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Getting Afghanistan Online

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the like-this dept.

The Internet 182

Velcroman1 writes "Imagine living in a country where only 3.5 percent of the population use the Internet. When you ask a neighbor about Facebook, they give you a confused look. Posting a status update on Twitter is a foreign concept, and most citizens still rely on printed newspapers and radio reports. That's life in Afghanistan today, where only 1.5 million people (out of 30M) have Internet access. A new National Social Media Summit intends to change that trend. To be held September 22 to 23 in Kabul, and featuring some 200 speakers, the event will promote the use of social media as a way to not only discuss current news, but to make news. The summit, called Paiwand (or Unity), aims to boost Net use further. It will break out into several themes including social media and government transparency, new media trends and emerging tech."

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Tempting (5, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year ago | (#44864357)

When you ask a neighbor about Facebook, they give you a confused look. Posting a status update on Twitter is a foreign concept, and most citizens still rely on printed newspapers and radio reports.

Almost makes it sound worth the constant threat of bombings, shootings, and oppression by the Taliban.

Re:Tempting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864411)

Mod up... is that heaven?

Re:Tempting (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44864423)

That second part really depends on HOW GOOD the newspaper or radio is.

If most Americans were to get their news from what passes as newspaper or radio these days, we would probably be in an even sorrier state.

Internet journalism isn't a whole lot better, but there's not a limited amount of it, so at least there's no editorial staff to completely suppress a story. And it's more of a dialogue, so at least there's a potential for bullshit to be outed as such.

Again, I'm not saying the internet magically cures everything that is wrong with journalism, but it can definitely be an improvement.

Re:Tempting (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44864491)

well the local newspaper is as good as the local tribal leader lets it to be.

in other words it's pure shit. that's why getting them online matters. that's why getting everyone online matters.

because that's the a way to get them out of their highly localized dictatorship dystopias. now their life is just what the local guy with most guns and dope for his gunmen wants it to be(and unfortunately those guys aren't very industrious - and making things better for their community would make them have less power...).

Re:Tempting (2, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#44864585)

well the local newspaper is as good as the local tribal leader lets it to be.

This is true. Whether the local tribal leader is named Jamaludin Badr or Rupert Murdoch.

Re:Tempting (4, Insightful)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44864765)

Whether the local tribal leader is named Jamaludin Badr or Rupert Murdoch.

Except Ropert Murdoch has no means to compel you to stay away from competing publishers — neither by banning the competitors nor by prohibiting you to buy their wares.

And that is the key difference between a government-provided service (whether it is news, education, health care, food, shelter, or entertainment) and a privately-provided one.

Re:Tempting (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44864833)

He can simply buy them all, or collude with them.

For what I see BBC which is the government option, is actually better than the private sources. This odd state of affairs occurs too regularly for my like.

In theory you would be right, but reality and theory rarely line up.

Re:Tempting (1)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44864887)

He can simply buy them all, or collude with them.

And that is fine — as long as the competition remains possible to both produce and consume.

For what I see BBC which is the government option, is actually better than the private sources

Though BBC is the government option, they do have competition, which forces them to stay on their toes.

Re:Tempting (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44864941)

Do you know what a monopoly is?

I highly doubt that is what keeps the BBC being the BBC. I am sure NPR is not doing this for competition either. You are projecting. Competition and the quest for the almighty dollar forces you to stay on your toes, not everyone is motivated by the same forces.

Re:Tempting (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44865079)

Both the BBC and NPR have had recent scandals. Someone needs to watch the watchers.

Re:Tempting (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44865107)

Indeed, but the private media is more interested in twerking than doing that. The dailymail which has admitted to making up stories is now the most visited internet site for news. Do you expect them to be able to watch the other news sources, if they can't even be expected to only report things that actually happened?

Re:Tempting (1)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44865299)

The dailymail which has admitted to making up stories is now the most visited internet site for news.

Then that is exactly, what their consumers want. You — as most other fans of big government — seem to hold this arrogant opinion, that you "know better" than the little men. While this may very well be, in fact, true, you should not allow yourself (nor the government) to force things upon these contemptible doofusen.

All you can (morally) do, is try to ensure, those among the subjects (yourself included), who want better, can get it. And while I have little doubt, Ropert Murdoch, were he really ever come to the power of suppressing opposition through non-business means, would do just that, my point was — and remains — that he does not have such power. Unlike the local tribal leaders, who are, after all, government officials.

Re:Tempting (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44865329)

People want made up news? Are you even reading what you are typing?

Fraud is what you think people want? Then why do they even claim to be a newspaper? Why not just publish fiction as fiction?

Re:Tempting (2, Insightful)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44865467)

People want made up news?

People want entertainment. "Made up news" certainly fits. Michael Moore's "documentaries" were anything but, for another example. Though his international awards were in the "fiction" categories, he got rave reviews — and millions of viewers — anyway.

Why not just publish fiction as fiction?

They seem to be doing fine whatever label you put on them.

Are you even reading what you are typing?

I wish, you did — and concentrated on the point I'm making, which is, once again, that government ought not to provide non-governmental services. Never. Not even when the non-governmental providers are personally unpleasant and unscrupulous.

Re:Tempting (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44865521)

Whatever label? Are you aware of what fraud even is?

I disagree, I think the public has a right to news from a source that might even try to print news. If we followed your thinking we would soon be in a corporate feudal state.

Re:Tempting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864939)

BBC which is the government option, is actually better than the private sources.

THAT is the definition of a sheep.

Re:Tempting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865065)

Show me some examples of where the private source is significantly better than the BBC.

To start this off, I will cite the fact that the BBC's television output is usually of a far higher quality than that produced by ITV and C4.

Re:Tempting (0)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44865317)

To start this off, I will cite the fact

Khmm... What you cited was an opinion, not fact... Try again?

Re:Tempting (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about a year ago | (#44865359)

Except Ropert Murdoch has no means to compel you to stay away from competing publishers - neither by banning the competitors nor by prohibiting you to buy their wares.

And that is the key difference between a government-provided service (whether it is news, education, health care, food, shelter, or entertainment) and a privately-provided one.

The first paragraph is true. The second implies that all monopolies are created by the government, and that all government services are monopolies. Which is obviously horseshit.

Also, the US government might suck at providing education, food or shelter, but it does a fine job of providing entertainment.

Re:Tempting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864731)

Maybe, but don't forget that they will put censorship "for the children"
Back to square one.

Re:Tempting (1)

Zemran (3101) | about a year ago | (#44864527)

I have just realised that the average Afghani is of a higher intellect that the average westerner...

paging JonKatz! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#44864679)

hey, this reminds me of a story from 2001 : hee hee [slashdot.org] C= OMGWTFBBQ!

Re:paging JonKatz! (1)

Admiral_Grinder (830562) | about a year ago | (#44864747)

I would like to see a followup to this one. Even if it is a "I'm alive and doing fine"

IN the land of the blind (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year ago | (#44864791)

the man with AOL is king.

ORLY? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864365)

"When you ask a neighbor about Facebook, they give you a confused look. Posting a status update on Twitter is a foreign concept"

To be honest I'd like to live in a world which you describe...

Re:ORLY? (2)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#44864475)

I don't use facebook, and posting a status update on Twitter is certainly a foreign concept to me too.
If that's what people think of as Internet, things have gone from bad to worse. If the trend continues, I imagine that taking a bus ride in the future means people randomly standing up and announcing things like "Fluffy had her ear wax removed" and "I bought new shoes". And the rest will applaud and pat their backs.

Prime Directive (5, Insightful)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year ago | (#44864369)

I'm sure there are a lot of issues to fix first. But maybe many there are not ready for *all* the stuff on the net just yet..

Re: Prime Directive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864391)

Are you suggesting they need a filtered 'net?

Re: Prime Directive (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year ago | (#44864579)

I don't think Goatse adds much. The whole place needs a ton of education, much like you'd give a "crap with computers" relative. Don't do X,Y,Z. Filtered? I'm sure they'll get that as default.

Re:Prime Directive (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44864437)

But maybe many there are not ready for *all* the stuff on the net just yet..

You know, after 25 years of using the internet ... some days I'm not sure I'm ready for all of it.

There's some strange stuff out there.

Re:Prime Directive (4, Funny)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about a year ago | (#44864555)

You know, after 25 years of using the internet ... some days I'm not sure I'm ready for all of it.

There's some strange stuff out there.

Citation needed... And maybe some example links.

Re:Prime Directive (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44864715)

LOL ... my citation is Rule 34 [urbandictionary.com] .

As far as example links ... I'm sure Google can help you with that.

Re:Prime Directive (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about a year ago | (#44864749)

Is it wrong that I was disappointed that this wasn't a goatse link?

Re:Prime Directive (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44864997)

Yes, yes it is. :-P

Though, I'm sure if you're really jonesing you can probably track it down with Google.

Re:Prime Directive (1, Flamebait)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44865073)

They use little boys as sex slaves over there, and they're no stranger to gory deaths. You can find videos of what the Taliban does with their goats on LiveLeak. They'll probably think the web is mild and prudish.

"What's this, tentacle rape? Ah so this Internet thing has some balls after all."

Oh the humanity! (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44864379)

Posting a status update on Twitter is a foreign concept

(silently wipes a tear away from his eye)

Also, twitter being an American company, is foreign to damn near ALL countries. As a concept, it's still weird to most Americans even.

Re:Oh the humanity! (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#44864673)

So when Angela Merkel or Vladimir Putin post on Twitter, you think they're doing it for Americans?

Re:Oh the humanity! (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#44864769)

No. They are politicians. They're life depends on people knowing they exist and lying to them. They will use ever vehicle in the known world to do so. This isn't new.

Oh, and neither Merkel nor Putin post on Twitter any more than Oprah does. If you think they do, you have no idea how politics works.

Re:Oh the humanity! (2)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year ago | (#44864943)

They're life depends on people knowing they exist and lying to them.

Man, that sentence was easy to mis-parse. I read it as:
Their life depends on people knowing they exist and knowing that they are lying to them
not what you probably intended:
Their life depends on people knowing they exist, and on lying to the people.

Re:Oh the humanity! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865337)

They are life? Stupid ignorant nigger jizzdrip.

Re:Oh the humanity! (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44865535)

No. Why do you ask?

Re:Oh the humanity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864675)

I know it's weird to me.
I don't live in Mom's basement. I have a lot of normal, real-life friends, acquaintances, and relatives. Some of them are teenagers, some use Facebook a lot, but I've never heard anyone at all mention Twitter.

Re: Oh the humanity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865353)

Twitter is what journalists, politicians, and celebrities think is the Internet. Really, it's best just to let them keep thinking that, and keep them outta the way.

Priorities? (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#44864401)

In a country, where people are dying like flies from all sorts of preventable causes, and where illiteracy, ignorance and fanaticism are rife, will they REALLY welcome this?

Oh -- and pearls before swine, and all that.

Re:Priorities? (5, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#44864515)

In a country, where people are dying like flies from all sorts of preventable causes, and where illiteracy, ignorance and fanaticism are rife, will they REALLY welcome this?

I thought we did?
Oh, you're not talking about the US?

Pork: It's what Jews & Muslims can agree on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864693)

I'm not sure that you want to cast pearls before swine in a Muslim country (or maybe it's a good thing)...

Re:Priorities? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44865361)

In a country, where people are dying like flies from all sorts of preventable causes, and where illiteracy, ignorance and fanaticism are rife, will they REALLY welcome this?

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And that's all they've got right now, because they were seized by a theocracy and went from the center of learning and knowledge to... well, take a look.

Oh -- and pearls before swine, and all that.

You can at least water the horses that will drink.

Get off my lawn! (5, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#44864461)

Imagine living in a country where only 3.5 percent of the population use the Internet.

That's not hard for anyone who is old enough to remember the 1980s. The internet as we know it today is a pretty recent development for most of the population. Before 1990 or so pretty much no one outside of academia had internet access.

I would even put it at... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864773)

1998+

I was pretty late to the party as far as techies go (mostly due to age/lack of income), but almost everybody non-techie I know who got on (who wasn't already in college at that point) didn't start until AOL, Earthlink, etc started pushing the internet, and many didn't start until broadband was prevalent.

Re:Get off my lawn! (1)

DutchUncle (826473) | about a year ago | (#44865357)

I was going to title the same thought "Children: This is what your parents did." The Science Fiction Club at RPI - a techie school if ever there was one - mimeographed our bi-monthly newsletter and exchanged copies by mail with other school clubs. That was the only way to do it.

I can imagine 3.5% of the pop on internet. 1980s (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864503)

Seriously this is dumb. The internet is a trashpile of shitty western values. Why people don't get that is the schism is beyond me.

How to end all terrorism (2)

Flounder (42112) | about a year ago | (#44864519)

Introduce an entire country to cat pics on Reddit.

Re:How to end all terrorism (2)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#44864641)

Or /b/. That'd be hilarious.

When you ask a neighbor about Facebook, they... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864565)

Sounds like heaven on earth.

Nice (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44864571)

Glad to see people are focusing on the important issues... Yes after 12 years of non stop war, I'm sure facebook is a huge priority and twitter will stop all the violence.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864711)

Make them troll each other online rather than on the street. Instant peace.

I'm a bit worried for all the kids having to face real pros on CoD though...

Re:Nice (4, Insightful)

AJH16 (940784) | about a year ago | (#44864785)

Giving people the ability to connect to world and understand people from other parts of it is key to peace just about anywhere? When you understand that people are people everywhere, it's far more difficult to get the general populace revved up against some great enemy. People fear the unknown and in the absence of contrary evidence, anything can be said. Now granted, it may have a more limited impact since the Internet itself is perceived as Western, but having people be able to communicate more freely is rarely a bad thing when it comes to trying to prevent popular support for attacking others.

Re:Nice (1)

Matt Kuhns (2918029) | about a year ago | (#44864953)

You would think (well, okay, you would LIKE to think) that at some point people would stop spouting this drivel. Clarke made much the same prediction about international calling nearly 50 years ago, and it was already silly by that point. One hundred years earlier, when people were making similar predictions about the telegraph, it was arguably plausible, but the century of carnage that followed really should have illustrated the hollowness of this concept. Pray stop being a ninny.

Re:Nice (1)

AJH16 (940784) | about a year ago | (#44865507)

Precisely how many wars have we had directly between nations that have cheap, easily available international calling in the last 50 years? Also, international calling failed to connect people internationally en masse. It may have allowed for it, but it was too difficult and expensive to meet and socialize with people from other parts of the world. That isn't the case with the Internet. I have friends throughout the world in just about any area that has Internet access. I have access to information about what things are actually like on the ground in many regions of the world without having to go through potentially influenced media. That kind of access to information and that kind of interpersonal relationships with people around the world makes a huge difference.

Yes, some people will still want to smash and destroy things that are different (the same can be said for plenty of people in just about any country) but for the most part, people don't want that and most frequently, it is fear that causes that.

Re:Nice (2)

AJH16 (940784) | about a year ago | (#44865541)

Also, don't get me wrong, I still think war will exist. Governments will do what is in their interest to get power and wealth, but they will do it more against the will of informed people. Just look at the number of wars that America has been involved in that had little to no popular support. It also won't stop some people from being insurrectionists, but removing the fear of unknown and the ability to spread uncheckable propaganda is certainly a significant benefit in limiting it.

Re:Nice (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44865375)

No, there are a whole bunch of people who, when exposed to "the world" and cultures that do things differently, want to destroy them and smash them, not understand them. They are seen as an immediate threat to their way of life. You've forgotten the Buddah statue in Afghanistan? How about all the other "World Heritage" sites that have been defaced or destroyed? How long do you think it would take for the internet to be blamed as the "root of all evil" and its users persecuted and beheaded? Hell there are some fundamentalists even in the west that have that attitude towards, say, video games.

Only liberals think that some diseases can be "cured" with a healthy dose of education and horizon broadening. YOU CANNOT SURRENDER TO A CROCODILE, IT WILL EAT YOU IF IT'S HUNGRY AND GET CLOSE ENOUGH. No matter if you have a "white flag" or not. You can even ask it very nicely not to, and it doesn't care. It is fulfilling its being. And some rabid humans fulfill theirs, smashing, destroying, and infecting others. It's been that way for thousands of years.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864817)

Maybe they will all get nice Israeli friends on FarmVille.

Re:Nice (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#44865195)

Actually, it could be the answer to violence. How many militants go off to fight for the lack of a keyboard to sit in front of and be a tough guy on the internet? How many bombs will sit, half built, while the builder deftly slays the infidels on the internet with his clever trolling? How many will lose the will to fight today when they rail over injustice only to find themselves pointed at snopes?

Re:Nice (0)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#44865437)

Radical religious fundies from all denominations don't sit all day in front of keyboards. They sit in churches/temples/mosques/synagogues all day, reinforcing their BS beliefs to each other and doing what the priest/pastor/rabbi/imam tells them to do. Computers are generally viewed as "bad" and a source of "sin" by all these religious types because churches have always known that if the sheep don't come into the temple enough they stop believing in all the magic, so anything that keeps them away from worship (read that as servitude to the priest class) is evil. I know this because my ex wife turned into a radical christian loonie. And now she's my ex wife.

Only Afghanisan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864589)

..."Imagine living in a country where only 3.5 percent of the population use the Internet. When you ask a neighbor about Facebook, they give you a confused look. Posting a status update on Twitter is a foreign concept, and most citizens still rely on printed newspapers and radio reports. That's life in Afghanistan today...

Um.

It also describes life fairly well amongst the 60+ year-olds of ANY Western country. Try asking a 70-year-old for his mobile phone number.

No problem (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#44864595)

A conference about web-driven technologies, held in a country where they shoot girls for daring to leave the house or go to school - no way that'll be a target for the Taliban...

Social Media? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864613)

Someone wants to get Internet to Afghanistan. Great. Sounds like a good idea.

But the *first* use that they can think of is social media? Aren't there a lot of other uses of the Internet that would help Afghanistans more than social media?

And Nothing of Value Was Lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864617)

I can imagine people there have things more important to worry about.

Like clean and reliable drinking water. Public safety. Healthcare. Education.

Sure, working on one doesn't preclude working on other things. But, seriously.

Facebook / Twitter / blah blah blah seem rather far down the list.

Re:And Nothing of Value Was Lost (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44865123)

Who said getting them online was to help them? Facebook demands more users! More cheap page hits for the empire!

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864631)

maybe if the US stopped bombing freedom into them, they could care more about the internet infrastructure rather than living deep in the ground to survive.

God help them. (2)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about a year ago | (#44864651)

"Imagine living in a country where only 3.5 percent of the population use the Internet. When you ask a neighbor about Facebook, they give you a confused look. Posting a status update on Twitter is a foreign concept, and most citizens still rely on printed newspapers and radio reports." ... And life is good.

Seriously, if bringing the internet to Afghanistan requires telling people about how hard life must be without twitter or facebook then you fail. The internet is more about breaking borders and giving people access to information they otherwise could not get locally. Not endless self serving and attention whoring status updates.

Airdrop a Sat Com station?? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about a year ago | (#44864671)

What kind of range could you get from airdropping a shipping container with half sat com and half "civilian contractors"?

is Power and Water a more or less solved problem (for areas with a decent number of folks) and how much of your time would be spent TroubleShooting the locals as apposed to the local network?

math? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864681)

1.5/30 = 5%

Accurate news without FB and Twitter?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864691)

If all I used for getting accurate news information was Twitter and Facebook then you could argue I might be more uninformed than the Afgans.

Junis emailed to say hello (2)

LNO (180595) | about a year ago | (#44864701)

Those of us who have been here for twelve years have fond memories of JonKatz posting about Junis [slashdot.org] , who hid his "ancient Commodore" (one of four in the village) under the boards of a chicken coop. And of course he was obsessed with Linux, mesmerized by open source and Slashdot, and all of that was totally plausible.

Shine on, Junis and the Slashdot of yesteryear. Shine on.

what's with all the foxnews links from velcroman1? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864709)

Just doing a quick search through the slashdot archives and I find a whole series of posts by velcroman1 all linking to fox news articles. Is he some kind of fox news SEO bot? Or just trying to make fox news seem acceptable to a group who usually regard it as an unreliable source of news?

Re:what's with all the foxnews links from velcroma (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44865155)

He's posted a lot of Fox News links recently but they're a small percentage of his submissions overall.

I wish I did not have to imagine it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864763)

If only we did not have to image a world without FaceBook. It would be a lot nicer world.

Getting Online requires power ... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#44864823)

How about you start there.

What the fuck is this crap? Ignorant drivel from people to stupid to know what Afghanis real problems are?

Let me give you a hint, society is fully functional without the Internet when you can actually eat. The Internet is worthless when you can't eat, or get your head blown off for showing your face or standing up for your self.

People dying of starvation and lack of clean water really don't give a flying fuck about the Internet, and they don't NEED the Internet to solve those problems.

This sort of utter ignorance is an example of why some groups over there want to blow us up, and frankly, we'd deserve it if this were a common feeling among our populations. Fortunately, most of us are not still in high school or tweens like the author.

Re:Getting Online requires power ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864871)

2edgy4us

Re:Getting Online requires power ... (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44864899)

The internet can tell you how to grow food or clean water. It can also help you find like minded individuals so you can stand up to those who want to shoot you in the face.

That sort of post is the utter ignorance that might be why some groups want to blow us up.

Re:Getting Online requires power ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864949)

bullshit, people have been doing that for millennia before the internet.

Afghanistan doesn't need the internet, it needs basic utilities like clean water and electricity. this is a stupid article written by ignorant people like you. Go live there for a while and you'll understand why this is complete shit.

Re:Getting Online requires power ... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44864969)

People have been dying of dysentery for even longer.
The internet is one way to cure ignorance, try reading something informative. If you have no one to teach you about clean water and electricity production then the internet would be a great place to look.

Get off the internet if you find it so detestable.

Re:Getting Online requires power ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865035)

h4rr4r is a liberal free software advocate that can't actually code. It's best to mod him down and ignore him.

Re:Getting Online requires power ... (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | about a year ago | (#44865015)

I think the idea is that if you give people first world problems, they won't have third world ones.

It think there is a step about underpants and profit in there too, but I could be mistaken.

Never adding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864931)

Never adding friends from Afghanistan to facebook etc. feel kind of shitty that all my foreign friends are singled out for monitoring based on their locale. Spying is destroying the Internet.

Afghanistan Online (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44864955)

So is that like some kind of new Call of Duty MMO? Did Velcroman get an advanced copy or into a beta? Where's the reviews? I'm searching but the most I can gather is that there's some bug with too many IEDs spawning, and you'd figure after being in development for so many years with such a huge budget they'd have done something about that by now.

Afghanistan so far removed from China? (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about a year ago | (#44864971)

When you ask a neighbor about Facebook, they give you a confused look. Posting a status update on Twitter is a foreign concept, and most citizens still rely on printed newspapers and radio reports.

This could also be said about China, although they do have their own in country Twitter knock off that does get used and is subjected to heavy government censorship. About all a Chinese person can tell you about Facebook, if they've heard of it at all, is that they are officially blocked from using it.

they'll be fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865177)

prior to 1950 none of the world had the internet and it was perfectly fine.

Quality of Life (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#44865181)

Why is Quality of Life measured by whether and how fast someone can access the Internet?

The Internet is not the end-all, be-all of whether life is worth living.

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865191)

So... in a country that is ravaged by bombings and attacks on a daily basis... the focus is on Twitter and Facebook? Good lord.

Sounds like a job for Steve Case (1)

MXPS (1091249) | about a year ago | (#44865229)

He got America online, now he can do with it Afghanistan. AOL will live on!

Really you expected better? (1)

updatelee (244571) | about a year ago | (#44865273)

ok, so lets break down some issues.

30m people, 57% are over 15, so thats 17.1m

17.1m people, 28% over 15 are literate., so thats 4.8m

you have 4.8m people, 1.5m are on the internet, thats 32% of the population over 15 that can read are on the internet.

not bad really is it. Especially for an average income of $426/year, can you really expect better ?

UDL

Math? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865303)

1.5M out of 30M is 5%, right?

Imagine...only 3.5 percent with Internet.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865345)

I don't have to imagine. I just think back to pre-1990s.

Not doing too well at math either (1)

hydrodog (1154181) | about a year ago | (#44865463)

... Considering that 1.5 out of 30 is 5%, not 3.5%

Are the Afhans better at math? (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about a year ago | (#44865517)

1.5M / 30M is 5%, not 3.5%. This is not a difficult calculation people.

To do what? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#44865529)

56.9 % of the male population are illiterate and 87.4 of the female population.
They can't just watch cat videos all day.

Message from Kabul (2)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#44865571)

From 12 years ago
http://www.tech.slashdot.org/story/01/11/17/204207/Message-from-Kabul [slashdot.org]

An open information society is inevitable. I was a little surprised last week to receive a forwarded e-mail from Junis, who lives in a small town 35 miles southwest of Kabul. This weekend, a movie theater and video store opened up again in Kabul (rentingIndependence Day), Afghan TV cranked up, and so did the Net. Americans understand all too well that our techno-driven culture produces wonders and dangers, but it's one of the most popular social and political forces in the world. Passion for pop culture relentlessly undermined repressive governments like Poland, East Germany and the former Soviet Union. The world, it turns out, really is porous now. Technology and information will squeeze through every closed nook and crevice. The Taliban never made a dent in the attachment this Afghan programmer and his friends had for it.
When his message came, the Taliban had just fled, Northern Alliance soldiers had taken over his village, and everybody rushed to barbers to cut off their beards and to nearby holes and hiding spots to dig up their Walkmen, VCRs, TVs, CD players, and -- in Junis's case -- his ancient Commodore, one of four in the village. Cafes had popped up all over, with impromptu dances and parties everywhere.

Junis's e-mail -- routed to Kabul, then Islamabad, then London -- was a reminder that there are civil liberties, and then there are civil liberties. Computers had been banned under penalty of death by the Taliban (except for the Taliban themselves), along with music and TV. Junis, a computer geek obsessed with Linux, had first e-mailed me years ago while I was writing for Hotwired. He was genial and obsessed with American culture. He loved martial arts movies, anything to do with Star Wars, and rap. He was perhaps the Taliban's prime kind of target. (Now he's furiously trying to download movies he's missed and is mesmerized by open source and Slashdot.)

"I could still see the dust of the pick-up trucks carrying the Taliban out of my village," he wrote, "and some friends and I went and dug up the boards of a chicken coop where I had hid the computer. They might have beaten or killed us if they'd found it. It was forbidden, although they used computers all of the time." He claims American commandos are skulking around dressed as Northern Alliance tribesmen.

Junis describes life under the Taliban as brutal, terrifying and profoundly boring. What the people in his town -- especially the kids -- missed most was music, posters of Indian and American movie stars (he'd kept his own decaying poster of Madonna), and American TV. Junis missed the fast-changing Web and sees, he says, that he has fallen "forever behind," and that programming is more complex than ever. But at least "Baywatch," which everyone in his town acutely missed, is back, and there's already a lot of talk about "Survivor." Junis predicts "Temptation Island" will be the number one show in Afghanistan within a month.

If the world needed another demonstration of America's most powerful weapon -- not bombs or special forces but pop culture -- it got it again this week. People all over the planet fuss about whether this healthy and democratic or corrupting and dehumanizing, but people's love for American techno-toys, TV shows, music and movies is breathaking. Watching TV pictures of tribesman on horseback, it's easy to forget that technology reached deep into this culture as well. Junis says phone service around Kabul remains spotty, but reporters, U.N. workers and foreign soldiers are wiring up. He's already made his way to some sex sites, and wishes he had a printer.

There are many computers in Afghanistan, Junis said, many in clusters in cities like Kabul and Kandahar (news reports have frequently mentioned that Bin-Laden's organization used both e-mail and encrypted files to communicate). Computer geeks are already hooking up with one another all over the country; Junis isn't the only Afghan e-mailing these days. He says other coders and gamers hid their PC's as well. Meanwhile, he's especially eager to get his hands on the Apple iPod, and has been drooling over the Apple website site since he got back online. And some things, of course, never change. "I thought they were going to get Microsoft," he wrote. "I guess not."

A decade ago, when East Berlin teenagers stormed the Wall and crossed over into West Berlin, the first thing many of them did was rush to music stores to buy tapes and CD's they'd been secretly, illegally listening to for years.

The Taliban worked to create the antithesis of the American world, one without technology, computing, the Net, music, or any vestige of popular culture (not to mention women's rights, elections, a free press or any religion except fundamentalist Islam. Junis said people in his town risked their lives repeatedly, not to fight the Taliban, but to try and listen to CD's and watch videos smuggled in from Pakistan, watched in the dark under blankets and in cellars. It seems the outcome was inevitable.

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