Twenty Five

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We have been writing these pages for four months now, and the above is the number of our followers –a staggering number in this day and age, given the topics and the subject matter of our articles. That twenty five people (so far) should be interested is a great achievement –we are truly and pleasantly astonished. We know of course that any hustler or lady of the Instagram can claim millions of followers but that’s not our standard. We don’t sell, advertise or undress; there’s nothing instant or telegraphic about us. We talk to the constantly shrinking group of people who still think, reflect and investigate, which brought us to the issue of numbers and the importance given to them by the general public and those who manipulate it.

While browsing we came across titles such as:

How to Get Your First 1000 Followers

5 New Ways to Get Followers

100K in 48 hrs

Grow Your Followers with Purpose

How to Get More Followers with Awesome Tips

Numbers decide everything, and in order to get them you must be prepared for everything –cheating, lying, manipulating and, above all, undressing (as far as ladies are concerned, that is). Numbers arouse emotions and passions which are indispensable for demagogues who use them to build their massive followings –expressed in numbers, a vicious circle.

The most obvious example of the devious use of numbers:

The world average life expectancy at birth is 72.2 years, yet in each of the world’s 25 richest countries, the average life expectancy is at least several years, if not a full decade, longer. (24/7 Wall St, Richest Countries in the World)

It doesn’t matter how one lives. The only thing that matters is how long –which is a number. The improvement in global longevity is not caused by healthy lifestyles, as is sometimes claimed, but is due to advances in medical technology and treatment. This should be construed as artificially maintaining alive people who in fact should be dead were it not for complicated medical equipment and potent drugs.

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Another example: Qatar –the richest country in the world according to numbers.

GNI per capita: $116,799
2017 GDP: $308.6 billion
Population: 2.6 million
Life expectancy at birth: 78.3 years

As regards the population –around 320,000 are Qataris, whereas the remaining 2.3 million are expatriates/foreigners –a curious country.

They come from all over the world, although the largest numbers come from India and Nepal. However, despite the promise of work and a better future, several reports in recent years have said migrants are being forced to work in appalling conditions, with more than half still living in labour camps around the country. Migrants interviewed by the BBC in 2015 revealed they were earning as little as $350 a month. (Five Facts About Qatar You Might Not Know)

As you can see and in case you have been dazzled by the statistics –Qatar is not really a country. It is a curious topographical accident –a peninsula extending from another peninsula (the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula), one geographical and ethnic unit until it was fragmented into several “countries” by the colonial British. It should be more properly called a British colony –the result of the Bedouin mentality, competing tribes (guided and led by the very British Lawrence of Arabia), and the British divide and conquer skills.

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Bedouins in central Qatar.

In the early 20th century Qatar became British protectorate. It officially gained independence in 1971, which didn’t change its status in the least. Foreign affairs and defence are reserved to the United Kingdom, whereas internal autonomy is reserved to the “ruling” Al Thani tribe, who migrated eastward from central Arabia, and thus are expatriates according to the modern terminology.

25-4 Left: Doha, Qatar. Right: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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Left: Makkah, the Clock Tower. Right: Muscat, Oman

At the end of times you shall see barefoot, naked, penniless shepherds vying in constructing high buildings.

The above is the saying of the Prophet Muhammad recorded in Muslim and Bukhari. It clearly describes the Bedouin, who became rich all of a sudden and now build high buildings, as high as possible, not for need but only for competition. However, the world’s first skyscraper was the Home Insurance Building in Chicago, erected in 1884-1885, and was also the expression of the “Bedouin mentality”, in this case called cattle breeders, according to which height is the manifestation of power. Hence, the “impressive” skylines of North American, and Western in general, cities, now imitated by the Gulf states.

Where the tyranny of numbers turns out to be most destructive is in the field of politics –the whole idea of democracy being based on the concept of majority expressed, naturally, in numbers. In order to make sufficient number of people support this or that candidate a new branch of propaganda has been firmly established –propaganda by numbers. Political marketing experts investigate, divide and use the population in countless ways, especially nowadays, when they have at their disposal modern computer techniques. They can find likely supporters by phone number, postal code, religious affiliation, income or any other information that can be fed into their database. Among many others, the push poll is a well known technique for bending an election.

A push poll is an interactive marketing technique, most commonly employed during political campaigning, in which an individual or organization attempts to manipulate or alter prospective voters’ views/beliefs under the guise of conducting an opinion poll. (Wikipedia) 

In other words –it’s an opinion poll, apparently, whose true objective is to sway voters using loaded or manipulative questions. This kind of propaganda moves many more voters, especially those undecided, than a policy discussion during a candidate’s debate.

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So, what is there so fascinating about numbers?

Absolutely nothing.

(17) It is the truth from your Lord but the majority of people do not believe.
Qur-an 11 – Hud
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(92) Verily, the majority of mankind are heedless of Our signs.
Qur-an 10 – Yunus
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(37) The majority of people do not understand.
Qur-an 6 – al An’am
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(110) The majority of them are perverted transgressors.
Qur-an 3– Al Imran

Ha-Joon Chang said that numbers are like sausages: you don’t know what they really are until you cut into them.

When we cut into our number, twenty five as already mentioned, we see reflection and search for the truth. That´s why we are so immensely proud of our twenty five followers.

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