Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Future in Your Pocket, The Past in Your Mind

A while back, a rumor made the rounds in Khartoum, Sudan -- the same place where an English pre-school teacher has been arrested (and crowds bay for her execution) because she allowed her three and four-year old charges to name the class teddy bear "Muhammed" -- that if a man shook the hand of an infidel, his penis would fall off. The rumor spread via cell phone and text messaging. Apparently, many men took the rumor seriously. But what is amazing is that confluence of modernity and superstition. The rumor spreads via a wonder of science and technology -- yet the men who fell for this bit of ridiculous folklore simply couldn't reconcile the facts of science (even though the proof of its efficacy was right there in their hands) with their ancient xenophobic mindset.

Doesn't bode well for the future we all need to share.

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