“One or two people cannot change history. But with an access to a computer and the internet, they can certainly change Wikipedia”

–Chinese proverb

At a time when Pakistan has become a battleground of conflicting narratives and worldviews, the only way we can defeat the Taliban is by changing hearts and minds – with logic, by resorting to verbal abuse, by physically knocking some sense into them, and most importantly, by insulting and embarrassing them. Here is how you can achieve that:

Step 1: Reason

Takeaway: Logic is a slippery slope.

Philosophy: Before you begin reasoning with someone who disagrees with you, think about why they believe what the way they believe. The answer is obvious. You see reason and they don’t. They are unreasonable. Unreasonable is another word for stupid.

Tactics:

1) Attack the person, not the argument. If they are nincompoops in general, it is highly likely that they can be rational in their opinions. People’s ability to reason depends on their religious beliefs, cast, profession and social affiliations.

2) Appeal to emotions. How can you use cold, hard logic to respond to someone who does not love their country and religion, and are not moved by pictures of innocent men, women and children dying in misery and pain?

3) Generalise, generalise, generalise. Most everyday conversations – in the comments section of a YouTube video, at the work place when your boss thinks you are working, or over dinner at a family reunion – are no place for fine logic. There are never enough facts, but that does not mean you cannot jump straight to the conclusion.

Step 2: Argue

Takeaway: Demonise or be demonised.

Philosophy: Do not let logic undermine your ability to argue. Your ultimate goal should be to control the conversation and appear to be the most powerful person in the room. Do not give your opponent, or any mediators in the room, to redirect the focus of the conversation.

Tactics:

1) Use aggressive body language – such as standing up and folding your sleeves up as you lean over them – and threaten your rival with physical force at all times. If it is an online conversation, threaten to show up at their house. If you are liberal, threaten to start a boycott campaign or an online petition against them. If the conversation is taking place in a Facebook group, threaten to remove them from the forum. Link that threat to them making an argument you don’t like. Say you have no tolerance for those who are anti-Pakistan, anti-women, anti-democracy, anti-Islam (depending on the topic of the argument).

2) Slam the door and leave. While they may amuse themselves thinking you did that because you ran out of arguments, they will not dare to disagree with you ever again.

Step 3: Fight:

Takeaway: Hit first and hit hard.

Philosophy: Whether it is a war between two countries or a fight between two people, whoever throws the first few punches is technically the winner. Because very soon, people will gather and pull you apart and mediate. The only ultimate outcome of a fight is peace and reconciliation. But the party that attacks first is the one that ends up happier and more satisfied.

Tactics:

1) Hit before they’re ready. Unlike the fistfights in the movies, real life scuffles only last a couple of punches. Punch them when they are not expecting it.

2) As soon as you’ve hit, run. If you can’t run, move back to a safe distance and wait for the other people in the room to come between you and them and stop the fight.

3) If people don’t intervene on time you are being hit, do not make it look like you are losing. Continue to threaten them and abuse them verbally, making it look like you are the one who is winning.

Step 4: Win

Takeaway: “Winning is all about looking happier than the other guy” – The Doctor.

Philosophy: When the entire episode ends, you should be seen laughing at your rival.

Tactics:

1) Treat others like you would want to be treated, they say. Thus, when you are ending a fight, think of the meanest things people could say to make you feel miserable, and say them to your opponent.

2) What happened is not important. What people think happened is important. Start propagating your version of the event as early as possible, even among acquaintances you haven’t spoken to in a while. After all, it is a battle of narratives.