s kids are going to grow up in a world very different from what we know and they’ll need every edge they can get.

    Re: Gates
    Obama is making choices based on competence and ability rather than ideology or political persuasion. That alone is significant change.
    New strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan are enevitable. Only a fool keeps doing the same thing and expecting different results.

  2. 2 Zach
    November 26, 2008 at 14:55

    I am supportive of violent protests after all avenues of dialogue have been exhausted. Here in Jamaica the poor and oppressed has literally no voice and use protests as the only way to get attention to social issues. The culture in Jamaica has made protests an acceptable form of dialogue as it gets more attention making persons in high offices respond faster.

  3. 3 selena in Canada
    November 26, 2008 at 15:19

    @Robert and anyone else interested in amazing nature…

    the Song of the Dunes.

    Nature is a welcome relief from violence, virtual or real. Should children be encouraged to get back to nature? Being hyped on fantasy, would children even find something like singing sand fascinating? Are the brightest minds opting out of the opportunity to find mystery in the real world?

    BBC Radio (always on the cutting edge) was the first agency to give this phenomenon coverage. It is now on CNN over the next few days.

    Thursday 430am ET and 11pm ET

    Saturday 430am ET, 1pm ET and 630pm ET

    Sunday 1030am ET and1030pm ET

    also here…

  4. 4 Dinka Aliap Chawul, Kampala
    November 26, 2008 at 15:30

    Dear Ros. It defends on the country`s values and its leaderships as in Africa,Asia and Middleast addicted to violences means as a essential methods both used by opposers and proposers as a tool of solving their matters rather.

  5. 5 nora in Santa Cruz, CA
    November 26, 2008 at 15:31

    On protest: Human frustration will always find its way to the street if it boils long enough. Change is part of our DNA. Power is not readily accessible to the young or the poor. Protest is as much a part of our nature as other rituals. Success depends on the tactics, the times and blind luck.

    On computer brain mush: Richer, more textured relationships and longer attention span are not the primary results of the computer revolution. The gulf I feel as a pre-television personality who has always viewed a computer as an evolving work tool and no more is palpable, but not so easily explainable. I chose not to use a computer as a babysitter because I think kids sit too much and it is unhealthy, not because the machine would make them mush, but that inactivity makes the brain and body mush.

    Computer-defined folks look for verification of their emotional point of view online. Back in the day we relied on the people in the room. Intimacy and intelligence are related, so the forms of this change too. What is mush, what is just a new configuration? It is always easy for the old to get nostalgic, not so easy to describe what is lost when the experts and the quacks are in your laptop and you play life like a video game. I loved leaving the computer at work because it was too big too leave the building.

  6. November 26, 2008 at 15:38

    Good Old Gates!
    TEHRAN – It was perhaps naive to think that Obama would address the global economic slump, revive old friendships, bring peace to the universe and act as
    a happy go lucky ombudsman.
    There are simply too many loose ends in our part of the world. What are we going to do with the increasingly repressive regime in Iran? What sort of accommodation will Shiite Iran have with multi-ethnic and multi-party system in Iraq?
    Are we going to be silent spectators to the gruesome, eccentric and outrageous acts of radical groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan?
    What is Iran to do with 2.5 million Afghan refugees and 2.5 million opium addicts who again depend on Afghan poppy cultivation. Iran prides itself on capturing 400T to 4500T of opium from drug traffickers each year whereas home consumption is in the region of 5,000T per annum.
    Time to act on Iran Mr. Gates, even though some Europeans feel a milder line would be more suitable.

  7. 7 John in Salem
    November 26, 2008 at 15:45

    Selena in Canada~
    In the Mojave desert in California there is an place called the Devil’s Playground, an area of about 5 square miles of those “singing” sand dunes where my family often camped back in the early sixties. You could walk the crest of a dune and any sandslide would produce a deep humming. On a summer night with a good wind you could feel it through the ground.

  8. November 26, 2008 at 16:24

    i dont think there will be any changes in iraq or afganistan since obama ihas choose gorge bush’s security secretary.there will be more problem there because the secretary want to conclude what gorge bush did not do.

  9. 9 Aaron
    November 26, 2008 at 18:16

    violence has lost its place as the most effective means of achieving one’s goals. our world has gradually evolved into an era of meaningful dialogue. however, the often unquenchable thirst for power, and the self-seeking nature of mankind has made it difficult, almost impossible, for some leaders to be concerned with the true desires of the people. a true leader who wants good for his followers will be willing to step aside if he cant seem to give them what they want. sadly, many do not realize that!

  10. 10 Chaitu
    November 26, 2008 at 19:01

    I guess the need for violence would mainly depend on the perspective of the individual and their age. As I have experienced myself, being aggressive is common to the youth who would like to go ahead and take decisive actions immediately, but as we age mutual dialog is more preferred. I am not familiar with the history of Thailand’s politics, but I do feel that taking actions to disrupt the conditions of the general public and holding out airports to prove a point seem rather excessive when the parties can talk over a table.

  11. November 27, 2008 at 08:59

    Hi Aaron
    Reyr November 26, 2008 at 6:16 pm post
    Viz “Violence Has Lost Its Place”
    Has it? What’s happening in Bangkok! Who is doing what to whom in Mumbai!
    You couldn’t imagine a more peaceful, non-radical and docile race than Indians, and to a lesser degree Thais.
    India, the world’s largest Democracy. Thailand, the tourist paradise where you can pick up a kid for a couple of thousand bucks, yours for keeps, Do whatever you want with it!
    Good morning Mumbai. This is the awakening. A quasi-archaic folk, the nearest thing to the Western man, “speaks the vernacular, quick to learn, willing to travel.” Or do you prefer aborted female embryos! Mrs. Ghandi preferred castration as a check to population growth.
    It’s not rosy, but that’s how it goes. Or perahps you prefer calm, sedate, adamant Iran where they hang women and children? It’s our latest tourist attraction!
    “Desires of the People,” you say. Well, here you have it loud and clear.

  12. 12 Roberto
    November 27, 2008 at 12:27

    RE “” Are disruptive protests effective? “”

    ——— Apparently quite effective in attracting WHYS attention on their blog.

    Guess the Pakistani Islamic Jihadists who just killed some 100 folkes in a Mumbai attack and are holding an unknown number hostage forgot to check with their PR publicist for maximum exposure.

    World is burning between two nuclear protaganists and Whys asks why bubblegum is pink and sky blue questions?

  13. 13 ~Dennis Junior~
    January 14, 2009 at 05:14

    Are disruptive protests effective? Not really…since it brings out the security services in the country……

    And are violent protests are justified? NO…

    ~Dennis Junior~

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