Language Category

Life on the FOB – Afghanistan Day 26, “…the best intentions”

Standing in the hot sun of the dry training area, just bellow a local burial ground,  I turn to a couple of combat advisers about something I heard at chow at lunch the other day but forgot about. “What happened to the dog? Someone said they [meaning the Brits] shot a dog.”  “SGT S. says, […]

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Life on the FOB – Afghanistan Days 23/24 “Objet inconnu touche a ton coeur!”

Dee Dee, the nick name of a French sniper instructor, grins as he puffs on a his cigarette, says, “Object inconnu touche a ton coeur!” “Que? Qu’est-ce que cela signifie?” I ask in very broken and awful french. Dee Dee says, “Its a French saying, that  means that sometimes a mysterious object touches your heart. […]

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Life on the FOB – Exiting the “Red Mist” – Afghanistan Day 17

“Cheeky, gabbie, bastards,”  C.SGT R. said and not knowing if I misheard the color sergeant because of his Scottish accent or unsure whether or not he was just making something up to mess with me, I said,  “What the fuck are are you talking about?” “Cheeky, gabbie, bastards, that’s what they are!” C.SGT R. reiterated, […]

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How we get along even when we don’t understand one-another

The emphasis on social cognition or cultural knowledge as a kind of cognition creates all kinds of epistemlogical obstcles to understanding the empirical world. As I have often argued, if it were the case that intersubjectivity or shared understandings were primarily about sharing the same propositional belief states about the world, we would have an […]

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Life on the FOB – Afghanistan Day 9: Viva La France

Yesterday was spent doing ambush training with Taff and Smudge, two IBS sergeants. Not much action as the ANA were only able to get through one ambush scenario before they and the IBS gave up. As much as the cultural differences between the ANA and the UK soldiers impede training, the conflicts between ANA officers […]

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Life on the FOB – Afghanistan Day 7 (end of week roundup)

I have spent the majority of the past week with the combat advisers of the Infantry Branch School. For the purposes of my trip, to study intercultural interactions in a military setting, the IBS has been a perfect laboratory. Not only do the advisers interact, daily, with the various peoples that make up the ANA […]

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What Errol Morris, Kuhn, and Incomensurability have to do with Military Stability Operations

INCOMMENSURABILITY – Opinionator – NYTimes.com. Errol Morris recently wrote a five part piece in the New York times Opinionator on Thomas Kuhn’s notion of incommensurability. In studying the history and philosophy of science, Kuhn claimed that identical words and concepts were used in different ways that could not be resolved because they were emplaced within […]

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