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Egypt: Waiting for Sunset

By on Dec 23, 2014 in Featured, Politics | 0 comments

How long must we endure? It is difficult to take events in Egypt seriously right now. It has become normal to see legal and judicial travesties on a daily basis; a news story about two people being arrested for speaking English while on the subway, another story about a man getting arrested, or brought by a mob to a police station, for writing the frequency of satellite channels on a bathroom wall, as though it were some sort of political pornography. We are almost used to the frequent violations of the basic legal rights of anybody suspected of homosexuality or atheism, as though those were crimes when even Egypt’s mockery of a legal system has not yet found the time to officially criminalize them. The courts, initially resorted to by human rights activists, have about as much blood on their hands now as the police force does. The army has become, first covertly, but now quite...

Egypt: Bottoms, Narrative Choices, & Frogs

By on Nov 4, 2014 in Politics | 0 comments

It seems that there are certain things people need to realize first, in order to sense the necessity of change, and, in some cases, the urgency. Let’s start with a basic social truth – there is no ‘bottom’. Your society, community, or state is not some rubber ball bouncing towards the ground that must inevitably, hit a bottom and bounce back up. Things that fall, will – unless something changes – continue to fall. The inability to comprehend this, to sit back and wait, as though ‘now’ things will get better because they can’t get worse, is suicide. There is no bottom. You’ve already seen the shape of things to come, but not their magnitude, and certainly not the qualitative changes in shape that accompany shifts from one order of magnitudes to another. Things can, in fact, get much worse. Where they get worse is, usually, a...

Le Morte d’Egypte

By on Oct 30, 2014 in Featured, Politics | 0 comments

Excuse the title. I like the Camelot myths. I’ve never read the original Malory though and wasn’t quite so interested in it when I was a child. The whole knight in shining armor thing never quite caught my fancy. However, I was lucky enough, years later, to run into The Sword in the Stone, T.H. White’s wonderful take on the Arthurian myths, in the first volume, we see a young Arthur, slowly becoming aware of what Merlin’s oblique lessons were forcing him to understand. It is a key moment, and here it is, brutally shortened, for your benefit. It’s still a bit long for an excerpt, but it’s important, and if you give me your attention for a few minutes, you’ll see why it’s so important that you get a feel for how it unfolds… “I have been thinking,” said Arthur, “about Might and Right. I don’t think things ought...

Egypt: A Sampling of Cognitive Biases

By on Aug 24, 2013 in Politics | 0 comments

The conversation going on right now in Egypt, whether it’s on twitter, or in a cab, or on a supposedly well-respected television show – has mostly been bereft of all logic and reason. I really can’t be bothered to go through all the cognitive biases that people commonly succumb to (and that our media lately has been almost relying on), but this is a short sample of some biases, with brief introductions taken mostly from Wikipedia, and with each one, I’ve tried to attach examples that are, let’s say, a bit more…local. Enjoy. This is not comprehensive, and certainly not exhaustive, and my examples might certainly exhibit some of the biases I’m warning people about, but then again, that is the Blind Spot Bias… Please Note: These biases obviously exist in all people world-wide, the main object of this exercise is to see how strong a part they play in some of the conversations...

Not Exactly ‘Two’ Sides in Egypt

By on Aug 20, 2013 in Politics | 0 comments

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