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ibstubro's avatar

Should we bomb Agrabah?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) December 18th, 2015

If this doesn’t scare the living crap out of you, it should.

I first ran across it because 41% of Trump supporters favor bombing the fictional Arab city from Aladdin.

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12 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

No! We might accidently hit the Cave of Wonders releasing Jafar.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

And imagination land. From South Park.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake . . . or strike the Jinni and his lamp.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Of course you should, because if you don’t they will come over and attack the good people of Riverdale and then what would Archie and Jughead do then?

si3tech's avatar

The link is to an article on Washington Post. It blocks me saying I have already read all I am entitled to this month! On their site. (perhaps without registering) WTF?

ibstubro's avatar

Here’s an idea of how it’s playing out worldwide, @si3tech.

The original link was better, also citing that 80% of Americans believe there should be mandatory labeling of foods containing DNA:

A recent Public Policy Polling survey found that 30% of Republicans and 19% of Democrats say they support “bombing Agrabah” – the fictional nation portrayed in the Disney movie Aladdin. This is not a surprising result. Pollsters have long known that it is easy to get survey respondents to express opinions about nonexistent legislation, such as the “Metallic Metals Act.” It is also easy to elicit survey responses that reveal widespread scientific ignorance. For example, one recent poll found that 80 percent of Americans support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA.”

All of this is just part of the broader phenomenon of widespread political ignorance. For most people, ignorance about science and public policy is perfectly rational behavior, because there is so little chance that their vote will decisively affect electoral outcomes.

In responding to surveys, many people don’t want to admit they are ignorant about the issues the pollster is asking about. Just as we guess on standardized tests, so many people cover up their ignorance by guessing on polls. In the process, they often rely on crude “information shortcuts.” For example, “Agrabah” sounds vaguely Arabic, and survey respondents could assume that the pollster is asking about bombing it because there are radical Islamist terrorists there. That train of thought might lead hawks to support bombing it and doves to oppose it (13% of Republicans and 36% of Democrats said they opposed bombing, rather than challenge the premise of the question, or express no opinion). Similarly, the “Metallic Metals Act” sounds like legislation intended to promote metal production, which most survey respondents apparently viewed as a good thing. As for DNA, if you don’t know what it is, it can easily sound like some sinister chemical that greedy corporations might insert into our food for their own nefarious purposes. Why else would the pollster ask us about it?

People who realize that there is no such nation as Agrabah, know that the Metallic Metals Act does not exist, and understand what DNA is, are unlikely to rely on such flimsy conjectures. But most Americans don’t have that level of knowledge.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter much whether voters support bombing fictional countries or passing fictional legislation. But their attitudes towards real public policy issues are often based on similar ignorance and illogic. That’s a problem that even Aladdin’s genie can’t easily solve.

UPDATE: It’s worth noting that some of those who said they oppose bombing Agrabah may have done so because they realize it is a fictional nation and thought that response was more defensible than “not sure” (the only other option given, other than support and opposition).

flutherother's avatar

Oh why not. Like Tikrit or Fallujah or Kabul it isnt a real place where real people live.

Coloma's avatar

Haha…this IS alarming indeed. Talk about sheeple and go alongs. Oh brother!
Guess I passed the test, and I certainly know that the “metallic metals” act is a fictitious oxymoron and that DNA is on my breakfast table in my of GMO Wheaties. lol

Buttonstc's avatar

Kimmel does this as a regular feature on his show. They make up a question with details just vague enough to obscure its purpose and request a yes or no response

Hilarity ensues.

rojo's avatar

I think we should bomb Mexico and make the Mexicans pay for the bombs. and build the planes and munitions

Coloma's avatar

I think the planet should just be sucked into a renegade black hole and start over from the age of the amoeba. lol

tinyfaery's avatar

This is just more proof of how stupid most Americans are. Just add it to the pile.

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